Tuesday, September 27, 2022


Massachusetts steps up for Puerto Rico, the White House convenes its first hunger conference in more than 50 years, and hydroponics could be the future of tomatoes in California.


Arizona's Sen. Kyrsten Simema defends the filibuster, the CBO says student loan forgiveness could cost $400 billion, and whistleblower Edward Snowden is granted Russian citizenship.


The Old Farmer's Almanac predicts two winters across the U.S., the Inflation Reduction Act could level the playing field for rural electric co-ops, and pharmacies are dwindling in rural America.

Will Our Trees Survive the Warming Temps?


Monday, March 21, 2016   

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - A crew of scientists from Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory has been making its way through the Ozark Mountains, dodging snakes and poison ivy to study tree rings, to see how they're reacting to climate change.

In much of North America, research has shown climate warming is happening so quickly that trees can't adapt but that isn't the case in the south-central U.S., where temperatures haven't changed much yet.

Research professor Park Williams says some tree species will be more vulnerable than others.

"And if we can identify some species that do very well versus other species that do poorly in the warmth, then maybe we can understand how these tree species may respond in a future world where warming takes place," says Williams.

The team samples trees' yearly growth rings by hand-screwing a long, hollow drill bit into the trunk.

They then correlate the rings to the annual temperature and rainfall amounts in that area.

The project is in the early stages, and Williams says they're trying to secure funding to take it further.

He says it's important to know how trees are doing because when they die, they release large amounts of carbon into the atmosphere and that can warm the planet even further.

Williams calls the Ozarks "the perfect classroom."

"Anybody who's been on a walk in the Ozark Mountains or Smoky Mountains, there's well over 10 dominant tree species, and during summertime, every square inch of possible space is taken up by leaves," says Williams. "Every bit of sunlight is being utilized."

In the next phase of the study, Williams and his colleagues plan to sample hundreds of trees from central Kentucky to where the Great Plains begin.

Trees have started showing signs of the warming climate across the U.S.

Ponderosa pines in the Southwest, and aspens in Colorado, are being wiped out. In California, drought and wildfire could kill some 120 million trees. Williams says that's why this study is crucial.

"If you had one species that started doing really poorly, then very quickly you'd have another species benefit," he says. "And we're really interested in trying to learn who would be the 'winners' and who would be the 'losers' if we had a change in climate? Not just temperature, but if it got wetter because of increased rainfall, who would win and who would die?"

get more stories like this via email

Groups that track disinformation say purveyors sometimes back up their claims by referencing fake "think tanks," or by linking to other pages on their own website. (Feng Yu)

Social Issues

A Nevada democracy watchdog group said social media, blogs, websites and hyperpartisan news organizations are all working overtime to spread …

Social Issues

Education officials in Ohio want state leaders to invest in free school meals for all students. Pandemic-era federal waivers enabling schools to …


Agriculture researchers say if the U.S. wants more farmers to adopt climate-friendly practices, they will need to be offered some proven incentives…

Researchers say if states required more lighting and reflection on farm vehicles, traffic crashes involving this heavy equipment could decrease by more than half. (Adobe Stock)


As the fall harvest season takes shape in South Dakota, an agricultural specialist said there are many ways motorists and farmers can avoid crashes …

Social Issues

Massachusetts residents are being asked to step up, just as they did five years ago, to help their fellow Americans in Puerto Rico. The …

Nearly 640,000 people were considered food insecure in Washington state in 2020, according to the nonprofit Feeding America. (timonko/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

It's been more than 50 years since the White House held a gathering about the effects of hunger across the nation. In 1969, the White House held its …

Social Issues

By Caleigh Wells for KCRW.Broadcast version by Suzanne Potter for California News Service reporting for the KCRW-Public News Service Collaboration Wh…

Social Issues

As the midterm elections approach, there are concerns about whether Latino voters will turn out as much as they have in past elections. In New York…


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021