Amazon May Lose 65 Percent of Land Biomass by 2060
"Making more land in the Amazon available for farming and ranching means felling more trees to make space – and researchers say that risks meaning that more agricultural expansion will simply mean less production, because of deforestation’s effect on the climate.
LONDON, May 13 2013 -
There will be no winners if agriculture made possible by widespread felling in the Amazon continues to expand, say researchers from Brazil and the U.S.
They calculate that the large-scale expansion of agriculture at the expense of the forest could entail the loss of almost two-thirds of the Amazon’s terrestrial biomass by later this century.
Their study, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, shows that deforestation will not only reduce the capacity of the Amazon’s natural carbon sink.
It will also cause climate feedbacks that will decrease the productivity of pasture and soybeans — the reason advanced for felling the trees in the first place.
Brazil is under intense pressure to convert the Amazon forests to produce crops and provide pasture for cattle. But the forests’ natural ecosystems sustain wild food production, maintain water and other resources, regulate climate and air quality and ameliorate the impact of infectious diseases.
> www.climatecentral.org: Amazon May Lose 65 Percent of Land Biomass by 2060
As climate changes, boreal forests to shift north, relinquish more carbon than expected
(Phys.org) May 05, 2013 -
It's difficult to imagine how a degree or two of warming will affect a location. Will it rain less? What will happen to the area's vegetation? New Berkeley Lab research offers a way to envision a warmer future. It maps how Earth's myriad climates—and the ecosystems that depend on them—will move from one area to another as global temperatures rise.
The approach foresees big changes for one of the planet's great carbon sponges. Boreal forests will likely shift north at a steady clip this century. Along the way, the vegetation will relinquish more trapped carbon than most current climate models predict. The research is published online May 5 in the journal Nature Geoscience.
> phys.org: As climate changes, boreal forests to shift north, relinquish more carbon than expected
> www.nature.com: Boreal carbon loss due to poleward shift in low-carbon ecosystems
> Climate change may cause severe loss in the economic value of European forest land (Sep 23 2012)
Fires Burn More Fiercely As Northern Forests Warm
(Environment360) - April 25 2013 -
From North America to Siberia, rising temperatures and drier woodlands are leading to a longer burning season and a significant increase in forest fires. Scientists warn that this trend is expected continue in the years ahead.
As average air temperatures rise and water evaporates more rapidly from vegetation and soil, the parallel rise in precipitation needed to offset these changes has not kept pace. Most models predict the deficit will only worsen in years to come.
> e360.yale.edu: Fires Burn More Fiercely As Northern Forests Warm
Giant Sequoias Face Looming Threat from Shifting Climate
(Environment360) - March 21 2013 -
The world’s largest living species, native to California’s Sierra Nevada, faces a two-pronged risk from declining snowpack and rising temperatures. The threat to sequoias mirrors a growing danger to trees worldwide, with some scientists saying rapid warming this century could wipe out many of the planet’s old trees.
The threat that climate change poses to giant sequoias is indicative of a broader danger to tree species worldwide. A study published in December in the journal Science found rising death rates among trees 100 to 300 years old across a wide range of global landscapes, from forests, to savannas, to cities. The study noted that mortality among older trees is linked, at least in part, to higher temperatures and drier conditions.
Warmer temperatures have played an important role in forest drought stress and recent tree mortality in the U.S. Southwest, according to a paper published this month in Nature Climate Change.
> e360.yale.edu: Giant Sequoias Face Looming Threat from Shifting Climate
> www.sciencemag.org: Global Decline in Large Old Trees
> www.nature.com: Temperature as a potent driver of regional forest drought stress and tree mortality
Keep rainforests – they drive the planet's winds
(New Scientist) 31 January 2013 -
WHAT creates the wind? Anyone will tell you that temperature differences are key. Hot air rises and is replaced by cooler air surging in beneath. Except that maybe the explanation found in every textbook is too simple.
What if, instead, the winds that drive atmospheric circulation are mainly created by the condensation of moisture? Much of this occurs over rainforests as water evaporates or is transpired from the trees. The physicists and foresters behind this controversial idea say that if we chop down the forests, we will lose the winds - and the rains they bring with them.
The physical process itself is not in dispute. Whenever water vapour condenses to form droplets, its volume is reduced, lowering the pressure. Air moves in, creating wind.
> planetearth.nerc.ac.uk: Keep rainforests – they drive the planet's winds
Peatland forest destruction raises climate concern
(Planet Earth Online) 31 January 2013 -
The destruction of tropical peatland forests is causing them to haemorrhage carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, scientists say.
The research, published in Nature, suggests peatland contributions to climate change have been badly underestimated.
'If you don't consider carbon lost through drainage then you underestimate the carbon losses from these deforested sites by 22 per cent,' says Dr Vincent Gauci of the Open University, one of the study's authors. 'And that's a conservative estimate; it could be much higher.'
> planetearth.nerc.ac.uk: Peatland forest destruction raises climate concern
Is the Amazon Rainforest Drying Out?
Tarapoto (Peru), December 24 2012 -
For tropical ecologist Gregory Asner, flying over the Peruvian Amazon from the town of Tarapoto is like traveling back in time. Modern houses, rice paddies and oil palm plantations give way to steep, forested mountains and then to green, unbroken forest that curves toward the horizon.
Suddenly the tree canopy below the twin-engine plane turns a mottled gray-brown, a sign of drought damage that he estimates may affect as many as half the trees.
> www.scientificamerican.com: Is the Amazon Rainforest Drying Out?
> www.nature.com: Severe drought has lasting effects on Amazon
> www.pnas.org: Persistent effects of a severe drought on Amazonian forest canopy
Brazil president makes final changes to forestry law
Brasilia, October 18, 2012 -
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has vetoed nine articles of a new forestry code approved by Congress that environmentalists said would lead to further deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.
Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira said the vetoes dealt with the most radical aspects of the measure introduced by the pro-agribusiness bloc in Congress, and were meant to prevent any incentive to more deforestation or an amnesty for those responsible for illegal logging. "No to amnesty, no to encouragement of illegal logging," she noted.
> phys.org±: Brazil president makes final changes to forestry law
Deforestation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Virunga National Park / Earthobservatory, September 26, 2012 -
Landsat observed the loss of 3.7 million hectares (14,000 square miles) of tropical forest.
> earthobservatory.nasa.gov: Deforestation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Loss of tropical forests reduces rain
Leeds UK (SPX) Sep 07, 2012 -
Deforestation can have a significant effect on tropical rainfall, new research confirms. The findings have potentially devastating impacts for people living in and near the Amazon and Congo forests. A team from the University of Leeds and the NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology found that for the majority of the Earth's tropical land surface, air passing over extensive forests produces at least twice as much rain as air passing over little vegetation.
> www.bbc.co.uk: Loss of tropical forests reduces rain
West Africa forest biomass 'on rise despite drought'
London, August 26 2012 -
The carbon storage capacity of protected forests in West Africa has increased despite the region suffering a 40-year drought, a study suggests.
A team of UK and Ghanaian researchers found that the tree composition in these areas favoured species that were able to cope with drier conditions.
Previous studies suggested that drought conditions resulted in less carbon being stored as vegetation died.
The findings have been published in the journal Ecology Letters.
> www.bbc.co.uk: West Africa forest biomass 'on rise despite drought'
Amazon deforestation falls again
London, August 6 2012 -
Data from satellite images shows 23% reduction in deforestation from August 2011 to July 2012 against the previous year.
> www.guardian.co.uk: Amazon deforestation falls again
Fires threaten to 'extinguish' critical Indonesian orangutan population
London / Djakarta, June 29 2012 -
Conservationists claim a massive new wave of fires has been set in Tripa peat swamp to make way for palm oil plantations.
The world's densest population of orangutans is set to be "extinguished" by a massive new wave of fires that is clearing large tracts of a peat swamp forest in the Indonesian island of Sumatra, conservationists have warned.
> www.guardian.co.uk: Fires threaten to 'extinguish' critical Indonesian orangutan population
> www.sumatranorangutan.org: SOCP / Saving Tripa
Brazil's Rousseff Vetoes Key Causes Of Land Law
Sao Paulo, May 28 2012 -
Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff on Friday vetoed divisive elements of a new law that relaxes the forest cover farmers must preserve on their land, taking a stand against the agricultural lobby that pushed a more lenient version through Congress.
The so-called forest code pits the powerful farming lobby, which wants to ensure that farmers can plant as they see fit on their land, against environmentalists and much of Brazilian society who want landowners who cleared vast swathes of forest illegally to be held accountable.
In all, Rousseff vetoed 12 articles in the law, one of the most controversial pieces of legislation to pass Brazil's Congress in recent years.
Rousseff must now send the bill back to Congress, which could override her vetoes with an absolute majority, meaning over 50 percent of the membership.
