Tag Archives: deforestation

No way around it: Reducing emissions will be the primary way to fight climate change, UCLA-led study finds

Climate engineering won’t sufficiently stem global warming

orget about positioning giant mirrors in space to reduce the amount of sunlight being trapped in the earth’s atmosphere or seeding clouds to reduce the amount of light entering earth’s atmosphere. Those approaches to climate engineering aren’t likely to be effective or practical in slowing global warming. (more…)

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Remote Surveillance May Increase Chance of Survival for ‘Uncontacted’ Tribes, MU Study Finds

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Lowland South America, including the Amazon Basin, harbors most of the last indigenous societies that have limited contact with the outside world. Studying these tribes, located deep within Amazonian rainforests, gives scientists a glimpse at what tribal cultures may have been like before the arrival of Europeans. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have used satellite images to assess the demographic health of one particular village of isolated people on the border between Brazil and Peru. Remote surveillance is the only method to safely track uncontacted indigenous societies and may offer information that can improve their chances for long-term survival. (more…)

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Deforestation of sandy soils a greater threat to climate change

Deforestation may have far greater consequences for climate change in some soils than in others, according to new research led by Yale University scientists — a finding that could provide critical insights into which ecosystems must be managed with extra care because they are vulnerable to biodiversity loss and which ecosystems are more resilient to widespread tree removal.

In a comprehensive analysis of soil collected from 11 distinct U.S. regions, from Hawaii to northern Alaska, researchers found that the extent to which deforestation disturbs underground microbial communities that regulate the loss of carbon into the atmosphere depends almost exclusively on the texture of the soil. The results were published in the journal Global Change Biology. (more…)

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Drug Trafficking Leads to Deforestation in Central America

‘Drug policy is conservation policy,’ researchers say

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Add yet another threat to the list of problems facing the rapidly disappearing rainforests of Central America: drug trafficking.

In an article in the journal Science, seven researchers who have done work in Central America point to growing evidence that drug trafficking threatens forests in remote areas of Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and nearby countries. (more…)

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Study Offers Economical Solutions for Maintaining Critical Delta Environments

Millions of people across the world live or depend on deltas for their livelihoods.

Formed at the lowest part of a river where its water flow slows and spreads into the sea, deltas are sediment-rich, biodiverse areas, a valuable source of seafood, fertile ground for agriculture, and host to ports important for transportation.

At least half of the deltas around the world are so-called “wave dominated deltas” – open to the sea and under the impact of wave erosion. And many more deltas will come under wave dominance as dammed rivers carry less and less sediment. In a warming climate, sea levels are rising and storms are increasing in frequency and severity, posing threats to these deltas and the people and habitats dependent on them. (more…)

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Development in Brazil: Double cropping helps Brazil’s development

It’s not just about agriculture. Growing two crops a year in the same field improves schools, helps advance public sanitation, raises median income, and creates jobs.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — New research finds that double cropping — planting two crops in a field in the same year — is associated with positive signs of economic development for rural Brazilians.

The research focused the state of Mato Grosso, the epicenter of an agricultural revolution that has made Brazil one of the world’s top producers of soybeans, corn, cotton, and other staple crops. That Brazil has become an agricultural powerhouse over the last decade or so is clear. What has been less clear is who is reaping the economic rewards of that agricultural intensification — average Brazilians or wealthy landowners and outside investors. (more…)

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Lungs of the Planet Reveal Their True Sensitivity to Global Warming

Tropical rainforests are often called the “lungs of the planet” because they generally draw in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen. 

But the amount of carbon dioxide that rainforests absorb, or produce, varies hugely with year-to-year variations in the climate.

In a paper published online (Feb 6 2013) by the journal Nature, a team of climate scientists from the University of Exeter, the Met Office-Hadley Centre and the NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, has shown that these variations reveal how vulnerable the rainforest is to climate change. (more…)

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UCLA Professor Leads Effort to Protect Africa’s Rainforests from Ravages of Climate Change

UCLA professor Thomas B. Smith will head an international research project investigating the effects of climate change on biodiversity in Central Africa’s rainforests, under a $4.95 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

UCLA will receive $3 million through the NSF’s Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) program, the agency announced this week. Smith, the director of UCLA’s Center for Tropical Research and a professor with joint appointments at the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and the department of ecology and evolutionary biology, will lead the team of U.S. and international researchers. (more…)

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