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Warming climate could promote forest growth

October 19, 2009 |  9:51 pm


A warming planet is expected to bring a host of ills, including rising seas, spreading deserts and disease infestations. Yet it's not all bad news, apparently. Researchers at Oregon State University looked at a variety of climate models and found that higher-elevation forests in the Pacific Northwest can be expected to vigorously expand their growth with warmer temperatures -- up to 500% a year, under some scenarios.

That means more carbon sequestration. But there's a downside too: lower-level forests, where the majority of timber is harvested, could see declines as warmer temperatures dry up moisture. Their report was published in the journal Forest Ecology and Management.  Read more here.

--Kim Murphy

Photo: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times