Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings SW PA, Greater Pittsburgh

Deforestation Alert System Mitigates Climate Change

Deforestation in changing climate

sarah brown/

Deforestation, which contributes to warming the planet, is a key factor behind the 40 percent increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide since the beginning of the industrial age. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the global average atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration in 2018 was 407.4 parts per million, higher than it’s been in almost 1 million years. Avoiding deforestation is much better than conducting reforestation efforts after the fact, and should be a key global climate change mitigation strategy, says Jennifer Alix-Garcia, a researcher at Oregon State University.

The Global Land Analysis and Discovery System (GLAD), founded in 2016 by the University of Maryland’s Department of Geographical Sciences, is based on high-resolution satellite imaging from the NASA Landsat Science program. Subscribers can access data via a free interactive web application, Global Forest Watch. So far, forest loss has declined 18 percent in African nations where GLAD provided alerts when detecting deforestation activities. Previously, government agencies and other groups had to use reports from volunteers or forest rangers.

Upcoming Events Near You
Digital Issue
Healthy Ways To Spend Time At Home
Global Brief: Natural Thinking Spending Time in Nature Increases Cognitive Performance
More of our time is spent indoors than ever before. One of the ways by which nature may improve cognitive function (i.e. the acquisition of and goal-oriented use of knowledge) is by improving memory formation and recall, specifically that of short-term or working memory, and goal-oriented or directed attention; the kind that requires focused effort. By comparing and contrasting 13 studies, a team of researchers has shed light on this complex interaction in research published in Frontiers in Psychology. The studies used the backwards digit span task, which requires participants to invert a series of numbers and repeat them back. All demonstrated significantly improved cognition in nature as compared to urban environments. The benefits of studies like this are two-fold: not only are we learning more about how the brain interacts with its environment, but also how to leverage this interaction to lead healthier, more productive and happier lives.
Like Us On Facebook!