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“Importance and Value of Trees”

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Since the beginning, trees have furnished us with two of life’s essentials, food and oxygen. As we evolved, they provided additional necessities such as shelter, medicine, and tools. Today, their value continues to increase and more benefits of trees are being discovered as their role expands to satisfy the needs created by our modern lifestyles.

Here, some important benefits of the trees that you probably didn’t know:

  1. An acre of nature trees absorbs the amount of CO2 produced when you drive your car 42.000 Km.
  1. An acre of nature trees provides enough oxygen for 18 people.
  1. Trees reduce UV-B exposure by about 40 percent.
  1. The evaporation from a single tree can produce the cooling effect of 10 room size air-conditioners operating 20 hours a day.
  1. A well placed tree can reduce noise by as much as 40 percent.
  1. One large tree can supply a days’ supply of oxygen for 4 people.
  1. A healthy tree can store 6 kg of carbon each year.
  1. An acre of trees can store 2.6 tons of carbon dioxide each year.
  1. For every 16.000 km you drive, it takes 7 trees to remove the amount of carbon dioxide produced.
  1. A hundred million new trees would absorb 18 million tons of CO2 and cut air-conditioning cost by 84 billion annually.
  1. A belt of trees 40 meters wide and 12 meters high can reduce highway noise by 40 percent.
  1. A tree can absorb as much as 24 kg of CO2 per year and can sequester on ton of CO2 by the time it reaches 40 years old.
  1. A mature tree can have an appraised value between 1.000$ and 10.000$ council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers.
  1. About 20 percent of the worlds’ emissions are a result of deforestation.
  1. CO2 worlds’ emission is 35.000.000 metric tons per year.
  1. CO2 sequestration is 25 kg per tree per year.
  1. One half the dry weight of wood is carbon.
  1. One person emit 20 ton of CO2 per year.

So, what you have to do is “take action”, and just plant a tree. It is so simple, but so important!! Protect the environment!! Do not destroy it!!

Arid Zone Afforestation

 

 

The US cities at risk of flooding – and how they deal with it

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Tropical storm Harvey may have bared its teeth at Houston, but other cities in the US have felt the pangs of nervousness. Several cities are vulnerable to the fiercer storms and sea level rise that are being fueled by climate change.

Cities, by their very nature, struggle during flood situations. Water that would have been soaked up by grass and other vegetation washes off the concrete and asphalt of urban areas and, if not properly diverted away, can inundate homes.

Add in, as in Houston’s case, lax rules around property zoning and a federal flood insurance system that repeatedly pays out for damage to poorly situated houses, and it’s clear cities have much work to do to cope with the changes upon them.

Harvey brought a huge amount of rainfall, but cities now face flooding threats even without a major storm. “Rare events are going to become more common in the future strictly due to sea level rise,” said William Sweet, an oceanographer at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa).

“We are already seeing flooding in property and the streets in Charleston, Norfolk and Miami on sunny days, driven by the tides. That is a looming crisis that is only going to grow more severe over time.”

The nightmare of a Harvey (or Katrina or Sandy) has led to many cities opt for huge sea walls and other expensive engineering fixes. But there is no easy solution – a sea wall simply pushes the water elsewhere, perhaps on to a neighbor’s head. The water has to go somewhere and decades of development on flood-prone land has left little space to maneuver for some municipalities.

“There are coastal cities at risk from an extreme event and they have giant sea walls or houses on stilts,” said Sweet. “But then there are communities that don’t face a big hurricane threat but water is bubbling up from underneath them. They can’t defend against this sort of flooding. You can’t build a wall everywhere.”

Some progressive cities have started to look at alternative approaches, most notably from the Netherlands, where communities “live” with the water, allowing certain areas to flood while aggressively defending critical infrastructure. Natural sponges such as parklands, wetlands and dunes are now also in vogue with city planners.

But as attitudes to flooding slowly shift, the problem is escalating. Scientists are now confident that hurricanes will become more powerful, fed by a warming, moisture-laden atmosphere, while more common “nuisance” flooding will become so frequent along parts of the US east coast that they will occur once every three days by 2045. By around this time, a majority of US coastal areas are likely to be threatened by 30 or more days of flooding each year.

So which cities are at risk and what are they doing about the threat?

