Disappearing alpines

Published: Saturday 04 July 2015

snowy alpine regions of Australia are shrinking because of global warming, claim scientists. "The alpines may disappear completely within the next 70 years," opines John Morgan, a botanist at the La Trobe University, Bundoora, Australia.

A study conducted by the university's researchers found that sub-alpine trees in the snowy mountains have started growing by about 40 metres higher than they had in the past 25 years. "Australia's mountains are of just the same height as the alpines, therefore, changes could happen very dramatically," said Morgan.

Australia's mountains are low by world standards, with only 100-200 metres separating the tree line from some mountain peaks. "We are now beginning to see movement in the trees," Morgan said. He conceded that the movement of the trees higher up the mountains support evidences that global warming is changing the patterns of vegetation. This may be an early warning for the rest of the world, he added.

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