Science Friday: The Earth Breathing … Visualized | We Could Have Contained California’s Oak Tree Epidemic … but didn’t

What a difference a leaf makes! Well, not one leaf. We have 3.1 trillion trees on our planet—that’s 422 trees per person. If we count all the leaves on all those trees and take a look at what they do collectively to the air around us, the effect—and I do not exaggerate—is stunning. I’ve got a video from NASA. When you see it, I think your jaw is going to drop—just a little.

It tracks the flow of carbon dioxide across the planet over 12 months, starting in January. Most of the action takes place in the Northern Hemisphere because that’s where most of the land is, and so that’s where most of the trees are. The biggest temperate forests are in Canada, Siberia, and Scandinavia.

Here’s the thing about trees …


More at the link

We Could Have Contained California’s Oak Tree Epidemic

By Nathaniel Scharping | May 4, 2016 4:08 pm

There’s a deadly disease ripping through Northern California right now, leaving millions of dead trees in its wake. There’s nothing we can do to stop it now, but we could have.

So-called “sudden oak death” is a disease caused by the plant pathogenPhytophthora ramorum, which is related to the menace that caused the Irish potato famine. The scale of destruction stemming from the disease seems to have surpassed what lawmakers in the region expected, and the time to fight back has long since passed: According to a new study, 2002 was our last chance to turn the tide. 

Tracking an Epidemic

Using disease models similar to those used to track human pathogens, a team led by researchers at the University of California-Davis examined how sudden oak death has spread in order to predict what’s coming next. The results are grim: Even if we were to wage a full-scale campaign against the disease today, researchers’ models suggest P. ramorum could still devastate forests along the West Coast, putting billions of trees at risk. They published their work Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.




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