Tag Archives: climate

Scientists are trying to a dying population of giant sequoias by growing its cuttings in a better environment.

28By Lisa M. Krieger
MSN News - The legend of naturalist John Muir has achieved immortality. With luck, so will his one special tree.

Only a seedling when transplanted by Muir from the rugged Sierra Nevada to his East Bay orchard in the 1880s, the giant sequoia is now fatally infected.

But a campaign has begun to perpetuate the storied tree, through a painstaking process of cloning. While Muir’s plant will die, its replica could live on — continuing a cultural legacy on the grounds of what is now the John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez.

“It is a visible, tangible, living link to the past — Muir and his life and his stories,” said arborist Keith Park of the historic site, who climbed 30 feet up the tree to trim cuttings to clone. “It has succeeded, to a point. But it is sick.” >>Continue Reading<<

Source and Photo: MSN News, 26th June, 2013
Labex Korea on Facebook and Twitter

The local impacts of oil palm expansion in Malasya

BiodieslThis study is part of a broader research process assessing the local economic, social and environmental impacts from feedstock expansion for the growing biofuel sector. Nonetheless, in the Malaysian context, biofuel production volumes are negligible despite government interest in romoting sector expansion.
Since Malaysia is the second largest palm oil producer in the world, palm oil is slated to become the primary feedstock for biofuel production in the country. Since palm oil consistently outperforms all other substitute vegetable oils on price, it is also becoming an important feedstock globally. While a rapidly growing global biofuel sector could develop into an important new market outlet for Malaysia, it does carry a number of risks. This paper aims to reflect on these risks by exploring the local social and land-use impacts of oil palm in the Beluran District of Sabah State. This is based on household surveys to discover the perception of impacts among relevant local stakeholder groups, and remote-sensing analysis. While the impacts of oil palm in the study site cannot be attributed to the biodiesel industry per se, lessons learnt will be directly applicable to the biodiesel sector in Malaysia, and relevant for the whole Southeast Asia region.

Click here to access the complete article as a PDF format
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook

Agriculture Must Adapt to Survive

21By Jackie Linden

ANALYSIS – FAO’s Deputy Director General has said that human survival depends on agriculture adapting to climate change and that genetic resources are vital for this adaptation. Native breeds have a role to play in a sustainable livestock industry, according to one speaker at a conference in the UK this week, and another outlined how advanced plant breeding techniques have the potential to solve some of the world’s most pressing issues. There is also news of bird flu in China, South Africa and the UK. Continue reading

The state of the world: is it too late for sustainability?

Coral reeef man in boatThe Guardian - In November 2012, the “big four” professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers released a report that concluded it was too late to hold the future increase in global average temperatures to just two degrees Celsius. “It’s time,” the report announced, “to prepare for a warmer world”.

The same month, the World Bank released Turn Down the Heat, which soberly set forth why a four-degree warmer world must be avoided. Meanwhile, accounts of myriad emerging calamities were easy to find in the press: the failure of the Rio+20 talks to result in positive action, “zombie” coral reefs, calls for higher birth rates, declining Arctic sea ice, an approaching “state shift” in the earth’s biosphere, and other evidence of strain in natural systems and of human blindness, ignorance or denial ……..>> Access the complete article<<

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook

Artificial forests threaten the biodiversity of the Pampas

33By Karina Toledo
Agência FAPESP – The Amazon Forest in such states as Mato Grosso and Pará is being transformed into pastureland. However, the problem is the opposite in Rio Grande do Sul: the field vegetation of the Pampas – which for years has existed harmoniously with cattle rearing – is being decimated to make way for forests planted by humans.
Although the visual impact of the destruction could be greater in Amazonia, anyone who considers that the biological loss in the Pampas Biome is smaller is mistaken. According to a study coordinated by Professor Ilsi Boldrini of Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), a vegetation diversity is concentrated in the southern region that is three times greater than that of the forests when the area occupied by each is taken into consideration… >>Continue Reading<<

Source and Photo: FAPESP, 24rh April, 2013
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook

Forest ecology: Splinters of the Amazon

42_AmazonBy Jeff Tollefson
Nature – Ecologist Thomas Lovejoy tucks his trousers into his socks with a casual warning about chiggers and then hikes off into the Amazon jungle. Shaded by a tall canopy and dense with ferns and underbrush, the old-growth forest looks healthy, but Lovejoy knows better. Three decades ago, the surrounding forest was mowed down and torched as part of a research project, and the effects have spread like a cancer deep into the uncut area. Large trees have perished. The spider monkeys have moved out, as have the army-ant colonies, and many of the birds that depend on them.

