The Treeline: The Last Forest and the Future of Life on Earth
If you share my interest in the complex role of trees in the ecological community, as well as in climate change, I highly recommend Rawlence's deep dive into the boreal forests of the north. In his investigative journey, he travels to the treelines of places such as Norway, Siberia, Alaska, and Greenland to examine six hardy tree species and how the world is changing on the edges.
It's a fascinating examination of the intricacies of nature, and what you think you know is often turned on its head. Expanding forests in the north may sound like a good thing--more trees!--but the shift in climate that wrought the change has devastating cascading effects at the treelines, through the forests, in the economy, and even in the oceans.
The amount of information here is truly overwhelming--and Rawlence weaves it all into a riveting narrative that combines science with local lore and tradition. The climate predictions across the board are dire, and while this book provides little in the way of solutions or even hope, the hope there is lies in the long-proven adaptability and ingenuity of the forests.
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For the last fifty years, the trees of the boreal forest have been moving north. Ben Rawlence’s The Treeline takes us along this critical frontier of our warming planet from Norway to Siberia, Alaska to Greenland, to meet the scientists, residents and trees confronting huge geological changes. Only the hardest species survive at these latitudes including the ice-loving Dahurian larch of Siberia, the antiseptic Spruce that purifies our atmosphere, the Downy birch conquering Scandinavia, the healing Balsam poplar that Native Americans use as a cure-all and the noble Scots Pine that lives longer when surrounded by its family.
It is a journey of wonder and awe at the incredible creativity and resilience of these species and the mysterious workings of the forest upon which we rely for the air we breathe. Blending reportage with the latest science, The Treeline is a story of what might soon be the last forest left and what that means for the future of all life on earth.