While the Northwest US has seen massive infernos in recent years, a new report shows its forests actually are experiencing a historical deficit of fires. That deficit could be fueling recent, dangerous wildfire seasons.
Giant kelp forests — those ethereal, swaying columns of seaweed found in the intermediate to deep water zones of cooler coasts along the Pacific Ocean and Southern Hemisphere — provide habitat for a variety of species that spend their lives in kelp's canopies or at the rocky bottoms.
As night fell last Monday in the Columbia River Gorge, the Oregon slopes burned as if carpet-bombed from above. Winds acted like bellows in a hearth to supercharge the flames spread by embers flying from ridge to ridge. Stands of trees that matured over decades — sometimes centuries — were engulfed within minutes.
Led by VTT Technical Research Center of Finland, the EU North State project has developed a new method of using satellite images to evaluate the forest carbon balance. The carbon balance indicates how much carbon is sequestered or released by forests each year. This enables the carbon balance to be displayed on digital maps, with an accuracy of up to ten meters.
The European Union has admitted Indonesia to a special licensing system it hopes will prevent the illegally felled tropical timber that makes up a substantial part of the country's wood production from being shipped to the 28-nation bloc.
One of the most effective methods for capturing carbon from the atmosphere in the tropics of Latin America requires doing very little. In fact, researchers say, just protecting natural forest regrowth can help reduce climate change.