"The study, led by authors from the United States Geological Survey and published in the journal Science, found the rate of tree deaths has more than doubled in the last few decades even in apparently healthy, well-established forests. Death rates have increased at all elevations, and for trees of all sizes and types, leading the researchers to worry that the U.S. may soon suffer massive and sudden die-backs of its seemingly healthy forests, a cascading effect that could release carbon dioxide into the air, further speeding global warming."
"Scientists have already witnessed mass tree deaths in American forests due to beetle infestations. Periodic outbreaks of Mountain Pine Beetle in Colorado, for example, has killed an estimated 7.4 million trees in the past decade. But the Science study, titled "Widespread Increase of Tree Mortality Rates in the Western United States," is the first to show A CREEPING DEATH RATE IN ANCIENT, WELL-ESTABLISHED CONIFEROUS FORESTS WITH NO EVIDENCE OF EPIDEMIC INFESTATIONS."
Does anyone see a pattern here? Trees all over the world are dying, and it's being blamed on insects, fungus and disease. Which is ludicrous, because scientific research has established three irrefutable facts that are crucial to this discussion:
1. ozone damages vegetation - anything that has to photosynthesize
2. the levels of background tropospheric ozone are inexorably rising
3. trees and crops exposed to ozone are more likely to succumb to insects, disease, fungus, and extreme weather. They lose their natural immunity that kept the presence of pathogens in balance. They have AIDS, in other words.
It's about time that the experts start looking at the big picture and identify the underlying cause for trees of all species to be dying off, while there is still (a dwindling amount of) time left to rescue some survivors and propagate more.
We need to ration fuel on a wartime footing and convert to clean sources of energy.