> planetark.org: Brazil's Rousseff Vetoes Key Causes Of Land Law
Brazil president vetoes parts of polarizing Forest Code
Sao Paulo, May 26, 2012 -
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Friday vetoed 12 articles of a controversial forest bill approved by Congress last month, which was promoted by the powerful agriculture lobby but slammed by environmentalists.
The legislation updates the complex Forest Code, regulating how much and what kind of land should be maintained as native forest and how much can be cleared for ranching and agriculture.
Rousseff's decision comes less than a month before Rio de Janeiro is due to host a high-profile U.N. summit on sustainable development. Many Brazilians had pushed for a complete veto, staging protests across the county and collecting 1.9 million signatures for a petition.
> www.cnn.com: Brazil president vetoes parts of polarizing Forest Code
> www.bbc.co.uk: Brazil President Rousseff vetoes parts of forest law
> www.google.com / AP: Brazil's leader vetoes portions of new forest law
Republic of Congo Expands National Park to Protect Great Apes
(enn.com), February 21 2012 -
The Nouabale-Ndoki National Park is a lush rainforest park within the equatorial nation of the Republic of Congo (ROC), not to be confused with the much larger Democratic Republic of Congo to the south and east. The ROC has followed through on its commitments to expand the park by 8 percent, from about 1,500 square miles to about 1,630 square miles. The newly included area holds a unique ecosystem known as the Goualougo Triangle. The Goualougo is a very dense, swampy forest that is home to a nearly pristine and untouched great ape population that was first discovered in 1989 by Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) scientists.
www.enn.com: Republic of Congo Expands National Park to Protect Great Apes (Feb 21 2012
Farmers May Have Kicked Off Local Climate Change 3,500 Years Ago
(blogs.scientificamerican.com), February 10 2012 -
Humans may have been causing climate change for much longer than we’ve been burning fossil fuels. In fact, the agrarian revolution may have started human-induced climate changes long before the industrial revolution began to sully the skies. How? Through the clearing of forests, which still remains the second-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions from human activity.
Sediment cores from the mouth of the Congo River—the deepest river in the world—suggest that humans may have played a significant role in changing the landscapes of Central Africa. That river curves through the world’s second-biggest lingering tropical forest, but it and its tributaries also flow through the savannas so prized by modern-day safaris.
> Farmers May Have Kicked Off Local Climate Change 3,500 Years Ago
Measuring Carbon and Trees in the Tropics
(EarthObservaory, 24 January 2012 -
Because they grow year-round, tropical forests are believed to be the most productive on Earth. The thick stands of trees around the mid-section of Earth store vast amounts of carbon in their wood and roots, but scientists have only been able to make broad, speculative estimates about just how much. That is changing.
The top map above shows the total carbon stored in tree biomass in New Guinea, a heavily forested island just north of Australia. The second map shows the degree of uncertainty about those measurements based on geographic location. Areas where biomass is relatively well known are shown in green, while more uncertain measurements are orange and red.
> earthobservatory.nasa.gov: Measuring Carbon and Trees in the Tropics
Africa's rainforests 'more resilient' to climate change
London, 6 January 2012 -
Tropical forests in Africa may be more resilient to future climate change than the Amazon and other regions, a gathering of scientists has said.
> www.eea.europa.eu: Africa's rainforests 'more resilient' to climate change
Forests, health and climate change
Brussels, December 19 2011 -
Forests are essential to our survival and well-being. Forests clean our air, our water, our soil and they regulate our climate, amongst many other things. Trees and forests are not always associated with urban landscapes. However, there too they provide invaluable, often invisible, services. Simply by acting as 'green oasis' in our concrete jungles, they offer recreation and health services for many European citizens.
> www.eea.europa.eu: Forests, health and climate change
FAO Releases Brief on REDD+ and Sustainable Agriculture
Rome, 24 November 2011 -
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has released a policy brief titled "Building bridges between REDD+ and sustainable agriculture: Addressing agriculture's role as a driver of deforestation."
> climate-l.iisd.org: FAO Releases Brief on REDD+ and Sustainable Agriculture
> www.fao.org: Deforestation continues at an alarming rate
Climate change causing massive movement of tree species across the West
Corvallis, (Oregon/USA), November 3 2011 –
A huge "migration" of trees has begun across much of the West due to global warming, insect attack, diseases and fire, and many tree species are projected to decline or die out in regions where they have been present for centuries, while others move in and replace them.
> www.eurekalert.org: Climate change causing massive movement of tree species across the West
Europe's forests at a glance — a breath of fresh air in a changing climate
Copenhagen, October 18 2011 -
Forests do not only provide us food, fibre and medicine, they regulate our climate and improve our quality of life. Human activities and climate change exert increasing pressure on our forest resources and the services they provide. With increasing demand on forests services on the one side, and uncertainty and risks linked to climate change on the other, we need to ensure that forests can continue fulfilling their multifunctional role.
> www.eea.europa.eu: Europe's forests at a glance — a breath of fresh air in a changing climate
Climate change may cause severe loss in the economic value of European forest land
Potential range of major tree species in Europe for scenario A1B, CLM/ECHAM5—moderate warming (2070–2100): Oak (lightgreen) and beech (medium green) move up north and east, birch (blue) is allmost gone and mediterranean species (light brown and brown) are extending their range up to the middle of Europe. Beech: Fagus sylvatica; Spruce: Picea abies; Oak 1: Quercus petraea, Q. robur, Oak 2: Quercus cerris, Q. frainetto, Q. ilex, Q. pubescens, Q. pyrenaica, Q.suber; Pine 1: P. sylvestris, Pinus nigra, P. pinaster; Pine 2: Pinus halepensis; Birch: Betula pendula, B. pubscens. Figure: www.nature.com / Marc Hanewinkel et al
(Nature) September 23 2012 -
European forests, covering more than 2 million km2 or 32% of the land surface1, are to a large extent intensively managed and support an important timber industry.
Climate change is expected to strongly affect tree species distribution within these forests.
Climate and land use are undergoing rapid changes at present, with initial range shifts already visible. However, discussions on the consequences of biome shifts have concentrated on ecological issues.
Here it is shown that forecasted changes in temperature and precipitation may have severe economic consequences.
On the basis of model results, the expected value of European forest land will decrease owing to the decline of economically valuable species in the absence of effective countermeasures.
The authors found that by 2100 — depending on the interest rate and climate scenario applied — this loss varies between 14 and 50% (mean: 28% for an interest rate of 2%) of the present value of forest land in Europe, excluding Russia, and may total several hundred billion Euros.
The model shows that — depending on different realizations of three climate scenarios — by 2100, between 21 and 60% (mean: 34%) of European forest lands will be suitable only for a Mediterranean oak forest type with low economic returns for forest owners and the timber industry and reduced carbon sequestration.
> www.nature.com: Climate change may cause severe loss in the economic value of European forest land
Deforestation reduces rainfall in West African forests
Washington, 19 September 2011 -
Cutting down forests to create cropland in the West African rainforest reduces precipitation over the rest of the forest, according to new research.
The study shows that West African rainforest deforestation reduces precipitation over neighboring trees by about 50 percent due to increased surface temperatures of croplands, which affect the formation of rain clouds.
The authors say the findings have important implications for future decisions about land management in this region and other rainforests, including the Amazon.
> www.agu.org: Deforestation reduces rainfall in West African forests
Extreme Weather Events Threaten Forests, According to FAO Report
Rome, August 9 2011 -
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) released a report titled "Abiotic Disturbances and their Influence on Forest Health," which highlights the increasing threat posed to the world's forests by extreme weather events.
> climate-l.iisd.org: Extreme Weather Events Threaten Forests, According to FAO Report
Video: Tiger trapped in Asia Pulp and Paper logging concession dies a gruesome death
(Mongobay.com), 25 July 2011 -
Caught in a snare and left for days without access to food and water, a wild Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) perished from its wounds hours after forest officers reached it. As reported by Greenpeace—which photographed and filmed the rescue attempt—the tiger was trapped at the edge of a acacia plantation and remaining forest area actively being logged by Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) in Riau Province. Sumatran tigers are listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List; the subspecies, restricted to the Indonesian island, is in decline due to large-scale habitat loss and poaching.
> news.mongabay.com: Tiger trapped in Asia Pulp and Paper logging concession dies a gruesome death
Study Shows Forests Have Bigger Role In Slowing Climate Change
Singapore, 15 July 2011 -
The world's forests can play an even greater role in fighting climate change than previously thought, scientists say in the most comprehensive study yet on how much carbon dioxide forests absorb from the air.
> planetark.org: Study Shows Forests Have Bigger Role In Slowing Climate Change
> www.csmonitor.com: Forests absorb much more greenhouse gas than previously known
Forests absorb one third our fossil fuel emissions
July 15, 2011 -
The world's established forests remove 2.4 billion tonnes of carbon per year from the atmosphere – equivalent to one third of current annual fossil fuel emissions – according to new research published in the journal Science.
