When grown right, palm oil can be sustainable

Turning an abandoned pasture into a palm tree plantation can be carbon neutral, according to a new study by EPFL and the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL). These findings, based on measurements ...

Researchers discover oldest fossil forest in Asia

The Devonian period, which was 419 million to 359 million years ago, is best known for Tiktaalik, the lobe-finned fish that is often portrayed pulling itself onto land. However, the "age of the fishes," as the period is called, ...

The quiet loss of knowledge threatens indigenous communities

Most of the knowledge that indigenous communities in South America have about plants is not written down. Now, ecologists at the University of Zurich have analyzed comprehensive information about the services provided by ...

Global warming—worrying lessons from the past

Fifty-six million years ago, the Earth experienced an exceptional episode of global warming. In a very short time on a geological scale, within 10 to 20,000 years, the average temperature increased by five to eight degrees, ...

Palm trees are spreading northward. How far will they go?

What does it take for palm trees, the unofficial trademark of tropical landscapes, to expand into northern parts of the world that have long been too cold for palm trees to survive? A new study, led by Lamont-Doherty Earth ...

Small-scale agriculture threatens the rainforest

An extensive study led by a researcher at Lund University in Sweden has mapped the effects of small farmers on the rain forests of Southeast Asia for the first time. The findings are discouraging, with regard to environmental ...

What is a forest? NASA/USGS mission helps answer the question

Examining eight different satellite-derived maps of global forest cover, a team of scientists from NASA and other institutions noticed striking differences. The forested area on the maps differed by as much as 6 percent of ...

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