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Carbon sequestration

Philadelphia’s Reforestation Hub Isn’t Just Diverting Tree Waste

Each year, U.S. cities lose an estimated 36 million trees to development, disease and old age, many of which ultimately end up in landfills. Losing these urban trees – known to help cool their neighborhoods, lower carbon emissions and improve mental health, among other benefits – costs an estimated $96 million annually. In Philadelphia, a partnership is giving the City of Brotherly Love’s fallen trees new life. Philadelphia Parks & Rec joined forces with Cambium Carbon, a Washington, D.C.-based startup that repurposes waste wood, and PowerCorpsPHL, a local nonprofit that creates job opportunities for unemployed and under-employed 18- to 30-year-olds, to launch the Reforestation Hub in late May.

Sequestering Carbon In Soils Isn’t Enough To Offset Livestock Emissions

A new study highlights the risk of depending on soil carbon sequestration as a way to offset the emissions produced from raising livestock. The study found that offsetting the methane and nitrous oxide emissions from the global livestock industry would require 135 gigatonnes (135 billion metric tons) of carbon stocks. According to the authors, that amount is nearly double the carbon stored in managed grasslands globally. Some regions would require an increase in carbon sequestration in the soil of up to 2,000% to match livestock emissions. The findings were published in the journal Nature Communications.

Carbon Farming: A Sustainable Agriculture Technique

What if there were a way to safely pull billions of tons of carbon out of the atmosphere to substantially reduce or even eliminate global warming? What if this approach costs relatively little and could be used around the world? What if it also put billions of dollars in cash into the hands of countless working Americans and people worldwide? What if it even slashed fossil fuel consumption and made the world more resilient to climate stress? Well, it turns out there is a system that can do all that. It’s called carbon farming, and it just might be key to restabilizing the climate. In the process, it can revitalize rural economies while also producing healthier, more nutritious crops. And amazingly, it’s also low-cost, low-tech, and low-risk.

Forest Defense Is About More Than The Trees

For years, settlers and soldiers have set fire to and uprooted trees and attacked Palestinian olive harvesters in an attempt to further sever the people from their land. The olive trees are more than just a source of income, and indeed survival, for Palestinian farmers. They represent tradition and a culture of mutualism, and are a symbol of both life and struggle. It’s perhaps both ironic and apt that olive branches are also a symbol of peace. Talaat Abu Jiyab, a Palestinian farmer in Gaza, told Middle East Today back in 2021 that, “Whether we are in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the border areas or far from the border areas, we consider this tree like one of our children.”

World ‘Failing’ On Pledges To End Deforestation By 2030

A coalition of research organizations and civil society, the Forest Declaration Assessment, has conducted a new study that evaluates the progress toward eliminating deforestation by nations, companies and investors, as well as restoring 865 million acres of degraded land, by the end of the decade. The report, “Off Track and Falling Behind,” shows that last year, progress worldwide on restoring and protecting forests worsened in some cases and moved too slowly overall. “The world’s forests are in crisis. All these promises have been made to halt deforestation, to fund forest protection. But the opportunity to make progress is passing us by year after year,” said Erin Matson.

Amazon Deforestation Down 66% From Last July In Lula’s Brazil

The Amazon rainforest is the largest tropical rainforest on the planet. It is home to more animal and plant species than any terrestrial ecosystem, including one-third of the world’s tropical trees. This diverse sanctuary is also one of the last refuges for jaguars, pink river dolphins and harpy eagles, according to WWF. Brazil has an Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Deforestation in the Amazon by 2030, and since President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva took office at the start of this year, deforestation has fallen dramatically. The country’s Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Marina Silva said that deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon in Brazil dropped 66.11 percent in August.

Study: US Forests Struggling To Adapt Fast Enough To Climate Change

Rising sea levels, accelerated coastal erosion, severe flooding and drought, rapid melting of Arctic sea ice and more frequent and intense wildfires are all symptoms of climate change that are changing our planet’s landscape. In some places, these changes are happening too fast for plants and animals to keep up. A recent study by researchers at University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley), and the United States Forest Service have uncovered warning signs that forests in the Western U.S. are struggling to adapt to the rapidly changing climate. “If you’re concerned about forest health then one thing you want to observe is whether the rate at which forest composition changes is roughly equivalent to the rate at which the climate changes,” said lead author of the study Kyle Rosenblad

The Traditional ‘Imperial Lawn’ Is Dead

Americans are well known for their evenly clipped, bright green lawns. But rather than being beneficial, these manicured greenspaces are actually detrimental to the environment. In the U.S., more than 40 million acres of land is covered in some form of lawn, reported Insider. These lawns have the ability to act as carbon sinks that absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but the substantial carbon cost of lawn maintenance often counteracts the benefits, making lawns climate change contributors, reported Princeton University. In a new study, researchers encourage the planting of trees in place of “imperial” lawns to help fight the climate crisis. Auckland University of Technology professor Len Gillman, who was the study’s lead author, said that while letting your pristine lawn go wild “might cut down on the emissions due to maintenance, it’s not going far enough.

USDA Offers $1 Billion To Help Farmers And Ranchers Fight Climate Change

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will invest $1 billion in projects that encourage farmers, ranchers and owners of forested land to employ practices that help mitigate the effects of climate change by lowering greenhouse gas emissions or catching and storing carbon, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack told Reuters on Monday. The new program is called the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities. President Biden has committed to cutting agricultural emissions in half by 2030 and has asked farmers to lead the way, as U.S. agriculture is responsible for more than 10 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates, CNBC reported.

Pasture Cropping – The Innovative No-Kill, No-Till System

Regenerative agriculture is a global farming revolution with rapid uptake and interest around the world. Five years ago hardly anyone had heard about it. It is in the news nearly everyday now. This  agricultural revolution has been led by innovative farmers rather than scientists, researchers and governments. It is being applied to all agricultural sectors including cropping, grazing and perennial horticulture. In previous articles we have described how regenerative agriculture maximizes the photosynthesis of plants to capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to increase soil organic matter. Soil organic matter is a good proxy for soil health, as it is important for improving fertility and water capture in soils, thus improving productivity and profitability in farming.

Many Overheated Forests May Soon Release More Carbon Than They Absorb

The last decades have been filled with dire warning signs from forests. Global warming has contributed to thinning canopies in European forests and to sudden die-offs of aspen trees in Colorado, as well as insect outbreaks that are killing trees around the world. In many places, forests are not growing back. New research shows that Earth’s overheated climate will alter forests at a global scale even more fundamentally, by flipping a critical greenhouse gas switch in the next few decades. The study suggests that, by 2040, forests will take up only half as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as they do now, if global temperatures keep rising at the present pace.

Tropical Forests May Be Heating Earth By 2035

London – Within about fifteen years, the great tropical forests of Amazonia and Africa could stop absorbing atmospheric carbon, and slowly start to release more carbon than growing trees can fix. A team of scientists from 100 research institutions has looked at the evidence from pristine tracts of tropical forest to find that – overall – the foliage soaked up the most carbon, most efficiently, more than two decades ago. Since then, the measured efficiency of the forests as a “sink” in which carbon is sequestered from the atmosphere has been dwindling. By the last decade, the ability of a tropical forest to absorb carbon had dropped by a third. All plant growth is a balancing act based on sunshine and atmospheric carbon and rainfall. Plants absorb carbon dioxide as they grow, and surrender it as they die.
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