Click here to access the complete article at Nature
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook

Why action on forests now is essential to all our futures

acacia tree saplingBy Bharrat Jagdeo
The Guardian - While forests once provided subsistence for local people, for generations clearing forested land has also been good for global business, providing immediate food security for the world. Put simply, forests have been worth more dead than alive.

As populations grow, emerging and industrialised countries are looking to the three great world forest regions – the Three Basins of the Congo, the Amazon and south-east Asia – for their growing resource needs. The economic imperative to acquire and clear more land increases daily as demand for food and commodities grows. More than half of the global forest loss has occurred in the Three Basins. But world food production needs standing forests not felled trees.

Click here to access the complete article at The Guardian
Follow Labex Korea by Twitter and Facebook

Palm Monoculture Bad for Birds

Palm_Oil_ForestBy Andrew M. Sugden

Science - The conversion of tropical forest to oil palm plantations has rapidly increased over the past decade, predominantly in Southeast Asia, where such cultivation now dominates over 2 million hectares. Substantial biodiversity loss accompanies such conversion, but little is known of the ecology of the resulting landscape. Azhar et al.’s survey of bird faunas in plantations and logged swamp forest in Malaysia shows that guilds were affected in different ways. Notably, raptors were more abundant in plantations than in logged forest, whereas the reverse was true for insectivores and granivores. Patterns within plantations were also influenced by the management regime (e.g., smallholding versus estate) and proximity to forest. Edwards et al. surveyed the functional diversity—a measure incorporating foraging, morphology, and behavior—of bird faunas across habitat gradients (from plantation to logged and primary forests) in Borneo. Functional diversity was similar between logged and primary forest but greatly reduced in plantations, with just a few generalist species filling a wide range of functional roles. These studies demonstrate that continued conversion from logged forest to oil palm plantation will lead to further losses of species and functional diversity.

Source: Science, 3th May, 2013
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook

Agriculture Innovations and Investments Critical to Meeting Future Food Demand

26Agree - “The Chicago Council on Global Affairs today released a report that examines the implications of the increasingly influential roles of global business, Brazil, China, and India in agricultural research and the limited national research capacity of developing countries. It makes the case that greater international collaboration and investment in research is needed to safeguard productivity gains made over the past half century and meet future food demand. The independent study, Agricultural Innovation: The United States in a Changing Global Reality, is authored by University of Minnesota researchers, Philip G. Pardey and Jason M. Beddow. It concludes that most Sub-Saharan African countries could potentially access at least 25 times their locally produced agricultural knowledge by adapting and adopting scientific breakthroughs produced in other countries. “A new way of thinking about agricultural investments and innovation must be embraced to take advantage of such opportunities to increase agricultural production and increase the efficiencies of investment at all levels, from the local to the international level,” said Pardey. “A more international approach is urgently needed, as the lag between research investments and commercial adoption is extremely lengthy.” Pardey and Beddow present new measures of accumulated knowledge stocks by country and the potential for this knowledge to “spill over” and benefit other countries. These new measures of global spillover potential can help guide research and development decisions in the United States and globally. “The current system does not adequately take advantage of the vast stocks of knowledge that exist around the world that could be adapted to local environments elsewhere,” said Beddow.”

View Original Article

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook

How agroforestry schemes can improve food security in developing countries

ForestBy Caspar van Vark
The Guardian - Agroforesty - the integration of trees and shrubs with crops and livestock systems – has strong potential in addressing problems of food insecurity in developing countries. Done well, it allows producers to make the best use of their land, can boost field crop yields, diversify income, and increase resilience to climate change.

To date, the uptake of agroforestry has been constrained partly because it has lacked a natural ‘home’ in policy space, but that may be changing thanks to a growing body of evidence of what it can achieve, and how to make it work. The FAO last month published a guide to advancing agroforestry on the policy agenda with case studies of best practice, and is due to hold a conference on forests and food security and nutrition in May.

Click here to access the complete article at The Guardian
Labex Korea by Twitter and Facebook