Nearly 1 billion California trees have suffered severe canopy water loss in just a few years
California’s historic drought has led to devastating effects on its residents and environment, including the loss of millions of trees in its formerly lush forests. Low rainfall, wildfires, and beetle outbreaks have caused damage to the health of forests in the state, but until now we did not know just how much.
Recently, a study by the Carnegie Institution for Science revealed extensive canopy water loss in 888 million trees. The use of a laser-guided, airborne observatory resulted in detailed scans of forests and satellite data helped to map the slow degradation of the trees from 2011 to 2015.
California is entering the fourth year of a record-breaking drought creating an extremely parched landscape. Governor Jerry Brown declared a drought State of Emergency in January 2015 and imposed strict conservation measures statewide.