Science / Climate Desk / Ground-Level Ozone Is a Creeping Threat to Biodiversity

Ground-Level Ozone Is a Creeping Threat to Biodiversity
3 min read
fairly difficult
Scientists are learning how this pollutant damages plants and trees, setting off a cascade of effects that harms everything from soil microbes to wildlife.
This story originally appeared on Yale Environment 360 and is part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Sequoia National Park's famous groves of stout, 300-foot-tall trees sit high on the western side of the Sierra Nevada, above California's San Joaquin Valley. They are threatened as never before: Wildfires have burned much of the forest, and now, for the first time, insects are killing sequoias.

There is also a stealthier threat to these majestic trees and the forest ecosystem of which they are a part. Ozone levels at Sequoia and the adjacent national park, King's Canyon, are among the highest in the United States, thanks to smog that blows in from the urban areas and farming and industrial activity in the San Joaquin Valley below. Smog levels here are sometimes as…
Jim Robbins
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