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National Geographic Has Become An Embarrassment to the World of Science

“Why do stupid people keep listening to stupid people?” — PK

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Drunken Trees: Dramatic Signs of Climate Change

As the permafrost melts in the north, forests no longer grow straight.

Brian Clark Howard — National Geographic — April 17, 2014

Sarah James, an Alaska Native elder, says global warming is radically changing her homeland. Even the forests no longer grow straight. Melting ground has caused trees to tilt or fall.

“Because permafrost melts, it causes a lot of erosion,” says James, who lives in Arctic Village, a small Native American village in northeastern Alaska. “A lot of trees can’t stand up straight. If the erosion gets worse, everything goes with it.”

Permafrost is permanently frozen ground. But climate change has caused much of that ground to melt at an unprecedented rate. The ground buckles and sinks, causing trees to list at extreme angles.

Sometimes the trees survive the stress and continue growing, uprighting themselves to vertical. Other times they collapse or drown from rising water tables as subterranean ice melts. Because such trees seem to stagger across the landscape, people often call them “drunken trees.”

Although trees can lean or curve for a number of reasons, including disturbance of soil caused by man-made excavations or landslides, the melting permafrost is making leaning trees more prevalent.

It’s not just trees. Slumping land caused by melting permafrost also cracks pavement, breaks pipelines, and opens holes, causing expensive damage to houses and roads. “We have whole families who have had to move because their houses are not safe anymore,” says James.

Wildlife has been affected by the shifting landscape as well. James has seen declines in spawning fish, nesting birds, and small mammals.  Continue reading here…..

National Geographic wants us to believe that these trees "grew" in permafrost - GREW in permafrost - and fell over when the permafrost melted due to climate change

National Geographic wants us to believe that these trees “grew” in permafrost – GREW in permafrost – and fell over when the permafrost melted due to climate change

 

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