By Jack McGovan
In 1931, Soviet scientists were on the hunt for a natural source of rubber that would help the USSR become self-sufficient in key materials.
They scoured the vast and various territories of the Soviet Union and tested over 1,000 different species looking for an alternative to the South American rubber tree, Hevea brasiliensi. Eventually, on the steppes of Kazakhstan, they found one.
By 1941, the Russian dandelion, Taraxacum koksaghyz, supplied 30% of the USSR's rubber. During the Second World War, shortages of Havea rubber prompted other countries, including the United States, Britain and Germany, to begin cultivating dandelion rubber.
Once the war was over and supplies returned to normal, these countries — including, ultimately, the Soviets — switched back to Hevea tree rubber because it was cheaper.
But now, with demand for rubber continuing to grow, there is renewed interest in the Russian dandelion, particularly from the tire industry, which consumes 70% of the world's rubber supply.
Diversifying Natural Rubber
Overall, 65% of rubber consumed worldwide is derived from fossil fuels. This synthetic rubber is cheaper and more hardwearing than its natural counterpart. But natural rubber disperses heat better and has better grip, which is why tires are made with a mix of both.
Today, 90% of natural rubber comes from Havea plantations in Southeast Asia, which have been linked to deforestation. And there are commercial as well as environmental reasons the tire industry would like to find an alternative.
Havea rubber trees are vulnerable to a fungal leaf blight that has hit plantations in South America, making some in the tire industry nervous about such dependence on a single crop, with little genetic diversity, grown in a single geographical region.
Developing the Dandelion
Over recent years, projects in both Europe and the US have been taking a fresh shot at making dandelion rubber commercially viable.
Among them is Taraxagum, a collaboration between Continental Tires and the Fraunhofer Institute of Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology in Aachen, Germany.
"Continental Tires tested the performance of the material and said that it was brilliant — in some cases better than Hevea rubber," said Dirk Prüfer, a plant biotechnologist on the Taraxagum team.
Both Continental and competitor Apollo Tyres have used dandelion rubber to manufacture bike tires, and Continental reports "promising" tests on dandelion truck tires.
Apollo was part of the EU-funded DRIVE4EU consortium, a project that ran from 2014 to 2018 and worked on developing the entire production chain for dandelion rubber, starting with cultivation.
Unlike the rubber tree, the Russian dandelion thrives in temperate climates.
"We cultivated the dandelion in Belgium, the Netherlands and Kazakhstan," said Ingrid van der Meer, coordinator of DRIVE4EU, adding that other researchers had previously cultivated the crop in Sweden, Germany and the United States.
Fewer Chemicals and Poorer Soils
The Russian dandelion can also be grown on relatively poor soils, meaning it doesn't have to compete with agriculture. Prüfer said his team was researching whether brownfield land — former industrial sites that may be heavily polluted — might even be suitable.
"There are big areas like this near Cologne or Aachen that could potentially be used for cultivation," Prüfer said.
Once the dandelions are harvested "hot-water extraction" is used to separate out the rubber. "The roots are chopped up mechanically and water is added," van der Meer explained. "It has to be heated up, but no large volumes of chemicals are needed.
This is in contrast to Hevea rubber extraction, which requires the use of organic solvents, resulting in chemical waste that poses an environmental hazard if not disposed of properly.
Environmental Problems Persist
But while the Russian dandelion could make the production of tires greener, it won't improve their environmental impact once they leave the factory.
As tires are used, they shed microplastics, which are then carried on air and end up in oceans. A recent study found that this source of ocean microplastics amounts to 100,000 metric tons each year.
Then, at the end of their life, most tires finish up in landfill, in part because the mix of rubbers make them difficult to recycle.
"Tires are meant to optimize different kinds of properties, so it's not easy to just use one kind of rubber," said Francesco Piccihoni, an expert in rubber recycling at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.
"You could make tires from only natural rubber but it degrades faster, meaning you would have to change the tires much more often," Piccihoni added.
Even shifting rubber farming to European wastelands wouldn't automatically avert deforestation in Asia. Georg Cadisch, an expert in tropical agronomy at the University of Hohenheim in Germany, says forests will continue to be felled as long as the land can be used more profitably for agriculture.
"Rubber farmers need to survive, so they would simply produce other crops," he said, adding that rubber plantations in China and Thailand have already been replaced with crops like palm oil or bananas.
Still, proponents of the Russian dandelion argue that as demand rises, we need a source of rubber that doesn't rely on expanding into new areas of forest. Growing it close to European and US tire factories would also means fewer CO2 emissions from transport.
And as far as performance goes, tire makers are impressed.
"The moment natural rubber from the dandelion is available in significant quantities, Apollo will resume using the material and develop other tire products," chief technical officer Daniele Lorenzetti said.
As things stand, though, the supply chain needs some work. "To compete with other rubbers, the production costs of dandelion rubber need to match the market price. This is not yet the case," said van der Meer, who will continue working on optimizing Russian dandelion cultivation.
For now, Europe's wastelands aren't about to be swathed in sunny yellow. But there might just be a bright future for a material that had been consigned to Soviet history.
Reposted with permission from Deutsche Welle.
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By Jessica Corbett
New data from a Norwegian nonprofit is generating fresh concerns about humanity's destruction of the natural world, revealing Monday that people have ravaged about two-thirds of original tropical rainforest cover globally.
The Rainforest Foundation Norway (RFN) analysis found that human activities including logging and land-use changes—often for farming—have destroyed 34% of old-growth tropical rainforests and degraded 30% worldwide.
RFN defined degraded forests as those that are partly destroyed or fully wiped out but replaced by more recent growth. The group's definition for intact forest, considered too strict by some experts, includes only areas that are at least 500 square kilometers or 193 square miles; trees and biodiversity are at greater risk in smaller zones.
Two-thirds of the world’s original tropical #rainforest cover have been degraded or destroyed, new @RainforestNORW… https://t.co/h4lzA5lyqg— WWF EU (@WWF EU)1615220106.0
The RFN findings, reported by Reuters, show that over half of the destruction since 2002 has been in the Amazon and neighboring rainforests. Deforestation in South America—particularly within Brazil, home to the majority of the Amazon—has caused recent alarm given the role of rainforests in trapping carbon.
