500 million trees wither in Texas drought

Christopher Mims, writing at Grist.org:

This is what long-term desertification looks like: The state of Texas lost 5.6 million urban trees — and as many as 500 million forest trees — in the drought that’s been going on since last year. That’s 10 percent of the city trees and 10 percent of the forest trees in the state. The urban trees alone provided an estimated $280 million in annual services (shading buildings, controlling stormwater runoff) and will cost $560 million to remove.

It’s distressing to see tangible effects of climate change this soon. I thought we’d have at least a decade before it began in earnest.

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