> www.physorg.com: Forests absorb one third our fossil fuel emissions
> www.independent.co.uk: Forests soak up third of fossil fuel emissions
Wood products part of winning carbon-emissions equation, researchers say
July 14, 2011 -
Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to grow, so forests have long been proposed as a way to offset climate change. But rather than just letting the forest sit there for a hundred or more years, the amount of carbon dioxide taken out of the atmosphere could be quadrupled in 100 years by harvesting regularly and using the wood in place of steel and concrete that devour fossil fuels during manufacturing, producing carbon dioxide.
> www.physorg.com: Wood products part of winning carbon-emissions equation, researchers say
Tropical Peat Forests in Trouble
London, April 29 2011 -
Southeast Asia boasts nearly 250,000 square kilometers of peat swamp forests, which host creatures such as orangutans and the world's smallest fish, and store vast quantities of carbon. But these peat swamps are in trouble, according to a new study of deforestation in the region. If people continue to chop, drain, and burn at current rates, researchers report, by 2030 no native swamps will remain and billions of metric tons of carbon will be lofted into the atmosphere.
> science.com: Tropical Peat Forests in Trouble
Five countries sign for 'European Amazon' reserve
Godollo, Hungary (AFP) March 26, 2011 -
Five central European countries signed an accord to launch a cross-border nature reserve in an area known as Europe's Amazon at a meeting of environmental ministers that ended Saturday.
> www.terradaily.com: Five countries sign for 'European Amazon' reserve
Russian boreal forests undergoing vegetation change, study shows
Virginia, March 24, 2011 -
Russia's boreal forest -- the largest continuous expanse of forest in the world, found in the country's cold northern regions -- is undergoing an accelerating large-scale shift in vegetation types as a result of globally and regionally warming climate. That in turn is creating an even warmer climate in the region, according to a new study published in the journal Global Change Biology.
> www.virginia.edu: Russian Boreal Forests Undergoing Vegetation Change, Study Shows
Aspen symposium: Grim outlook for forests because of bugs and disease
The Aspen Times, February 19 2011 -
The outlook for forests in western North America is grim: White pines in majestic Yellowstone National Park face obliteration; two-thirds of aspen forests, including many in the Roaring Fork Valley, are likely doomed; and bark beetle infestations will intensify with climate change.
> www.aspentimes.com: Grim outlook for forests because of bugs and disease
> www.aspentimes.com: Al Gore brings global warming fight to Aspen
> www.realvail.com: Gore tells Aspen audience beetle-kill outbreak plaguing Vail, American West stems from climate change
Amazon drought: A growing concern
Manaus, February 6, 2011 -
Record droughts hit the Amazon's rain forests in 2005 and 2010. With climate models projecting more drying with global warming, researchers are keeping close watch for such extreme droughts.
Scientists are keeping a wary eye on the Amazon's rain forests after a severe drought struck some 1.2 million square miles of forest last year.
It marked the second drought in five years severe enough to be considered a once-a-century event. The previous drought, in 2005, affected 734,000 square miles of forest, according to an analysis published Friday in the journal Science.
During the 2010 event, water coursing along the Rio Negro, a tributary of the Amazon, dropped to its lowest levels on record.
> www.csmonitor.com: Amazon drought: A growing concern
> Weird Weather Leaves Amazon Thirsty (Nov 30)
Catastrophic drought in the Amazon
February 3, 2011 -
New research shows that the 2010 Amazon drought may have been even more devastating to the region's rainforests than the unusual 2005 drought, which was previously billed as a one-in-100 year event.
Analyses of rainfall across 5.3 million square kilometres of Amazonia during the 2010 dry season, published tomorrow in Science, shows that the drought was more widespread and severe than in 2005. The UK-Brazilian team also calculate that the carbon impact of the 2010 drought may eventually exceed the 5 billion tonnes of CO2 released following the 2005 event, as severe droughts kill rainforest trees. For context, the United States emitted 5.4 billion tonnes of CO2 from fossil fuel use in 2009.
> www.independent.co.uk: Special report: Catastrophic drought in the Amazon
> www.bbc.co.uk: Amazon drought 'severe' in 2010, raising warming fears
> www.physorg.com: Two severe Amazon droughts in 5 years alarms scientists
> news.mongabay.com: Amazon drought continues, worst on record (Dec 11 2010)
> Brazil unveils fresh aid for Amazon drought (Oct 28 2010)
New study suggests global pacts like REDD ignore primary causes of destruction of forests
New York, 24 January 2010 —
A new study issued today by some of the world's top experts on forest governance finds fault with a spate of international accords, and helps explain their failure to stop rampant destruction of the world's most vulnerable forests.
The report suggests that global efforts have too often ignored local needs, while failing to address the most fundamental challenge to global forest management — that deforestation usually is caused by economic pressures imposed from outside the forests.
> www.eurekalert.org: New study suggests global pacts like REDD ignore primary causes of destruction of forests
How Genghis Kahn cooled the planet
San Francisco, 20 January 2010 —
In 1206 AD Genghis Kahn began the Mongol invasion: a horse-crazed bow-wielding military force that swept through much of modern-day Asia into the Middle East and Eastern Europe. But aside from creating the world's largest empire, the Mongol invasion had another global impact that has remained hidden in history according to new research by Julia Pongratz of the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology. Genghis Kahn and his empire, which lasted nearly two centuries, actually cooled the Earth.
> news.mongabay.com: How Genghis Kahn cooled the planet
> www.mnn.com: Was Genghis Khan history's greenest conqueror?
Al Gore and WWF unite to promote business solutions for forest conservation in the Heart of Borneo
Jakarta, January 9 2010 -
More than 600 hundred Indonesian government and business leaders joined former US Vice President and Nobel Laureate, Al Gore and WWF Indonesia’s CEO, Dr. Efransjah at a gala dinner to celebrate the United Nation’s International Year of the Forest and to discuss the role of business in finding forest solutions to the challenge of climate change.
> wwf.panda.org: Al Gore and WWF unite to promote business solutions for forest conservation in the Heart of Borneo
Khimki forest motorway to be built by Russia
Moskwa, December 14 2010 -
The Russian government has announced that a project to build a motorway through the Khimki forest near Moscow will go ahead.
> www.bbc.co.uk: Khimki forest motorway to be built by Russia
> Khimki Forest Defender Yevgenia Chirikova Is New Face Of Russian Civic Activism (Jul 29)
Climate talks set to agree deal to save the forests
Cancún, 11 December 2010 -
Nothing, as they say at UN conferences, is agreed until everything is agreed. But as the climate conference in Cancún runs into its final hours, delegates are confident that at least something has been salvaged from the diplomatic wreckage.
> www.newscientist.com: Climate talks set to agree deal to save the forests
> Cancun agreement builds towards a global climate deal / Cancun package merely prevents collapse and leaves Kyoto protocol on life support
Weird Weather Leaves Amazon Thirsty
Manaus (Brazil), November 30 2010 -
The river loops low past its bleached-white banks, where caimans bask in the fierce morning sun and stranded houseboats tilt precariously. Nearby sits a beached barge with its load of eight trucks and a crane. Its owners were caught out long ago by the speed of the river's decline.
This is what it looks like when the world's greatest rainforest is thirsty. If climate scientists are right, parched Amazon scenes like this will become more common in the coming decades, possibly threatening the survival of the forest and accelerating global warming.
> planetark.org: Weird Weather Leaves Amazon Thirsty
Brazil unveils fresh aid for Amazon drought
Manaus, October 22 / 28 , 2010 -
A severe drought has pushed river levels in Brazil's Amazon region to record lows, leaving isolated communities dependent on emergency aid and thousands of boats stranded on parched riverbeds.
The drought fits a pattern of more extreme weather in the world's largest rain forest in recent years and is, scientists say, an expected result of global warming. Last year, the region was hit by widespread flooding and in 2005 it endured a devastating drought.
Brazil's government announced new aid of 13.5 million dollars for northern regions hit by the worst drought in decades which has stymied navigation on the Amazon River and tributaries.
The funds will help for food delivery, water purification and pumping in Amazonas state, where some communities have been cut off by the drop in river levels.
The Brazilian air force has already distributed 500 tonnes of food and supplies to some areas which are normally dependent on water transport.
Officials said the level of the Amazon River at Manaus, the regional capital, is near its lowest level since 1963. They say it appears Brazil is headed for its worst drought since that year. Final data to be collected up to October were expected to confirm that.
> www.reuters.com: Brazil's Amazon region suffers severe drought (Oct 26)
> www.guardian.co.uk: Amazon drought leaves Brazil's Rio Negro dry (Pictures / Oct 26)
> www.physorg.com: Brazil unveils fresh aid for Amazon drought (Oct 22)
> aljazeera.net: Amazon drought emergency widens (Sep 17)
> www.bbc.co.uk: Amazon river level in Peru at 40-year low (Sep 03)
UK government told to cut 2020 biofuels target
London, September 2010 -
Britain should cut its target for biofuels use by 2020 so that tropical forests are not cut down to make way for biofuel crops, government climate advisors said Friday.
