Good stories about nature over the past year

New Year has come and I’m getting back to my blog. The forest is sleeping under snow and I want to start this year with good scientific news over the past year (2018).

Tree cover increased

All we heard, that our planet is losing its tree cover. Changes in land use considerably alter the Earth’s energy balance and biogeochemical cycles. However, a study published in Nature journal found that the overall percentage of trees on the planet has actually increased over a 35-year period by 7 percent. Researchers analyzed satellite images between 1982 and 2016 and provided a comprehensive record of global land-change dynamics. Their estimation is that some 60 percent of land change was connected directly to human activity while the remaining 40 percent was caused by indirect agents, like climate change.

Source: Nature journal

Lake in the forest
Lake in the forest

Being among trees makes us nicer people

I personally have no doubts, but also a recent report distributed in Scientific Reports considered the psychological health benefits of living near forests for city dwellers. Those participants involved in the study who lived within half a mile of forest were more likely to show signs of a healthy amygdala, the part of the brain associated with regulating stress. The size of a forest and its distance away from the hustle of the city likely had an influence on reducing stress when compared to the effects of urban parks.

Source: Nature journal

Trees
Trees

Trees have a “heartbeat”

Trees may look tranquil but it turns out they are more active than we thought. Researchers have found that many trees move their branches up and down during the night. The findings hint that the trees are actively pumping water upwards in stages and that trees have a slow version of a “pulse”.

Source: MNN




Want to know more? Read recommended books!

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