Christian Science Monitor quotes Gill in article on drought at Northeast tree farms

Jacquelyn Gill, a paleoecologist at the University of Maine, spoke with The Christian Science Monitor for a report about how drought has killed many young Christmas trees on farms across New England. As a result, tree farmers are adapting the varieties they grow and some are considering investments in drip irrigation systems, according to the article. The difference in temperatures between the Arctic and New England has shrunk in recent years as the Arctic has warmed, the article states. That, in turn, “weakens the engine that drives our winds and that can cause big changes in our storm tracks,” Gill said. That smoother gradient creates “blocking patterns” that can lead to cold snaps or heat waves, she added. In this case, it established more space for storm tracks to travel farther north, depriving New England of the rain it usually gets. That also resulted in more warm, humid nights that further tested plants, according to Gill.