Follow the link to learn more about that serious problem, and how climate change is responsible for this situation: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/aug/31/us-risk-flooding-harvey-boston-new-york-miami-beach

Global warming doubles growth rates of Antarctic seabed’s marine fauna – study

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Marine life on the Antarctic seabed is likely to be far more affected by global warming than previously thought, say scientists who have conducted the most sophisticated study to date of heating impacts in the species-rich environment.

Growth rates of some fauna doubled – including colonising moss animals and undersea worms – following a 1C increase in temperature, making them more dominant, pushing out other species and reducing overall levels of biodiversity, according to the study published  in Current Biology.

The researchers who conducted the nine-month experiment in the Bellingshuan Sea say this could have alarming implications for marine life across the globe as temperatures rise over the coming decades as a result of manmade greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Gail Ashton of the British Antarctic Survey and Smithsonian Environmental Research Center said she was not expecting such a significant difference. “The loss of biodiversity is very concerning. This is an indication of what may happen elsewhere with greater warning.”

Sub-zero conditions near the south pole mean there are comparatively few species on the usually frozen land, but below the ice, the relative lack of pollution, traffic and fishing has left an abundance of marine life that divers and biologists compare to coral reefs.

Previous studies of warming impacts have focused on single species, but the latest research examines an assemblage of creatures. Twelve identical 15cm sq heat plates were set in concrete on the seabed. Four were warmed by 1C, four by 2C and four left at ambient temperature as a control.

Until recently, most of the coverage of temperature rises has focused on the north pole, where the shrinking of arctic ice has been most visibly dramatic. But concerns are growing about the impact of global warming on the far bigger southern ice cap.

Follow for more information: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/aug/31/global-warming-doubles-growth-rates-of-antarctic-seabeds-marine-fauna-study

A third of the world now faces deadly heatwaves as result of climate change

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Nearly a third of the world’s population is now exposed to climatic conditions that produce deadly heatwaves, as the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere makes it “almost inevitable” that vast areas of the planet will face rising fatalities from high temperatures, new research has found.

Climate change has escalated the heatwave risk across the globe, the study states, with nearly half of the world’s population set to suffer periods of deadly heat by the end of the century even if greenhouse gases are radically cut.

“For heatwaves, our options are now between bad or terrible,” said Camilo Mora, an academic at the University of Hawaii and lead author of the study.

Mora’s research shows that the overall risk of heat-related illness or death has climbed steadily since 1980, with around 30% of the world’s population now living in climatic conditions that deliver deadly temperatures at least 20 days a year.

The proportion of people at risk worldwide will grow to 48% by 2100 even if emissions are drastically reduced, while around three-quarters of the global population will be under threat by then if greenhouse gases are not curbed at all.

“Finding so many cases of heat-related deaths was mind blowing, especially as they often don’t get much attention because they last for just a few days and then people moved on,” Mora said.

“Dying in a heatwave is like being slowly cooked, it’s pure torture. The young and elderly are at particular risk, but we found that this heat can kill soldiers, athletes, everyone.”

Follow the link to learn more: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/19/a-third-of-the-world-now-faces-deadly-heatwaves-as-result-of-climate-change

Climate change is turning Antarctica green, say researchers

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Antarctica may conjure up an image of a pristine white landscape, but researchers say climate change is turning the continent green. Scientists studying banks of moss in Antarctica have found that the quantity of moss, and the rate of plant growth, has shot up in the past 50 years, suggesting the continent may have a verdant future.

“Antarctica is not going to become entirely green, but it will become more green than it currently is,” said Matt Amesbury, co-author of the research from the University of Exeter.

“This is linking into other processes that are happening on the Antarctic Peninsula at the moment, particularly things like glacier retreat which are freeing up new areas of ice-free land – and the mosses particularly are very effective colonisers of those new areas,” he added.

In the second half of the 20th century, the Antarctic Peninsula experienced rapid temperature increases, warming by about half a degree per decade.

Plant life on Antarctica is scarce, existing on only 0.3% of the continent, but moss, well preserved in chilly sediments, offers scientists a way of exploring how plants have responded to such changes.

Learn more here: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/may/18/climate-change-is-turning-antarctica-green-say-reseatchers

“The problem of Deforestation: causes, effects and possible solutions”

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Deforestation, clearance or clearing is the removal of a forest or stand of trees, often resulting in damage to the quality of the land. Through agriculture and logging, mining and climate change, humans are wiping out irreplaceable forests – and the life that depends on them, face a lot of problems. We are losing not only our primeval forests, which regulate our climate and water resources, but also the amazing range of species that call them home.

