Climate change may help redwoods thrive

Redwoods

Photo by Michael Balint via Flickr Creative Commons License

Mist creeps in and out of branches some 200 or 300 feet above the narrow, pitted, darkly shaded back road in the northern part of California's Humboldt Redwoods State Park. Researchers say California's redwoods may actually thrive during climate change.

California's beloved giant trees could be weathering climate change — and it might even help them thrive.

Researchers have found that since the 1970s, some coast redwoods have grown at their fastest rate ever, the Los Angeles Times reports. Giant sequoias also are showing growth spurts.

That's based on corings taken from dozens of trees at least 1,000 years old.

Humboldt State forestry professor Stephen Sillett says it's unclear what's prompted the growth spurts.

It could be that rising temperatures have lengthened the growing season or that the redwoods are getting more sun. Or it could be something more mundane, such as a reduction in air pollution.

Whatever the reason, Sillett says that when it comes to climate change, he thinks redwoods will hold their own.

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