Climate to Push Forest-eating Beetles to Northern US, Canada, Scientists Predict
VOA News (August 29, 2017)

Forests in the northeastern United States and southern Canada could be ravaged by tree-killing beetles in coming decades as a warming climate expands the pest's habitat, a study has found.

Over the next 60 years, southern pine beetles could infest forests in new areas of the United States and Canada, disrupting industries and ecosystems alike, it said.

Warmer winter nights allow spread

The red-brown insects, the size of a grain of rice, known to feast on pine-tree bark, has typically only thrived in the hotter climate of Central America and the southeastern United States.

But in recent years warmer than usual winter nights have allowed it to survive the cold months and spread as far north as the U.S. state of New York. The coldest winter night has warmed by 6 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit (3 to 4 degrees Celsius) over the past 50 years in various parts of the United States, the study's authors said.

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