"Forests act as a two-lane highway in the climate system," explained Nancy Harris, Forests Program research director at the World Resources Institute (WRI), earlier this year. "Standing forests absorb carbon, but clearing forests releases it into the atmosphere."
A forest carbon flux map released in January by organizations including WRI found that between 2001 and 2019, forests emitted an average of 8.1 billion metric tonnes of carbon dioxide annually due to deforestation and other disturbances but also absorbed 16 billion metric tonnes per year over the same period.
Reuters reported Monday on RFN's analysis:
As more rainforest is destroyed, there is more potential for climate change, which in turn makes it more difficult for remaining forests to survive, said the report's author Anders Krogh, a tropical forest researcher.
"It's a terrifying cycle," Krogh said. The total lost between just 2002 and 2019 was larger than the area of France, he found.
Deforestation has surged in Brazil since far-right President Jair Bolsonaro—a foe of both environmental regulations and Indigenous people in his country—took office in early 2019. Brazilian forest loss hit a 12-year high in 2020, according to satellite imagery from the country's space research agency.
"Instead of acting to prevent the increase in deforestation, the Bolsonaro government has been denying the reality of the situation, dismantling environmental agencies, and attacking NGOs who work on the ground in the Amazon," said Greenpeace Brazil Amazon campaigner Cristiane Mazzetti in response to the data.
A look at tropical rainforest deforestation globally in 2019. Brazil/Americas far and away the leader. The drivers… https://t.co/w2ZWv1pYnd— Jake Spring (@Jake Spring)1615206122.0
Bolsonaro enjoyed a close relationship with former U.S. President Donald Trump—and both leaders faced an onslaught of global criticism for their similar response to various crises, from the raging coronavirus pandemic to the climate emergency.
Comments from Brazilian Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo on Friday suggest that the recent swearing-in of U.S. President Joe Biden may mean a shift. According to Reuters, Araújo—who has called human-caused climate change a "Marxist conspiracy"—said the administrations are now collaborating on the crisis.
"Something that was regarded as an impediment... is totally out of the way. We are now working together... as key partners towards a successful COP26 and fully implementing climate agreements," said Araújo, referring to the United Nations climate summit rescheduled for November due to the pandemic.
A U.N. report released late last month found that the international community is quite far off from meeting the Paris climate agreement's 1.5°C and 2°C temperature targets based on the greenhouse gas emissions reduction pledges that governments have proposed for the next decade.
Marcio Astrini, executive secretary of the Brazilian group Observatório do Clima, called Bolsonaro's plan "a trainwreck of reduced ambition" that "violates the Paris agreement by giving the country a free pass to emit 200 million tons to 400 million tons of CO2 more than the 2015 pledge."
"It totally eliminates any mention of deforestation control and it lacks clarity on its conditionality," added Astrini. He warned against accepting "such a dangerous precedent" and called for global pressure on his government "to go back to the drawing board" and formulate a pledge "with real targets."
Our new global report shows humans have degraded or destroyed 2/3 of the world’s original tropical #rainforest cove… https://t.co/aIXLccChAr— Rainforest Foundation Norway (RFN) (@Rainforest Foundation Norway (RFN))1615205235.0
The Amazon "represents the best hope for preserving what rainforest remains," Reuters noted, adding that Krogh found the world's largest rainforest "and its neighbors—the Orinoco and the Andean rainforest—account for 73.5% of tropical forests still intact."
While that fact "gives hope," RFN tweeted Monday, the "current rate of destruction is frightening."
The group found that after South American rainforests, the top deforestation hot zones since 2002 have been Southeast Asian islands where trees have been cleared for palm oil plantations followed by Central Africa—specifically around the Congo River basin, where forest loss results from agriculture and logging.
Reposted with permission from Common Dreams.
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CBD, or cannabidiol, now comes in a variety of different forms, including CBD oils, CBD gummies, CBD capsules, and even water soluble CBD powders. You can also use CBD vape oil like you would any other vape juice. Our guide to the best CBD vape oils will help you identify the top brands to consider and will provide important information about CBD, vaping, and wellness.
What is CBD Vape Oil?
CBD can be vaporized and inhaled. To that end, many companies offer CBD vaping products, sometimes referred to as CBD vape juice, CBD vape pens, or CBD vape cartridges. These products normally come as disposable or refillable cartridges for vape pens . The vape pen vaporizes the specially made CBD contained in the cartridge, which is then inhaled. It is the same principle behind e-cigarettes and THC vape products.
Vaporization is normally considered a potent way to ingest CBD and so it is not for everyone. Because the vapor is inhaled, the molecule enters the bloodstream much quicker, so vaping produces a fast and relatively intense feeling.
While CBD vape oil may be used as an aid to help you quit smoking, we do not recommend smoking or vaping CBD as your primary method of ingesting CBD because of the health concerns associated with smoking. For alternative methods of taking CBD, check out our oil tincture and CBD gummy reviews.
Note that new federal laws went into in effect starting April 2021 as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, that place new regulations and restrictions around the online sale and delivery of all vaping products. In order to purchase any vape product online, you will need to verify your age and use a shipping service that requires an adult signature upon delivery. As a result, several brands have discontinued their CBD vape pens or no longer sell them online.
Top CBD Vape Oil Products for 2021
Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. You can learn more about our review methodology here. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
How We Chose the Best CBD Vape Oils
Here is a list of factors we consider when choosing and ranking our brand selection.
Hemp source - Hemp source is one of the most important parts of the CBD manufacturing process. We make sure to only pick companies that grow hemp according to the most up-to-date botanical and cultivation methods. We also make sure to choose companies that use organically grown, locally-sourced hemp.
Extraction process - There are three primary types of extraction for CBD products. The first involves crushing the leaves and stems and removing the residual mixture. Solvent extraction involves running the hemp plant through a solvent mixture (most of the time ethanol) then boiling away the solvent to leave the oil residue. The last common method is called supercritical CO2 extraction. Supercritical CO2 extraction is considered the gold standard when it comes to CBD production. As such, we try to find companies that use supercritical methods for their products.
Manufacturing standards - There are several third-party organizations that vet companies based on manufacturing standards and the quality/accuracy of their products. These agencies test company products to make sure that they are made properly and actually contain what they are advertised to contain. As such, we only choose products and companies that have readily accessible third-party lab reports ascertaining the quality of ingredients and production. Any company that does not provide this information for consumers is automatically excluded from consideration.