For example, the biggest driver of deforestation is “agriculture”, where the farmers cut forests to provide more room for planting crops or grazing livestock. Also, “logging operations”, which provide the world’s wood and paper products, cut countless trees each year. As a result, the problem is becoming more and more serious and the people are not trying to do something, in order to deal with it.

It is very important to understand “how serious the problem is”, especially in terms of the environment.  To make it clear, it is widely accepted that one of the most dramatic impacts is the loss of habitat for millions of species. Eighty percent of Earth’s land animals and plants live in forests, and many cannot survive the deforestation that destroys their homes. They lose their habitat and are forced to move to a new location, while some of them are even pushed to extinction. So, our world has lost so many species of plants and animals in last couple of decades.

In addition to the loss of habitat, the lack of trees also allows a greater amount of greenhouse gases to be released into the atmosphere.  In other words, with constant deforestation, the ratio of green house gases in the atmosphere has increased, adding to our global warming woes. As a result, not only the humans are facing a lot of health problems, but also we observe a deterioration of the problem of global warming.

Further effects of deforestation include soil erosion, because with the clearance of tree cover, the soil is directly exposed to the sun, making it dry. Here, we have to add also the problem of “floods”. In particular, when it rains, trees absorb and store large amount of water with the help of their roots. When they are cut down, the flow of water is disrupted and leads to floods in some areas and droughts in other. 

So, the question is “what we can do to prevent deforestation”?

Some possible solutions:

  • Law and regulations

The best solution to deforestation is to curb the felling of trees, by employing a series of rules and laws at governmental and organizational levels. Laws on timber, wood fuel, farming, and land use among other forest resources must be advanced and enforced to limit deforestation.

  • Replanting – Reforestation

People, communities, governments, and organizations are all active actors. Reforestation involves selecting and dedicating large tracts of land mainly for the purpose of cultivating forests. For instance, in local communities and urban centers, it can be done around market areas, or within city parks.

  • Green Business

Green methods of production and utilization of resources can immeasurably reduce deforestation. Particularly, it’s the focus on re-using items, reducing the use of artificial items, and recycling more items.  By focusing on recycling paper, plastics, and wood products, it means there will be less dependence on the natural resources and trees.

  • Sensitization and Educative Campaigns

By organizing a campaign so as to inform the public, we can achieve positive results. In this way, people will be able to detect the causes, effects, and ways of counteracting deforestation. In addition, sharing information with people including family, friends, colleagues, and the entire community on deforestation and its effects, is an appropriate measure of standing up in unison to combat the clearing of forests.

So, it is very important to understand the seriousness of the problem and, by extension, to take action. It is not obligatory to follow the above ways of dealing, but you can alone discover new methods and contribute in a better future.

Take action! Be positive! Change the world! 

Dipla Aikaterini (Arid Zone Afforestation)

Arid Zone Afforestation – Who we are

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Arid Zone Afforestation (AZA) is a non-profit organization that acts to combat desertification on a local and global level, in arid, semi-arid, and deserted regions, where rainfall is limited or non-existent, by the use of innovative, environmentally friendly planting technologies, such as the Safe Tree planting system.

Our Mission

  • Reforestation and afforestation of arid areas and deserts
  • Research to combat desertification and soil erosion
  • Planting of fruit trees and trees for pharmaceutical and cosmetic use
  • Experimental tree planting in deserts
  • Research and experimental planting to regenerate corroded and deserted areas
  • Protection of the environment and combating climate change by any means
  • Any activity directly or indirectly related to the realisation of the above
  • Reforestation of burned land

Resources

All of AZA’s income assets and resources are derived exclusively from

  • Subscriptions and contributions of the organization’s partners and supporters
  • Donations and sponsorships
  • Inheritances and bequests

Your contribution is vital to further promote the public support and more the movement forward.

