Travel photography: USA
Southwestern Landscapes - Part 2
December 23, 2016
In a previous article I presented the characteristic landscapes of the American Southwest with its harsh desert appeal, sparse vegetation and astonishing, copper-colored rock walls. That however is just one of the many faces of this diverse environment and in this editorial I'd like to focus on the abundant forested sceneries that I encountered mainly in Colorado and California.
Colorado and the Rockys
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite is one of the most popular and famous National Parks in the US. In 1864 it was founded as the first park not only in the US but in the whole world. It is a major touristic magnet for more than three million visitors a year who enjoy the numerous hiking trails and magnificent rock climbing opportunities, and an inspiration for painters and photographers alike.
As beautiful as these landscapes may be I'd like to use this site as a reminder that forests are delicate ecosystems that are threatened by climate change on a global level. US researchers report in Nature Climate Change that they devised models to project the impact of global warming on the forests of the American Southwest up to the year 2100, and these projections look more than grim.
The study suggests that 72% of the region's needleleaf, evergreen forests will die by 2050, with nearly 100% mortality of Southwest forests by 2100.
I'd like you to scroll back up and look at the images one more time. Everything you see on there will probably be gone in 90 years - everything but the rocks. That's one human lifespan.
To be continued…
The final article in this series is one more wildlife related piece with some coastal animals. See it here.
Thanks for reading!