[GWSG] UK citizens assemble; Yellowstone's wolves; a new ecosystem; producing H; forest C storage; overpopulation & climate

Tilley, Al atilley at unf.edu
Tue Jan 28 10:34:14 EST 2020

1. Britain’s first climate assembly has had its first meeting. 110 willing citizens have been randomly chosen to represent the country’s diversity for a series of meetings to generate suggestions to deal with the climate crisis. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jan/27/first-uk-climate-assembly-birmingham-sir-david-attenborough

2. In the twenty years since wolves were returned to Yellowstone Park, aspen and songbird populations have recovered. Wolves are a key species. The story is encouraging for the prospects of protecting existing biodiversity through rewilding.https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jan/25/yellowstone-wolf-project-25th-anniversary

3. Rewilding restores a previous ecosystem. Using animals to produce a new and more desirable ecosystem, such as Arctic grasslands, is called megafaunal ecosystem engineering. That project has the potential to render the heating from melting permafrost less destructive by sequestering more carbon in the ground. https://phys.org/news/2020-01-rewilding-arctic-permafrost-climate.html

4. A new substance can collect the entire energy carried by sunlight and use it to produce hydrogen by catalysis of an acid solution. Green hydrogen could be a significant replacement for natural gas (though it is currently used to supplement commercial methane, and poses the danger that it will act to prolong the life of the industry).  The rhodium used as the catalyst in the process is expensive; a search for a cheaper substance is part of commercializing the find. https://phys.org/news/2020-01-harness-entire-spectrum-sunlight.html?utm_source=nwletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=weekly-nwletter

5.  A new study analyzes the ability of different types of forest to absorb CO2. Tropical forests are losing ability, probably because of deforestation, while boreal forests are gaining, perhaps because they are being fertilized by additional CO2. If so, it is a temporary gain. https://www.carbonbrief.org/tropical-forests-losing-ability-to-absorb-co2-study-says?utm_campaign=Carbon%20Brief%20Daily%20Briefing&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Revue%20newsletter

6. You, too, may have heard people say that overpopulation is the real enemy of a livable climate. While there is more than some truth to that, it is not a useful approach to the problem. We do not have time to solve the climate crisis through reducing the birth rate, though climate will surely solve our overpopulation problem if we ignore it. https://theconversation.com/why-we-should-be-wary-of-blaming-overpopulation-for-the-climate-crisis-130709

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