Forests Near or Far Can Protect Water for Cities

Forests Near or Far Can Protect Water for Cities

Near or far, forests — like this one at the edge of Hong Kong — affect the movement, quality and availability of water in cities. Photo by Florian Wehde/Unsplash

Water is essential to human health and well-being. In cities, leaders strive to provide secure access to clean, safe and affordable water. In rural areas, farmers hope for adequate rain and healthy rivers to produce healthy crops. The coronavirus pandemic reminds … [more…]

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…]