We’re kicking off the New Year right with our first Forest Digest of 2015! Here’s what’s been going on in the world of forests:
- “Pretty Tree Maps Showing the State of American Forests in 1884 “ — Slate
Take a look at some great maps of American forests in 1884 courtesy of a forest census by the U.S. Department of the Interior.
- “Tropical Forests Gulp CO2, Slowing Climate Change
“ — Discovery News
2014 was the hottest year on record, but a new study shows that tropical rainforests are absorbing far more greenhouse gases than scientists estimated. The findings, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, estimate that tropical forests annually absorb 1.4 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide out of a total global absorption of 2.5 billion metric tons.
- “Australia battles to contain worst wildfires in 30 years” — Reuters
This week saw Australia’s worst wildfires in 30 years. The fires are burning across a 150-mile perimeter in the state of South Australia, near the city of Adelaide, and have already swept across more than 12,000 hectares.
- “Indonesian indigenous groups look to tourists to protect forests” — Reuters
An Indonesian NGO is working with six indigenous communities to encourage foreign tourism in ancestral forests, an attempt to not only slow the advance of logging operations and palm oil plantations, but also ease poverty, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and diversify from traditional forest-based incomes such as weaving.