by Matt Brown, The Press Democrat
There is finally some good news from environmental scientists studying climate change: as the earth gets warmer, ancient redwood trees are thriving.
The huge trees that dot the California coast and the Sierra Nevada mountains soak up carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels, keeping the potentially harmful greenhouse gas out of the atmosphere.
Despite the warming climate, redwood trees are growing faster than at anytime over the last century, according to a report issued today by the Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative.
“That’s a wonderful, happy surprise for us,” said Emily Burns, director of science for Save the Redwoods League, a San Francisco-based advocacy group.
California summers have warmed, but rainfall has remained steady. The hotter climate also burns off fog that normally shrouds the world’s tallest trees, providing more access to nourishing sunlight, according to the report.
“The fact that redwoods grow faster rather than slower as fog decreases, that surprised us,” said Bill Libby, a UC Berkeley forestry professor who was involved in the study.