Beetles kill 10 million trees in Italian climate disaster | the world

A freak heatwave in the Italian Alps triggered an invasion by a deadly beetle that killed ten million trees in four years.

The European spruce bark beetle is laying waste to forests because heat-stressed spruces can’t produce the resin that prevents the bugs from burrowing into their bark. “The trend is that the heat will increase and if that happens, we could lose another 40 million trees in the next five years,” said Andrea Battisti, an expert at the University of Padua.

The beetle invasion is the latest climate-related disaster to hit the Italian Alps, where nearly all glaciers will melt within 30 years.

Ten million trees were lost during the storm in the 100,000 acres of northeastern Italy studied by Battisti.

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