How Bringing Back The Great Whale Can Limit Climate Change (VIDEO)

The oceans are huge carbon sinks for the world. Fish and whales comprise only a tiny part of their overall biomass. Nevertheless, studies have shown that fishing and whaling by humans have altered the ocean’s carbon storage and sequestration capabilities by causing a change in the food chain, or a trophic cascade. As naturalist and

NASA Releases New Climate Forecasts Through 2100

The good news is that NASA has just released research on how temperature and rainfall patterns worldwide may change because of the concentrations of greenhouse gas growing in Earth’s atmosphere. The space scientists have based their conclusions on historical measurements and robust scenarios of increasing carbon dioxide produced from 21 climate models: specifically, General Circulation

World Forest Problems Include Deadly Fragmentation

  When environmentalists, farmers, and loggers speak about forests, the discussion usually revolves around the issue of deforestation, which is one of the largest contributors to climate change. As James Ayre pointed out in a recent PlanetSave article, forest cover estimates are currently a subject of hot debate because a new satellite imaging study contradicts the

National Climate Assessment Pulls No Punches About US Options

(All figures are from the 2014 National Climate Assessment draft.) Later today (Tuesday, May 6), at 8 a.m. EDT, the National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee of experts meets by conference call to approve the final version of the Third National Climate Assessment. The gist of their message, as Suzanne Goldenberg of The Guardian

Selective Logging May Provide Third Choice

  A new study has shown that selective logging of tropical forests may be one of the few feasible options for conservation in the face of the huge financial incentives pushing developing nations and tropical landholders to convert forests into cash. The study analysed data from more than a hundred studies of tropical forests that

Tropical Vegetation Stores More Carbon

A new study shows that tropical vegetation contains 21 percent more carbon dioxide than previous similar studies had suggested.The study produced maps of carbon storage of forest, shrub lands, and savannas in the tropics of Africa, Asia and South America. Published in the journal Nature Climate Change, the study was conducted by scientists from Woods

The Beautiful Forest (Beautiful, Awe-Inspiring Video)

I shared a great, awe-inspiring short film by WWF UK a couple weeks ago titled Astonish Me. Definitely worth a watch.

A WWF UK representative followed up with another great video/short film the organization recently created. I think this one will change the way you look at a forest forever. It’s a beautiful time-lapse video of a growing forest supplemented with great commentary on forests. Check it out:

Tree Planting World Record Set in Philippines

Over 64,000 trees were planted in 15 minutes last Thursday, setting a world record for the largest number of trees being simultaneously planted (who counted the trees, I’m not sure, but the Guinness Book of World Records confirmed that everything was correct and the counting was accurate). The planting occurred in the province of Camrines

Global Warming, Environmental, and Animal News

Here are some top global warming and environmental stories from the last day or so: Global Warming Politics Anti-Koch Rally (or Rallies) A great video on the Koch Brother Billionaire Bash protests and Uncloak Koch Rally from the other 98%: More on Schmitt We covered a couple pieces going into depth on astronaut Harrison Schmitt’s

New Database of Eco-Rated Paper Products

Originally published on WWF. WWF today launched a global benchmarking tool for pulp and paper products at PaperWorld in Frankfurt, Germany. Check Your Paper is an online database to help paper buyers find products with the lowest environmental impact. The tool rates the environmental quality of the paper-making process for a given product, including how

Tree Species Greatly at Risk from Global Warming

New research conducted at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem show that many tree species may be unable to shift with the changing climates, and could face extinction if manmade intervention is not made. The research looked at trees which dispersed their seeds via the wind, which include trees like pines and maples, and looked at

What Happened in Cancun? 10 Summaries

I know, Cancun was another roller coaster ride in international climate change negotiation and policy and you’ve probably had a tough time getting a clear picture of what went on there and what the final results are. I’ve been delaying writing a summary piece on the important climate conference for that reason. In the meantime,

Climate Justice

I recently received this press release from Alex Rafalowicz of ClimateDebt. It is a simple announcement but the resources linked below are quite comprehensive and unique. Check out the 2-page documents linked below for a less-heard perspective on some key issues concerning climate change. Several civil society organizations focused on climate justice have compiled a

'Woody' Biomass Breakthrough: Fungus is the Key

The resurgent interest in alternative fuels has propelled interest in using biomass “feedstocks” as an energy source for liquid fuel and bio-electricity generation. But bio-fuel (and other ‘commodity chemicals’) derived from biomass faces one big technical challenge: how to separate the useful constituents of cellulose-based biomass (i.e., its its six-carbon, building block sugars) from the not so useful ones (such as lignin and hemicellulose)? REcetn research has confirmed that the key to biomass conversion to fuel is a fungus with the less-than-appealing name of brown rot fungus.

Benefits and Tradeoffs Both in Forest Carbon Storage

A new study looks specifically at the benefits and tradeoffs that the planet’s forests play in the global carbon cycle. [social_buttons]Published in the spring edition of Issues in Ecology, the study authored by Mike Ryan from the United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service and colleagues looked at how the carbon offsets provided by forests

Greenpeace Praises Brazil

[social_buttons] Brazil soya traders agreed to extend a moratorium on buying soya linked to Amazon destruction this week and Greenpeace was quick to give them a big thank you from the world. International companies such as McDonald’s are happy, and companies like Nike, Wal-Mart and Carrefour are asking for more.

Ax Men Reality TV Show Busted For Logging Without Permit

Around $10,000-worth of timber was confiscated from a lumber company after their illegal activities were exposed on their very own reality TV show on the History Channel. [social_buttons] Before we get into the details, let this sink in for a second: there’s a reality TV show that documents people competing to cut down trees. We’ve

China's Rubber Frenzy Could Cause 'Ecological Credit Crunch'

[social_buttons] A huge increase in China’s demand for rubber is leading to the destruction of vast swathes of the country’s precious old-growth forests, and could cause irreversible environmental damage. The shocking findings have been revealed in a new study by scientists at the Chinese Academy of Science’s flagship conservation institute, the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden

10 Companies to Boycott for Sending You Junk Mail

Conservation group ForestEthics has released their annual “Naughty or Nice” list of corporations regarding their treatment of our forests. These ten companies continue to fill your mailbox with junk at the expense of the trees. [social_buttons] The list, determined by four separate criteria, includes a “Checking Twice” category for companies in a gray area. JC

Wildfire Ecology Part 2: A Native American's Thoughts on Forest Fire

The following post was written by Sul’ma’ejote, aka Dr. Darryl “Babe” Wilson, PhD.  Sul’ma’ejote was born in 1939 in Qatsade (Fall River Valley) on the north bank of Sul’ma’ejote (Fall River), a stone toss from It’ajuma (Pit River) in far northern California. He has written several books, including The Morning the Sun Went Down, about

The Nature Conservancy: 320,000 Acres of Forest Protected in Landmark Deal

Few places on Earth are as untouched as the "Crown of the Continent" — a 10-million-acre expanse of mountains, valleys and prairies in Montana and Canada. The area has sustained all the same species — including grizzlies, lynx, moose and bull trout — for at least 200 years.

Now — in one of the most significant conservation sales in history — The Nature Conservancy and The Trust for Public Land have preserved 320,000 acres of forestlands in western Montana that provide valuable habitat for species in the Crown of the Continent.

Climate Change to Bring Plagues of Insects?

New research from the National Science Foundation suggests a warming Earth could mean a significant increase in voracious, plant-eating insects. Scientists studying the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), a period about 55 million years ago when global carbon dioxide levels spiked rapidly, found that plant fossils from that time show noticeably more insect damage than plants

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