Timberland Invest...
Follow
Find tag "science"
72.5K views | +52 today
Timberland Investment
Timber Industry | Deals & Transactions | Investment Rationale | Financial Performance | Investors | Asset Managers
Curated by Sam Radcliffe
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

Researcher links Ebola to forests

Researcher links Ebola to forests | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it
A University of Minnesota researcher’s recent work may have found a link between deforestation and the ongoing Ebola epidemic.
As large corporations have spent the past two decades cutting down large forested areas in West Africa to make room for plantations, displaced bats — some of which can carry Ebola — have begun moving to those plantations. The people who work on them are then exposed to the disease.
Though researchers disagree on exactly which species of bat was displaced, reports analyzed by University researcher Robert Wallace show that major policy changes in West African countries can promote the emergence of infectious diseases.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

New study: Global warming triggers surge in tree growth

New study: Global warming triggers surge in tree growth | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Some trees are growing up to 70 percent faster than just a half century ago, as global warming supercharges their metabolism, German researchers report in a new study published in Nature Communications


Three decades ago, forest dieback was a hot topic, with the very survival of large forest ecosystems seemingly in doubt. But instead of a collapse, the latest studies indicate that forests have actually been growing at a faster rate. The new data from the Technische Universität München comes from forest plots that have been closely monitored since 1870. The forested areas are also representative of the typical climate and environmental conditions found in Central Europe.


“Our findings are based on a unique data pool,” maintains Prof. Hans Pretzsch from TUM’s Chair for Forest Growth and Yield, who headed up the study.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

The intelligent drones of the future will cut their teeth scanning forests in Finland

The intelligent drones of the future will cut their teeth scanning forests in Finland | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

The future of fully autonomous robots may be built by a company that is laser scanning the boreal forests of Finland with drones. Helsinki-based Sharper Shape is already bringing a new approach to forest surveying, which is vital for Finland’s electricity grid. But its founders also want to be the top vendor of intelligence systems for drones—and not just in Finland. Sharper Shape wants to put a brain in every unmanned aerial vehicle worldwide.

***

In current practice, a Sharper Shape laser device is attached to a helicopter that flies over the forest to be surveyedAs the onboard lasers scan the ground and plot trees and other objects in 3D, software interprets the data to categorize each object in real-timeThe system then analyzes the data about the forest to provide the most efficient locations for laying power lines. The software can even distinguish between a healthy tree and one that might fall down—that’s vital, as a dead tree could easily fall on a power lineThe laser will eventually allow Sharper Shape to ditch the helicopters in favor of unmanned vehicles.


more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

New study: Forests most likely to continue shrinking

New study: Forests most likely to continue shrinking | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Forest cover around the world will continue a slow shrinking before stabilizing at a lower level, according to a new study from the University of Guelph.


Researchers analyzed forest trends from around the world and developed a mathematical model to show future land use changes. They found the most likely model shows forests will decline from 30 per cent of Earth's land mass today to 22 per cent within the next two centuries.

***

They analyzed several centuries' worth of forestry data from the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations and other sources in the literature. Perhaps surprisingly, forest cover has held steady and even grown slightly in industrialized nations. In developing countries, forests are declining as populations grow and farming claims more land. Worldwide since 1990, forests have declined by more than 70 million hectares, a land mass greater than France.

***

They used the world food equation, which relates agricultural land area to population, per capita consumption and farm yield. The model quantifies how much farming improvements, such as increased yield, reduce the amount of land needed to feed a growing population.


But if world population reaches 10 billion (based on mathematical trends), human uses will take up about two-thirds of the world's land area. With 15 per cent of Earth's land mass already classified as arid, only 22 per cent would be left for forest and wild pasture conservation.


"We tried to keep this model simple so there aren't too many unknown parameters. We realize that no one can determine the future, and there could be drastic changes in agricultural yield, food technologies or diet which could impact on our findings, but we attempted to explore those kinds of changes in our scenarios," said [co-author Madhur] Anand.


more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

Failed Metaphors and A New Environmentalism for the 21st Century

Peter Kareiva, chief scientist for The Nature Conservancy, where he is responsible for developing and helping to implement science-based conservation ...

...


[Editor: This is refreshing. The New York Times says "On and on, he demolishes the mythologies built around the environment as something to be conserved separate from human affairs and the failed tactics and world views of the movement he has been a part of for decades. Kareiva is one of a growing array of leading environmental and ecology scholars and doers who see that new models for thinking and acting are required in this time of the Anthropocene, an era in which Earth is increasingly what humans choose to make it — either through action or inaction."]

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

Deer account for almost half of long-term forest change, study finds

Deer account for almost half of long-term forest change, study finds | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

A study released this week has linked at least 40 percent of species changes in the forests of northern Wisconsin and Michigan over the past 60 years to the eating habits of white-tailed deer.

A research group led by Donald Waller, a professor of botany at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, used a pair of strategies to look at the ecological impact of deer. First, they resurveyed 62 sites across northern Wisconsin and Michigan in 2000-01 that were first studied by former UW-Madison Professor John Curtis and his students in the 1950s. "This showed us just how the forest has changed during a time when deer were becoming much more common, but it did not pinpoint the deer themselves as the cause of the changes," Waller says.


