It’s a high bar to clear, but this is one of the most depressing facts I’ve read as a climate journalist: the Amazon rainforest—a region known as “the lungs of the world” but battered by decades of deforestation—now emits more carbon than it absorbs. That’s the conclusion of a widely cited study published last week in the journal Nature, for which scientists undertook 590 flights over the Amazon to measure local atmospheric carbon levels over eight years, from 2010 to 2018. - Time
Since Kenneth McDarment was a kid in the 1980s, he’s seen the foothills of the Sierra Nevada change. As a councilman of the Tule River Tribe, a sovereign nation of around 1,000 members living on 56,000-odd acres in the foothills of the Sierras, McDarment deals with everything water-related on the reservation. Today there’s less rain and less snow than there was even a decade ago, which means that the land in the foothills was dangerously dry during the last fire season, when wildfires were sweeping across the state. “If you don’t got water,” says McDarment, “we don’t got nothing. In 2014, McDarment began looking into getting ahold of some beavers. McDarment hoped that beaver dams would create soggy areas on tribal lands that wouldn’t dry out during heat waves. “We’re hoping that means our land will be less likely to burn during fire season,” he says. “Beavers were here originally. So why not bring them back and let them do the work they do naturally? There was just one problem—it is illegal to move beavers without a permit. And a permit to move a beaver isn't easy to come by. - Sierra
Pollution from fossil fuels causes one in five premature deaths globally, suggesting the health impacts of burning coal, oil and natural gas may be far higher than previously thought, Parts of China, India, Europe and the northeastern United States are among the hardest-hit areas, suffering a disproportionately high share of 8.7 million annual deaths attributed to fossil fuels, the study published in the journal Environmental Research found. The new research gives the most detailed assessment of premature deaths due to fossil-fuel air pollution to date. Another study in 2017 had put the annual number of deaths from all outdoor airborne particulate matter — including dust and smoke from agricultural burns and wildfires — at 4.2 million. - Reuters
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