Here in the Midwest, it is ridiculously cold. Last night the temperature (not windchill) was -1 Fahrenheit, which is roughly -18 Celsius (or if you are really old, -18 Centigrade). And this has been the temperature, give or take, for a week. Temperatures are expected to dip even lower the rest of this week and bottom out this weekend, with overnight lows of -20F, or -28C. That's cold. To make things worse, we've had 10ish inches of snow on the ground for a week, with a couple more inches on top of it. Tomorrow they predict another 3 inches of snow on top of that. It is cold, cold, cold.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the world, several years of temperate winters has allowed the Mountain Pine Beetle to flourish. This beetle is normally very handy; it weeds out sick, old, and weak trees by infesting it and killing it. However, the Mountain Pine Beetle population control is largely based on temperatures; some estimate that an area needs five straight days without the temperature rising above -30 degrees F in order for the Pine Beetle population to be killed there.
So while we cry here about the cold weather, consider this: the cold snap gripping us may actually be a good thing for our forests.
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