Food & Agriculture
Ivory Coast has lost more than 80 percent of its forests in the last 50 years, mainly to cocoa production. The government has a plan to turn over management of former forest to international chocolate manufacturers: Is it a conservation strategy or a land grab?
In increasingly arid regions such as the western U.S., water managers are learning that careful management and restoration of watershed ecosystems, including thinning trees and conducting prescribed burns, are important tools in coping with a hotter, drier climate.
CRISIS ON THE COLORADO: PART V
The Colorado River has been dammed, diverted, and slowed by reservoirs, strangling the life out of a once-thriving ecosystem. But in the U.S. and Mexico, efforts are underway to revive sections of the river and restore vital riparian habitat for native plants, fish, and wildlife. Last in a series.
The Trump administration has halted bans on toxic chemicals that are known to cause serious health threats. These moves, led by an ex-industry group executive now at the EPA, have allowed the continued use of products found to cause cancer, birth defects, and other ailments.
The most widely traded illegal wild product in the world today is rosewood, an endangered hardwood prized for its use in traditional Chinese furniture. An e360 investigation follows the trail of destruction and corruption from the forests of Madagascar to furniture showrooms in China.
Global loss of biodiversity is threatening the security of the world’s food supplies and the livelihoods of millions of people, according to a new report by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Land-use changes, pollution, overexploitation of resources, and climate change were listed as the biggest drivers of this biodiversity loss. More about Biodiversity Loss Is Endangering Food Security, UN Warns →
There is enough room in the world’s existing parks, forests, and abandoned land to plant 1.2 trillion additional trees, which would have the CO2 storage capacity to cancel out a decade of carbon dioxide emissions, according to a new analysis by ecologist Thomas Crowther and colleagues at ETH Zurich, a Swiss university. More about Planting 1.2 Trillion Trees Could Cancel Out a Decade of CO2 Emissions, Scientists Find →
Two new videos visualize how drastically global temperatures have changed since 1900 — and how much worse they will get by the end of this century. The data visualizations, created by Antti Lipponen, a research scientist at the Finnish Meteorological Institute, depict 200 years of climate change in each of the world’s 191 countries in less than a minute. More about A Look at Past and Future Climate Change in Less Than a Minute →
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CRISIS ON THE COLORADO: PART IV
Once criticized for being a profligate user of water, fast-growing Phoenix has taken some major steps — including banking water in underground reservoirs, slashing per-capita use, and recycling wastewater — in anticipation of the day when the flow from the Colorado River ends. Fourth in a series.
By far the largest mining endeavor globally is digging up sand, mainly for the concrete that goes into buildings. But this little-noticed and largely unregulated activity has serious costs — damaging rivers, wreaking havoc on coastal ecosystems, and even wiping away entire islands.
Scientists are tracking an increase in a little-known phenomenon in which intense wildfires can spawn their own thunderstorms, known as pyroCbs. Lightning from these storms can spark additional blazes far away and send plumes of smoke and aerosols into the stratosphere.
The Indonesian government is building a 2,700-mile road network on the island of New Guinea, opening up some of the world’s last great tropical rainforests to development and threatening unique indigenous cultures. Can international pressure force Indonesia to scale back this megaproject?
Unconventional efforts to save endangered species.