Extra ingredients - CBD products rarely contain just CBD and nothing else. Many contain a full spectrum of cannabinoids and other molecules such as terpenes. Some may contain delta-8 THC. We make sure that any companies we choose use all-natural ingredients and do not rely on any synthetic or artificial chemicals. We also look at the type and quality of alternative ingredients
Potency - Potency, or concentration, refers to the overall strength of the mixture. Potency is normally measured in milligrams per milliliter (mg/ml). Most of the time a product will list the potency on the label along with the quantity and volume of the product. Potency is very important because it determines the recommended dose that you should take.
Brand transparency - It is important when dealing with CBD companies that the brand is transparent about their products, methods, and supply chains. So, when looking for companies, we make sure only to pick those that have reliable and transparent business practices, product labelings, and company information/policies.
Customer reviews and testimonials - The last major factor we consider is customer reviews and testimonials. Customer reviews encompass more than just the quality of products. They also talk about how it is to interact with the company and the overall company experience. Customer reviews can also give insights in specific matters that general product descriptions cannot give. They also give a good indication of the public reputation of a company.
The Best CBD Vape Oils of 2021
Best Overall: CBDistillery CBD E-Liquid
- CBD - Broad Spectrum
- Strength - 1000 mg CBD per bottle
- Flavor - Mango
Best for Relaxation: Botany Farms CBG Vape Cartridge
- CBD - Full Spectrum (includes Delta-8 THC)
- Strength - 35% CBD, 25% CBG, 9% Delta-8 THC, 7% CBN, 7% CBC per 1 gram
- Flavor - Lemon Diesel
Why buy: This Botany Farms CBG vape cartridge offers a full spectrum blend of CBD and other cannabinoids, including delta-8 THC, for a calming and relaxing experience with a bright, citrusy flavor. Because it does contain full spectrum hemp extract and delta-8, we strongly recommend only using this product to relax in the evenings and that you do not drive after use.
The Research on CBD Vape Oils
CBD has become an interesting object of study by scientists because of its potential therapeutic and medicinal properties. CBD may help support relief from certain health conditions, including:
- Chronic pain
- Joint pain
Out of all these effects, the potential pain reducing and anti-inflammatory properties of CBD are the most well-established. CBD has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and has also been shown to be to help with pain management in certain cases.
The exact mechanism of action of CBD is through the body's endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a large network of cannabinoid receptors throughout the body's brain and nervous tissue. Research has shown that the endocannabinoid system is involved in mediating several homeostatic processes in the body.
To be clear, CBD is not medicine and is not generally approved by the FDA for medical use. CBD is not intended to serve as a substitute or replacement for any approved medical treatment and CBD is not known to cure any diseases.
In fact, there are only 2 FDA-approved medicines that contain CBD as their active ingredient, both of which are meant to treat certain forms of epilepsy. Since CBD is not approved for medical use, you should always talk to your doctor first before using a CBD product.
How to Choose the Right CBD Vape Oil
With any CBD vape juice or oil, it's important to make sure that you choose a product that is safe and made using quality, natural ingredients. Make sure you consider these factors when shopping.
What to Look For
Here are the key things to look for when comparing CBD vape oil products:
Type of CBD: Always known the type of CBD contained in any CBD vape oil product, whether that's full spectrum, broad spectrum, or CBD isolate.
Hemp Source: Look for brands that source their hemp from organic farms in the United States.
Lab Testing: The most important factor to consider is independent third-party lab testing. You should never purchase a CBD product that does not offer proof of independent testing.
Instructions: Some CBD vape cartridges will include specific instructions on how to to use them with your existing vape pen or device, as well as if they can be mixed with other e-liquids.
How to Read Labels
Take the time to read the label of any CBD vape juice product before you buy. Always look for the following information.
- Strength - Check to see how much CBD is contained in the product so you know how much will be in each serving.
- Other Ingredients - Make sure you know what other cannabinoids or ingredients are included in the vape, especially if you are concerned about THC.
- Test Results - The best brands include links or QR codes to the certificates of analysis from the lab tests of their CBD. Use these to check the results for yourself.
Safety & Side Effects
CBD can cause a certain number of side effects, though most of them are mild.. The most common reported side effects of CBD are:
- Dry mouth
- Changes in appetite
- Upset stomach
The most commonly reported side effect is fatigue and tiredness. CBD can also interact with certain prescription medications, so be sure to consult with your doctor before using CBD if you take any prescription medicines.
It's also important to note that vaping or smoking of any kind carries serious health risks. While vape oils may be used to aid in the cessation of smoking, it is not advised as the primary method of taking CBD.
You should always take the time to research any CBD product that you purchase, but this is especially important when it comes to CBD vape oils and CBD vape pens. You can also explore other CBD options including oil tinctures, gummies, capsules, and water soluble mixes in order to enjoy the potential benefits of CBD.
By Thomas Hertel
Growing food in a sustainable, environmentally friendly way – while also producing enough of it – is among the most important challenges facing the U.S. and the world today.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us that food security can't be taken for granted. Putting affordable food on the table requires both innovative producers and well-functioning markets and global supply chains. With disruptions to the system, prices rise, food is scarce – and people go hungry.
But feeding the world's 7.8 billion people sustainably – including 332 million Americans – presents significant environmental challenges. Farming uses 70% of the world's fresh water. Fertilizers pollute water with nitrates and phosphates, sparking algal blooms and creating dead zones like the one that forms every summer in the Gulf of Mexico.
Clear-cutting land for farms and ranches is the main driver of deforestation. Overall, the planet loses about 48,000 square miles (125,000 square kilometers) of forest each year. Without habitat, wildlife disappears. Farming also produces roughly one-quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions.
All of these challenges make balancing food production with environmental security a crucial issue for the Biden administration, which is working to address both a hunger crisis and an environmental crisis in the U.S.
Two Different Pathways
As an economist studying food systems, I'm keenly aware that trying to provide affordable food and a thriving agricultural sector while also preserving the environment can result in many trade-offs. Consider the different strategies that the U.S. and Northern Europe have pursued: The U.S. prioritizes increased agricultural output, while the EU emphasizes environmental services from farming.
