Local factors, including geology and topography, play a critical role
Will global warming push forests up into this alpine tundra around Guanella Pass, in Clear Creek County, Colorado?
Colorado recorded the greatest increase in average maximum temperatures — between .7 and .9 degrees — from the old normals, compiled between 1971 and 2000, and the new normals, which are based on temperature readings between 1981 and 2010. On average across the U.S., the new average temperatures are about .5 degrees warmer.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — For residents of high-elevation regions, including Colorado — the impacts of global warming include a potentially radical change in the composition of plant communities. In mountainous areas, the distribution of many species is limited by factors related to elevation, including temperature.
With warmer and drier conditions potentially limiting growth at lower elevations, scientists have already documented the treeline creeping upward in some areas, but there are additional factors to consider, according to a new study from the University of Calgary.
Even in a warmer world, local conditions, including slope steepness, exposure and soil depth – will limit trees being established and growing on mountainsides, the research found. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Environment, forests, global warming | Tagged: climate, forests, global warming, mountains, treeline | 1 Comment »