A natural disaster that is
going to occur across all of Canada!
I decided to take the time to Google “pine beetles in Canada” and now realize just how serious a threat the pine beetle is to our environment just from reading headings such as: ‘death of a forest’; ‘the threat of mountain pine beetle‘; ‘pine beetle threatening new B.C. tree species’; ‘pine beetle contributing to forest smog’; ‘pine beetles contributing to climate change’, etc.
Pine beetle damage extends from forests to drinking water. The deep green pine trees of British Columbia’s great forests are turning a rusty red, thanks to the mountain pine beetle’s increasing resilience to warming winter temperatures. The grain-sized critter, which lives in the bark of mature trees, kills the trees within months, leaving the wood an ash grey colour once the pine needles fall out years later. The mountain pine beetle’s devastation has spread over 20 per cent of British Columbia’s total area, costing the province $884 million. By 2014, it is projected that 80 per cent of the province’s pine forests will disappear, an outcome with unprecedented economic, social, and environmental consequences.
Here is a CBC News: The National video from Nelson, British Columbia, Canada, presented by Chris Brown – uploaded on Apr 24, 2008
The mountain pine beetle’s infestation in western Canada is turning forests into a new source of greenhouse gases, according to new research published in the journal Nature
A recent study by the Colorado School of Mines shows that Colorado’s quality of local drinking water is also affected by the beetle. Driven by climate change, mountain pine beetles are infesting pine wood in Colorado and releasing more carbon into watersheds. This changes how disinfectant chemicals interact with water during treatment, and in turn creates potentially harmful by-products.
What does this mean for Canada’s west coast? “The vast majority of British Columbia’s population lives far away from the pine beetle crisis,” says Brennan Clarke, media representative at British Columbia’s Ministry of Forests, Land and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO). It’s unlikely that pine beetles will interact with drinking water resources, but FLNRO continues studying the beetle’s impact on regional hydrology.
The damage to the ecosystem is already done with over four million devastated acres of forest in Colorado and Wyoming, where studies show changes in water chemistry and nitrate levels in watersheds, which can cause algae growth in downstream drinking water reservoirs. Risk of wildfires is another hazard to drinking water as water-resistant soils prevent water penetration.
Jim Bouldin, a research ecologist writing for RealClimate, says there is a “complex relationship between the beetles, weather, forest conditions, and tree chemistry.” – Erin Pelhivan, WaterCanada Jan/Feb. 3013 magazine ~ “Critters and Carbon“.
Here is a link to an alarming award winning video I found on YouTube that points out the devastating effects this invasive insect will have on our economical and ecological future: Death Of A Forest – Pine Beetles kill millions of trees in US & Canada ~ uploaded by Wild Visions, Inc . on Feb 14, 2011