Rising water stress will affect plants: if the water potential and vapor pressure are larger in the atmosphere – water will dissipate faster and stronger from soil and plants

The increased growth rate of plants seen worldwide in response to rising CO2 levels – a phenomenon known as “global greening” – could be stalled by growing water stress, a study finds. Global warming is driving changes to water vapour levels, the research finds, which could, in turn, be affecting the rate of plant photosynthesis – the process underpinning plant growth. Article …

How can cities consider mental health in green space planning?

By Jason Plautz@Jason_Plautz in Smart Cities Dive, July 25, 2019 A new paper from an international team of researchers says that cities should consider mental health benefits as they plan nature spaces in cities. The paper, published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, offers a framework for cities to incorporate and measure mental health benefits from parks, tree plantings and other green spaces.  “In …

Neurophilosopher Patricia Churchland explains her theory of how we evolved a conscience.

By Sigal Samuel  Jul 8, 2019, Vox.com Patricia Churchland is a neurophilosopher. That’s a fancy way of saying she studies new brain science, old philosophical questions, and how they shed light on each other. For years, she’s been bothered by one question in particular: How did humans come to feel empathy and other moral intuitions? What’s the origin of that nagging little …

‘Completely Terrifying’: Study Warns Carbon-Saturated Oceans Headed Toward Tipping Point That Could Unleash Mass Extinction Event

July 09, 2019 by Julia Conley, staff writer, Common Dreams “Once we’re over the threshold…you’re dealing with how the Earth works, and it goes on its own ride.” The Atlantic coast near Galicia, Spain. A study by an MIT researcher warns that humans are pumping carbon into the world’s oceans at a rate that could trigger a mass extinction event. …

Spending at least two hours a week in nature may be a crucial threshold for promoting health and wellbeing, according to a new large-scale study

Kayaking through a mangrove forest.Credit: Copyright Michele Hogan Spending at least two hours a week in nature may be a crucial threshold for promoting health and wellbeing, according to a new large-scale study. Research led by the University of Exeter, published in Scientific Reports and funded by NIHR, found that people who spend at least 120 minutes in nature a week are …

Boreal forest is 30% of forest on Earth Jaymi Heimbuch June 6, 2019, TreeHugger.com Welcome to almost 30 percent of the world’s forest cover. The boreal forest is the world’s largest land-based biome. Spreading over continents and covering many countries, the boreal plays a significant role in the planet’s biodiversity and even its climate. Here are 30 facts you want …

Indigenous land rights key to forest protection, which is key to limiting heating to 1.5 C

Excerpt from Climate Progress, May 2019 A new book published by Springer Nature presents a pathway to meet the internationally recognized goal of limiting planetary warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. As part of the study, scientists studied scenarios that avoided deforestation and the role that restoration of intact ecosystems would need to play. “What we have done is the first global study quantifying the …

Progress for whom, and 7 critical graphs showing why Steven Pinker is wrong

Progress for whom, and other critical questions Pope Francis insists we ask line up with points by and data from Jeremy Lent… In Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress, published last year, Steven Pinker argues that the human race has never had it so good as a result of values he attributes to the European Enlightenment of …