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The end of the great northern forests? The tiny tree-killing beetle wreaking havoc on our ancient giants

ICYMI: Forests across Europe, the US and Canada have been hard hit by drought, fires and bark beetles. Now scientists fear the northern hemisphere’s greatest carbon sink is nearing a tipping point

The giant sequoia is so enormous that it was once believed to be indestructible. High in California’s southern Sierra Nevada mountains, the oldest trees – known as monarchs – have stood for more than 2,000 years.

Today, however, in Sequoia national park, huge trunks lie sprawled on the forest floor, like blue whale carcasses stranded on a beach. Many of these trees were felled by a combination of drought and fire. But among the factors responsible for the rising toll is a tiny new suspect: the bark beetle. Continue reading…

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