Global Warming

Forests Migrate — But Not Fast Enough For Climate Change

We’re all familiar with migration: Wildebeests gallop across Africa, Monarch butterflies flit across the Americas … but forests migrate, too, an agonizingly slow migration, as forests creep inch by inch to more hospitable places.

Individual trees are rooted in one spot. As old trees die and new ones sprouts up, the forest is — ever so slightly — moving. A forest sends seeds just beyond its footprint in every direction, but the seeds that go to the north — assuming the north is the more hospitable direction — thrive a little more than the ones that fall to the south. Over time, this forest would march steadily northwards.

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