“Thomas Crowther bursts barefoot from his office into the corridor, sweating through his faded T-shirt and grinning with exhilaration. It’s a warm July day and he has just finished telling NBC News that Earth could sustain another 1.2 trillion trees, which would absorb 200 gigatonnes of carbon, and that the next thing to do is to “stop talking and start planting” His claim comes from the latest in a string of high-profile ecology papers that have drawn the attention of the world’s media — and Crowther is loving it. Publicity, he believes, will get him closer to his goal, and his goal is nothing less than restoring the planet… more here
Crowther with some wood samples. Next door he is playing traffic noise to fungi
A slew of new technologies is making it easier to spot illegal wood imports. My piece for Nature begins with a technology that could tell that a batch of rosewood came from Madagascar and nowhere else …. “When 420 tonnes of deep crimson logs arrived at a Sri Lankan port in April 2014, customs officers cast a suspicious eye … more here
The exquisite array of vessels in wood is unique to each family
It’s a summer night near a forest lake in Germany and something unnatural is going on. Beyond the dark waters lapping at the shores, a faint glow emanates from rings of light hovering above the surface. Nearby, bobbing red torchlights — the least-disruptive part of the visible spectrum — betray the presence of scientists on the shoreline. They are testing what happens when they rob the lake creatures of their night .Read more….
In mini-ecosystems in the Netherlands, researchers test the effects of artificial light. Credit: Kamiel Spoelstra/NIOO-KNAW
I’m gradually adding the best of my archives here. Yet to come: my travel book following the last journey of David Livingstone; my colour supplement piece on the orchid-eaters of East Africa; my guidebook to the Cape Verde Islands; my award-winning feature on the race to patent genes….