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Biodiversity / Biodevastation
Stories about Biodiversity and Biodevastation.
Around 0.9 billion hectares of land worldwide would be suitable for reforestation, which could ultimately capture two thirds of human-made carbon emissions. A study shows that shows this would be the most effective method to combat climate change.
Stretching across Central Africa, the Congo Basin is home to 80 million people who depend on it for everything from food to charcoal to medicinal plants. But they aren’t the only ones; the world’s second-largest rainforest also plays a role in regulating rainfall patterns across other parts of the continent. Its continued disappearance could exacerbate insecurity of freshwater and food supplies for some of Africa’s most vulnerable populations.
As environmental author and journalist Fred Pearce noted in an article in April, “there are growing concerns that the reforestation agenda is becoming a green cover for the further assault on ecosystems.” Be it the claim that planting a trillion trees will save us or the 2011 Bonn Challenge that promises to plant 1.35 million square miles of forest by 2030, the devil truly is in the details.
The oceans are crying for mercy, a fact that is starkly revealed in a telling 900-page draft of a forthcoming UN report due for release September 25. The draft report obtained by Agence France-Presse (AFP) assesses the status of the oceans and cryosphere. It’s a landmark UN report, and it’s not a pretty picture.
In the final analysis, the report amounts to self-destruction that’s largely ignored by most of the leading countries throughout the world. It’s all about greenhouse gassing as a result of human interference in the climate system, evidence that humans are heat machines!
Sea level has been stable, at current levels, throughout recorded history for 5,000 years. That’s about to change. Still, it’s very difficult for people to imagine a change in sea level after 5,000 years of rock solid stability.
Nevertheless, assuming sea levels do rise markedly, one of the biggest questions of the century is whether the world is prepared for sea level rise?
As a guess, the answer is: No, not even close.
Greenland is one of the biggest targets for global warming, in part because it’s so big it’s hard to miss. And sure enough, only recently crazy halting weather with inordinate hot temperatures hit Greenland bull’s-eye, dead-on with one helluva meltdown.
That’s bad news for pretty much everybody on the planet.
On the hottest days, the melt-off could fill 3 million Olympic-sized pools end-to-end, extending from California to Maine, back and forth, 17 times. That’s only one day. It’s staggering.
What’s going on?
About a century ago the American chestnut tree was attacked by the introduced fungal pathogen (Cryphonectria parasitica). This fungus drove the chestnut to functional extinction. Now, scientists at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF) claim to have created, through biotechnology, a resistant American chestnut variety. They aim to petition the required regulatory agencies (USDA, FDA, EPA) for deregulation of their genetically engineered chestnut in the near future, with the stated goal of “restoring” the species to nature.