Recent hurricanes cause largest tree die-off in U.S.
New satellite images have shown that Hurricanes Katrina and Rita caused the largest single forestry disaster ever recorded in the United States.
The hurricanes killed or severely damaged approximately 320 million trees located in Mississippi and Louisiana.
This tree die-off was caused by wind initially and then by flooding around the bases of the trees.
Researchers are saying that the die-off will significantly contribute to the green-house gas buildup. It will put as much carbon into the air as the rest of the U.S. forests will take out in a year of photosynthesis.
Efforts to control the damage have been stalled by a $504 million federal program for Gulf Coast land owners to replant and fight invasive species. Officials in the emergency conservation program say they have only seen about $70 million be processed or dispensed thus far.
The assessment of trees that were damage or killed will be released in a study in the journal Science Friday.