All posts by Tom Bliss

New study helps conservationists assess climate change

An extensive new study co-authored by UBoC’s Jamie Carr will help scientists update conservation strategies, and understand how climate change is affecting species around the world, as we struggle to limit warming to 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial levels.

Cat-Eyed Mangrove Snake – Boiga dendrophila. Photo by David Bickford. This Southeast Asian snake hunts in mangrove ecosystems, but rising sea levels as a result of climate change will result in habitat loss, threatening the species.

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Can Trees achieve 1.5 degrees?

UBoC’s Professor Piers Forster, who is also Director of the Priestly International Centre for Climate, and an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Lead Author, has returned from Incheon, Korea, in good heart concerning the IPCC’s Special Report SR15, upon which he’s been working for the past week.

While much of the news is stark – we have only a very few years in which to act if we are to limit warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels, and so reduce catastrophic climate change to something we hope will be at least manageable – it’s encouraging to see that the IPCC has identified reforestation as one of four key areas of action.

This map from Carbon Brief shows where afforestation is taking place around the world.

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Delta Energy and Environment offset their carbon again

Delta Energy & Environment is a research and consulting company that provides its clients with independent information, analysis, insight and advice into low carbon heat and distributed energy markets.

They have been offsetting their travel with UBoC for a number of years, and calculated that in 2017 they had been responsible for 178 tonnes of unavoidable carbon carbon emissions, which we were pleased to offset on their behalf using certificates for Plan Vivo’s Trees of Hope project in Malawi.Delta

At Delta-ee we produce high quality, client orientated research and consultation on distributed heat and energy, which inevitably involves national and international travel. We always choose the greenest options, but our company still produces some CO2 emissions. So we offset by various means, and this year have again offset all emissions from flights and train journeys with UBoC”. 

Dr Philippa Hardy Research Manager


Madagascar Smashes It!

(… the target for Terrific Tropical Trees, that is).

With help from private donors, UBoC originally set out to fund 15,640 trees at this remarkable project in Madagascar, via our partners, the International Tree Foundation (ITF).

But thanks to huge efforts by local delivery agency Education Développement, Environnement Naturel (EDENa),  that target has been smashed – with around 24,500 trees being planted for the money we provided – an achievement ITF dub ‘outstanding.’

Potting the orange tree nursery under the shade in Antanifotsy

This project is highly worthy of continuing funding – please contact Tom if you or your organisation would like to contribute.

The full story – with regular updates – is here.

Forests and Well-being – exploring the links.

UBoC’s Jamie Carr has published an interesting piece in The Conversation:

Forests are growing again where human well-being is increasing, finds new study

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John Swanepoel / shutterstock

Jamie Carr, University of Leeds

Countries with high levels of human well-being are more likely to show increasing forest growth. That’s the finding of a new study by a group of Finnish scientists, published in PLOS ONE. Their work shows that countries exhibiting annual increases in the amount of trees typically score highly on the UN’s Human Development Index (HDI), a scoring system that uses measures of life expectancy, education, and income to assess development status. Meanwhile, countries with a net annual forest loss typically score lower on the HDI.

The logical leap of faith here is to think that a remedy for the ongoing loss and degradation of much of the world’s forests would be a massive push for development in deforested countries. But while such a noble undertaking would be desirable in many ways, these apparent environmental links warrant scrutiny.

Continue reading Forests and Well-being – exploring the links.