Over the past 70 years, the U.S. has increased crop production with ever more sophisticated seed technologies and highly mechanized farming methods that employ far fewer workers. These new technologies have contributed to farm productivity growth which has, in turn, allowed U.S. farm output to rise without significant growth in the aggregate economic index of agricultural input use.
This approach contrasts sharply with Northern Europe's strategy, which emphasizes using less land and other inputs in order to protect the environment. Nonetheless, by achieving a comparable rate of agricultural productivity growth (output growth minus the growth rate inputs), Northern Europe has been able to maintain its level of total farm output over the past three decades.
Boosting Prices Versus Benefiting Nature
The U.S. also has a long history of setting aside agricultural land that dates back nearly a century. In response to low prices in the 1920s, farmers had flooded the market with grain, pork and other products, desperately seeking to boost revenues but only pushing prices down further.
Under the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933, the U.S. government paid farmers to reduce their output and limited the supply of land under cultivation to boost farm prices. This strategy is still in use today.
In 1985 the U.S. launched a new program that created real incentives to protect environmentally sensitive land. Farmers who enroll in the Conservation Reserve Program "rent" environmentally valuable tracts to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for 10-15 years. Withdrawing these acres from production provides food and shelter for pollinators and wildlife, reduces erosion and improves water quality.
But this is a voluntary program, so enrollment ebbs and flows in tandem with crop prices. For example, when corn, soy and wheat prices fell in the late 1980s and early 1990s, enrollment grew. Then with the commodity price boom of 2007, farmers could make more money from cultivating the land. Protected acreage dropped more than 40% through 2019, erasing many of the environmental benefits that had been achieved.
Enrollment in the USDA Conservation Reserve Program dropped by almost 13 million acres from 2007 to 2016. U.S. Department of Agriculture
Rental rates for agricultural land in the U.S. vary widely, with the most productive lands bringing the highest rent. Current rental rates under the Conservation Reserve Program 2021 range from $243 per acre in Cuming, Nebraska to just $6 in Sutton, Texas.
The EU also began setting aside farmland to curb overproduction in 1988. Now, however, their program focuses heavily on environmental quality. Policy reforms in 2013 required farmers to allocate 5% of their land to protected ecological focus areas. The goal is to generate long-term environmental benefits by prioritizing nature.
This program supports both production and conservation. Within this mix of natural and cultivated lands, wild pollinators benefit both native plants and crops. Birds, insects and small predators offer natural bio-control of pests. In this way, "rewilded" tracts foster biodiversity while also improving crop yields.
Who Will Feed the World?
What would happen if the U.S., a major exporter of agricultural products, followed the EU model and permanently withdrew land from production to improve environmental quality? Would such action make food unaffordable for the world's poorest consumers?
In a study that I conducted in 2020 with colleagues at Purdue and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, we set up a computer model to find out. We wanted to chart what might happen to food prices across the globe through 2050 if the U.S. and other rich economies followed Northern European conservation strategies. Our analysis focused on the world's most food-insecure region, sub-Saharan Africa.
We discovered that altering food production in this way would raise food prices in that region by about 6%. However, this upward price trend could be reversed by investing in local agriculture and new technologies to increase productivity in Africa. In short, our research suggested that conserving the environment in the U.S. doesn't have to cause food insecurity in other countries.
Implications for U.S. Farm Policy
Many experts on hunger and agriculture agree that to feed a growing global population, world food output must increase substantially in the next several decades. At the same time, it's clear that agriculture's environmental impacts need to shrink in order to protect the natural environment.
In my view, meeting these twin goals will require renewed government investments in research and dissemination of new technologies. Reversing a two-decade decline in science funding will be key. Agriculture is now a knowledge-driven industry, fueled by new technologies and improved management practices. Publicly funded research laid the foundations for these advances.
To reap environmental gains, I believe the U.S. Department of Agriculture will need to revamp and stabilize the Conservation Reserve Program, so that it is economically viable and enrollment does not fluctuate with market conditions. The Trump administration reduced incentives and rental payment rates, which drove down enrollments. The Biden administration has already taken a modest step forward by extending the yearly sign-up for the program indefinitely.
As I see it, following Northern Europe's model by permanently protecting ecologically rich areas, while simultaneously investing in knowledge-driven agricultural productivity, will enable the U.S. to better preserve wildlife and its natural environment for future generations, while maintaining an affordable food supply.
Thomas Hertel is a professor of agricultural economics at Purdue University.
Disclosure statement: Thomas Hertel receives funding from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Energy.
Reposted with permission from The Conversation.
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Aiming to preserve 30 percent of the world's land and water by 2030, dozens of countries will take part in a UN biodiversity conference later this year – but Indigenous people won't have a seat at the table.
Indigenous communities have repeatedly mobilized to block logging, mining and overfishing, with great success. More than a quarter of the world's lands are managed by Indigenous communities, and studies show that these areas often boast more biodiversity than lands marked out for conservation by national governments.
And yet, while Indigenous communities will be able to attend the UN conference as observers, they are not recognized as parties to the biodiversity talks and cannot vote on the outcome, a dynamic that is likely to limit the ambition of the final agreement. Indigenous groups have said the goal of saving 30 percent of land and water is insufficient, a claim backed by science, and have called for saving 50 percent.
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The study, published in Frontiers in Forests and Global Change on Thursday, is the first to consider emissions other than carbon dioxide, such as methane from floods and cattle, and black carbon from forest-clearing fires.
"Cutting the forest is interfering with its carbon uptake; that's a problem," Kristofer Covey, lead author and Skidmore environmental studies professor, told National Geographic. "But when you start to look at these other factors alongside CO2, it gets really hard to see how the net effect isn't that the Amazon as a whole is really warming global climate."
The Amazon rainforest has long been touted as a carbon sink and natural ally in the fight against the climate crisis. However, recent studies have warned that humanity may lose the rainforest's help with continued deforestation. A study published in January found that forests worldwide still absorb 7.6 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide each year, but rainforests in Southeast Asia have now become net emitters of carbon dioxide because of land use changes, EcoWatch reported at the time.
The Brazilian Amazon was also a net emitter of carbon dioxide between 2001 and 2019, the study authors found, even though the Amazon as a whole remained a carbon sink. However, a 2020 study warned that could change in the next 15 years.
All of these studies were limited because they focused exclusively on carbon dioxide emissions.
