Sea-Level Rise Puts Indo-Pacific Mangrove Forests at Risk

by Grace Stewart

Mangroves provide an array of ecosystem services, from coastal protection to fishery support to carbon sequestration, all of which are at risk in the Indo-Pacific region due to sea-level rise (SLR). SLR can lead to inundation of these habitats and shoreline retreat. Lovelock et al. (2015) analyzed recent trends in mangrove surface elevation, finding that SLR could be combated when sediment availability allowed for soil-surface elevation gain at a rate that exceeded SLR. However, in 69% of the sites studied, SLR rate was exceeding the rate of soil-surface elevation gain. Lovelock et al. also presented a model based on field data that suggests submergence of forests with low tidal range and low sediment supply as early as 2070. Continue reading

Healthier Diets Needed to Avert Climate Change

by Adin Bonapart

Using global datasets, the Bajželj et al. (2014) study models different agriculture-based climate mitigation scenarios that minimize the expansion of cropland while insuring global food security. The business-as-usual (BAU) projections for 2050 result in a scenario in which global agriculture alone produces ~21 gigatons of CO2 every year, almost the full 2 °C global target emissions allowance in 2050. The study quantifies the loss of Net Primary Production potential along the agricultural biomass flow, and identifies areas of significant food waste and inefficient farming practices for improvement. The researchers then examine the effects of different “demand-side” or “supply-side” agricultural efficiency measures and solutions. Continue reading