Credit: Darwin Pucha Cofrep

Find out what’s happened this past week in the world of forestry!

Geologists have uncovered fossil fragments of 13 trees over 260 million years old, remnants of a vast forest that once stretched across a massive continent in the Southern Hemisphere made up of modern-day Antarctica, South America, India and Australia. Researchers have been able to discover that these ancient trees flourished in the South Pole, and were able to survive during months of perpetual darkness by going dormant.

A new startup, Planetwatchers, is using remote sensing, radar satellite imagery and artificial intelligence to track and monitor changes in global natural assets. Through monitoring, the organization hopes to track and measure both natural changes, such as growth, along with losses due to wildfire and climate change.

Growth in renewable energy, raising battery efficiency while lowering prices, growing electric car usage, and increasing global awareness about forestry losses are just some of the megatrends identified as potential reasons to be optimistic about global warming moving forward.

The National Park Service has identified a record amount of dead trees inside Yosemite National Park. While the death of trees is inevitable, the scope of tree mortality is unprecedented. Climate change, along with drought, poor forest health and beetle infestations are thought to be contributing factors. The dead trees not only pose a danger to humans by falling, they are also highly flammable, creating potential fuel for massive and dangerous wildfires.