Science: Too Warm for Birches

The gradual warming of the arctic climate (TIME, July 26) may eventually make the barren lands flow with milk and honey. But as the warm temperature moves northward, its shift produces unpleasant as well as pleasant effects. Last week Dr. Rene Pomerleau, of the Canadian government's forest pathology laboratory, warned that birch forests are dying all over northern New England and eastern Canada. After a few seasons of unusually high soil temperatures, the trees die back at the tops. Already, said Pomerleau, much timber has been affected. If the dying trees are not harvested soon, fungi will destroy them.

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