forests

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Poachers' New Target: Ancient Trees

This natural resource is centuries in the making, and the black market is thriving

(Newser) - When Colin Hepburn, member of the activist group Wilderness Committee, was walking through the woods in May of 2012 in Canada’s Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park, he came across the remains of an 800-year-old cedar tree. It had stood at almost 200 feet, and it was gone, cut off at... More »

Newly Discovered Forests Could Cover 60% of Australia

Researchers say world's dryland forests had been seriously under-reported

(Newser) - Scientists have discovered 467 million hectares of unreported forest—about three-fifths the size of Australia—scattered around the globe, the Conversation reports. The discovery increases the known global forest cover by about 9%. The study—published Friday in Science —focused on "drylands," areas that lose more water... More »

Mystery of the 'Crooked Forest' Puzzles, Decades Later

Was it witchcraft or warfare?

(Newser) - The trunks all bend toward the ground in the same direction, extending three to nine feet, before curving upward and stretching toward the sky, taking the shape of an upside-down question mark. But almost a century after the 400 pine trees were planted in what is now known as Poland'... More »

Humans Taking a Toll on 100 World Heritage Sites

New study raises alarm on degradation

(Newser) - Almost half of all natural world heritage sites are slowly being degraded, and experts have a clear suspect: humans. A study based on the Human Footprint Index—which evaluates agriculture, infrastructure, population density, and other factors—identifies more than 100 of 229 sites that are suffering from human activities, reports... More »

'Suicide Forest' Gets Another Look

Aokigahara Forest has long been a suicide destination in Japan

(Newser) - Shoes are piled neatly by the entrance, cars are abandoned in a square nearby, and bodies can be found hanging within. Long a subject of public fascination, Japan's "suicide forest" is now the inspiration for a new horror film—and gets a fresh look from Australia's News... More »

Scientists Find Tropical Forest—in the Arctic

It would have thrived near the equator 380M years ago

(Newser) - Bet you didn't know there was a tropical forest in the Arctic. That's what scientists say they've uncovered in Svalbard, Norway, though the remnants of the forest are actually 380 million years old and fossilized. Back when the early trees—a type dubbed Protolepidodendropsis pulchra—were alive... More »

Since 1990, We've Erased a Forest Twice as Big as Texas

Still, UN report finds rate of forest loss has improved over 25 years

(Newser) - There are positives and negatives to grasp from a new report on forest loss from the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization. The good news: The rate of deforestation worldwide has been halved over the last 25 years. The bad news: We lost 500,000 square miles of forest—an... More »

Earth Has 3T Trees —and That's Not Good

Study shows Earth has lost nearly half its trees since farming began

(Newser) - Congratulations, environmentalists, tree-huggers, and people who enjoy breathing oxygen: the Earth has seven times more trees—approximately 3 trillion—than previously estimated, according to a new study in Nature . Scientists from around the world created the first "data-driven global tree census" by combining satellite images with tree counts from... More »

Earth Has Just 2 Giant Forests Left

The only 2 unfragmented forest habitats are the Amazon, Congo

(Newser) - To see the Earth's ecology forest for its trees, first we have to acknowledge there aren't many large, intact forests around. In fact, according to a new study published in Science Advances , there are only two such continuous forests left: in South America and Africa, Christian Science Monitor ... More »

Wisconsin's New Scourge: 'Crazy Worms'?

Invasive species has done what locals hoped it wouldn't—survive winter

(Newser) - With 5,000 or so species of earthworms wriggling about the planet, a few are bound to be nastier than the rest. So is the case with Amynthas agrestis, aka the "Asian crazy worm" or "Alabama jumper," an invasive pest found in Japan, Korea, and—for five... More »

In Chernobyl's Forests, Decay Is Terribly Stalled

Leaves aren't decaying, and they could fuel fires

(Newser) - Radiation from the 1986 Chernobyl disaster is messing with local forests' ability to decay—and that's dangerous, both for local ecosystems and perhaps the area's neighbors. Researchers were concerned that decades after the disaster, dead trees in the area still hadn't decomposed, the Smithsonian notes. "We... More »

Oldest Trees Grow at a Scary Rate

They keep 'growing like crazy' as they age

(Newser) - Conventional wisdom about forestry has been chopped down and sent through the chipper by new research that shows large, old trees grow much faster than their younger counterparts—and speed up their growth as they age, becoming stronger as the years go by. Researchers studied measurements of more than 670,... More »

There's an Upside to Yosemite Wildfire

It could restore the forest's ecosystem back to its natural state

(Newser) - The Atlantic goes looking for some silver lining to the Yosemite wildfire , and finds this: Carl Skinner, a US Forest Service ecologist, has discovered that the forest has been altered over the past 100 years due to human intervention into naturally occurring forest fires, becoming less diverse. So the current... More »

'Carbon Saturation' Close for Europe's Forests

Carbon sink at risk, study warns

(Newser) - Yet more bad news for the climate: Europe's forests are approaching the peak of their ability to absorb carbon and may not be able to suck up the same level of emissions in future, according to a new study. Scientists say that while Europe is at its most forested... More »

World's Oldest Trees Dying at Alarming Rate

Research shows 10 times the normal death rate

(Newser) - In what one researcher calls a "very, very disturbing trend," new research finds that the planet's oldest trees have started dying at 10 times the normal rate, a change that could greatly damage the planet's ecosystems and biodiversity. Researchers blame logging, development, drought, and climate change... More »

Mysterious 'Forest Boy' Identified as a Fraud

Robin Van Helsum admits he made it all up

(Newser) - The mysterious "Forest Boy" who showed up in Berlin last year with (so he said) no idea who he was is actually Robin Van Helsum, a 20-year-old from the Netherlands who had been reported missing by his family days before his appearance in Germany. Authorities identified Van Helsum—who... More »

American Forests Not Coping With Climate Change

Study shows they're not migrating as expected

(Newser) - Conventional wisdom has always held that America’s forests would shamble northward in the face of rising temperatures, but a new Duke University study shows that the majority of Eastern US tree species are remaining stubbornly, well, rooted in place. Almost 59% of species actually showed that their geographic ranges... More »

Dying Forests May Mean Hotter World

We're losing a major sponge of carbon dioxide: New York Times

(Newser) - The New York Times has a gloomy story on the state of forests in the US and around the world and the potential effect on the environment. Vast swaths are dying off: Pine beetles that used to be kept in check by cold winters are gorging on trees in the... More »

English-Speaking Teen From Forest Stumps Berlin Cops

'Ray' says he recently buried his father and is all alone

(Newser) - He says he's been living in the forest for years, his parents are gone, and he doesn’t know where he came from. Identified only as “Ray,” a teenage boy arrived in Berlin’s City Hall two weeks ago and remains a mystery to police. On arrival,... More »

Alien Earthworms Threaten Our Forests

One reason for their spread: Fishermen tossing bait

(Newser) - Worms may seem like they would be natural friends of the forest, but some alien invaders are causing problems in the Northeast, say researchers at Colgate University. When exotic species of earthworm are introduced to America's northern forests, they chow down on the organic "forest litter" on the... More »

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