Credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

Check out what’s happened this week in forestry news!

Laughing-gas, also known as nitrous oxide, is a powerful greenhouse gas. Drained peatlands are hotspots for this gas, since emissions increase when draining wet soils or irrigating well drained soils. Scientists are pushing for peatland conservation to reduce nitrous oxide emissions, since this gas is partly responsible for global warming and the destruction of the ozone layer.

The controversy over genetically engineered trees has been ongoing for almost 20 years and is still going strong. Though introducing GE trees to the wild may have unanticipated, negative impacts on our forest, the GE American chestnut is being planned for release in existing forests.

Scientists used a model from Natural Resources Canada and data from the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute to predict the vegetation change of Alberta’s upland forest. Wildfire and climate were included as factors in the model’s predictions, though human interference was not. While not perfect, using models and data in this way can help scientists predict future forest compositions.

Several species in the U.S. are vulnerable to extinction. Destruction and loss of habitat space caused by human expansion has resulted not only in the loss of resources for wildlife, but also in releasing fatal diseases that can devastate various species’ populations.

In his proposed 2019 budget, President Trump calls for eliminating vital programs of NASA’s Earth Science Division, programs that monitor carbon pollution and climate change. But what does that mean for our planet?