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When Epic Southwestern Wildfires Subside, Then What?

When Epic Southwestern Wildfires Subside, Then What?

Climate Central

Photo by MacKinnon Photography via Flickr.

While the wildfires in New Mexico and Colorado continue to burn, there may not be good news when they finally subside.

According to the New York Times Green Blog, research from the U.S. Geological Survey has shown that, over the past 15 years, the Southwestern forests that have been turned to ash by large wildfires have not come back in the same form.

Grasses and shrubs are instead replacing these forests, which had grown to be very dense after decades of fire suppression policies. Craig Allen, a research ecologist for the U.S. Geological Survey, presented that the ecosystems of the Southwest are transforming because of climate change and shifts in land management. He told the New York Times, “Ecosystems are already resetting themselves in ways big and small."

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