> www.reuters.com: UK government told to cut 2020 biofuels target
From outer space, a new dilemma for old-growth forests
Washington, August 29 2010 —
A new study using laser pulses shot from satellites has found that the world's tallest forests are those along the Pacific Northwest coast.
> www.mcclatchydc.com: From outer space, a new dilemma for old-growth forests
Global Tropical Forests Threatened by 2100
Palo Alto (Ca), August 5 2010 -
By 2100 only 18% to 45% of the plants and animals making up ecosystems in global, humid tropical forests may remain as we know them today, according to a new study led by Greg Asner at the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology. The research combined new deforestation and selective logging data with climate-change projections. It is the first study to consider these combined effects for all humid tropical forest ecosystems and can help conservationists pinpoint where their efforts will be most effective. The study is published in the August 5, 2010, issue of Conservation Letters.
> carnegiescience.edu: Global Tropical Forests Threatened by 2100
How will climate change affect trees?
August 5 2010 -
Research is needed on how trees will respond to the changing climate, a new paper suggests.
> planetearth.nerc.ac.uk: How will climate change affect trees?
Khimki Forest Defender Yevgenia Chirikova Is New Face Of Russian Civic Activism
July 29 2010 -
On one of their daily walks through Khimki forest in the summer of 2007, Yevgenia Chirikova and her husband, Mikhail, noticed something unusual. Nearly all of the trees were marked with small red Xs.
After some research on the Internet, the couple learned that, unbeknownst to most nearby residents, the forest had been sold and a construction company planned to knock down large swaths of it to build a new highway.
> www.rferl.org: Khimki Forest Defender Yevgenia Chirikova Is New Face Of Russian Civic Activism (Jul 29)
> www.rferl.org: Protest Over Russian Forest Turns Violent (Jul 29)
World's Mangroves Retreating At Alarming Rate
New York, July 15 2010 -
The world's mangroves are being destroyed up to four times faster than other forests, costing millions of dollars in losses in areas such as fisheries and storm protection, a report said.
The study commissioned by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and The Nature Conservancy said a fifth of mangroves had been lost since 1980 and that they continued to be destroyed at a rate of around 0.7 percent a year by activities such as coastal construction and shrimp farming.
> planetark.org: World's Mangroves Retreating At Alarming Rate
Will REDD Preserve Forests Or Merely Provide a Fig Leaf?
Yale, May 27 2010 -
The tropical forest conservation plan, known as REDD, has the potential to significantly reduce deforestation and carbon dioxide emissions worldwide. But unless projects are carefully designed and monitored, the program could be undercut by shady dealings at all levels, from the forests to global carbon markets.
> e360.yale.edu: Will REDD Preserve Forests Or Merely Provide a Fig Leaf?
Quantification of global gross forest cover loss
New York, April 26 2010 -
A globally consistent methodology using satellite imagery was implemented to quantify gross forest cover loss (GFCL) from 2000 to 2005 and to compare GFCL among biomes, continents, and countries. GFCL is defined as the area of forest cover removed because of any disturbance, including both natural and human-induced causes. GFCL was estimated to be 1,011,000 km2 from 2000 to 2005, representing 3.1% (0.6% per year) of the year 2000 estimated total forest area of 32,688,000 km2.
> www.pnas.org: Quantification of global gross forest cover loss (Abstract)
> www.pnas.org: Quantification of global gross forest cover loss
Brazil Amazon Dam Creates Headache For Lula
Brasilia, 16 April 2010 -
Brazil's plan to build the world's third-largest hydroelectric dam in the Amazon is drawing scathing criticism from a rare combination of investors and environmentalists, creating a potential political headache for President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Lula vigorously insists the Belo Monte dam, which may cost as much as $17 billion, will bring jobs to poor communities in the Amazon rain forest and ensure electricity supplies for one of the world's fastest-growing economies.
> planetark.org: Brazil Amazon Dam Creates Headache For Lula
> www.enn.com: Brazil suspends Amazon dam project
FAO Publishes Key Findings of Global Forest Resources Assessment
Rome, 25 March 2010 -
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has published the key findings of its “Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010? (FRA 2010). Among the findings, FAO reports that the world deforestation rate has decreased over the past ten years, but continues at a high rate in many countries.
> climate-l.org: FAO Publishes Key Findings of Global Forest Resources Assessment
What’s Killing the Great Forests of the American West?
Yale, March 15 2010 –
Across western North America, huge tracts of forest are dying off at an extraordinary rate, mostly because of outbreaks of insects. Scientists are now seeing such forest die-offs around the world and are linking them to changes in climate.
> e360.yale.edu: What’s Killing the Great Forests of the American West?
Progress seen on forest scheme, Germany to join
Paris, March 13 2010 –
Around 60 countries pushed ahead on Thursday with a multi-billion-dollar scheme to reduce climate-changing emissions from deforestation, to which Germany added its support, British minister Joan Ruddock said on Thursday.
> www.tehrantimes.com: Progress seen on forest scheme, Germany to join
> planetark.org: Sarkozy To Press G20 On Climate Funding
> climate-l.org: International Conference on Major Forest Basins Discusses REDD+ Funding
UN climate change claims on rainforests were wrong, study suggests
March 13, 2010 -
The United Nations' climate change panel is facing fresh criticism after new research contradicted the organisation's claims about the devastating effect climate change could have on the Amazon rainforest.
> www.telegraph.co.uk: UN climate change claims on rainforests were wrong, study suggests
Hydrocarbon development threatens the Amazon
March 10 2010 - (ENN) -
Because hydrocarbons are now being exploited at a rate 7 times higher than in 2003, the impacts of oil and gas activities need to be scientifically studied.
These studies should rigorously identify and measure the effects on biodiversity, indigenous groups and wilderness areas in this region.
> www.enn.com: Hydrocarbon development threatens the Amazon
Amazon Droughts and Greening
March 9 2010 - (ENN) -
The sensitivity of Amazon rain forests to dry season droughts is still poorly understood, with reports of enhanced tree mortality and forest fires on one hand, and excessive forest greening on the other. In a current story there is a report that previous conclusions of large scale greening of the Amazon as a result of drought are not reproducible. Approximately 11%-12% of these drought stricken forests display greening, while, 28%-20% show browning or no change, and for the rest, the data are not of sufficient quality to characterize any changes. These changes are also not unique; approximately similar changes are observed in non-drought years as well.
> www.enn.com: Amazon Droughts and Greening
Urbanization, Export Crops Drive Deforestation
London, February 9, 2010 -
The drivers of tropical deforestation have shifted in the early 21st century to hinge on growth of cities and the globalized agricultural trade, a new large-scale study concludes. The observations starkly reverse assumptions by some scientists that fast-growing urbanization and the efficiencies of global trade might eventually slow or reverse tropical deforestation. The study, which covers most of the world’s tropical land area, appears in this week’s early edition of the journal Nature Geoscience.
> www.earth.columbia.edu: Urbanization, Export Crops Drive Deforestation
The Amazon Is Not Eternal
Paris, February 2, 2010 -
The Amazon jungle "is very close to a tipping point," and if destruction continues, it could shrink to one third of its original size in just 65 years, warns Thomas Lovejoy, world-renowned tropical biologist.
> www.ipsnews.net: The Amazon Is Not Eternal
Haiti Earthquake, Deforestation Heighten Landslide Risk
The border between Haiti (left) and the Dominican Republic highlights the relative deforestation of Haiti.
Haiti, January 14 2010 -
The combination of widespread deforestation and the recent earthquake in Haiti could lead to more landslides in the already hard-hit country, scientists say.
> news.nationalgeographic.com: Earthquake, Deforestation Heighten Landslide Risk
Pine beetle turns trees to carbon emitters
Vancouver, (British Columbia), January 10 2010 -
Canadian researchers say the pine beetle has killed so many trees, the forests of British Columbia now put more greenhouse gases into the air than they store.
The experts say that has been true since 2003, The Toronto Globe and Mail reported Saturday. By last year, dead lodgepole pines had a bigger carbon footprint than the province's human population.
> www.upi.com: Pine beetle turns trees to carbon emitters
Longer growing season cuts tree CO2 intake
Boulder, Colo/USA, January 7, 2010 -
Western U.S. sub-alpine forests will soak up less carbon dioxide than they do now as the climate warms and growing seasons lengthen, a university study found. As a result, more of the so-called greenhouse gas will be left to concentrate in the atmosphere, the study by researchers at the University of Colorado in Boulder indicated. "Our findings contradict studies of other ecosystems that conclude longer growing seasons actually increase plant carbon uptake," said Jia Hu, who conducted the research as an ecology and evolutionary-biology graduate student.
