Trump says he wants to plant a trillion trees, while opening up millio

In late September, the Trump administration finalized a plan to allow logging in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest—the world’s largest intact temperate rainforest. A little more than two weeks later, on October 13, he issued an executive order calling for a new council to “implement a strategy” for the Trillion Trees Initiative, a global effort to grow and conserve a trillion trees within the next decade.

But while the plans to open up the Tongass are moving forward quickly, with timber sales possible later in the year, the new executive order lacks any concrete detail. “It looks an awful lot like they’re making a plan to make a plan,” says Ryan Richards, senior policy analyst for public lands at the Center for American Progress. “Whereas, at the same time, you’re seeing oil and gas leases going out the door at bargain-basement prices, and a firm plan to remove roadless protections from

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Pachama: Carbon-credit startup puts a price on trees, market opportunity

  • Backed by Amazon and a fund led by Bill Gates, Pachama runs a marketplace for forest carbon credits. 
  • Carbon credits are generated when a forest is conserved or restored. 
  • As more companies pledge to reduce or eliminate their emissions, the market for carbon credits is expected to surge.
  • Researchers challenge the idea that carbon credits effectively curb deforestation and reduce global emissions.
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In August, a forest fire, set by lightning and emboldened by climate change, whipped across the Santa Cruz Mountains in California, ultimately burning more than 85,000 acres.

Diego Saez Gil’s home was among those destroyed.

It was in that home that Saez Gil dreamed up the idea for his startup Pachama. Founded in 2018, the company hopes to fight climate change — which makes wildfires more common and severe — by protecting forests.

“It is

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CRISPRing trees for a climate-friendly economy

poplar tree
Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

Researchers led by prof. Wout Boerjan (VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology) have discovered a way to stably finetune the amount of lignin in poplar by applying CRISPR/Cas9 technology. Lignin is one of the main structural substances in plants and it makes processing wood into, for example, paper difficult. This study is an important breakthrough in the development of wood resources for the production of paper with a lower carbon footprint, biofuels, and other bio-based materials. Their work, in collaboration with VIVES University College (Roeselare, Belgium) and University of Wisconsin (U.S.) appears in Nature Communications.


Today’s fossil-based economy results in a net increase of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere and is a major cause of global climate change. To counter this, a shift toward a circular and bio-based economy is essential. Woody biomass can play a crucial role in such a bio-based economy by

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Pine needles evolved to help trees cope with rainfall

Sept. 29 (UPI) — The needles of longleaf pine trees evolved to effectively shed water, according to a study published Tuesday in the journal Physics of Fluids, ensuring rain moistens the soil instead of clogging leaf pores.

“Our initial inspiration for this project was [to study] raindrop impact on pine trees,” Andrew Dickerson, professor of engineering at University of Central Florida, told UPI in an email.

Dickerson and his research partners wanted to find whether or not rainfall has influenced the material properties of pine needles.

“We began impact drops onto cantilevered needles, but quickly realized the physics was very complicated and that the simpler problem of drop impact onto fixed, non-circular fibers had not yet been tackled,” Dickerson said.

To tackle it, researchers set up high-speed cameras to capture high-resolution, slow-motion video of drops hitting the wedge-shaped needles of longleaf pines.

According to Dickerson, dozens of studies have looked

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