Archive by category | Deforestation

Madagascar: how to save a forest

Anjali Nayar, an International Development Research Centre fellow at Nature, recently visited a pioneering project in Madagascar that’s aiming to protect one of the country’s few remaining forests. About 90% of the species in Madagascar’s rainforests are found nowhere else on Earth, but efforts to save the island nation’s forests are about more than conserving biodiversity.  Read more

No forest too wide or mountain too high in the fight against global warming

From undersea meetings by Maldives’ ministers to debates in the US Senate, talk of climate change is echoing around every corner of the globe. The message: needs are great and growing fast, while resources remain few and far between.  Read more

When money grows on trees

When money grows on trees

In this year’s series of UN climate talks – the latest of which took place last week in Bonn – one of the issues negotiators are sinking their teeth into is a source of greenhouse gases that has previously been sidestepped. Chopping and burning trees causes an estimated one-fifth of global emissions, and slowing down deforestation could be the cheapest and quickest way to keep a substantial load of gas out of the atmosphere. With this in mind, the Bali meeting in 2007 called for a decision on forests to be made by the time the 2009 talks wrap up in Copenhagen this December.  Read more

Tropical forests: From sink to source?

Tropical forests: From sink to source?

The Earth’s large forests take up substantially more atmospheric carbon dioxide through photosynthesis than they release back to the atmosphere through respiration. Thus acting as a carbon ‘sink’, they (and the oceans) are our closest natural allies in the fight against climate change.  Read more

Jungle Fit!

“Lewis.jpg”Tropical forests which (still) cover around 10% of the global land area contain more carbon per hectare than any other form of vegetation. It’s obvious from that that their growth or decline has a huge impact on the global carbon budget.  Read more

Trees of the Ages

Hard to believe: The long-standing notion that old forests are carbon neutral – that is, that from a certain age forests cease to absorb and accumulate carbon – has its origin from a mere decade worth of data from one single site.  Read more

A tribute to the trees

A tribute to the trees

For all tree huggers out there, this week’s Science is dedicated to ‘forests in flux’, paying tribute to the trees and their contribution to the greater good. A special collection of articles in print, with complementary and online material, examines the fate of the world’s forests, in the face of climate change and an escalating human population. If it’s been a while since you’ve had the chance to appreciate the languid leafiness of forest foliage, check out the online video. Or for those of you hoping for a more ‘hands on’ experience, there’s a whole section of Science Careers dedicated  … Read more

Saving the trees

Saving the trees

One of the most significant aspects of the UN climate meeting in Bali was an agreement to bring emissions from deforestation into the loop. It only makes sense, given that deforestation is estimated to cause as much as 20 percent of the global greenhouse emissions. There’s still debate about the exact figure, of course, but the point is that it’s an awfully large number to ignore. We first covered the issue last fall, when environmental advocates and rainforest nations (as they are calling themselves these days) started gearing up for the meeting. With an eye toward Bonn, where the next  … Read more