> www.terradaily.com: Longer growing season cuts tree CO2 intake
Plan to turn farms into forest worries Obama official
Washington, December 28 2009 -
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has ordered his staff to revise a computerized forecasting model that showed that climate legislation supported by President Obama would make planting trees more lucrative than producing food.
> washingtontimes.com: Plan to turn farms into forest worries Obama official
Borneo mega-dams proposal raises fears for tribes, wildlife
Kuala Lumpur, December 27, 2009 -
A massive tract of Borneo jungle, an area the size of Singapore, will soon disappear under the waters of the Bakun dam, a multi-billion-dollar project nearing completion after years of controversy.
> www.terradaily.com/afp: Plan to turn farms into forest worries Obama official
Deforestation Deal, Copenhagen’s Supposed Savior, Hits New Low as Targets Dropped
Copenhagen, December 12 2009 -
UN climate talks on ending deforestation hit a new low on Saturday after a leaked document revealed that immediate targets to halt forest loss had been cut out of a draft agreement.
Poorer forested countries had been willing to accept deforestation targets, but only with financial assistance. They wanted rich countries to commit to providing billions of dollars for the effort before they agreed to bind themselves to any goals.
Currently, there are no dollar commitments on the table. According to UN estimates, $22.4 billion to $37.3 billion between 2010-2015 would be needed in immediate funding.
> solveclimate.com: Deforestation Deal, Copenhagen’s Supposed Savior, Hits New Low as Targets Dropped
Model predicts future deforestation
London, 20 November 2009 -
A computer model that predicts future changes in the world's forests could strengthen the case of Central African nations that are calling for compensation in exchange for protecting their natural resources.
> www.nature.com: Model predicts future deforestation
Boreal Forests Store Carbon, Need Help: Canada Study
Ottawa, 13 November 2009 -
The world needs to do more to protect boreal forests and peatlands, which store more carbon than any other ecosystem and help mitigate the effects of climate change, a Canadian report issued Thursday said.
> planetark.org: Boreal Forests Store Carbon, Need Help: Canada Study
Up for Grabs: Deforestation and Exploitation in Papua's Plantations Boom
Papoea, November 10 2009 -
The planned expansion of plantations in the Papuan provinces of Indonesia should be immediately suspended and reviewed amid concerns over massive deforestation and widespread exploitation of local communities, environmentalists warned today.
A new report released by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and Telapak – entitled “Up for Grabs” – exposes how five million hectares of land, most of it forested, is being targeted in Papua by powerful companies seeking to cash in on projected demand for biofuels, derived from crops such as oil palm, and other commodities. This land grab is provoking conflicts with local communities and threatens the third largest area of remaining tropical forests on Earth.
> www.eia-international.org: Deforestation and Exploitation in Papua’s Plantations Boom
Forest's death brings higher temps, researchers suspect
October 21 2009 -
The drive along State Highway 230 into southern Wyoming offers a startling view: A forest of dead or dying lodgepole pines stretching miles across the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest.
"It's just a sea of red needles or gray, skeletal trees," said Tony Tezak, the forest fire management officer at the national forest that straddles the Colorado-Wyoming border. "The scope of the devastation is pretty staggering. It's pretty shocking to see."
> wwwp.dailyclimate.org: Forest's death brings higher temps, researchers suspect
Geoengineering wars: Another scientist teases out a surprising effect of global deforestation
Austin, October 19 2009 — A new and unpublished analysis of the regional impacts of a hypothetical scheme to mitigate global warming via radical deforestation was unveiled here Sunday at a gathering of science journalists and writers, on the heels of a blogging firestorm about geoengineering and climate change in anticipation of the release of Superfreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance.
> www.scientificamerican.com: Geoengineering wars: Another scientist teases out a surprising effect of global deforestation
A Tree's Response To Environmental Changes: What Can We Expect Over The Next 100 Years?
ScienceDaily (Oct. 13, 2009) — The many environmental issues facing our society are prevalent in the media lately. Global warming, rainforest devastation, and endangered species have taken center stage. Our ecosystem is composed of a very delicate network of interactions among all species and the non-living environment. Predicting how each component of this complex system will respond to the many environmental changes sweeping the globe is a challenging problem today's scientists face.
> www.sciencedaily.com: A Tree's Response To Environmental Changes: What Can We Expect Over The Next 100 Years?
Madagascar forests face destruction
Antananarivo, October 9, 2009 -
Environmental groups are protesting the resumption of exports of precious woods from Madagascar, arguing that the wood is logged illegally and that the island's forests are being destroyed.
> www.terradaily.com: Madagascar forests face destruction
Saving forests five times better than carbon capture for climate action
Stockholm, October 7, 2009 —
WWF Sweden is urging its government – holding the current EU Presidency - to get behind an effective international agreement on halting forest loss as a key and highly cost effective measure on climate change.
“Sweden should follow the examples set by its northern neighbors in developing systems to halt deforestation,” said WWF CEO General Lasse Gustavsson.. “One Swedish krona to stem deforestation results in the same emissions reductions as five kronor for the controversial carbon capture and storage technique,”
> www.panda.org: Saving forests five times better than carbon capture for climate action
Deforestation on Sumatra island
London, October 6, 2009 —
The UN wants to cut carbon emissions by paying poorer countries to preserve their forests in a scheme called Reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (Redd).
Around 20% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions are estimated to come from global annual deforestation, which often takes place in the most biodiverse regions of the world, such as Brazil and Indonesia.
The fastest rate of deforestation in Indonesia is occurring in central Sumatra's Riau province, where some 4.2m hectares (65%) of its tropical forests and peat swamps have been cleared for industrial plantations in the past 25 years.
> www.guardian.co.uk: Deforestation on Sumatra island in 23 pictures
> www.guardian.co.uk: UN's forest protection scheme at risk from organised crime, experts warn
Ancient Forests Reveal Clues How to Endure Weather Extremes
Berlin, October 1, 2009 —
Fossilized remnants of long-ago rainforests discovered in Illinois coal mines are providing clues about how trees and their ecosystems were able to withstand weather extremes from ice ages to global warming.
> www.bloomberg.com: Ancient Forests Reveal Clues How to Endure Weather
Daniel Beltra's photographs of deforestation in the Democratic Republic of Congo
London, September 28, 2009 —
Spanish photographer Daniel Beltrá won the 2009 Prince's Rainforests Project (PRP) award at the Sony world photography awards. His prize was a fully funded trip to three of the world's major rainforests in Brazil, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The Guardian presents a selection of photographs from DRC which will be also shown in an exhibition at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London (3 October-6 December), Hotel de Ville, Paris (3-14 October), and the Alexa Centre, Berlin (27 October-7 November).
> www.guardian.co.uk: Daniel Beltra's photographs of deforestation in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Woody plants adapted to past climate change more slowly than herbs
Chapel Hill (USA), September 23, 2009 —
Can we predict which species will be most vulnerable to climate change by studying how they responded in the past? A new study of flowering plants provides a clue. An analysis of more than 5,000 species reveals that woody plants adapted to past climate change more slowly than herbaceous plants did. If the past is any indicator of the future, woody plants may have a harder time than other plants keeping pace with global warming.
> www.eurekalert.org: Woody plants adapted to past climate change more slowly than herbs
Wonder tree could be one answer to food scarcity in Africa
Nairobi (Kenya), August 25, 2009 —
The World Agroforestry Congress held at the UN's Africa headquarters in Nairobi (Kenya) has offered some tree-planting solutions which could help the African continent deal with climate change and also provide a long-term solution to the continent's food scarcity problems.
> www.unep.org: Wonder tree could be one answer to food scarcity in Africa
World's Last Great Forest Under Threat: New Study
Adelaide / New Foundland / Singapore, August 25, 2009 —
The world's last remaining "pristine" forest -- the boreal forest across large stretches of Russia, Canada and other northern countries -- is under increasing threat, a team of international researchers has found.
> www.sciencedaily.com: World's Last Great Forest Under Threat
When money grows on trees
August 13 2009 -
Protecting forests offers a quick and cost-effective way of reducing emissions, but agreeing a means to do so won't be easy.
> www.nature.com: When money grows on trees
Amazon deforestation speeds up: Brazil space agency
Brasilia, August 5 2009 -
Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon rainforest in June was four times more devastating than the month before, further depleting what is seen as one of the biggest buffers against global warming, official data revealed Tuesday.
> www.enn.com: Amazon deforestation speeds up: Brazil space agency
Pakistan Sets Guinness World Record for Tree Planting
Nairobi, 28 July - Fresh from the victory of the T20 Cricket World Cup, Pakistan hit another high by setting a Guinness World Record for planting 541,176 trees in 24 hours. The young mangrove saplings were planted by 300 volunteers on 15 July without using any mechanical equipment in the vast wetlands of the Indus River Delta in Thatta District.
> www.unep.org: Pakistan Sets Guinness World Record for Tree Planting<
Forest fires in Southern Europe destroy much more than trees
Brussels, 28 July 2009 -
Forest fires in Spain, France, Italy and Greece burned more than 50 000 hectares in the last four days. The economic and environmental damage caused by such fires extends well beyond the affected areas. Damage to biodiversity and livelihoods may take decades to reverse.
