New research shows forest restoration schemes should prioritise restoring native forests for greatest climate and environmental benefits. However these benefits have a trade-off with wood production in comparison with tree plantations. The faster growth of trees in plantations managed for timber or pulp production implies greater uptake of water from the soil, which leaves less water for replenishing the groundwater reserves that sustain streams, especially in drier areas. To make matters worse, trees in such
Very interesting documentary with impressive pictures around the big problem of dwindling water: “Water is the prerequisite for life. A few tiny drops are already enough to make a withered desert blossom anew. Water also played an important role in the emergence of early civilizations. Control of the resource gave humans clear advantages. But access to clean water is becoming increasingly difficult, and fear for the resource is growing. – A documentary series tracing our relationship
Interesting and informative documentary: The Amazon rainforest is not only the earth’s green lung (absorbing and storing carbon dioxide from the air and converting it to oxygen) it is also its air conditioner: intact forests suck in rain clouds from the Atlantic and evaporate water. In this way they cool the earth. Without forest, no water: if more and more forest disappears, this phenomenon of ‘flying rivers’ acting like a gigantic water pump can no
Meteorologist Millan Millan’s research work discovered that rain was disappearing because land use was affecting evapotranspiration rates. In this podcast he talks about what we need to do to restore rains and ecosystems.
Phoenix has committed to establish by 2030 100 “cool corridors” in  shade-starved zones with high pedestrian traffic. Without more trees and other urban cooling features, the Phoenix area stands to lose lives collectively valued in the billions of dollars in coming decades, a Nature Conservancy study concluded last year. 
Scientists warn the biggest remaining ice shelf in the Antarctic Peninsula is at risk of total collapse due to ‘rivers in the sky’. We show that the most intense atmospheric rivers induce extremes in temperature, surface melt, sea-ice disintegration, or large swells that destabilize the ice shelves with 40% probability. This was observed during the collapses of the Larsen A and B ice shelves during the summers of 1995 and 2002 respectively. Overall, 60% of
Forests, afforestation, evapotranspiration, and its cooling effect: However, changing the forest cover can further affect the climate system through biophysical effects. One such effect that is seldom studied is how afforestation can alter the cloud regime, which can potentially have repercussions on the hydrological cycle, the surface radiation budget and on planetary albedo itself. Here we provide a global scale assessment of this effect derived from satellite remote sensing observations. We show that for 67%
It has consequences, if (agricultural or forest) soils can hold less and less water and dry out. Although this research is on global drylands, I dare to guess that the same pattern applies to our desiccating agricultural landscapes. Reduced evaporation due to dry soils can affect the land surface energy balance, with implications for local and downwind precipitation. […] We show that dryland droughts are particularly prone to self-propagating because evaporation tends to respond strongly
This is fascinating research, showing the interrelation of dry soils and heat-waves. We find that, in both events, persistent atmospheric pressure patterns induced land–atmosphere feedbacks that led to extreme temperatures. During daytime, heat was supplied by large-scale horizontal advection, warming of an increasingly desiccated land surface and enhanced entrainment of warm air into the atmospheric boundary layer. Overnight, the heat generated during the day was preserved in an anomalous kilometres-deep atmospheric layer located several hundred
Interesting article: We found that the effect of column water vapor on hourly precipitation was strongly nonlinear, showing a steep increase in precipitation above a column water vapor content of around 60 mm. […] Although loss of tree transpiration from the Amazon causes a 13% drop in column water vapor, we found that it could result in a 55%–70% decrease in precipitation annually. Consequences of this nonlinearity might be twofold: although the effects of deforestation may
I argued in my UNEP article “” about this… and more and more science seems to prove it: Forests cool the earth! Researchers from the US and Colombia found that overall forests keep the planet at least half of a degree Celsius cooler when biophysical effects – from chemical compounds to turbulence and the reflection of light – are combined with carbon dioxide. “Despite the mounting evidence that forests deliver myriad climate benefits, trees are


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