While the world’s forests can play an important role in absorbing carbon dioxide and slowing climate change, new research indicates that elevated CO2 concentrations do not necessarily boost forests and that higher temperatures could cause changes in trees that reduce their ability grow.
As more people push into once-remote areas, truly quiet spots — devoid of the noise of traffic or crowds of tourists — have become increasingly scarce. Now, a coalition of activists, scientists, and park officials are trying to preserve the last quiet places on the planet.
Food & Agriculture
With rising temperatures, the world’s food supplies are at risk, with deceasing yields in key staple crops. Researchers and innovators are looking at more resilient crops and farm animals — from heat-resistant wheat, to drought-resistant rice, to Naked Neck chickens that stay cooler.
Oil and gas giants, mining interests, and coal-fired power plants have all received financial and regulatory relief as governments around the world enact pandemic recovery plans. These moves threaten to create a dirty, high-carbon legacy that long outlasts the current crisis.
Activist Elizabeth Yeampierre has long focused on the connections between racial injustice and the environment and climate change. In the wake of George Floyd’s killing and the outsized impact of Covid-19 on communities of color, she hopes people may finally be ready to listen.
Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest rose 10.7 percent last month compared to June 2019, the 14th consecutive month of worsening tree loss, according to new data from the country’s national space research agency, INPE. In the first half of 2020, deforestation was up 25 percent, for a total 1,184 square miles, compared to the same period last year. More about Deforestation in Brazil Continues to Surge, Up 10.7 Percent in June →
South America has experienced an “unprecedented” increase in extreme weather events over the past century, according to a new analysis of 600 years of tree-ring records published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. More about Tree Ring Records Show Increase in Extreme Weather in South America →
An estimated 60 percent of fish species will struggle to reproduce in their current spawning habitats by 2100 under worst-case climate scenarios, according to a new study of nearly 700 salt and freshwater species published in the journal Science. The research argues that previous studies, which focused solely on adult fish, underestimate the impact climate change will have on economically and ecologically important species. More about Six in 10 Fish Species Could Face Reproductive Failure As Temperatures Rise, Study Finds →
Never miss an article! Subscribe to the E360 Newsletter for weekly updates delivered to your inbox. Sign Up.
The international commission responsible for managing Atlantic bluefin — prized for high-quality sushi — is failing to protect this magnificent fish. The regulators’ focus on fishing industry profits points up the need to change the way we view, and value, the lives of wild creatures.
When Guatemala created a major reserve 30 years ago, environmentalists complained that too much land was entrusted to local people and not converted to parks. Now, the parks have been overrun by ranches linked to drug traffickers, while the community-run lands are well preserved.
With the global economy reeling from the pandemic, most nations are focusing stimulus programs on reviving employment. But Europe is moving forward with a Green Deal initiative that provides a framework for decarbonizing its economy and spurring the rest of the world to follow.
As efforts grow to store more CO2 emissions in forests, one sector has been overlooked — small, family-owned woodlands, which comprise 38 percent of U.S. forests. Now, a major conservation initiative is aiming to help these owners manage their lands for maximum carbon storage.