It found that a tree’s growth rate increases with its size, in some cases adding the mass of a small tree every year.
That has huge implications for the amount of carbon dioxide an older tree can absorb.
“One of the analogies I use is if you’re managing a sports team, you’ve got to know who your star players are." says forest ecologist Nathan Stephenson with the USGS, and the study’s lead author.
"This would be the equivalent of discovering that your 90-year-old players are the stars of the team," he says.
The drought intensified over the last week in the Western U.S. as the region swelters under a heatwave and firefighters battle major wildfires.
A new poll shows Californians support the goals of the state’s landmark law to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It also found that Californians want state and local governments to do more when it comes to the drought.
Mandatory statewide water conservation rules have ended in California. But Sacramento-area users conserved 22 percent in June, compared to June 2013.
A UC Davis researcher has used pigeons to track lead pollution in New York City and plans to do the same in California cities and agricultural areas.
The state of Nevada will pay $120,000 to settle a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency complaint about storm water runoff pollution in Reno.