"As important as carbon is in the Amazon, it's not the only thing that's going on," Tom Lovejoy, study coauthor and senior fellow in biodiversity with the United Nations Foundation, told National Geographic. "The only surprise, if you can call it that, is how much more there is when you add it all up."
To address this gap, more than 30 scientists teamed up to analyze the existing data of "more." They found that it included emissions from the following sources:
- Black carbon: This is released from fires, such as the 2019 Amazon blazes that destroyed an area roughly the size of New Jersey. Soot particles from black carbon absorb sunlight and increase warming.
- Nitrous Oxide: This is naturally produced by forests, but gas emissions increase when wetlands dry and logging compacts the soil.
- Methane: This is also released naturally by rainforests from microbes in wet soil, which gets filtered into the atmosphere by trees. In the past, the Amazon's carbon storage abilities counteracted its methane emissions. Human activity is now limiting the forest's ability to store carbon as increased flooding, dam building and cattle grazing also release methane.
"We're taking away all the ability for the Amazon to absorb carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere while also causing it to release other greenhouse gases," CNN Meteorologist Tyler Mauldin explained.
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Australia is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. It is home to more than 7% of all the world's plant and animal species, many of which are endemic. One such species, the Pharohylaeus lactiferus bee, was recently rediscovered after spending nearly 100 years out of sight from humans.
James B. Dorey, a Ph.D. student at Flinders University, was sampling more than 225 general and 20 targeted sites for research on native bee populations when he identified P. lactiferus among the specimens. Dorey took samples from areas around Queensland and New South Wales, two areas that have seen an increased loss of biodiversity in the past decades. Dorey recently published his findings in the Journal of Hymenoptera Research.
Prior to the study, the last publication on the bee species was recorded in 1923 in Queensland, with very little information on the bee's biology. However, the study in the Journal of Hymenoptera Research indicates that this bee is in need of special attention. Dorey asserts that the species "requires conservation assessment," due to its increasing loss of habitat.
Deforestation seems to be at the top of the list of concerns for P. lactiferus and neighboring species. WWF predicts that between 2015 and 2030, a mere 11 deforestation areas will account for more than 80% of global deforestation. Australia, specifically Queensland and New South Wales where P. laciferus resides, is in those top 11 regions. An alarming 80% of deforestation in Australia happens in the Queensland region, which threatens not only the endemic bee species but other iconic Australian species such as the koala.
However, Dorey cited bushfires as an equally dangerous threat to P. laciferus and other native bee species. Their dependence on the bushland for shelter and food nectar, coupled with habitat fragmentation from deforestation, has made the increasing intensity of Australian bushfires harder to survive. Dorey stated that "GIS analyses... indicate susceptibility of Queensland rainforests and P. lactiferus populations to bushfires, particularly in the context of a fragmented landscape."
Dorey also noted that the 2019 and 2020 bushfire seasons "burnt a greater area than in any year prior," for the habitats in which P. laciferus resides. However, the devastating bushfires of 2019 and 2020 are not only affecting the bees in Queensland, but are also potentially fueling the extinction crisis throughout Australia. University of Sydney ecologist, Chris Dickman, told Huffington Post that an estimated 1 billion species were affected during the wildfires. Compounding research on climate change indicates that the wildfire crisis is global, and P. laciferus might be next on the list of species affected.However, there is hope for this rare bee and the other species facing real threats from the world's extinction crisis. Dorey's work in ecology research, as well as wildlife photography, is helping to fuel wildlife preservation in Australia and beyond. To see more of his work with native Australian bees, click here
Savannah Hasty is an environmental writer with more than six years of experience and has written thousands of articles for clients around the world. Her work focuses on environmental news, lifestyle content, and copywriting for sustainable brands. Savannah lives on the sunny coast of Florida and is inspired by this to play an active role in the preservation of the state's marine life and natural ecosystems.
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In October 2020, two men living in Indonesia's South Kalimantan province on Borneo managed to catch a bird that they had never seen before. They photographed and released it, then sent the pictures to birdwatching organizations in the area for identification.
📢 Missing for 170 years, BLACK-BROWED BABBLER has been rediscovered in South Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo! Until now, a taxidermy specimen was only proof of this species existence. #ThursdayThought #Mega 🤩💚💎— Oriental Bird Club (@orientbirdclub) February 25, 2021
📷: Muhammad Rizky Fauzan pic.twitter.com/R0p75EN6EZ
To the men's surprise, the bird wasn't just new to them. Ornithologists identified it as the black-browed babbler (Malacocincla perspicillata), a bird last documented around 170 years ago. It is so rare that the data on the only collected specimen lists it as "presumed extinct."
"It feels surreal to know that we have found a species of bird presumed by experts to be extinct," Muhammad Rizky Fauzan, who found the bird along with Muhammad Suranto, told The Guardian. "We didn't expect it to be that special at all — we thought it was just another bird that we simply have never seen before."
Ornithologist Panji Gusti Akbar was equally surprised when he saw Fauzan and Suranto's picture of the bird on WhatsApp, Mongabay reported.
"I contacted as many leading ornithologists as possible, and they all agreed that there is no other bird that [it] looks [like] other than a black-browed babbler," Akbar told Mongabay. "It just blew my mind."
The black-browed babbler was first captured on an expedition to the East Indies in the 1840s, according to The Guardian. Charles Lucien Bonaparte, Napoleon's nephew, named and described it. German naturalist Carl A.L.M. Schwaner collected the only known specimen, now located at the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in the Netherlands, Mongabay reported.
Lead author Akbar detailed the new find in a paper published in BirdingAsia on Thursday. The report noted that this is the longest an Asian bird has been lost to science. The authors also detailed the rediscovered bird's physical characteristics and the differences between the one in the recent photograph and the taxidermied specimen.
"The facial appearance of the bird was very distinct, with the crown being chestnut brown, demarcated by a broad, black eye-stripe extending across the malars (cheekbone) to the nape and necksides," the report authors wrote.
There are three major differences between the live and stuffed specimens. The former has maroon irises instead of yellow; its legs are slate gray instead of brown; and its bill is a different color.
"These three parts of a bird's body are known to lose their tint and are often artificially colored during the taxidermy process," Akbar told The Guardian.
