UNFCCC makes major step towards incentivising wetland restoration

By Malcolm Dowden, Solicitor and Environmental Law Consultant Despite widespread disappointment at the outcome of last year’s climate change summit in Copenhagen, quiet but significant progress has been made on issues such as reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) and...

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...

Could humans have been influencing climate as long as 15 thousand years ago?

When someone mentions "climate change" and people, most of us think about the start of the industrial revolution. Those with a more anthropological viewpoint will think about the advent of slash-and-burn agriculture some 8 thousand years ago. Now, some serious researchers have had some fun...

Decline of Western Aspen trees swells population of rodents that carry the deadly sin nombre virus

As noted in prior posts, Aspen trees in the West have been dying. There appears to be no single cause. However, drought in the 1990's and early 2000's probably made the trees more susceptible to cankers, fungi, and other maladies. The result is that some sites have lost as much as 2/3 or more...

Humans can transmit diseases to gorillas

Prior posts have noted and described a number of human diseases that had their origin in animals. Now it appears that some diseases can be transmitted from humans to gorillas. Ecotourism has been seen as a boon for countries with "interesting" biota; it provides funding for protection of...