Vegetation shifting north as climate warms

By on March 14, 2013
Crumbling blocks of Alaskan permafrost (Credit: USGS)

Boston University has reported that a university-led study published in Natural Climate Change has found that the temperature and vegetation along the U.S.-Canada border resemble those found farther south as recently as 30 years ago.

Using advanced ground and satellite data sets, researchers concluded that increases in greenhouse gas emissions the past few decades have warmed seasonal temperatures in northern climates, resulting in the influx of vegetation more commonly found in more southern areas.

The changes in temperature and plant life could eventually alter the ecological balance throughout the region, leading to permafrost thawing, increases in forest fires, pest outbreaks and summertime droughts.

Image: Crumbling blocks of Alaskan permafrost (Credit: USGS)

About Adam Redling

Adam Redling is a contributing writer for the Environmental Monitor. He covers the latest news, studies and products in the field of environmental research.

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