Ghost Forests Appear as Rising Tides Kill Trees


Kayaking up the Bass River in New Jersey transforms from a scenic paddle past healthy marshes and forests to devastating glimpses into the forests of the past – ghost forests, landscapes which are becoming more prevalent across the mid-Atlantic. Jennifer Walker and Ken Able were joined by writer John Upton from Climate Central on a kayak journey to explore and study the ghastly ghost forests. Here at low tide the river is barely navigable as large trunks of Atlantic White Cedar lie across the sediment bottom and extend above the water’s surface. Along the shoreline, marshes extend into areas of standing dead trees before reaching a border of living forest. This stark landscape provides an example of changing ecosystems as sea-level rise kills trees and marshes move landward. The Sea Level Research team is working towards producing a timeline for these ghost forests, combining the trees’ history with the sea-level record in New Jersey, and providing an example of one of the myriad effects of sea-level rise into the future. Read the full Climate Central article here: