You may have heard about the surprising discoveries of the League’s Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative (RCCI) program, which drew unprecedented media coverage yesterday. Did you see the coverage in the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Jose Mercury News, the Los Angeles Times and the Marin Independent Journal, to name a few?
If you did, you know that yesterday was an amazing day at the David Brower Center in Berkeley, where the initial findings of the RCCI program were released to an enthusiastic audience of 150 scientists, conservation partners and League board and staff during “The Past, Present, and Future of Redwoods: A Redwood Ecology and Climate Symposium.” Launched in 2009, the League’s RCCI program brought together leading experts from the University of California, Berkeley; Humboldt State University; the Marine Conservation Institute; and several other organizations to study past, present and future impacts of climate change on coast redwood and giant sequoia forests, and they were on hand yesterday to deliver their discoveries.
These discoveries mark a huge leap forward in our understanding of redwood forests, and include:
- Ancient redwood forests store at least three times more carbon above ground than any other forests on Earth.
- The most comprehensive tree-ring record for coast redwoods allows us see how different climate events, like droughts, fire and flooding, have affected redwoods’ growth.
- Changing environmental conditions have triggered a growth increase in coast redwoods and giant sequoias.
- California summers have warmed, but precipitation has remained highly variable and not decreased over recent decades.
- RCCI scientists discovered the oldest known coast redwood, at 2,520 years old!
Want to find out more?
- Download the 2013 RCCI research abstracts.
- Watch clips of the scientists’ presentations on our YouTube channel.
Generous support helped to make this research possible, and the results will help us make informed decisions about how to protect and restore redwood forests as they face rapid climate change.
We’re very grateful to Ken Fisher, Sempervirens Fund, the Wells Fargo Foundation, the Bay Area Conservation Initiative of Resources Legacy Fund, The San Francisco Foundation, the Nancy Eccles ad Homer M. Hayward Family Foundation, and our League members for generously supporting the RCCI, and we’re looking forward to learning and sharing much more about redwoods and climate change with you through this important work. Stay tuned!