Canadian Geographic has just released a short article that certainly begs the half-full-half-empty glass question, or, this case, forests. Over 90% of Canada’s intact* forest is boreal forest, making it, at 300 million hectares, the largest intact forest in the world. However, the same can’t be said for some the species-rich southern forests which have almost eliminated. And, sadly, Alberta has only 16% of it’s intact boreal forestremaining. So, much to celebrate, but also much to consider.
*intact = a forest area of 50 000ha or larger.
Sad news from the Journal of Science, reported by the Guardian:
Alarm as study reveals world’s tropical forests are huge carbon emission source
This drastically changes the climate landscape, as tropical forests can longer be counted as climate sinks.
Forests globally are so degraded that instead of absorbing emissions they now release more carbon annually than all the traffic in the US, say researchers.
CBC News link
Fascinating! Carbon, in the form of graphite, that’s 3.95 billion years old – only 500 million years younger than the formation of Earth. Some great scientific ex0lanations in this article, too – rare for pop journalism. Congrats, CBC, for not dumbing it down!
Sad, but true – there is an increasingly significant loss of vegetation cover which is being replaced by bare ground. Perhaps unsurprisingly to geographers, 35% of the new bare ground is in China due to rapid urbanization and transportation developments, whereas in the US (#2 with 17% of the increase) much of the loss is due to resource extraction.
Visit the NASA EO Image of the Day page to see detailed maps and a more complete analysis.
By the way – if you are not already familiar with the NASA Earth Observatory website, do have a look. It is a fascinating examination of the world using remote sensing techniques along with insightful features and global maps.
Alex Cequea of SocialGoodNow.com has produced an excellent video explaining why people are not convinced by facts. I’m guessing, the catalyst for this was (and still is) the climate change deniers.
Why facts don’t convince people
If you’re a teacher, show this to your class, especially if you use debates as a teaching too, as the video also looks into the obstacles preventing people from believing facts and what you can do to help bring people around to the side of fact. But, even if you’re not a teacher, the video provides an interesting and well-researched look at the problem of people “thinking” with their emotions when the facts say something very different.
Spectacular, Caribbean-like vistas and clear water define this wild and little-known corner of Nova Scotia. But with increased media attention, and more and more people looking for unspoilt places to visit, hopefully the islands can have the proper safeguards in place to keep them natural.
100 Wild Islands website
CBC article: The secret Caribbean vistas right off Nova Scotia’s coast
CBC article: Nature trust ‘astounded’ by response to 100 Wild Islands campaign
Now this is a web-based app I could spend hours exploring:
IRIS 3D Earthquake viewer
I can’t wait to introduce it to my classes. What a great way to help students visualize subduction, amongst other things. You really must take a few minutes to immerse yourself.