> www.eea.europa.eu: Forest fires in Southern Europe destroy much more than trees<
Australia's Forests Key to Fighting Global Warming
Sydney, 17 June 2009 -
Towering Mountain Ash forests covering Victoria state's cool highlands hold four times more carbon, or around 1,900 metric tons of carbon per hectare, than tropical forests, scientists at the Australian National University said.
"The trees in these forests can grow to a very old age, at least 350 years, and they can grow very large, very tall, and they grow very dense, heavy wood," said Brendan Mackey, a professor of environment science.
The researchers studied biomass data from 132 forests around the world to discover regions storing the most carbon, with results published in the U.S.-based Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
> planetark.org: Australia's Forests Key to Fighting Global Warming
World of Change: Amazon Deforestation
Washington, May 31 2009 -
The state of Rondonia in western Brazil is one of the most deforested parts of the Amazon. This series shows deforestation on the frontier in the northwestern part of the state between 2000 and 2008.
earthobservatory.nasa.gov: Amazon Deforestation
A Role for Trees in Climate Change Legislation?
Washington, May 11 2009 -
Long the bete noir of conservationists, paper and forest companies are using the climate debate to try to recast themselves as environmental champions, caretakers of natural resources capable of sucking large quantities of heat-trapping carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.
www.scientificamerican.com: A Role for Trees in Climate Change Legislation?
Forests as carbon sinks 'at risk'
London, April 18 2009 -
Forests' role as massive carbon sinks is "at risk of being lost entirely", top forestry scientists have warned.
The International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) says forests are under increasing degrees of stress as a result of climate change.
Forests could release vast amounts of carbon if temperatures rise 2.5C (4.5F) above pre-industrial levels, it adds.
news.bbc.co.uk: Forests as carbon sinks 'at risk'
www.iufro.org: Forests as carbon sink "at risk of being lost entirely'
Regrowing Forests Could Provide Climate Change Help
Madison / Wis/US, April 7 2009 -
A new study shows that allowing cleared forest to grow back can help cut down carbon dioxide emissions.
As policymakers and scientists try to find the best way to pump emissions from coal-fired power plants into deep underground reservoirs, another carbon dioxide sink is already soaking up greenhouse gases and has the potential to soak up much more.
www.sciam.com: Regrowing Forests Could Provide Climate Change Help
www.sciencedaily.com: Potential To Amass More Carbon In Eastern North American Forests (Apr 11 2009)
'Crunch year' for world's forests
London, March 25 2009 -
Efforts to mitigate climate change could be hampered if nations do not agree to protect the world's forests by the end of the year, warn researchers.
news.bbc.co.uk: 'Crunch year' for world's forests
Trees: More than just carbon sinks
London, March 19 2009 -
"In the absence of trees, our communities would simply collapse," states Andrew Dokurugu, a project officer for Tree Aid.
news.bbc.co.uk: Trees: More than just carbon sinks
FAO launches latest report on the State of the World’s Forests 2009
Rome, March 16 2009 -
The dual challenges of economic turmoil and climate change are bringing the management of forests to the forefront of global interest. The need to reform forestry institutions and increase investments in science and technology are key to the better management of forests, notes the State of the World’s Forests 2009 launched today.
www.fao.org: FAO launches latest report on the State of the World’s Forests 2009
Fate of the rainforest is 'irreversible'
Copenhagen, March 12 2009 -
The impact of climate change on the Amazon rainforest could be much worse than previously predicted, new research suggests. A third of the Amazonian 'carbon sink' is doomed whether or not emissions are cut, the Copenhagen conference on Climate Change is told.
Even if emissions were reduced and governments managed to limit temperature rises to 2C – the current aim of international climate policy – between 20 and 40 per cent of the forest could die because of warming, a British scientist told a conference on climate change in Copenhagen yesterday.
www.independent.co.uk: Fate of the rainforest is 'irreversible'
www.telegraph.co.uk: Amazon rainforest at risk of ecological 'catastrophe'
Amazon could shrink by 85% due to climate change, scientists say
London, March 11 2009 -
Global warming will wreck attempts to save the Amazon rainforest, according to a devastating new study which predicts that one-third of its trees will be killed by even modest temperature rises.
www.eurekalert.org: Statement by Sandy Andelman, co-author of 'Drought sensitivity of the Amazon Rainforest'
Canada’s carbon sink has sprung a leak
Montreal, March 10 2009 -
Billions of tiny mountain pine beetles are treating Canada’s boreal forest like a 3,000-mile-long salad bar, transforming a key absorber of carbon dioxide greenhouse gas into a CO2 emitter instead.
features.csmonitor.com: Canada’s carbon sink has sprung a leak
Amazon's 2005 Drought Created Huge CO2 Emissions
Oslo, March 6 2009 -
A 2005 drought in the Amazon rainforest killed trees and released more greenhouse gas than the annual emissions of Europe and Japan, an international study showed.
planetark.org: Amazon's 2005 Drought Created Huge CO2 Emissions
www.eurekalert.org: Statement by Sandy Andelman, co-author of 'Drought sensitivity of the Amazon Rainforest'
Parts of Amazon close to tipping point
Manaus, March 6 2009 -
The Mato Grosso, the most scarred region of the Amazon rainforest, is teetering on a deforestation "tipping point", and may soon be on a one-way route to becoming a dry and relatively barren savannah.
www.newscientist.com: Parts of Amazon close to tipping point
Rethinking the value of planted forests
Rome, February 27 2009 -
With two-thirds of potential industrial wood production available from planted rather than naturally occuring forests, the contribution of planted forests has become increasingly critical to future wood supplies, notes a new FAO study.
www.fao.org: Rethinking the value of planted forests
Wangari Maathai calls on armies to join the Billion Tree Campaign
Nairobi, February 25 2009 -
The world's armies and UN peacekeepers around the globe should join the Billion Tree Campaign as it strives to reach its target of 7 billion trees planted by the end of 2009, according to Nobel Peace Laureate Wangari Maathai.
www.unep.org: Wangari Maathai calls on armies to join the Billion Tree Campaign
Australia fires release huge amount of CO2
Singapore, February 25 2009 -
Bushfires that have scorched Australia's Victoria state released millions of tons of carbon dioxide and forest fires could become a growing source of carbon pollution as the planet warms, a top scientist said on Thursday.
www.climate-l.org: Australia fires release huge amount of CO2
UNFF to Consider Forests and Climate Change
New York, February 25 2009 -
The UN Forum on Forests (UNFF) Secretariat has posted additional documents in preparation for its eighth session, which will convene from 20 April-1 May 2009, in New York, US. These include discussion papers submitted by the Major Groups, and advance unedited reports on, inter alia: forests and climate change; forest degradation and desertification; and recommendations for forests in a changing environment.
www.climate-l.org: UNFF to Consider Forests and Climate Change
Billion dollar jungle
London, February 25 2009 -
Stopping tropical deforestation is part of the struggle against climate change. Developing countries expect rich nations to help pay for it. But will human rights be respected when megabucks are on offer?
www.panos.org: Billion dollar jungle
Fifth of world carbon emissions soaked up by extra forest growth, scientists find
London, February 18 2009 -
Trees across the tropics are getting bigger and offering unexpected help in the fight against climate change, scientists have discovered.
A laborious study of the girth of 70,000 trees across Africa has shown that tropical forests are soaking up more carbon dioxide pollution that anybody realised. Almost one-fifth of our fossil fuel emissions are absorbed by forests across Africa, Amazonia and Asia, the research suggests.
www.guardian.co.uk: Fifth of world carbon emissions soaked up by extra forest growth, scientists find
Indonesia To End Freeze On Peatlands For Plantations
Jakarta, February 17 2009 -
Indonesia will open up peatland forests for plantation crops such as palm oil after freezing new permits for more than a year, an agriculture ministry official said on Monday, in a move that has alarmed green groups.
planetark.org: Indonesia To End Freeze On Peatlands For Plantations
www.wetlands.org: Alarming decision to destroy Indonesia’s last peatswamp forests
AAAS: Tropical forests are drying out because of global warming
Chicago / London, February 15 2009 -
Tropical forests could dry out and become prone to wildfires which could devastate large areas as global warming worsens, scientists have warned.
Damp regions that had previously been considered immune to the type of blazes that blighted Australia this month could turn to tinderboxes as temperatures rise, it is claimed.
www.telegraph.co.uk: Tropical forests are drying out because of global warming
The tropics on fire: scientist's grim vision of global warming
Chicago / London, February 15 2009 -
Tropical forests may dry out and become vulnerable to devastating wildfires as global warming accelerates over the coming decades, a senior scientist has warned.