Waller's group later examined plant communities inside and outside 17 fenced "exclosures" built to keep out deer but not smaller mammals. The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

The Next Big Thing You Missed: How We Can Manufacture Forests Like Toyota Makes Cars

The Next Big Thing You Missed: How We Can Manufacture Forests Like Toyota Makes Cars | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

For a young industrial engineer, Shubhendu Sharma couldn’t have landed a gig much sweeter than Toyota. As the originator of “just-in-time production,” Toyota pioneered the lean manufacturing movement that helped make it a dominant global automaker. But when a venerable Japanese forestry expert visited the company’s Bangalore factory to plant some greenery, Sharma was captivated by the idea of engineering a new kind of efficiency.


He wondered if Toyota’s wildly successful strategy for quickly and efficiently making cars could be applied to growing trees. The result is a startup called Afforestt.
***
By repurposing the basic model behind Toyota’s car-making process, Sharma believes he has developed a system that can compress the process of reforestation into one-tenth of the time nature would take on its own. “We needed to standardize the process of forest-making,” he explains. “Today, we can make a forest for as low as the cost of an iPhone.”


Akira Miyawaki, the forester who inspired Sharma, is an expert in regenerating native habitats on land wrecked by industrialization. His approach involves densely planting dozens of native species to encourage a full-blown ecosystem to quickly take root. Sharama’s goal with Afforestt, which he founded in 2011, is to adapt Miyawaki’s approach for ready use anywhere in the world. In the unavoidable jargon of the startup world, he wants to create a platform for forest-making.
***
Afforestt is a for-profit company that has worked with corporate and government clients on reforestation projects. Its broader goal, Sharma said during a recent talk at the TED ideas conference in Vancouver, is to open-source the approach to create a one-click system. Part of that effort involves creating a database that would give anyone in the world what amounts to a shopping list of native plants they need to seed a new forest. Internet-connected soil probes also could let Afforestt monitor forest growth from afar and help would-be urban foresters anywhere on their progress.

Sam Radcliffe's insight:

If you can "make a forest for the cost of an iPhone" then I guess we have to define what you mean by "forest".

more...
Savannah Rains's curator insight, May 27, 2015 1:57 AM

This scoop is about the industrialization of nature and essentially turning it into an effective assembly line item like cars or other goods. What this means is a young engineer has come up with an idea to reverse the effects of deforestation and plant trees and grow forests in as little as a year. This would help the environment, lower temperatures, and cause a tremendous uproar around the world, causing life to improve. 

Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

Feds to review Oregon timberland herbicides probe

Feds to review Oregon timberland herbicides probe | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Federal scientists have agreed to review the environmental evidence gathered by state agencies after rural residents in Curry County complained they got sick after being sprayed by herbicides meant for nearby timberlands.


Scientists from the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry will work with Oregon state agencies to determine whether enough environmental data has been gathered to make a meaningful determination of the pesticide exposure in the community, spokeswoman Susan McBreairty said Thursday.


If there is enough data, the scientists from the agency _ a branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention _ will do the evaluation.

The pesticides watchdog group Beyond Toxics of Eugene had petitioned the agency to get involved in the investigation into complaints last October from two dozen residents of the Cedar Valley area north of Gold Beach. They complained of vomiting, coughing, loss of balance, skin rashes, blurry vision and other ailments. Some also reported their animals were sickened.
***
The Oregon Department of Agriculture has been investigating. In November, department pesticides program manager Dale Mitchell said the agency monitored the Oct. 16 spraying on nearby timberlands owned by Crook Timberlands LLC of Coos Bay. After people complained of being sick, vegetation samples from four properties were taken.
***
On Friday, Crook Timberlands manager Rick Barnes denied their spraying operation was the source of helicopters and spray seen by Cedar Valley residents. He said the helicopter they hired was loaded from a site on their property, and never flew over Cedar Valley. He added that a person from Oregon Department of Forestry was on site monitoring. Barnes said he has identified another spray operation going on that day, and passed the information on to Department of Agriculture. He would not identify the company.
***
The Oregon Public Health Division has a longstanding cooperative agreement with Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry to look into the effects of chemical exposures and human health, said division spokesman Jonathan Modie. Pokarney said the federal agency has not contacted the Department of Agriculture yet. Oregon Department of Forestry spokesman Dan Postrel said they have not been contacted, either.


Herbicides are commonly used on privately owned industrial forests to control bush, allowing tree seedlings to grow more quickly.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

Study finds logging of tropical forests needn't devastate environment

Study finds logging of tropical forests needn't devastate environment | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Harvesting tropical forests for timber may not be the arch-enemy of conservation that it was once assumed to be, according to a new study led by a University of Florida researcher.

...

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Sam Radcliffe
Scoop.it!

Climate change killing mighty trees in Alaska, researchers say

Climate change killing mighty trees in Alaska, researchers say | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it
U.S. Forest Service researchers have confirmed what has long been suspected about a valuable tree in Alaska's Panhandle: climate warming is killing off yellow cedar.


...the yellow cedar experience also underscores the increasing importance that climate change will play in managing forests...


more...
No comment yet.