Nelson, Michael Paul; Groffman, Peter Mark. 2021. Climate change is already disrupting US forests and coasts – here’s what we’re seeing at 5 long-term research sites. The Conversation. Online(2021-09-24): https://theconversation.com/climate-change-is-already-disrupting-us-fore...
Record-breaking heat waves and drought have left West Coast rivers lethally hot for salmon, literally cooked millions of mussels and
clams in their shells and left forests primed to burn. The extraordinary severity of 2021’s heat and drought, and its fires and floods,
has many people questioning whether climate change, fueled by human actions, is progressing even faster than studies have predicted
and what that means for the future.
As ecologists, we have watched climate change play out over decades at long-term research sites in forests, fields and coastal areas
across the U.S.
A recent series of five papers in the journal Ecosphere presents more than 25 case studies from these sites, providing a unique
perspective on the changes underway and what’s likely ahead as the planet continues to warm.
Here are snapshots of what we’re seeing firsthand in the National Science Foundation’s Long-Term Ecological Research Network
sites, from the effect of increasing fires in Oregon’s Cascades to shifting marine life off the coast of Maine, and surprising resilience in
Baltimore’s urban forests.