Multiple droughts can be a mixed bag for forests

When multiple droughts build on each other, they affect forests differently than one drought alone. Researchers are beginning to understand how and why.

Harrison Tasoff-UC Santa Barbara • futurity
Oct. 14, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: trees forests earth-and-environment droughts

Restoring California's forests to reduce wildfire risks will take time, billions of dollars and a broad commitment

Restoring western forests – thinning out small trees and dead wood – is an important strategy for reducing the risk of massive wildfires. But these projects aren't fast, easy or cheap.

Martha Conklin, Professor of Engineering, University of California, Merced • conversation
Oct. 13, 2020 ~10 min

Tags: climate-change water california-wildfires forests ecosystem-services wildfires us-west us-forest-service sierra-nevada watersheds forest-restoration

What are the health care costs of wildfire smoke?

New research estimates the yearly costs in health care due to wildfire smoke in California. The costs are staggering and rising.

Harrison Tasoff-UC Santa Barbara • futurity
Oct. 8, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: pollution health-care-costs wildfire forests money smoke featured health-and-medicine

A proposed mine threatens Minnesota's Boundary Waters, the most popular wilderness in the US

Conservation or copper? A proposed mine in northern Minnesota pits industrial jobs against a thriving outdoor economy.

Char Miller, W. M. Keck Professor of Environmental Analysis and History, Pomona College • conversation
Oct. 5, 2020 ~10 min

Tags: conservation forests water-pollution fishing donald-trump-administration mining rivers minerals outdoors lakes copper wilderness us-forest-service minnesota sonny-perdue camping

Evolution on the smallest of scales smooths out the patchwork patterns of where plants and animals live

Local adaptation allows plants and animals to thrive in a diversity of places. Sometimes adaptation sharpens patterns of where organisms live, but 85% of the time, it creates a more homogeneous world.

Mark C. Urban, Director, Center of Biological Risk; Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut • conversation
Oct. 2, 2020 ~10 min

Tags: evolution environment ecology trees forests charles-darwin adaptation

The Arctic hasn't been this warm for 3 million years – and that foreshadows big changes for the rest of the planet

Extreme shrinkage of summer sea ice is just the latest evidence of rapid Arctic warming – and what happens in the Arctic doesn't stay there.

Steve Petsch, Associate Professor of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst • conversation
Sept. 30, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: climate-change greenland arctic paleoclimate russia carbon-dioxide-co2 siberia arctic-warming sea-ice norway pliocene boreal-forest

Are the Oregon wildfires a view into the future?

"Until a few days ago it was looking like the tamer wildfire projections were closest to reality."

Matt Cooper-Oregon • futurity
Sept. 18, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: climate-change wildfire forests featured science-and-technology

Climate change and forest management have both fueled today's epic Western wildfires

Debating whether climate change or forest management has caused the devastating wildfires in California, Washington and Oregon is a false choice.

Steven C. Beda, Assistant Professor of History, University of Oregon • conversation
Sept. 16, 2020 ~10 min

Tags: climate-change donald-trump wildfire forests california us-history wildfire-fighting oregon logging forest-management washington-state us-west endangered-species-act timber-industry us-forest-service

Chimpanzees in volatile habitats evolved to behave more flexibly – it could help them weather climate change

As in humans, environmental changes provoked chimpanzees to develop a diverse range of behaviours.

Fiona Stewart, Visiting Lecturer in Primatology, Liverpool John Moores University • conversation
Sept. 15, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: evolution climate-change human-evolution forests grasslands savanna behaviour

In the Amazon, forest degradation is outpacing full deforestation

Forest that has been disturbed – but not cleared – by logging or fire can be hard to spot from satellites.

Tommaso Jucker, Research Fellow and Lecturer, School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol • conversation
Sept. 10, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: climate-change brazil deforestation amazon-forest forest-degradation

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