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Fog is like a cloud on the ground; water vapor condenses to form a mist.

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Giant Redwoods & Fog

Giant Redwoods & Fog

Credit: KatieThebeau
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/katiethebeau/7847323810/
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Redwood trees need just the right temperature and precipitation. The coastal regions of northern and central California have these conditions. San Francisco, for example, is known for its summertime fog.

Why It Matters

  • California summers usually have no rainfall.
  • Advection fog is common in San Francisco and along the northern and central California coast.
  • Credit: runner310
    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Golden_Fog,_San_Francisco.jpg
    License: CC BY-NC 3.0

    Fog rolling over the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco [Figure2]


  • Redwoods have an envelope of temperature and precipitation conditions in which they can live. They only live where fog is common in the summer.
  • Over the past 60 years, fog has declined by 33%.

Explore More

With the links below, learn more about giant redwoods and fog. Then answer the following questions.

  1. Why do the coastal redwoods need the summertime fog?
  2. How does advection fog form offshore from California?
  3. How does the fog end up over the coastal landscape?
  4. In what two ways does a redwood forest use the fog?
  5. What is likely to happen to the range in the redwoods as temperatures rise and fog decreases?
  6. What do scientists think may happen if summertime fog continues to decrease in this region?

Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: KatieThebeau; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/katiethebeau/7847323810/; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: runner310; Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Golden_Fog,_San_Francisco.jpg; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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