Global Warming & Quarter-mile relocations

Someone drew my attention to an article in today’s San Francisco Chronicle: “Global Warming to Keep Animals, Plants On Move.”

The story was about a study from a scientific team from Cal Academy of Sciences, UC Berkeley, and Carnegie Institute of Science, which said that plants and animals will have to move an average of one quarter mile per year, owing to global warming.

“I’m encouraged by [Peter] Fimrite covering this story,” my correspondent added. “Its relevance … might be more clear if the article were introduced with a brief reminder that the destruction of millions of trees all over the Bay Area, releasing tons of sequestered carbon and reducing the capacity to absorb CO2 will accelerate climate change, contributing to the demise of the native plants that nativists are committed to saving. In other words, nativists are shooting themselves in the foot by advocating for the destruction of healthy trees just because they are non-native.”

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1 Response to Global Warming & Quarter-mile relocations

  1. Nature Lover says:

    The changing ranges of native plants have been known for some time. It’s been several years since I first read about it, but even then it didn’t seem like news because I could see with my own eyes that native plant restorations were usually unsuccessful unless irrigated.

    Climate change probably isn’t the only factor. Air quality in the urban environment with high CO2 levels, is also a factor. And in some cases soils have been altered by years of other uses for the soil. Some non-native plants that previously occupied the soil alter it and make it inhospitable to native plants. The herbicides used to kill non-natives also kill some of the microorganisms in the soil that are needed by native plants. I’m imagine there are many other factors that we don’t even know about yet.

    The California Academy of Sciences reported in their latest quarterly magazine edition the research of one of their scientists who is probably involved in this study reported in the Chron today. Her computerized projections of the ranges of native plants and trees predicted that by 2090 there would not be any redwoods left in California, except for two small locations nears in the Oregon border.

    Nativists should take their heads out of the sand and look further into the future. If they are successful in their crusade to destroy all the non-native plants and trees that are adapted to current conditions, we could be left with a barren landscape.

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