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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Less Fog in California Could Stress Redwoods

Significantly less fog is drifting in along the Pacific Coast these days, a new study finds. The shift force a decline in redwood trees, which rely on the fog to keep them supplied with water during the arid summer months.

Climate models have predicted that with the warming caused by the buildup of greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere, California's coastal fog would increase as a result of changing atmosphere and ocean circulation patterns.

But weather records that just recently became available have shown the opposite trend of a significant decrease in fog over the past 100 years.

"Since 1901, the average number of hours of fog along the coast in summer has dropped from 56 percent to 42 percent, which is a loss of about three hours per day," said study leader James A. Johnstone, who conducted the research while working on his Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley, and is now at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Warmer, too

And the decline in fog isn't the only change to affect the coastal area where redwoods reside.

Rest of article

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