Report: Increased Tree Deaths

New Mexico – A team of scientists says warming weather has played a role in forest dieback in New Mexico, and new evidence suggests the same thing may be happening around the world.

Droughts come and go, but an international team led by U.S. Geological Survey ecologist Craig Allen has collected evidence suggesting that the added stress of higher temperatures may be taking its toll on forests.

Allen and his colleagues found 88 cases in which increased temperatures and drought had caused increased mortality in forest trees, including examples in all types of forest and on most continents.

However, the team says the data are too sparse and inconsistent for them to be able to say for sure that global warming is killing forests.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.