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California Drought Threatens 1 Billion Trees

Update Date: Jan 05, 2016 09:57 AM EST

Even though most of the country is in the clutches of rain and snow, the California sky and land is parched dry. Dealing with a drought of some sort, a recent study released by Carnegie Institution for Science has revealed what the drought is doing to the iconic forests of California. A fully equipped, high-end laboratory flying over California is measuring the impact of drought over a period of four years. "There's a lot of red on this screen, which is a sign that we're over an area that's in trouble," scientist Greg Asner told CBS News.

Asner and his team said that according to their study, as many as 888 million trees in California have suffered water loss that is caused since the drought began. So far, almost 1 billion trees have already been affected. The scientists can be sure of their discovery because of their plane being equipped by state-of-the-art lasers that scan 15 acres of forest per second. The x-ray vision produces 3D image, of the health of every single tree. The red areas in the image show trees affected by drought whereas blue means healthy trees, as reported by Tampa Bay Sarasota, 10 News  

California's forests boasts of some of the oldest trees in the world that are, unfortunately, suffering due to the canopy water loss caused between 2011 and 2015. This historic scarcity has also threatened the survival of a billion trees many of which have lasted over all these years, some even a few centuries. The climate change effect made worse by El Nino is causing an irreversible damage on the ecology. These trees are at risk from not just the drought but also an insect, bark beetle, that is gradually chipping the forest away. The researchers say that the mortality risk of trees has gone up significantly, reported Raw Story.

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