Photo by James Whitlow Delano @jameswhitlowdelano
: "Ju-Hyo" (Ice Trees) trees encased in rime ice, high in the Hakkoda Mountains, Aomori Prefecture, Japan. The area has been buried every winter in up to 5 meters (16.4 ft.) or more of snow. The Japanese also lovingly call the trees “snow monsters”. The Yomiuri Shimbun Newspaper reported this week that Japan’s ju-hyo are threatened by bark beetles that are threatening alpine forests at the tree line throughout Japan, and in North America as well. Ju-hyo are created when supercooled water droplets from clouds forming over the Sea of Japan accumulate and freeze on Aomori-todomatsu (Marie’s fir/abies mariesii) trees. In the past, enough bark beetles’ eggs were killed by extremely cold winter temperatures. Now, with climate change, more survive eggs survive the winter and infest the forests, killing the trees. In the case in Japan, the warmer winter is allowing pest, for which the trees have little defense, to move up the mountain and weaken the trees, making them even more susceptible to the bark beetles.
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