deforestation

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Mexico's Avocado Boom Drives a Forest Bust

Farmers are rapidly expanding orchards, clearing trees at much faster clip than thought

(Newser) - Your guacamole is taking a toll south of the border in the form of higher-than-thought deforestation as Mexican avocado orchards expand rapidly, reports the AP . Talia Coria, an official in the attorney general's office for environmental protection, said almost 50,000 acres of forest are converted to agricultural use... More »

An Entire Country Just Banned Deforestation

Norway to stop buying products that contribute to clear-cutting

(Newser) - Norway just became the world's biggest tree-hugger. The Independent reports the European country is the first in the world to ban deforestation, following a pledge by its parliament. That means the Norwegian government won't purchase anything that contributes to the destruction of the world's rainforests, especially beef,... 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 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 »

Brazil: 'Biggest Amazon Deforester' Arrested

Suspect blamed for 20% of forest loss

(Newser) - Brazil has detained a land-grabber thought to be the Amazon's single biggest deforester, the country's environmental protection agency says. The Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources says Ezequiel Antonio Castanha, who was detained Saturday in the state of Para, operated a network that illegally seized federal... More »

Kilns Recall 'Almost Criminal' US History

Utah's old charcoal kilns led to wide deforestation

(Newser) - In Utah's backcountry, you're liable to see wide stretches of open space populated by little more than old brick huts. Their purpose, once essential to the state's economic life, came to be considered "almost like a criminal activity," an expert tells the Deseret News . In... More »

Ugly Number: Amazon Deforestation Up 28%

Rise follows 4 years of decline

(Newser) - A year after reporting the lowest rates of Amazon deforestation since monitoring began, Brazil has noted a big change this time around: a 28% surge in deforestation from August 2012 to this July. During that period, 2,255 square miles were destroyed, compared with 1,765 square miles during the... More »

25% of Liberia at Mercy of Loggers

Thanks to loophole in country's law: report

(Newser) - By exploiting a loophole in Liberian law, international logging companies have gained access to as much as one-quarter of Liberia's landmass, according to a report out today by watchdog group Global Witness. It explains that foreign companies are relying on so-called "Private Use Permits," which were designed... More »

Greenpeace: Barbie's Killing Rainforests

Group unfurls a banner over Mattel headquarters

(Newser) - Greenpeace has set its sights on a new eco-villain: Barbie. The group says it has traced packaging used by Mattel and other toy companies to protected Indonesian rainforests, and they’re taking it out on Mattel’s perpetually well-accessorized doll, Reuters reports. Activists dressed like Ken descended on Mattel’s... More »

Girl Scouts: Thin Mints Killing Orangutans' Home

Duo protests cookies' palm oil recipe

(Newser) - America's cookie buyers shouldn't have to choose between buying Girl Scout cookies and saving orangutans, say a pair of Michigan girl scouts leading calls for the organization to change its recipe. Seventh graders Rhiannon Tomtishen and Madison Vorva, who have rallied Girl Scout troops across the country and... More »

Nations Near Deal to Save Tropical Forests

Developing nations would be paid to preserve land

(Newser) - Looks like the UN climate talks under way in Cancun could yield at least one tangible deal—an agreement to start saving the world's tropical forests. The concept is simple enough: Developing nations such as Brazil, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea would be paid to stop bulldozing their forests, reports... More »

Back From Brink, Eastern Forests Face New Threats

Damage from early colonization recouped, but other forces conspire

(Newser) - In the early days—or, rather, centuries—of the American experiment, the vast Eastern forests were logged almost to oblivion. But with the opening of the frontier to the West, trees from the Northeast to the Gulf Coast rebounded, and by 1997 the forests had regained almost 70% of their... More »

Huge Sandstorm Turns Beijing Sky Orange

Storms have jumped sixfold in 50 years due to deforestation

(Newser) - China's capital woke up to orange-tinted skies today as the strongest sandstorm so far this year hit the country's north, delaying some flights at Beijing's airport and prompting a dust warning for Seoul. The sky glowed and a thin dusting of sand covered Beijing, causing workers to muffle their faces... More »

Why Whaling May Worsen Warming

Whales store carbon in their bones, scientists say

(Newser) - A hundred years of whaling has released about a forest's worth of carbon into the atmosphere, researchers say. Whales serve as "forests of the ocean" by storing carbon in their bones and releasing it when they die. "When you kill and remove a whale from the ocean, that's... More »

Deforestation Reveals Signs of 'El Dorado'

Team spots evidence of massive Amazon civilization

(Newser) - The legends of lost cities that drew Spanish explorers to their doom seeking "El Dorado" in the Amazon may have been rooted in truth after all. Deforestation in Brazil and northern Bolivia has revealed signs, including roads and massive earthworks, of an Amazon civilization much bigger than anything previously... More »

Your Guide to Greenhouse Gases

Carbon dioxide you know, but what about perfluorocarbons?

(Newser) - With things set to really heat up next week at the Copenhagen climate summit, the Guardian runs down greenhouse gases you oughta know:
  • Carbon dioxide (CO2): Industrialization and deforestation have produced high levels of this gas, which helps trap heat inside Earth’s atmosphere.
  • Methane (CH4): Thirty times more dangerous
... More »

Brazil: 'Gringos' Must Pay to Keep Rainforests

Industrialized nations have done most damage to Amazon

(Newser) - Brazil's president says "gringos" should pay Amazon nations to prevent deforestation, insisting rich Western nations have caused much more past environmental destruction than the loggers and farmers who cut and burn trees in the world's largest tropical rain forest. More »

Koalas Face Extinction by Climate, Chlamydia?

Changing world strips diet-staple eucalyptus of nutrients

(Newser) - Australia's koalas face extinction as their population has been decimated by climate change and the loss of trees due to development and wildfires. Six years ago, they were thought to number more than 100,000; today, their count is as low as 43,000. Threats to their diet of eucalyptus... More »

Biofuel Laws Make No Sense: Scientists

Kyoto Protocols actually encourage harming the environment

(Newser) - Biofuel laws around the world actually encourage harming the environment, prominent scientists argue in the latest issue of Science. Under the Kyoto Treaty, in laws throughout Europe, and in the bill that passed the US House, biofuels count as carbon-neutral, on the theory that the plants the fuel is made... More »

Let's Pay People Not to Cut Down Trees

A deal could curb greenhouse gas emissions by 18%

(Newser) - Deforestation releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, so how about paying people to keep trees standing? A pilot project in Brazil has paid families to do just that, and aroused the interest of world leaders who plan to negotiate a climate deal in Copenhagen in December, the Economist reports. But... More »

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