Follow us to learn more about our mission and our projects:

Facebook: https://web.facebook.com/aridzoneafforestation/?_rdr

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AridZonAfforest

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/arid_zone_afforestation/

Pinterest: https://gr.pinterest.com/aridzoneaffores/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aridzoneafforestation/

Google+: https://plus.google.com/+AridZoneAfforestationOrg

 

How solar became the world’s best hope for a post-fossil fuel energy system

Seville, Spain, July 11th 2016: Solar Impulse is flying over the Torresol Energy’s Gemasolar Thermosolar Plant, which is partially owned by Masdar, Solar Impulse’s host partner in Abu Dhabi, after taking off from Seville to Cairo, Egypt with André Borschberg at the controls. Departed from Abu Dhabi on march 9th 2015, the Round-the-World Solar Flight will take 500 flight hours and cover 35’000 km. Swiss founders and pilots, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg hope to demonstrate how pioneering spirit, innovation and clean technologies can change the world. The duo will take turns flying Solar Impulse 2, changing at each stop and will fly over the Arabian Sea, to India, to Myanmar, to China, across the Pacific Ocean, to the United States, over the Atlantic Ocean to Southern Europe or Northern Africa before finishing the journey by returning to the initial departure point. Landings will be made every few days to switch pilots and organize public events for governments, schools and universities.

Just a few years ago experts the world over, bemoaned the prohibitive cost of solar power. But today it is widely considered to be the best and most affordable hope for decarbonising the world’s energy system.

Solar prices are down 62% in the last eight years, according to a recent Bloomberg analysis, and on track to beat the cost of coal within a decade. In fact, it’s already achieved that milestone in more than 30 countries, according to the World Economic Forum.

“All aspects of solar power generation are getting cheaper with scale,” says Dr Jonathan Marshall, an analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU).

“A larger market means there is more enthusiasm to improve module technology, that there is more research taking place to increase invertor lifetimes and that ‘soft’ costs such as financing, site planning and installation are tumbling as experience grows.” This is echoed by Professor Keith Barnham of Imperial College London, who singles out the Chinese government for “funding bigger production lines and new supply chains.”

The enormous fall in silicon solar panel prices at the beginning of the decade was, according to Professor, “mainly down to Chinese government and investors funding bigger production lines and new supply chains.”

Learn more herehttp://energydesk.greenpeace.org/2017/04/14/how-solar-power-cost-price-cheap/

Millions of native oysters to be returned to the Solent

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New project aims to restore what was once Europe’s largest oyster fishery, off the south coast of England. Millions of native oysters are to be put into the Solent, once the site of Europe’s largest oyster fishery.

The five-year project aims first to restore a thriving oyster population to the waters between the south coast and Isle of Wight. Oyster beds provide habitat for many other species and the shellfish filter vast volumes of water – 200 litres per oyster – helping to clean up pollution. Once re-established, significant oyster fishing could resume.

A million young oysters will be put into the Solent in 2017, in places where they cannot be legally fished. A further 10,000 are being put in special cages in harbours, from where they can send out larvae.

Oysters have been fished in the UK since at least Roman times and at its peak in the 1920s 40 million oysters were eaten each year, with the abundance leading to the mollusc being known as a poor man’s food. But by the 1960s this had fallen to 3 million oysters a year.

The population in the Solent crashed again recently, with the annual catch falling from 200 tonnes in 2007 to just 20 tonnes in 2011 – about 250,000 shells – and oyster fishing was banned in the Solent in 2013. “It’s a perfect storm of overfishing, habitat destruction, dredging, climate change, disease, invasive species and quite possibly pollution,” said Preston, a marine biologist at the University of Portsmouth who is monitoring the project.

Read more here: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/apr/20/millions-of-native-oysters-to-be-returned-to-the-solent

 

Road verges ‘last refuge’ for plants – conservation charity

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Roadside verges are becoming the last refuge for some of the rarest wild flowers and plants in the UK, according to a conservation charity. Plantlife is calling for better management of grassy verges to preserve a wealth of different flowering plants. It says road margins are a haven for wild plants that have been lost from the countryside.

Some wild plants, such as wood calamint and fen ragwort, are now found naturally only on road verges. The charity says such plants can be brought back from near extinction, with conservation management. But it says even endangered plants on verges deemed nature reserves have been mown or cleared.

For too long road verges have been thought of as “dull, inconsequential places that flash by in the wing mirror,” said Dr Trevor Dines of Plantlife.

“Sadly, road verges have been woefully disregarded for decades and are increasingly poorly managed for nature,” he added.

“Some exceptionally rare plants including fen ragwort and wood calamint are only hanging on thanks to the existence of some remaining well-managed verges.

“But we must not get complacent – only genuine management for nature will safeguard these and other plants from extinction.”

Read more here: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-39670191