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These ‘Ghost’ Forests That Can Be Spotted From Space Have Been Killed By Rising Sea Levels

I know the title is misleading so I’ll explain what ghost forests actually are and no the answer isn’t a forest filled with Caspers and Chuckys. Ghost forests are actually forests that are dead or are currently in the process of dying. The most common cause for this phenomenon is floods. Especially when a forest is flooded with salty seawater.

The cause for these floods is primarily the rising sea levels. Which drown the coastal areas and woodlands, covering the soil with saltwater and stopping saplings from growing. The floods rob nutrients from the soil only leaving behind salt. This causes the forest to slowly die out and at one point the forest becomes a mixture of dead and dying trees. Hence the term ghost forests.

The forests dying off cover such a big area that they can actually be spotted from space. This is a real alarming sign of climate change. The rising sea levels caused by the melting of the glaciers and ice caps, which in turn are caused by the increase in the greenhouse effect, which is caused by the excessive carbon emissions, which are caused by our growing need for electricity.

It is truly a vicious cycle that will drain out our planet.

Emily Ury, an ecologist studying wetland response to sea-level rise, has been studying coasts along North Carolina and has confirmed that the areas are saltier. She and her conducted experiments to observe the effects of salt and they discovered that when the salt levels became too high, the trunks of the trees would start going plate and lose their leaves and branches.

The wildlife has been forced to adapt as these ghost forests take over. Ury proposed some solutions: One was to create a living shoreline from plants, sand, and rock to protect the wetlands from storms. The other was to introduce salt-tolerant marsh plants to existing areas. This would change the ecosystem but it is better than nothing.