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Climate Change

(July 1 – September 30, 2022)

Jürgen Eidt

Dried Out Trees

Jim Cole

Neskowin Ghost Forest

Neskowin, Oregon, USA

September 10, 2022, 02:30 UTC (7:30 AM local time)

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© 2022 Jim Cole, All Rights Reserved.


This is the Neskowin Ghost Forest, a grove of trees that was buried in sand around 2000 years ago. Although many reports claim that these trees were buried in an earthquake, the best consensus is that they were buried by gradual dune encroachment. This often happens on coastlines.

This buried forest was uncovered in 1997-8 during a winter of El Niño storms and have been exposed ever since.

It has been suggested that such forests seem to be appearing more often as storms intensify due to climate change. Since this burying process is common through history, it's likely that more and more such ancient forests will appear as beaches continue to erode. Whether that's the case here is hard to say, but this is emblematic of the rising seas and intensifying storms that we can expect as the planet continues to warm.

In addition, note the sky. The overcast appearance is not due to clouds or fog, but smoke from distant forest fires. The weather forecast this day was for clear skies, but those forecasts don't take such smoke into account.

The fires were on the other side of the state, but the smoke made it this far because of very odd winds that were blowing from inland, rather than from the sea. Such winds are very unusual in this region.

A windstorm occurred several years ago with a similar pattern and caused fires in the mountains to rush towards the valley, consuming several small towns and closing roads. Forest fires in these areas were unprecedented, and many areas are still recovering.

It's not clear if that unusual weather event was due to climate change, but the same region also experienced an unprecedented heat wave the following spring. In that case, climate models have indicated that the event, a type of weather phenomenon thought not to be possible for this region, was very likely made possible because of the changing climate.

So while the smoke in today's shot was unusual but not a problem, it reminds us of similar extreme events that happened recently that are much more likely to have been caused by climate change.

All in all, unprecedented weather events, rising seas, and intensifying storms are all things that we can probably expect to experience more an more in the years to come as the current trends continue.


Nikon D300, Nikkor 10.5mm fisheye, Nodal Ninja 5, PTGui, Photoshop

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