Farmer-scientists driving social change

Posted on Friday, March 16th, 2018 by

On a brilliant day in July, twenty-some years ago, I stood ankle-deep in the cool mud of a fragrant rice field in central Thailand, listening to the farmers around me discuss the bugs on the plants (were these “satru puut” or “satru thammachat”? pests or natural enemies?), and whether or not the Nitrogen-fixing aquatic Azolla they had […]

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A Secret Superpower, Right in Your Backyard

Posted on Thursday, March 15th, 2018 by

As the verdant hills of Wakanda are secretly enriched with the fictional metal vibranium in “Black Panther,” your average backyard also has hidden superpowers: Its soil can absorb and store a significant amount of carbon from the air, unexpectedly making such green spaces an important asset in the battle against climate change. Backyard soils […]

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How Crushed Volcanic Rock in Farm Soil Could Help Slow Global Warming

Posted on Wednesday, February 21st, 2018 by

Volcanic plains tend to be fertile farmland. A new study explores how spreading crushed volcanic rock on farms can increase carbon storage and crop yields. Credit: SounderBruce/CC-BY-SA-2.0 Pulverizing volcanic rock and spreading the dust like fertilizer on farm soils could suck billions of tons of carbon from the atmosphere and boost crop yields […]

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How a Forest With More Mammals Stores More Carbon

Posted on Thursday, November 2nd, 2017 by

To the many moral and practical reasons for protecting the creatures with whom we share this blue marble, add one more. They might help Earth safely store more carbon. Writing in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, ecologists led by Mar Sobral and José Fragoso of Stanford University describe a three-year-long study of mammals and […]

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Land use can achieve 30% of carbon cuts by 2030

Posted on Wednesday, November 1st, 2017 by

Rethinking land use – the way we exploit, manage and neglect the land – could achieve  about a third of the carbon cuts needed in the next decade. LONDON, 1 November, 2017 – Land use is often a forgotten priority, yet those of us who wish to contain global warming and avert catastrophic climate […]

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Greening the Earth could fight climate change as efficiently as cutting fossil fuels

Posted on Friday, October 20th, 2017 by

Planting trees, revitalizing soil, and other natural environmental actions could prove as effective in fighting climate change as ceasing all oil use across the planet, according to new study published by an international team of scientists in the US journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “Better stewardship of the land could have a bigger role in fighting […]

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A brief history of the Earth’s CO2

Posted on Thursday, October 19th, 2017 by

Climate change has been described as one of the biggest problems faced by humankind. Carbon dioxide is is the primary driver of global warming. Prof Joanna Haigh from Imperial College London explains why this gas has played a crucial role in shaping the Earth’s climate. Carbon dioxide (CO2) has been present in the atmosphere […]

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Regreening the planet could cut as much carbon as halting oil use – report

Posted on Wednesday, October 18th, 2017 by

 Planting trees is one of the best ways to harness the power of nature to cut carbon emissions, says study. Photograph: Ben Curtis/AP Planting forests and other activities that harness the power of nature could play a major role in limiting global warming under the 2015 Paris agreement, an international study showed on […]

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The first ‘negative emissions’ carbon-capture plant is up and running.

Posted on Thursday, October 12th, 2017 by

On Wednesday, Iceland flipped the switch on the first project that will remove more CO2 than it produces. The plant is operated by Climeworks, which also opened the first commercial carbon-capture plant in Switzerland earlier this year. Here’s how direct-air carbon capture works: Giant turbines pull in huge quantities of air, hoovering up molecules of carbon dioxide […]

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When Indigenous People Control Their Own Land, It Protects Us All From Carbon Emissions

Posted on Friday, October 6th, 2017 by

Tropical rainforests controlled by indigenous people currently store 25% of the world’s carbon emissions. At the same time, “controlled” is usually something of a misnomer. While indigenous communities claim ownership of up to 50% of the world’s land, they’ve only legally secured about 10% of it.  Many aren’t able to prove–with evidence accepted by courts–that the areas […]

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