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

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

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

Across the world, trees are growing faster, dying younger – and will soon store less carbon

We analysed 210,000 tree ring records from 80 different species, and found the trade off between growth and lifespan may neutralise the forest carbon sink.

Emanuel Gloor, Professor in Biogeochemical Cycles, University of Leeds • conversation
Sept. 8, 2020 ~7 min

Tags:  climate-change  trees  forests  carbon-sinks

What's in wildfire smoke, and why is it so bad for your lungs?

Wildfires blanketing several Western cities are creating hazardous health conditions. Don't count on cloth masks to protect your lungs.

Luke Montrose, Assistant Professor of Community and Environmental Health, Boise State University • conversation
Aug. 20, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: health environment covid-19 coronavirus pollution lungs heat-wave forests air-pollution heat particulates wildfires smoke firefighting

What's in that wildfire smoke, and why is it so bad for your lungs?

Wildfires blanketing several Western cities are creating hazardous health conditions. Don't count on cloth masks to protect your lungs.

Luke Montrose, Assistant Professor of Community and Environmental Health, Boise State University • conversation
Aug. 20, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: health environment covid-19 coronavirus pollution lungs heat-wave forests air-pollution heat particulates wildfires smoke firefighting

Are young trees or old forests more important for slowing climate change?

The age of a forest can influence how effectively it offsets our emissions.

Tom Pugh, Reader in Biosphere-Atmosphere Exchange, University of Birmingham • conversation
July 30, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: climate-change trees forests deforestation reforestation tree-planting carbon-cycle natural-climate-solutions

How deforestation helps deadly viruses jump from animals to humans

Yellow fever, malaria and Ebola all spilled over from animals to humans at the edges of tropical forests. The new coronavirus is the latest zoonosis.

Maria Anice Mureb Sallum, Professor of Epidemiology, Universidade de São Paulo • conversation
June 25, 2020 ~11 min

Tags: health climate covid-19 coronavirus ebola pandemic malaria forests disease epidemics wildlife deforestation bats wildlife-trade monkeys mosquitoes yellow-fever zoonoses vectors carrying-capacity

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