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High-elevation forests now burning more frequently than any time in the past 2,000 years

As climate change drives up temperatures and creates longer, more expansive droughts, the typically cool, moist high-elevation forests of the central Rockies are burning with greater frequency than any time in the past 2,000 years, according to a study in the upcoming issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Lead author Philip Higuera, a fire ecologist at the University of Montana, examined paleofire records - data from tree rings and lake sediment - across a broad swath of the central Rockies of Colorado and Wyoming to understand how frequently subalpine forests burned ov...

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