Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Not politics killing me this time...

The Giant Sequoia, the largest tree and 2nd tallest tree in America (the Coast Sequoias are a few feet taller) are at risk from fire, once again.

Although they have individually survived the last 3,000 years, their future looks bleak. One of the reasons - short term in particular - is the drought in the west. The current drought is the worst in the last 1000 years, but a harbinger of many to come. The drought turns forests into kindling, and it just takes a spark to ignite.

The Giant Sequoias of Yosemite are stunning examples of the beauty of nature. And they are very rare. They only grow in the Sierra Nevadas between 3,000 and 5,000 feet. And yes, they have survived fires before. And they need smaller wild fires to germinate. But fire suppression techniques have left the forest floor with a massive of combustable materials, that the drought has turned into dry fuel for a fire.

Many of these trees will be lost in the current fire (about 18% percent were lost to two previous fires in 2020 and 2021). It is hard to watch or listen to stories.

But, even worse for the long term, global warming threatens to kill them all, or at least stop new trees from growing. They only grow between 4,600 - 6,600 feet up. They need dry summers and snowy winters.

Climate change is not kind to them. The winter snows are drying up and they need water - which is why nearly all grow near streams.

Anyway, it is super sad. Here are some pictures from my last trip .

1 comment:

  1. I think the fires are under control now, at least temporarily! Let’s hope for the best. They are unbelievable beautiful!


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