Is the Great Sierra Tree Mortality, the Vast Die-Off, Over?

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 24 October 2017



About Western Pine Beetles

With California Drought Over, Fewer Sierra Pines Dying,
October 24, 2017.

The drought is over? We got one catastropic flood level season last Winter, and one normal season before that, out of the last 7 seasons, while the rising temperature profile through these last 3 Winters looks consistant with continued drought conditions, as compared with the previous 4. I am betting this heating trend will continue unabated through this Fall & Winter:

July 27
The Drought Never Ended

Our current late October extreme Summertime heat pushing deep into Fall is not a good sign for ending the drought.

Last Winter brought a tropical Winter blown out of the South and Southwest, during a non El Nino year. It was weird as hell. Does that mean the drought's over? I think not, but it is too premature at this point to declare either way. Yet both the Climate Prediction Center and the National Climate Report have moderately hotter temps in the Southwest over the next three months. This could easily fall back into line with our drought pattern.

We discuss & track the La Nina, Arctic Warming, East Pacific Ridging, and The Blob on the
Weather Prognostications Page.

I'd be skeptical as hell about water availability, if I was a Western US Water Manager!

Weather Prognostications Page

Oct 12 La Nina Report



Climate Prediction Center

National Climate Report


It feels to me like we are going to have warm dry days up to December backed by cold clear nights. I figure we will experience a few sharp, quick, cold storms along the way to December. We can expect a cold, dry Winter if the La Nina stregthens accompanied by a warmer than normal Arctic over the next month.

The question posed by the article above is, "is the massive tree die-off over?" The article provides proof it has slowed down. Yet the trend line of all environmental-weather factors affecting High Sierra Forests is distinctly negative. The winds, rains, and temperatures have all already changed, and are steadily moving outside of their traditional ranges. This has put tremendous pressure on all strata of forest life, as conditions change out from under their long-evolved "comfort zones."

This recent slowdown in the pace of death will slow the pace of forest succession by fire we are currently in the middle of, but it will do nothing about the 100 million dead trees already accumulated. Nor will it mitigate the continuing trend line of warming Winters.

What comes next after Tree Mortality?


More Tree Mortality

A Global Problem 


California: 102 million dead trees


Big Fire Danger


Drought Killing Trees

Drought Killing Trees



Bug News

Tree News



October 2017 High Sierra General News


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