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A recent report released by the U.S. Forest Service reveals a glooming future for the environments, with droughts said to have a severe impact on forests.
The report thoroughly evaluates the consequences that droughts have over forests, rangeland and vegetation as a whole. This analysis comes after the U.S. has faced serious droughts over the last years and is looking to predict the future impacts that climate change might have on the ecosystems.
The droughts encountered all over the planet are said to exponentially spread insect outbreaks, as well as wildfires, which in turn may represent a significant risk to human life.
The high temperatures associated with it will lead to the demise of plant life over entire regions, thus making it more and more difficult to supply food around the world.
As Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack points out, this will also make access to water extremely difficult, as there are approximately 60 million Americans that rely on drinking water which comes from 193 million acres of forest and grassland.
This could potentially lead to hundreds of thousands of jobs lost and over $13 billion losses each year.
The survey titled “Effects of Drought on Forests and Rangelands in the United States” is over 300 pages long, with contributions from more than 70 researchers from the Forest Service, environmental organizations and universities.
This comes after another study from Carnegie Institution for Science showed that on the North Coast of California are 58 million trees experiencing a significant water loss and one other report which highlighted the death of 12 million trees.
California possesses 18 national forests spread around 21 million acres, which have come under intense damage over the past few years. The causes of this are said to be global warming, along with the El Nino climate phenomenon.
“Our forests and rangelands are national treasures and because they are threatened, we are threatened. Every region of the country is impacted by the direct and indirect effects of drought conditions and volatile weather patterns.”, said Tom Vilsack, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.
It’s worth pointing out that since 2000 the United States has experienced an increase in the severity, size and frequency of forest fires, which makes reports like this all the more crucial.
As of now it is clear that droughts will significantly affect our most basic needs and the only pressing question that remains is: What can we do to fix it?
Image Source: Inquisitr