The researchers do not have enough information to determine the conservation status of the rediscovered species, but they hope to do further study. However, The Guardian noted massive deforestation in lowland Borneo, and Akbar believes habitat loss poses a threat. The bird's reemergence is another argument for preserving Borneo's unique rainforest.
"It's sobering to think that when the black-browed babbler was last seen, Charles Darwin's Origin of Species hadn't even been published and the now extinct passenger pigeon was still among the world's commonest birds," Ding Li Yong of BirdLife International and study coauthor said in a press release. "Who knows what other riches lie deep within Borneo's fabled rainforests, especially in the Indonesian part of the island?"
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By Beverly Law and William Moomaw
Protecting forests is an essential strategy in the fight against climate change that has not received the attention it deserves. Trees capture and store massive amounts of carbon. And unlike some strategies for cooling the climate, they don't require costly and complicated technology.
Yet although tree-planting initiatives are popular, protecting and restoring existing forests rarely attracts the same level of support. As an example, forest protection was notably missing from the $447 million Energy Act of 2020, which the U.S. Congress passed in December 2020 to jump-start technological carbon capture and storage.
In our work as forest carbon cycle and climate change scientists, we track carbon emissions from forests to wood products and all the way to landfills – and from forest fires. Our research shows that protecting carbon in forests is essential for meeting global climate goals.
Ironically, we see the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve as a model. This program, which was created after the 1973 oil crisis to guard against future supply disruptions, stores nearly 800 million gallons of oil in huge underground salt caverns along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. We propose creating strategic forest carbon reserves to store carbon as a way of stabilizing the climate, much as the Strategic Petroleum Reserve helps to stabilize oil markets.
The U.S. has more than 800 million acres of natural and planted forests and woodlands, of which nearly 60% are privately owned. USDA / USFS
Carbon Stockpiles That Grow
Forests pull about one-third of all human-caused carbon dioxide emissions from the atmosphere each year. Researchers have calculated that ending deforestation and allowing mature forests to keep growing could enable forests to take up twice as much carbon.
Half of a tree's stems, branches and roots are composed of carbon. Live and dead trees, along with forest soil, hold the equivalent of 80% of all the carbon currently in Earth's atmosphere.
Trees accumulate carbon over extremely long periods of time. For example, redwoods, Douglas firs and western red cedars in the coastal forests of the Pacific Northwest can live for 800 years or more. When they die and decompose, much of that carbon ends up in soil, where it is stored for centuries or millennia.
Mature trees that have reached full root, bark and canopy development deal with climate variability better than young trees. Older trees also store more carbon. Old-growth trees, which usually are hundreds of years old, store enormous quantities of carbon in their wood, and accumulate more carbon annually.
There are many fallacies about forest carbon storage, such as the concern that wildfires in the American West are releasing huge quantities of carbon into the atmosphere. In fact, fires are a relatively small carbon source. For example, the massive Biscuit Fire, which burned 772 square miles in southwest Oregon in 2002, emitted less than 10% of Oregon's total emissions that year.
Another false claim is that it's OK from a climate perspective to cut trees and turn them into furniture, plywood and other items because wood products can store substantial amounts of carbon. These assertions fail to count cradle-to-grave emissions from logging and manufacturing, which can be substantial.
The wood products industry releases carbon in many ways, from manufacturing products and burning mill waste to the breakdown of short-lived items like paper towels. It takes decades to centuries for newly planted forests to accumulate the carbon storage levels of mature and old forests, and many planted forests are repeatedly harvested.
In a review that we conducted with colleagues in 2019, we found that overall, U.S. state and federal reporting underestimated wood product-related carbon dioxide emissions by 25% to 55%. We analyzed Oregon carbon emissions from wood that had been harvested over the past century and discovered that 65% of the original carbon returned to the atmosphere as CO2. Landfills retained 16%, while just 19% remained in wood products.
In contrast, protecting high carbon-density western U.S. forests that have low vulnerability to mortality from drought or fire would sequester the equivalent of about six years of fossil fuel emissions from the entire western U.S., from the Rocky Mountain states to the Pacific coast.
Focus on Big Trees
In a recently published analysis of carbon storage in six national forests in Oregon, we showed why a strategic forest carbon reserve program should focus on mature and old forests. Big trees, with trunks more than 21 inches in diameter, make up just 3% of these forests but store 42% of the above-ground carbon. Globally, a 2018 study found that the largest-diameter 1% of trees hold half of all the carbon stored in the world's forests.
Findings like these are spurring interest in the idea of proforestation – keeping existing forests intact and letting them grow to their full potential. Advocates see proforestation as an effective, immediate and low-cost strategy to store carbon. Older forests are more resilient to climate change than young tree plantations, which are more susceptible to drought and severe wildfires. Like the 2,000-year-old redwoods in California that have survived recent wildfires, many tree species in old forests have lived through past climate extremes.
Creating forest carbon reserves would also conserve critical habitat for many types of wildlife that are threatened by human activities. Connecting these reserves to other parks and refuges could help species that need to migrate in response to climate change.
Using Forests to Meet Climate Goals
More than half of U.S. forested lands are privately owned, so strategic forest carbon reserves should be established on both public and private lands. The challenge is paying for them, which will require a major shift in government and societal priorities. We believe that transferring public investment in oil and gas subsidies to pay private land owners to keep their forests growing could act as a powerful incentive for private land owners.
Many researchers and conservation advocates have called for comprehensive actions to slow climate change and reduce species losses. One prominent example is the 30x30 initiative, which seeks to conserve 30% of the world's land and oceans by 2030. In an executive order on Jan. 27, 2021, President Biden directed his administration to develop plans for conserving at least 30% of federally controlled lands and waters by 2030.
Recent projections show that to prevent the worst impacts of climate change, governments will have to increase their pledges to reduce carbon emissions by as much as 80%. We see the next 10 to 20 years as a critical window for climate action, and believe that permanent protection for mature and old forests is the greatest opportunity for near-term climate benefits.
Beverly Law is professor emeritus of global change biology and terrestrial systems science at Oregon State University.
William Moomaw is professor emeritus of international environmental policy at Tufts University.
Disclosure statements: Beverly Law receives funding from U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation. She is a Fellow of the Earth Leadership Program. William Moomaw receives funding from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. He is affiliated with the Woodwell Climate Research Center, the Climate Group – North America, the Earthwatch Institute and the Nature Conservancy.
