At the same time, the life cycle of the virus is rapidly increasing. These creatures are ectotherms, which means that their function depends on the outside temperature. As the temperature rises, they reach puberty faster, and they produce more babies.
Chris Williams, director of natural sciences at Clark University in Massachusetts, who specializes in drought, beetle, and wildfires, states: “Heat causes the backbone to mature faster, which in turn helps people to grow and explode. . Their larvae live inside the tree, and as they grow, they turn into beetles, which fly out to hunt other trees for destruction. When they start to attack, they release pheromones, which give the other beetles a lot of space. (Beetles do not die in the winter, but Robbins says this was not a major factor in his California research.)
The drought of 2012 to 2016 was particularly severe due to the long haul. But 2018, 2020, and 2021 have also been years of drought. Tom Smith, of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, has witnessed firsthand the effects of the drought. “We are seeing this right now because of the proliferation of western pine bark beetles and other species around California as we enter another drought year,” says Smith. “My concern is that due to the high number of dead trees on the site there is a lot of dry oil just waiting to burn.” These wooden tombs act as a catalyst for wild wildfires what has been plague California.
Many deaths of 100-year-old ponderosa pine trees can increase the risk of wildfires for other reasons: The pine trees are fire-resistant because of its thick bark. However, when the beetle strikes, the old trees are replaced by smaller pine trees and cedars, which are more durable. The combination of small trees that can burn easily with dead trees that supply oil is a great way to burn forests.
Robbins and his team of researchers were amazed that small changes in the environment, such as 1 degree Celsius of temperature, could have lasting effects. “This is one of the events of climate change where there is no putting a genie back in the bottle,” says Robbins. Many of those trees, many centuries old, are now dead — and never to be seen again in a hundred years. ”
“Climate change is not a future phenomenon. We are experiencing the effects of climate change now, ”continued Robbins. “Our ecosystems are already functioning in ways we could not predict, and we will have to take care of forests and ecosystems in line with this.”
But what might some of these be? Robbins thinks that deforestation will be a protective factor against bark pests. “Not only tree species, but also tree species,” says Robbins. “We usually have the same trees, and they can always be caught by the beetle.” Without efforts to rehabilitate forests, Robbins thinks the forests could be transformed into shrub habitats.