California's Sierra a 'Living Lab' for Climate Change

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

SEQUOIA NATIONAL FOREST, Calif. (AP) - In parts of California's Sierra Nevada, marshy meadows are going dry, wildflowers are blooming earlier and glaciers are melting into ice fields.

Scientists also are predicting the optimal temperature zone for giant sequoias will rise hundreds and hundreds of feet, leaving trees at risk of dying over the next 100 years.

As indicators point toward a warming climate, scientists across 4 million acres of federally protected land are noting changes affecting everything from the massive trees that can grow to more than two-dozen feet across to the tiny, hamsterlike pika.

But what the changes mean and whether humans should do anything to intervene are sources of disagreement among land managers. And it is far from understood whether the changes mean doom or adaptation for California's ecological heart.


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