Reposted with permission from The Conversation.
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To save the planet, we must save the Amazon rainforest. To save the rainforest, we must save its indigenous peoples. And to do that, we must demarcate their land.
The Amazon rainforest and the indigenous tribes that call it home are in danger. The newest scientific reports predict the world's largest rainforest will collapse by 2064, causing dangerous water shortages, catastrophic biodiversity loss and much more. As the ecosystem degrades, it will also lose its ability to store carbon, changing from a carbon sink for the planet into a carbon source. A 2020 study estimated that the Amazon is already on the brink of turning into a net carbon emitter. Going past that threshold would throw the climate crisis into full swing.
Princess Esmeralda of Belgium, president of the Leopold III Fund for Nature Exploration and Conservation and one of the co-hosts of the 3-hour special, lamented the bleak outlook.
"The current state of the Amazon rainforest is dire," she told EcoWatch. "During 2019 and 2020, deforestation continued at a frightening pace and scale. Last year, it increased by 30 percent from what was already a record-breaking year in 2019."
The conservation journalist also pointed out how deforestation, invasion of indigenous lands and mining in the rainforest have skyrocketed under Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, a known pro-development, anti-Amazon, anti-indigenous candidate. Bolsonaro was elected with the support of the "so-called BBB (beef, bullets and bible)," a very powerful lobby composed of militaries, Christian evangelists and meat producers, Princess Esmeralda said. She estimated that almost 20 percent of the Amazon had been lost in the last half-century.
Unfortunately, attempts to stop the destruction have fallen short.
According to Rob Harding, executive producer of Protecting the Amazon, "The international community's attempts to nurture a healthier Amazon have thus far failed... The urgency of this situation is clear."
Citing his motivations behind pitching the special project, Harding added, "There's no time like the present to help raise awareness and inspire meaningful action by instilling a sense of global collective responsibility. We believe that Protecting the Amazon will do all of the above."
The film event, a rare collaboration and amplification of indigenous voices and their allies, brings together some of the world's biggest players in conservation – including Jane Goodall, legendary indigenous rights advocates Chief Raoni Metuktire and Chief Ninawa Huni-Kui and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society founder Paul Watson – on the same virtual stage to highlight our collective responsibility to the rainforest.
All make the case for demarcating indigenous lands in the Amazon as an effective forestalling against the catastrophes forecasted above. Demarcation is the constitutionally-mandated federal process wherein indigenous territories are identified and studied to determine and mark off boundaries, explained Gert-Peter Bruch, co-host of the special and co-founder of the Alliance of Mother Nature's Guardians.
Satellite views of the rainforest make clear that where there are federally-recognized, demarcated and protected indigenous territories, the richest and most contiguous forests still remain, said Christian Poirier, program director for Amazon Watch, a partner in the special program.
"These are essentially islands of forests in a sea of deforestation," he told EcoWatch. "Everything around them has been degraded and deforested."
Importantly, he added, these areas remain pristine because (1) indigenous peoples are effective stewards of the rainforest, and (2) the federal government of Brazil has recognized the rights of indigenous peoples to these lands and helps to keep out destructive actors.
"The demarcation of indigenous lands is fundamental to the future of the Amazon, both in terms of its environmental conservation and in terms of respecting the human rights of indigenous peoples, who are the best stewards of the rainforest," Poirier said. Without demarcation, "the Amazon would cease to exist as we know it today."
In theory, once land is demarcated, non-indigenous equipment, installations and occupants would be required to leave, for good, Bruch explained. This would allow indigenous peoples to continue to act as custodians of the land as they have since time immemorial.
In the Amazon and indeed even on a global scale, indigenous peoples make up approximately 4 percent of the world's population, and yet they effectively watch over 80 percent of the planet's remaining biodiversity, Poirier explained.
"Because they are proven the best stewards of the rainforest, we need to learn from them how to keep the rainforest from reaching a tipping point," Poirier said. "The integrity of their territories is a fundamental component of that, but it goes beyond their territories. This is a worldview we need to apply to understanding how to preserve the rainforest in conjunction with its peoples ‒ its forest peoples and its indigenous peoples. We need to have their voice centered in any conversation about land conservation and their rights upheld."
Protecting the Amazon calls for this critical mass and solidarity with indigenous peoples in protecting their rights and the forest, simultaneously. The film event notes the long history of fierce indigenous resistance to the many efforts to disenfranchise and evict them from their lands. All speakers also insist that indigenous peoples cannot do this work alone.
Bruch concluded with a hope that the special event would refocus the world on these pressing issues and remind everyone that the destiny of the indigenous guardians of the Amazon is linked to ours, and that their protection depends on the protection of their territories.
"Solidarity is so critical and... this event is a critical step towards raising awareness... of the work (indigenous peoples) have always done to benefit us all," Poirier said. "If they are unsuccessful in protecting their areas, all of humanity will suffer gravely."
View the film on demand on EarthxOnDemand.
A new EarthxTV film special calls for the protection of the Amazon rainforest and the indigenous people that call it home. EarthxTV.org
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By Sean Fleming
What thrives in poor soil, can tolerate rising temperatures and is brimming with calories?
The cassava – sometimes referred to as "the Rambo root." This plant could potentially help alleviate world hunger, provide economically viable agriculture and even put an end to soil erosion, according to research published in the journal Conservation Science and Practice.
Also known as yuca (but distinct from the ornamental yucca plant) the root of the cassava is a staple of many Caribbean and South American meals – and it will thrive in conditions too difficult for many other plants.
A Gateway Crop
"Evidence suggests (cassava) could potentially revive degraded land and make it productive anew, generating numerous positive socioeconomic and environmental impacts with proper crop management," said Maria Eliza Villarino, the report's lead author and a researcher at the Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), in the science publication, PhysOrg.
An estimated 40% of land in Colombia suffers from degradation, according to the alliance. It, therefore, "serves as a good testing ground for exploring the different possibilities that farming cassava could lead to."
The cassava could become a gateway crop, helping farmers bring once unproductive land back into use. Soil that has been revived could then be used to grow commercial crops like coffee or chocolate, corn or soy.
