Study concludes forests are decreasing, but how good is the data?

Using data from 541 randomly selected 18.5 by 18.5 km blocks, an analysis of Landsat-7 satellite data has concluded that 3% of the forests (1 million square kilometer) present in 2000 were gone by 2005. See map at http://www.sciencenews.org/view/download/id/58673/name/WHEN_A_TREE_FALLS . The researchers...

California sets forth indicators of disproportionate impacts of climate change on environmental justice communities

To assist Cal-EPA with the examination of potential environmental justice concerns associated with climate change, Cal-EPA requested the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) [best known for its role in setting drinking water related Public Health Goals and in overseeing much of the...

Use of Endangered Species Act to prevent mining operation requires input early in the NOI review process

The Endangered Species Act ("ESA") is becoming a popular tool used by public interest groups to stop projects that they view as adverse to environmental quality. However, a recent attempt to use the ESA against a mining project failed when the procedural posture was deemed an inaction for purposes...

Trees damaged by bark beetles slow their uptake of CO2 for up to a century

As noted in prior posts, bark beetles damage large forest areas, often killing or causing the death of 50% to 80% of mature trees. As these trees decompose, they release CO2, adding to the atmospheric burden of GHG's. New research has identified additional climate repercussions from beetle outbreaks...

Mistletoe can be a keystone species for birds in a wooded environment

A keystone species is one that "influences the ecological composition, structure, or functioning of its community far more than its abundance would suggest." (See http://glossary.eea.europa.eu/terminology/concept_html?term=keystone%20species .) Although the term is often thrown about, demonstrating...