Soaring greenhouse gas emissions, driven by a surge in coal use in countries such as China and India, are threatening temperature rises that will turn damp and humid forests into parched tinderboxes, said Dr Chris Field, co-chair of the UN's Nobel prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
> www.guardian.co.uk: The tropics on fire: scientist's grim vision of global warming
Biofuels boom could fuel rainforest destruction, Stanford researcher warns
Stanford (Ca), February 15 2009 -
Farmers across the tropics might raze forests to plant biofuel crops, according to new research by Holly Gibbs, a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford's Woods Institute for the Environment.
"If we run our cars on biofuels produced in the tropics, chances will be good that we are effectively burning rainforests in our gas tanks," she warned.
Policies favoring biofuel crop production may inadvertently contribute to, not slow, the process of climate change, Gibbs said. Such an environmental disaster could be "just around the corner without more thoughtful energy policies that consider potential ripple effects on tropical forests," she added.
> www.eurekalert.org: Biofuels boom could fuel rainforest destruction, Stanford researcher warns (Feb 14)
> www.google.com/afp: Biofuels may speed up, not slow global warming: study (Feb 14)
Putting soya impacts on the map
Brasilea, January 20, 2009 -
Monitoring the effects of deforestation on the Amazon is a difficult undertaking. The Amazon is huge and it's extremely difficult to keep tabs on what's happening in the remote fringes of the rainforest. News of illegal logging and the spread of soya plantations can take a long time – if ever - to reach the authorities.
www.greenpeace.org: Putting soya impacts on the map
Canada's forests, once huge help on greenhouse gases, now contribute to climate change
Vancouver, January 2 2009 —
As relentlessly bad as the news about global warming seems to be, with ice at the poles melting faster than scientists had predicted and world temperatures rising higher than expected, there was at least a reservoir of hope stored here in Canada's vast forests.
The country's 1.2 million square miles of trees have been dubbed the "lungs of the planet" by ecologists because they account for more than 7 percent of Earth's total forest lands. They could always be depended upon to suck in vast quantities of carbon dioxide, naturally cleansing the world of much of the harmful heat-trapping gas. But not anymore.
In an alarming yet little-noticed series of recent studies, scientists have concluded that Canada's precious forests, stressed from damage caused by global warming, insect infestations and persistent fires, have crossed an ominous line and are now pumping out more climate-changing carbon dioxide than they are sequestering.
www.chicagotribune.com: Canada's forests, once huge help on greenhouse gases, now contribute to climate change
Is Bamboo Flooring Better for the Planet Than Traditional Hardwood?
December 15 2008 -
Bamboo’s environmental benefits are numerous in relation to wood and other resources, and today's heightened eco-awareness has given sales of bamboo flooring, clothing, building materials and other items a huge boost.
Bamboo has a long history of economic and cultural significance, primarily in East Asia and South East Asia where it has been used for centuries for everything from building material to food to medicine. There are some 1,000 different species of bamboo growing in very diverse climates throughout the world, including the southeastern United States.
www.sciam.com: Is Bamboo Flooring Better for the Planet Than Traditional Hardwood?
Hackers help destroy the Amazon rainforest
Brasilia, 12 December 2008 -
High-tech smuggling operations may not be what you'd normally associate with the ongoing clearance of the Amazon rainforest, but logging companies intent on plundering it for timber have been using hackers to break into the Brazilian government's sophisticated tracking system and fiddle the records.
www.greenpeace.org: Hackers help destroy the Amazon rainforest
Brazil Amazon destruction rises after 3-year fall
Brasilia, November 29 2008 -
Destruction of the Amazon forest in Brazil accelerated for the first time in four years, the government said on Friday, as high commodity prices tempted farmers and ranchers to slash more trees.
Satellite images showed nearly 4,633 square miles (12,000 sq km), or an area nearly the size of the U.S. state of Connecticut, were chopped down in the 12 months through July, the National Institute for Space Studies said.
www.reuters.com: Brazil Amazon destruction rises after 3-year fall
news.bbc.co.uk: Amazon deforestation accelerates
World's forests face climate-change crisis
November 29 2008 -
The world's forests - and the billion people who depend on them - are facing devastation from climate change unless we "evolve" with the changing situation, according to a new report.
The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) reviewed the scientific literature on the effects of climate change on forests and concluded that it will have a dramatic effect on forests, irrespective of the future rate of greenhouse-gas emissions.
www.newscientist.com: World's forests face climate-change crisis
"Our Ancient Forests: Going, going ..."
November 21 2008 -
In its last days in office, the Bush Administration is laying plans to open some of the last of Oregon's ancient forests to industrial logging, destroying rich wildlife habitat and a crucial buffer against global warming.
www.wilderness.org: Say NO to Last-Minute Logging!
Indonesia To Plant 100 Million Trees This Year
Jakarta (Indonesia), November 20, 2008 -
Indonesia which has been losing forests at a rapid pace in recent years, plans to plant 100 million trees across the country this year in an effort to limit deforestation, a forestry official said.
www.planetark.com: Indonesia To Plant 100 Million Trees This Year
www.planetark.com: Macedonians Plant Six Million Trees In Single Day
Chemical released by trees can help cool planet, scientists find
London (UK), October 27, 2008 -
Scientists discover cloud-thickening chemicals in trees that could offer a new weapon in the fight against global warming. So trees could be more important to the Earth's climate than previously thought, according to a new study that reveals forests help to block out the sun.
www.guardian.co.uk: Chemical released by trees can help cool planet, scientists find
www.forests.org: Ancient Forests Found to Be Climate Air Conditioners
EC issues lame deforestation plans
Brussels, October 17, 2008 -
European Commission plans to halve rather than halt tropical deforestation by 2020 have been sharply criticized by WWF.
www.panda.org: EC issues lame deforestation plans
Forest plan may 'fuel corruption'
London, October 15 2008 -
The UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown has launched a plan to save the world's threatened rainforests - but already it is running into opposition.
www.enn.com: Exotic climate study sees refugees in Antarctica
www.planetark.com: Rich Countries Must Pay for Rainforests - UK Report
Deforestation Costs More than Financial Crisis
Berlin, October 10 2008 -
It is a steep bill. Our shrinking forests cost us up to $5 trillion a year -- far more than the current banking crisis. Environmentalists hope the sobering calculation, made by a European Union commissioned team, will focus political will on funding conservation.
www.spiegel.de: Deforestation Costs More than Financial Crisis
Groups call for Action on 21 September: International Day Against Monoculture Tree Plantations
London, 19 September 2008 -
Large-scale monoculture tree plantations cause serious environmental, social and economic impacts on local communities. These impacts have been amply documented around the world, and include the depletion of water sources due to changes in the hydrological cycle; deterioration of rivers and streams; air and water pollution due to the use of pesticides and other agrochemicals; the displacement of entire communities when their land is occupied by plantations; violations of human, labour and environmental rights; differentiated impacts on women; the deterioration of cultural diversity; widespread violence; and the critical loss of biodiversity. For that reason, NGOs, Indigenous Peoples' Organisations and social movements all over the world will commemorate the International Day against Monoculture Tree Plantations this weekend by organizing actions, demonstrations, marches and sending out joint letters to express their concerns.
www.foei.org: Groups call for Action on 21 September: International Day Against Monoculture Tree Plantations
Old-growth forests absorb more CO2 than they release, study finds
Seatle (USA), September 11, 2008 -
Most of the world's old-growth forests actively absorb more carbon dioxide than they release into the atmosphere, making them effective carbon sinks, according to a new study in the journal Nature.
The new research, which relies on data from over 500 forests around the world, refutes the commonly held assertion that old-growth forests are merely carbon neutral, absorbing only as much carbon as they release. Instead, the study found, forests between 15 and 800 years old typically not only act as active carbon sinks, but collectively act as a storehouse for up to 1 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide -- some 10 percent of the world's total net CO2 uptake.
"The absolute amount of carbon stored in these forests is significant," said forest-science professor Beverly Law. And because they are active carbon absorbers as well as large carbon reservoirs, destroying them is doubly stupid climate-wise (and dumber still if you factor in their conservation value and unique ecology). "If you have an old forest on the ground, it's probably better to leave it there than to cut it," Law said.
www.forbes.com: Old-growth forests absorb more CO2 than they release, study finds
news.yahoo.com: Old-growth forests absorb more CO2 than they release, study finds
www.planetark.com: Alaska, Russia Forests Overlooked in Climate Fight
oregonstate.edu: Old Growth Forests Are Valuable Carbon Sinks
forests.org: Old-Growth Carbon Findings Cause Forest Protection Schism
forests.org: Untouched Natural Forests Store Three Times More Carbon
www.telegraph.co.uk / Prince Charles: wartime urgency needed for rainforests
Deforestation Escalates in Brazilian Amazon
September 5, 2008 -
Satellite imagery released earlier this week provided further evidence that deforestation in Brazil's Amazon region accelerated dramatically this year.
