Finally! A Global Documentation of Plant Extinction in the Anthropocene

“Most people can name a mammal or bird that has become extinct in recent centuries, but few can name an extinct plant. This study is the first time we have an overview of what plants have already become extinct, where they have disappeared from and how quickly this is happening. We hear a lot about the number of species facing extinction, but these figures are for plants that we’ve already lost, so provide an unprecedented window into plant extinction in modern times.” (Ledford 2019)

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Are Eastern USA Temperate Forests Regenerating?

How can we assess the adaptive capacity of forest ecosystems to deal with human stressors? A key indicator is the extent to which forests are regenerating today, that is, producing seedlings and saplings that one day will take the place of mature trees as they age and die. In a recent study, Kathryn Miller and Brian McGill found relatively reassuring levels of regeneration in the northeast and Southeast USA, but low levels in the central mid-Atlantic portion, which could lead to declines in forest cover in this region.

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Is the Planet Warming?

The Earth is warming. No climate scientist would disagree with that conclusion. Right?  Nevertheless, controversy persists. Some climate change deniers point to a “global warming hiatus” after 1998. And there’s that striking warm peak during WWII.  What’s with that? A new statistical analysis of temperature records addresses these and other questions that nag some who follow climate science. Statistical analysis may not seem sexy or easy, but the math in this article once again confirms profound climate realities facing humanity—and scientists.

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