Check out what’s happened this week in forestry news!
Peru Moves to Protect ‘One of the Last Great Intact Forests’ – The New York Times
Yaguas National Park, located in northeastern Peru, will protect millions of acres of wilderness from development and deforestation. The land it covers is home to a diverse number of fish, plant, bird and mammal species (including the endangered giant otter), many of which can’t be found anywhere else in the world. It was recently discovered that the park also has peat bogs, which form a network that stores massive amounts of carbon and could play an important role in reducing carbon emissions.
Researchers have discovered that cutting down on emissions isn’t enough to effectively reduce global warming. To make a difference, negative emissions technologies need to be developed and used to remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. One technique, known as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage is at the forefront of these technologies. It involves cultivating fast-growing grasses and trees to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. They would then be burned at power plants to generate energy, but instead of releasing the vegetation’s carbon into the atmosphere, it would be captured and pumped underground.
Chemical products containing refined petroleum compounds now rival vehicle emissions as the top source of urban air pollution. Products like household cleaners, pesticides, paints, perfumes, lotions and other products contribute about as much to air pollution as vehicle emissions do.
Hunting is changing forests, but not as expected – Science Daily
Most trees in the rainforest depend on animals to spread their seeds, either through consumption or by sticking to their fur. Originally it was thought that the decrease in fruit-eating animals by over-hunting would result in altered forest makeup and huge decreases in the amount of carbon stored in tropical forests. A new study of the Amazon rainforest published in the Journal of Ecology has determined the effects of losing seed dispersers on the ecosystem are less straightforward, and less immediately devastating.