Water, not temperature, limits global forest growth as climate warms

Graphic: 'heat map' showing stressorss

Chart: The growth of forest trees in temperate and boreal regions became more limited by water rather than temperature as the 20th century warmed. The more orange-red the area on the map, the more tree growth in that region became limited by water availability. The bluer the area, the less water-limited the trees became. Credit: Flurin Babst, Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, Zurich

The growth of forest trees all over … [more…]

“Wild, Wonderful” West Virginia’s Decapitated Mountains and Deformed Fish

photo: mountaintop removal by coal mining industry in "Wild, Wonderful" West Virginia - possible cause of deformed fish in the area

Photo credit: Mandel Ngan Getty Images

A scientist documents the poisoning of the state’s waters by the coal industry

I spot a mountain peak covered in dense forest, then another and another. But then, where I expect to see yet another forested mountaintop, I see instead a stunted plateau—a mountain whose once distinct peak has been chopped off, flattened and denuded of vegetation.

My eyes continue to scan the distance … [more…]

Diverse forests are stronger against drought

photo: Aspens affected by drought. Credit: William Anderegg

Photo: Aspens affected by drought. Credit: William Anderegg

Resilient forests host trees with a diversity of water-use strategies

Diversity is strength, even among forests. In a paper published in Nature, researchers led by University of Utah biologist William Anderegg report that forests with trees that employ a high diversity of traits related to water use suffer less of an impact from drought. The results, which expand on previous work … [more…]

World Water Week: Water, ecosystems and human development | IUCN

photo: World Water Week 2018: water, ecosystems and human development’

Water, ecosystems and human development is the leading theme of this year’s World Water Week. The annual conference on water is held in Stockholm, Sweden from 26 to 31 August and gathers scientists, business leaders, policy makers and water managers to convene and discuss challenges and solutions for our planet’s most precious resource.

“The theme ‘water, ecosystems and human development’ recognises an inseparable trio. Development does not exist without water. … [more…]

Massive Medicine Bow logging plan sparks critics

photo: forest. Massive Medicine Bow logging plan sparks critics

Conservation and water interests are at odds over a plan to log, cut, burn and build roads across 562 square miles of the Medicine Bow National Forest.

The U.S. Forest Service is seeking comments by Monday, Aug. 20 on its “landscape vegetation analysis” that would authorize timber and brush removal over a 15- to 20-year period. The action is necessary “to ensure the future health of the MBNF,” which has … [more…]