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Posted Wed Apr 27 2011: from EnvironmentalResearchWeb:
Siberia's boreal forests 'will not survive climate change'
The boreal forests of Siberia are a vast, homogenous ecosystem dominated by larch trees. The trees survive in this semi-arid climate because of a unique symbiotic relationship they have with permafrost - the permafrost provides enough water to support larch domination and the larch in turn block radiation, protecting the permafrost from intensive thawing during the summer season. This relationship has now been successfully modelled for the first time, revealing its sensitivity to climate change. Ningning Zhang and colleagues from Nagoya University, Japan, have predicted that the larch trees will not be able to survive even the most optimistic climate change scenario of a 4 degree C increase in summer temperature in Siberia by the year 2100. "We found that the larch-dominated boreal forest-permafrost coupled system in Siberia would be threatened by future warming of 2 degrees C or more," Zhang told environmentalresearchweb. "However, our simulations also show that, even with 4 degree C warming, some tree species can still survive, but with considerable loss of biomass."
[Read more stories about: massive die-off, forests, climate impacts, ecosystem interrelationships]

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'Doc Jim says:
Sounds like a great place for a palm oil plantation!

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