But Cassava Mustn't Tread the Same Path as Soy
The global market for soy is estimated at around $150 billion, and around 80% of all soy production comes from the U.S., Brazil and Argentina. Making space for soy farms has resulted in significant deforestation in parts of the Amazon rainforest, with the WWF estimating that "an area roughly the size of California" was lost to deforestation around the world between 2004 and 2017.
"We acknowledge that scaling up production of any commodity risks an increase in deforestation and biodiversity loss, and we need to do more research," Augusto Castro Nunez, a land-use and climate specialist at the alliance, said in the PhysOrg article. "But what we know is that we need something new; what has been done to prevent deforestation is not working, and this is something new."
Reposted with permission from World Economic Forum.
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The new chameleon, scientific name Brookesia nana, was found in the rainforest of Madagascar and written up in Scientific Reports in late January. The male of the species has a tip to tail length of only 21.6 millimeters, making him the smallest adult male bird, mammal or reptile ever recorded.
"I think what keeps stories like this front and center in our imagination is that every time something like this is discovered, it's like, 'Oh man, I guess [living creatures] can get a little smaller,'" evolutionary biologist Tony Gamble, who was not involved in the study, told National Geographic of the find.
Researchers first observed the chameleon in 2012 during an expedition to the Sorata massif — cool, wet, forested mountains in northern Madagascar. The creature is approximately the size of a sunflower seed.
"At the first glance, we realized that it was an important discovery," study coauthor and Malagasy herpetologist Andolalao Rakotoarison told National Geographic.
So far, researchers have only identified one male and one female of the species. The male has a body length of 13.5 millimeters and a total length (including the tail) of 21.6 millimeters, the study explained. The female is slightly larger, with a body length of 19.2 millimeters and a total length of 28.9 millimeters.
The Malagasy and German research team think that both of the animals are adults, according to a press release from the German research institute SNSB, which led the study. The male had fully developed genitals, known as hemipenes. To determine the age of the female, a scan was required.
"With the aid of micro-CT scans – essentially three-dimensional x-rays – we were able to identify two eggs in the female specimen, and so demonstrate that it is an adult," study co-author of the University of Potsdam Mark D. Scherz said in the press release.
However, what the researchers can't know is how common the pair's size is for their species, National Geographic pointed out. Its closest competitor for smallest reptile is Brookesia micra, another tiny chameleon that was also discovered in Madagascar.
"There are numerous extremely miniaturised vertebrates in Madagascar, including the smallest primates and some of the smallest frogs in the world, which have evolved independently," Rakotoarison, currently at the University of Antananarivo in Madagascar, said in the press release.
However, researchers don't know why this particular chameleon is so small. It was found on mainland Madagascar, which means the "island effect" that sees smaller animals evolve on smaller islands shouldn't apply.
What they do know is that the creature may already be at risk from extinction. It lives in an area under extreme threat from deforestation, National Geographic explained. Poverty in the region where the chameleon was found means that most people can't afford basic food staples. This has put pressure on the country to clear forest for agriculture; NASA figures show that 94 percent of Madagascar's formerly forested areas have been impacted by deforestation. Hope lies in the fact that the Sorata massif has recently been included in a conservation zone. However, Scherz said the chameleon's fate likely rested on the fate of Madagascar as a whole.
"It's all good and well to say, 'Oh, I really hope that people stop deforesting this forest,'" Scherz told National Geographic. "But until the economic future of Madagascar changes, there's no hope for any of its wildlife because the people have to eat."
Deforested peat forest in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay
Overall, forests remain a carbon sink, stashing away 7.6 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide every year, according to a recent study published in Nature Climate Change. But in the last 20 years alone, forests in Southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia and Malaysia, have turned into net emitters of carbon, thanks to the spread of plantations, raging fires, and loss of peatlands.
Human activities are producing record-breaking emissions — atmospheric carbon dioxide hit a 4-million-year high last year — and they are hacking into the planet's sturdiest defenses.
Spread across 5.5 million square kilometers (2.1 million square miles) in nine countries in South America, the Amazon is still sucking out carbon from the air — but only just.
Most of the Amazon lies in Brazil, and between 2001 and 2019 the Brazilian Amazon acted as a net emitter of carbon, the study found.
Since Jair Bolsonaro became president at the start of 2019, Brazil has seen increased deforestation through clearing land for cattle pastures and through fires. The 2019 fire season raised concerns across the world about the health of the forests in Brazil, but deforestation has been steadily eating away into its green cover for years.
Of the three great swaths of tropical rainforest left on Earth, only those of the Congo Basin still stand strong.
Tropical forests grow quickly and absorb the most carbon of any type of forest. During photosynthesis, they use carbon dioxide to produce energy and biomass. Because trees lock away carbon dioxide, when forests are destroyed, not only is this vital function lost, but the stored carbon is released back into the atmosphere.
Forests are considered a carbon sink when they absorb more carbon dioxide than is released through land-use changes and forest destruction.
A 2020 study predicted the Amazon would turn into a carbon source in the next 15 years.
What is especially worrying is the loss of pristine swaths of forests that have kept carbon out of the atmosphere for decades, if not centuries. Madagascar, the world's oldest island, has lost nearly 90% of its natural forests in four decades. Since the turn of the century, unlike many African countries, it has turned into a carbon source, according to the analysis.
"Unlike secondary forests or fast-rotation pine or eucalyptus plantations, harvesting in old-growth forests releases CO2 that has taken centuries to accumulate — carbon that, once lost, is irrecoverable in our lifetime," the paper's authors write.
Forests lapsing into net producers of carbon emissions is terrible news for the planet, but it is also bad news for the forests themselves. Climate change is known to contribute to intense fire seasons and prolonged droughts that can prove fatal to trees.
One bright spot in the analysis is that more than a quarter of greenhouse gas removal occurred in forests in protected areas. The authors cite the example of the Menkragnotí Indigenous Territory in Brazil, where forests continue to absorb emissions equal to those from 2 million cars every year — even though surrounding forests have turned into net carbon sources. The researchers say mining activities, cattle ranching, and soy cultivation are to blame.
The research also represents an advancement in carbon accounting. The conventional method is to rely on data from individual countries. The new approach combines satellite data with ground measurements and presents a more refined picture. It evens out calculations on different scales, making it possible to estimate emissions and removals for small forest patches as well as countries and continents.
Reposted with permission from Mongabay.
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