Nature

G7 aka the Greedy7: how the world’s wealthiest countries are driving tropical forest destruction

What’s Going On Here? Consumer choices in the wealthiest countries have been revealed to be largely responsible for tropical forest deforestation. The groundbreaking study, published on Monday, is the first to map and quantify   the “deforestation footprint” of individual countries on an international scale.  What Does This Mean? The global demand for tropical forest-related commodities is continuing to rise, including coffee,…

Putting a price on our planet: Independent review urges government, business & citizens to value the natural world

What’s Going On Here? In 2019 the UK’s Treasury commissioned The Dasgupta Review: an independent, global review of the Economics of Biodiversity led by world’s leading economist on ecology, economic, growth and development, Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta. The landmark review published on Tuesday addresses both concerned citizens (that is you, me, and your neighbour!) and governments to change how we think, act,…

Artificial intelligence reveals an unexpectedly large count of trees in the West African Sahara and Sahel

What’s Going On Here? A team of international scientists combined detailed satellite imagery with a deep learning algorithm and managed to find millions of trees in the West African Sahara and Sahel. Using this kind of beneficial AI technology will contribute to a better understanding of the importance of trees outside of forested areas and their role in mitigating degradation, climate change…

How to Make Pet Ownership More Sustainable: What’s Your Pet’s Environmental Pawprint?

Fran Haddock and Jo Wills are both small animal veterinary surgeons with a passion for sustainability and sustainable pet ownership. None of the products mentioned in this article are sponsors. Have you ever considered the environmental impact of your pet? Although it may not be highest on your eco-action list, pets carry significant environmental paw prints throughout their lifetime due to their…

Trees uptake of carbon dioxide predicted to drop as rising temperatures make autumn leaves fall earlier

What’s Going On Here? New research predicts that global heating will cause trees to drop their leaves three to six days earlier than expected. Consequently, forests will absorb and store significantly less carbon dioxide than scientists had hoped. What Does This Mean? In preparation for the coming winter, leaves of deciduous trees change their colour while suspending growth and extracting nutrients. This…

Blue whales return to South Georgia

What’s Going On Here? The critically endangered blue whales have made a return to the island of South Georgia off Antarctica nearly 100 years since it was brought to the edge of extinction from commercial whaling. What Does This Mean? Between 1998 and 2018 only one sighting of a blue whale had been made in the South Georgia area. But in February…

England and Wales tree cover: Uncovered!

What’s Going On Here? Two London boroughs make it into the top 20 list of areas with the most tree cover in England and Wales. What Does This Mean? Tree cover in England and Wales has been mapped and the results might leave you stumped. The trees have been detected using machine learning algorithms applied to high-resolution aerial photographs, terrain maps, and…

Global biodiversity results day wake up call

What’s Going On Here? A decade ago, United Nations members set 20 targets to curb the loss of global biodiversity. The 2020 results are in and the world has failed miserably, with some saplings of success. What Does This Mean? The Global Biodiversity Outlook, published this week by the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) found that natural habitats have continued to…