‘Momentum is growing’: reasons to be hopeful about the environment in 2019

Extreme weather hit the headlines throughout 2018, from the heatwave across much of the northern hemisphere, which saw unprecedented wildfires in Sweden, drought in the UK and devastating wildfires in the US, to floods in India and typhoons in south-east Asia.

According to the World Meteorological Organisation, last year was the fourth hottest on record and confirms a trend of rising temperatures that is a clear signal that we are having an effect on the climate. Droughts, floods, fiercer storms and heatwaves, as well as sea level rises, are all expected to increase markedly as a result.

Late in the year there was also the starkest warning yet from scientists of what our future will be if we allow climate change to take hold. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the global body of the world’s leading climate scientists, which has been producing regular reports on the state of climate science since 1988, produced its latest comprehensive overview examining what the future will look like if we undergo 1.5C (2.7F) of warming.

That does not sound like a lot – most people would be hard put to notice a temperature difference of 1.5C – but in climate terms, 1.5C above pre-industrial levels is enough to take us into the danger zone. It would see the mass die-off of coral reefs, the extinction of some species, rising sea levels, wet areas of the world becoming wetter and dry areas drier, and the decline of agricultural productivity across swaths of the globe. Continue reading “‘Momentum is growing’: reasons to be hopeful about the environment in 2019”

‘Forgotten lands’ to receive forestry boost

New Forestry Investment Zone launched in Cumbria to help unlock the economic benefits of forestry.

A new project to help landowners create vital new woodland and unlock the economic benefits of forestry has been launched in Cumbria’s ‘forgotten lands’.

The government’s Tree Champion Sir William Worsley today visited forestry project Snowdon Close in the area to launch the pilot Forestry Investment Zone.

The government will trial a new approach in Cumbria’s ‘forgotten lands’ and work to encourage investment in the zone through measures such as the existing Countryside Stewardship and Woodland Carbon Fund grant schemes. A Forestry Investment Zone officer will also offer tailored support to businesses.

Government will also work nationally with the forestry and timber processing industry to accelerate planting as new approaches to rural funding and payment for public goods are developed.

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Finnish pilot develops a new solution for sustainable forestry

Finnish pilot develops a new solution for sustainable forestry New unique mobile application puts forest Big Data to more efficient use .

The whole of Europe is feverishly looking for new ways to use farm, forest and fishery resources more responsibly and sustainably and to promote the production of the best possible raw materials in order to increase the availability of food, energy and biomaterials. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd, the Finnish Forest Centre and MHG Systems Oy Ltd are among the organisations that have joined forces to accelerate European bioeconomy with the help of big data technologies based on aerial and satellite images and on open forest data provided by Finnish Forest Centre. The Finnish partners have developed, among other innovations, a unique mobile application that puts forest data to more efficient use.
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