African trees dying because of manmade global warming?

It’s far more likely that humans are killing science at Berkeley.

From a University of California-Berkeley media release:

Climate change blamed for dead trees in Africa

Berkeley — Trees are dying in the Sahel, a region in Africa south of the Sahara Desert, and human-caused climate change is to blame, according to a new study led by a scientist at the University of California, Berkeley.

“Rainfall in the Sahel has dropped 20-30 percent in the 20th century, the world’s most severe long-term drought since measurements from rainfall gauges began in the mid-1800s,” said study lead author Patrick Gonzalez, who conducted the study while he was a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley’s Center for Forestry. “Previous research already established climate change as the primary cause of the drought, which has overwhelmed the resilience of the trees.”

The study, which is scheduled for publication Friday, Dec. 16, in the Journal of Arid Environments, was based upon climate change records, aerial photos dating back to 1954, recent satellite images and old-fashioned footwork that included counting and measuring over 1,500 trees in the field. The researchers focused on six countries in the Sahel, from Senegal in West Africa to Chad in Central Africa, at sites where the average temperature warmed up by 0.8 degrees Celsius and rainfall fell as much as 48 percent.

They found that one in six trees died between 1954 and 2002. In addition, one in five tree species disappeared locally, and indigenous fruit and timber trees that require more moisture took the biggest hit. Hotter, drier conditions dominated population and soil factors in explaining tree mortality, the authors found. Their results indicate that climate change is shifting vegetation zones south toward moister areas.

“In the western U.S., climate change is leading to tree mortality by increasing the vulnerability of trees to bark beetles,” said Gonzalez, who is now the climate change scientist for the National Park Service. “In the Sahel, drying out of the soil directly kills trees. Tree dieback is occurring at the biome level. It’s not just one species that is dying; whole groups of species are dying out.”

The new findings put solid numbers behind the anecdotal observation of the decline of tree species in the Sahel.

“People in the Sahel depend upon trees for their survival,” said Gonzalez. “Trees provide people with food, firewood, building materials and medicine. We in the U.S. and other industrialized nations have it in our power, with current technologies and practices, to avert more drastic impacts around the world by reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. Our local actions can have global consequences.”

How anyone would know, however, what caused any change in rainfall patterns — if that is indeed the cause of any tree losses — is beyond us.

Modern environmentalism seems to be based on a kind of stasis — where any change is bad and caused by humans regardless of whether there are any supporting facts.

3 thoughts on “African trees dying because of manmade global warming?”

  1. Their knowledge of science is pretty clear from their statement on bark beetles. It has been pretty well established by everyone who deosnt have their head in the sand that the beetle problem has been seriously exacerbated by the dramatically higher tree density in the Western US. Since environmentalists insist on preventing controlled burning, the density of the forests reached a point where the beetles could easily move from tree to tree. As a consequence, a minor problem became an epidemic.

  2. Good Lord man! take a break, so i can get one .. ‘n jus’ to think, all this is caused from me drivin’ my ol’ diesel pickup truck .. this article is tilted so far left that i had set my computer on its side to read it .. with glaciers meltin’, sea levels risin’ ‘n the temperature movin’ up .. how come we ain’t gettin’ more rain? .. or is it jus’ that the rain ain’t fallin’ where it usually does? .. where are the studies that show formerly arid regions beginning to blossom? can we believe anything that comes out of california? .. seem like to me that berkley brains give off fowl odors .. could be that inverted colon disease we see evidence of evah’ time one uv these fecal heads speaks ..
    archaelolgists diggins’ around tell us that stuff changes .. weather in areas, river flows, vegitation diminishing and sprouting in various places .. seem like nature might have some effect in all this .. but nooooo, it’s my ol’ pickup ..
    truck .. nevah’ woulda’ thought .. jus beware those california constipated cerebrums .. evah’ time they squeeze out a thought, it carries a peculiarly unpleasant smell .. perhaps there should be a “scientific study” on flatulent thought…

    out a thought, it car

    out a thought it c
    out a thought, it carries a peculiarly unpleasant small.. ..maybe they can do a “scientific” study on

  3. They chose an interesting location to “prove” AGW is causing trees to die. The Sahara desert region was once a lush, tropical forest with a large lake. What caused the massive change that began there, and is continuing to increase the desert’s size? There was no AGW when this process began.

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