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Researchers issue dire forecast for state forests

October 14, 2013 • State News

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — While Congress dithers over budgets and battles over climate policy, scientists and others are urging state and local governments to take action as climate change affects water, agriculture, forests and businesses like ski resorts dependent on snow.

Rising temperatures are killing forests globally, and research by Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists finds it is highly likely that the Southwest, including New Mexico, will lose the vast majority of its forests by 2050. That means no golden aspens in the fall or pine trees in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

The Pacific Northwest would follow closely behind, with forests dying off a few decades later.

The dire projection came from Cathy Wilson, a climate researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory, who was part of a panel of experts that recently addressed a packed room at Santa Fe Community College. The panelists talked about the local impacts of climate change and how communities can take action to mitigate and adapt to what is coming.

Wilson, who presented work by colleagues Park Williams and Nate McDowell, appeared alongside a Login to read more

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