Effect of AGW on critters


Head Honcho
Staff member

Save the butterflies

Posts: 23536
[F]irst, mountain pine beetles devastated lodgepole and ponderosa pine trees across western North America. Then came spruce beetles, which have targeted high-elevation Engelmann spruce, spreading from New Mexico into Colorado and beyond. Altogether, with their advance fueled by climate change, bark beetles have ravaged 85,000 square miles of forest in the western United States — an area the size of Utah — since 2000. Pine beetles also have killed trees across roughly 65,000 square miles of forest in British Columbia, and in the southeastern U.S., they have caused millions of dollars of damage to the timber industry in states such as Alabama and Mississippi.

The beetles are now advancing up the Atlantic coast, reaching New York’s Long Island in 2014 and Connecticut the following year. A new study projects they could begin moving into the twisting pitch pines of New England and the stately red pines of Canada’s Maritime provinces by decade’s end. Warming winters could push the beetles north into Canada’s boreal forest within 60 years, climate scientists say.


AGW, as we have seen from the Global Temperature Records Summary from NOAA, makes winters milder. So winter temperatures that once would have killed huge numbers of the beetles do not happen as often anymore. So more often large numbers of the beetles are alive when spring arrives and quickly eat the bark of large numbers of pine or spruce (depending on species of beetles) killing the trees. Same thing is happening in Europe and to other species of conifers—read the reference I cited!

So what, you ask? Tough on a few lumber mills?

Acres of dead pine and spruce trees means no habitat for critters! No nesting spaces for birds etc. This can throw the ecology further out of kilter, affecting more animals and animal populations (e.g. less birds might see more insect pest species proliferate.) Acres of dead, dry trees are more susceptible to wildfires, making the fires fiercer! Erosion will increase, etc.

AGW is very relevant to critters.​
Last edited:


Head Honcho
Staff member
Got distracted—COVID etc—but will add a couple topics of pests critters moving out of the tropics to plague wider areas. AGW affects migratory critters, especially birds and some have adapted to this, e.g. migratory birds now reach England earlier because English spring now starts 11 days earlier. The Great Barrier Reef here is in dire danger of extinction. Lots of topics—topics that now will appear here not OzPol.