Between August 2007 and July 2008, 8,147 square kilometers of the Brazilian Amazon were cleared, according to the country's National Institute for Space Research (INPE). This is an area more than twice the size of the U.S. state of Rhode Island.
www.enn.com: Deforestation Escalates in Brazilian Amazon
Amazon deforestation on the rise
Brasilia, August 31, 2008 -
Amazon deforestation jumped 69 percent in the past 12 months - the first such increase in three years - as rising demand for soy and cattle pushes farmers and ranchers to raze trees, officials said Saturday.
www.physorg.com: Amazon deforestation on the rise
Untouched Natural Forests Store Three Times More Carbon
August 4, 2008 -
An important new Australian study, reported upon in a new book entited "Green Carbon: The role of natural forests in carbon storage", finds that "untouched natural forests store three times more carbon dioxide [ark] than previously estimated and 60 percent more than plantation forests" and that first-time "logging resulted in more than a 40 percent reduction in long-term carbon compared with unlogged forests." They conclude that "in Australia and probably globally the carbon carrying capacity of natural forests [search] is underestimated and therefore misrepresented in economic valuations and in policy options."
forests.org: Untouched Natural Forests Store Three Times More Carbon
Brazil launches rainforest fund
Brasilia, August 1 2008 -
Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva has launched an international fund to protect the Amazon rainforest and help combat climate change.
news.bbc.co.uk: Brazil launches rainforest fund
Ancient Oak Trees Help Reduce Global Warming
Columbia, June 30, 2008 -
The battle to reduce carbon emissions is at the heart of many eco-friendly efforts, and researchers from the University of Missouri have discovered that nature has been lending a hand. Researchers at the Missouri Tree Ring Laboratory in the Department of Forestry discovered that trees submerged in freshwater aquatic systems store carbon for thousands of years, a significantly longer period of time than trees that fall in a forest, thus keeping carbon out of the atmosphere.
www.enn.com: Ancient Oak Trees Help Reduce Global Warming
Africa's Deforestation Twice World Rate - UN Atlas
Oslo, June 11, 2008 - Africa is suffering deforestation at twice the world rate and the continent's few glaciers are shrinking fast, according to a UN atlas on Tuesday.
www.planetark.com: Africa's Deforestation Twice World Rate - UN Atlas
www.telegraph.co.uk: Melting glaciers and shrinking forests revealed in UN Africa atlas
Prince Charles: Help me save the rainforests
London (UK) June 5 2008 - (by the Prince of Wales) -
Today is World Environment Day, a day that should remind us that there is just the smallest window left for us to act to stop catastrophic climate change. The frightening reality is that the consequences of global warming are being felt far more rapidly than most scientists predicted even 18 months ago.
The polar ice caps are melting faster, the ability of the oceans to absorb carbon dioxide is diminishing and our weather patterns are ever more erratic and more extreme. But we do still have a chance to stop the worst excesses of climate change, so long as we act now.
Prince Charles: Help me save the rainforests
I give up, says Brazilian minister who fought to save the rainforest
Brasilia, May 15 2008 -
Brazil has been accused of turning its back on its duty to protect the Amazon after the resignation of its award-winning Environment Minister fuelled fresh fears over the fate of the forest. The departure of Marina Silva, who admitted she was losing the battle to get green voices heard amidst the rush for economic development, has been greeted with dismay by conservationists.
www.independent.co.uk: I give up, says Brazilian minister who fought to save the rainforest
>Amazon under threat from cleaner air
May 8, 2008 -
The Amazon rainforest, so crucial to the Earth’s climate system, is coming under threat from cleaner air say prominent UK and Brazilian climate scientists in the leading scientific journal Nature.
The new study identifies a link between reducing sulphur dioxide emissions from burning coal and increasing sea-surface temperatures in the tropical north Atlantic, resulting in a heightened risk of drought in the Amazon rainforest.
www.metoffice.gov.uk: Latest technique in climate forecasts show decrease in summer rainfall
Brazil "soy king" sees Amazon as food solution
Rio de Janeiro, April 25 2008 -
More of the Amazon rain forest should be cut down to make way for farmland to help ease the global food crisis, the governor of a big Brazilian farming state was quoted as saying.
www.reuters.com: Brazil "soy king" sees Amazon as food solution
Norway Gives Tanzania $100 Mln For Forests
New York, April 22 2008 -
Dar Es Salaam (Ta)- Norway will give Tanzania $100 million over five years to cut deforestation in the east African country and try to reduce carbon emissions blamed for climate change, according to a deal signed on Monday.
www.planetark.com: Norway Gives Tanzania $100 Mln For Forests
GOING, GOING, GONE? New Satellite Images Reveal a Shrinking Amazon Rainforest
Washington, April 17 2008 -
Deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon may be on the rise, according to high-resolution images released by an agency of the Brazilian government. The images suggest an end to a widely hailed three-year decline in the rate of deforestation and have spurred a public controversy among high-level Brazilian officials, writes Tim Hirsch, author of "The Incredible Shrinking Amazon Rainforest" in the May/June 2008 issue of World Watch magazine.
www.enn.com: GOING, GOING, GONE? New Satellite Images Reveal a Shrinking Amazon Rainforest
Can Amazonian Beef Be Sustainable?
April 11 2008 -
One of Brazil's largest beef-export companies is expanding its Amazon operations, thanks in part to funding from the World Bank's private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation. The IFC says its investment is part of an historic effort to make cattle ranching in the region sustainable, but some environmentalists are skeptical.
www.worldwatch.org: Can Amazonian Beef Be Sustainable?
Ministers to discuss role of forests in energy scramble
April 11, 2008 -
Responding to climate change and energy concerns while conserving forests and biodiversity will be among the topics of discussion during an informal meeting of environment ministers this weekend in Slovenia.
www.euractiv.com: Ministers to discuss role of forests in energy scramble
www.carbonpositive.net: Tree planting: A key weapon against global warming
Fires main threat to Amazon in drier climate: study
Oslo, April 7, 2008 -
Fires set by people will be the biggest threat to the Amazon rainforest in coming decades linked to a drier climate caused by global warming.
They said swathes of the forest were more likely to be killed by blazes raging out of control than by a more gradual shift towards savannah caused by more frequent droughts predicted by the U.N. Climate Panel in a 2007 report.
www.reuters.com: Fires main threat to Amazon in drier climate: study
www.reuters.com: Slowing deforestation may be worth billions: study
www.nytimes.com: Amazone's 'Forest People's' Seek a role in striking global climate agreements
Destruction of Sumatra forests driving global climate change and species extinction: WWF
Pekanbaru (Sumatra), February 26, 2008 - Turning just one Sumatran province's forests and peat swamps into pulpwood and palm oil plantations is generating more annual greenhouse gas emissions than the Netherlands and rapidly driving the province's elephants into extinction, a new study by WWF and partners has found.
www.worldwildlife.org: Destruction of Sumatra forests driving global climate change and species extinction
www.worldwildlife.org: Summary of the report (pdf 5,32 mb)
Action Alert: Brazil Must Succeed in Keeping Soybeans Out of Amazon Rainforest
February 12 2008 -
Only soy products that do not directly or indirectly destroy ancient rainforests, or intensify climate change and other problems inherent with large-scale industrial monocultures, will be tolerated in international markets.
www.rainforestportal.org: Brazil Must Succeed in Keeping Soybeans Out of Amazon Rainforest
Forests and carbon capture keys to climate: Norway's PM
Oslo / Cape Town, January 18, 2008 -
Protecting forests and burying greenhouse gases are key ways of slowing world climate change, Norway's prime minister said on Friday a day after the Nordic nation set a stiff 2030 goal of becoming "carbon neutral."
www.reuters.com: Forests and carbon capture keys to climate
Destruction of rainforest accelerates despite outcry
Rio do Brazil, January 18, 2008 -
The destruction of the Amazon rainforest has surged in the past four months, raising the prospect of 2008 being a disastrous year for the world's most important eco-system, a senior Brazilian government scientist has warned.
environment.independent.co.uk: Destruction of rainforest accelerates despite outcry
www.planetark.com: Amazon Deforestation Surging Again
Medical plants 'face extinction'
London, January 18, 2008 -
Hundreds of medicinal plants are at risk of extinction, threatening the discovery of future cures for disease, according to experts.
Over 50% of prescription drugs are derived from chemicals first identified in plants.
But the Botanic Gardens Conservation International said many were at risk from over-collection and deforestation.
news.bbc.co.uk: Medical plants 'face extinction'
www.telegraph.co.uk: Threat to medicines from plant extinctions
Save Bialowieza Forest, Europe's Last Primeval Temperate Forest
January 6, 2008 -
Ask the Polish government to stop exploitation of the ancient Bialowieza forest, preserve the whole complex as a national park, and end permanently extensive logging that threatens Europe's last remnant old-growth northern temperate forests.
www.ecoearth.info: Save Bialowieza Forest, Europe's Last Primeval Temperate Forest
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