A groundbreaking study by Harvard University's Harvard Forest and the Smithsonian Institution reveals that, if left unchecked, recent trends in the loss of forests to development will undermine significant land conservation gains in Massachusetts, jeopardize water quality, and limit the natural landscape's ability to protect against climate change.
The scientists researched and analyzed four plausible scenarios for what Massachusetts could look like in the future. The scenarios were developed by a group of forestry professionals, land-use planning and water policy experts, and conservation groups. The scenarios reflect contrasting patterns and intensities of land development, wood harvesting, conservation, and agriculture. The two-year study is unique in its forward-looking approach and its use of sophisticated computer models to conduct a detailed acre-by-acre analysis of the entire forested landscape of Massachusetts over 50 years.
"What we found is that land-use decisions have immediate and dramatic impacts on many of the forest benefits people depend on," said Jonathan Thompson, Senior Ecologist at Harvard Forest and lead author of the new study. This is the first time a study of this magnitude has been conducted for an entire state. Thompson goes on to say, "Massachusetts is an important place to study land-use because it is densely populated, heavily forested, and experiencing rapid change – much like the broader forested landscape of the eastern U.S. The results of the study show that sprawl, coupled with a permanent loss of forest cover in Massachusetts, create an urgent need to address land-use choices."
New Technology Reduces Home Water Use by 5% EIN News (press release) This research shows that people are motivated to conserve water when you let them know that their water use exceeds that of similar homes," said Lester Snow, Executive Director of...
Washington DC (SPX) Jan 22, 2014 - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published a rule on January 9, 2014 requiring oil and gas companies using hydraulic fracturing off the coast of California to disclose the chemicals they discharge into the ocean. Oil and gas companies have been fracking offshore California for perhaps as long as two decades, but they largely flew under the radar until recently.
By Jakob Barry There are some things in life we just take for granted, like eating snow. As kids we all around outside at one point or another, mouths open wide trying to capture a few flakes with our tongues. Sometimes we’d even walk by a wall...
HOPE International Development Agency is a Canadian, non-profit, international development agency, located in New Westminster (Vancouver), BC. Many of our projects focus on clean water, sustainable living, health, and the environment.
As we adventure though the seasons, meditating and reflecting on our experiences, a narrative inevitably emerges. “Remember when x happened?” “Last year, at about this same time …” When did we last go to x (i.e., a particular place)? Want to go again today?” “All of the things that have happened there!” The longer we immerse ourselves in Nature’s cycles, going deep and ever deeper into what the round of the seasons presents us, the more insightful will be our stories; even our anecdotes of ‘this hike’ or ‘that visit’ to a certain natural vista that has inspired or that sill haunts us with intimations of meaning.
This is incredible. Scientists have found an underground water reserve in Kenya so large that it could meet the entire country's water needs for the next 70 years. Using satellite, radar and geological technology, scientists ...
Global water crisis has reached an all-time high. Addressing issues like limited water access and supply, GE is working towards technologies to ensure efficient implementation of water treatment and wastewater disposal systems.
Do non-human organisms, species, and ecosystems have intrinsic value i.e., value in themselves, for what they are, or as ends? If so, what are the implications for conservation justification and practice?
A bid by San Antonio's water utility to declare ownership of the sewage it treats and releases has sparked a regional tug-of-war — one that could become more common as Texas' thirsty water users struggle to protect their supplies.
Japan consumes 4.7M barrels of oil per day. China consumes 10.2M barrels per day. The United States, consuming roughly 18.5M barrels per day, dwarfs it's closest competitors by a margin of over 3M barrels of oil per day.
Atlas Obscura on Slate is a blog about the world's hidden wonders. Like us on Facebook, Tumblr, or follow us on Twitter @atlasobscura. Mendenhall Glacier, a 12-mile-long mass of ice in Juneau, Alaska, is a popular tourist attraction.
Kansas City Star The Ogallala Aquifer, an important water resource, is in trouble Kansas City Star The life of the Ogallala Aquifer could be extended several decades, but only if water usage is reduced, a four-year study by researchers from Kansas...
The aquifer yields 30 percent of the nation’s irrigated groundwater, the study said. It could last until 2110 or longer if farmers were to cut 20 percent of their usage or more beginning now. But that would reduce agriculture production to the levels of 15 or 20 years ago.
The study was done because there are a lot of questions about “how long can we pump and how long it will take to recharge the aquifer if depleted,” Steward said.
At the current rate, the aquifer will be 70 percent depleted by 2060, according to the study.
Kansas in recent years has begun trying to come up with ways to keep the lake recharging at a rate that doesn’t allow the resource to dry up.
Farmers in Kansas are starting to adapt to declining stocks of groundwater The Economist The market value of the agricultural output of the state's western congressional district is the highest in the country.