Warm winters harm conifers in many ways leaving them open to insect attack. Presently insects are killing millions of acres of trees in Alaska. See article by Dan Joling, Associated Press.
What the article doesn’t say it, this is not just happening in Alaska. It is happening throughout the West. British Columbia has an even bigger infestation, and the Western states are all fighting insects. The tress are dying, and they are burning to the double whammy of insects and drought.
The result will be just what you would expect on a warming planet — the forests will be replaced by grasslands.
Sept. 13. There is another article just out on this in the Idaho Mountain Express by Steve Benson. “Why is 2006 fire season so severe?”