1. (Source: dakotapuma)

  2. currentsinbiology:

    First national study finds trees saving lives, reducing respiratory problems

    In the first broad-scale estimate of air pollution removal by trees nationwide, U.S. Forest Service scientists and collaborators calculated that trees are saving more than 850 human lives a year and preventing 670,000 incidences of acute respiratory symptoms.

    While trees’ pollution removal equated to an average air quality improvement of less than 1 percent, the impacts of that improvement are substantial. Researchers valued the human health effects of the reduced air pollution at nearly $7 billion every year in a study published recently in the journal Environmental Pollution. “Tree and Forest Effects on Air Quality and Human Health in the United States,” is available online at: http://www.nrs.fs.fed.us/pubs/46102

    "With more than 80 percent of Americans living in urban area, this research underscores how truly essential urban forests are to people across the nation," said Michael T. Rains, Director of the Forest Service’s Northern Research Station and the Forest Products Laboratory. "Information and tools developed by Forest Service research are contributing to communities valuing and managing the 138 million acres of trees and forests that grace the nation’s cities, towns and communities."

    English oak leaf pores or stomata (Quercus robur)

    (via dakotapuma)


  3. "

    So you put solace and sense of place and social value and personal goals and supportive personal relationships and strong and inclusive communities all together into one figure and you come out with £290 per household per year.

    All we require now is for the Cabinet Office to give us a price for love and a true value for society and we will have a single figure for the meaning of life.

    I know what you’re thinking: it’s 42. But Deep Thought failed to anticipate the advent of Strictly Come Dancing, which has depreciated the will to live to the extent that it’s now been downgraded to 41.

  4. awkwardsituationist:

    for over a thousand years, the indigenous nenets people have moved seasonally with their reindeer along ancient migration routes in the yamal peninsula. but this remote region of northwest siberia, a vast tundra wilderness that stretches deep into the arctic ocean, is now under heavy threat from global warming.

    traditionally, the nenets cross the frozen ob river in november and set up camp in the southern forests around nadym, where their reindeer graze on moss and lichen pastures. in recent years, however, this annual winter pilgrimage has been delayed until late december when the river is thick enough to traverse.

    “our reindeer were hungry. there wasn’t enough pasture,” jakov japtik, a nenets reindeer herder, said. “the snow is melting sooner, quicker and faster than before. in spring it’s difficult for the reindeer to pull the sledges. they get tired.” added sergie hudi, “the reindeer for us are everything — our home, our food, our warmth and our transportation.”

    last year the nenets arrived at a regular summer camping spot only to discover that half of the lake had drained away after a landslide. while landslides do occur naturally, scientists say there is unmistakable evidence that yamal’s ancient permafrost is melting. winter temperatures, for example, have gone up ten degrees celsius in the last hundred years.

    ”it’s an indication of the global warming process,” says vladimir tchouprov for greenpeace russia. “the melting of russia’s permafrost could have catastrophic results for the world by releasing billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide and methane that was previously trapped in the frozen soil.” he adds that if temperatures continue to climb, much of russia’s northern region will be turned into impenetrable swamp.

    the yamal peninsula also contains the biggest gas reserves on the planet, and gazprom, russia’s state energy giant, is building several ambitious infrastructure projects across the tundra which threaten the peninsula’s delicate arctic ecology and disrupt the nenets’ migration routes.

    photos by bryan and cherry alexander (previously featured). story adapted from luke harding for the guardian and joanna eede for survival international. (previous climate change and arctic posts)

    (via climate-changing)

  7. skepticalavenger:

    We’re all made of the same stuff, just arranged a little differently.

    via We Are Wildness

    Tagged #trees #ecology

  8. To the President of the French Republic, François Hollande

    "We, the citizens of France and the world, urge you to support the European proposal to ban deep-sea bottom trawling, which is recognized as one of the most destructive fishing methods in history. This underperforming, subsidy dependent, unprofitable activity concerns less than a dozen vessels in France, whereas its environmental impact is highly disproportionate: huge weighted nets rake and destroy the most vulnerable ocean ecosystems, catching more than 100 species, which are discarded but count endangered animals. These industrial fisheries devastate our natural heritage by scraping the longest-lived animals on the planet: corals that are thousands of years old, and that should be preserved like Egyptian mummies are.
    Mr. Hollande, we ask you to honor the promise of “Environmental Excellence” that you gave to the French and to put an end to the deforestation of the deep oceans which brings disgrace on France. We ask you to fully support the proposal to ban deep-sea bottom trawling.”

  10. anthrocentric:

    Orphaned Elephants Lack Social Knowledge Key for Survival
    Psychological impact from loss of family structure parallels PTSD in people.

    Highly intelligent and social animals, African elephants depend on their sophisticated communication skills for survival in the wild. A recent study investigated the effects of culling and relocation on elephant decision-making and cognition decades later.

    Behavioral ecologists from the University of Sussex in England led an international team to study two different elephant populations: one relatively undisturbed group living in Amboseli National Park in Kenya and another translocated population in Pilanesberg Park in South Africa. The Pilanesberg elephants were moved there as calves following managed culling of adults and older juveniles in Kruger National Park in the 1980s and 1990s.

    Survivors from the translocated elephant group showed signs of negative long-term psychological impact that affected their decision-making process, paralleling post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in humans, according to the study, which was published in Frontiers in Zoology on October 23, 2013.

    Complex Society

    Elephants develop complex social relationships over long life spans. Long-term learning and knowledge transfer in the Pilanesberg population was deeply affected by the culling, the study found.

    (Read “Elephants Communicate in Sophisticated Sign Language, Researchers Say.”)

    "Human-generated social disruption has profound effects on important decision-making abilities in wild African elephants that are likely to impact key aspects of their social behavior," said Graeme Shannon, a University of Sussex psychologist who, along with colleague Karen McComb, led the study.

    Call of the Wild

    Through a series of acoustic playback experiments, the scientists found that human activities, including culling and relocation, have a profound impact on the communication skills, social understanding, and overall cognition of wild African elephants.

    While other studies have looked at physiological and behavioral impacts on elephants from extreme human disturbance, such as poaching, this study was the first to assess their fundamental communication skills and cognitive abilities in the wild, Shannon said.

    [read more]