Forests Key to Mitigating Climate Change
A new report out by the U.S. Forest Service claims that forests are the key to mitigating the worst affects of climate change. The study finds that something called the hydrologic cycle, a fancy term for the way that water moves both on land and in the atmosphere, is inextricably linked to the climate. Climate change will affect snowpack amounts, timing of spring runoffs, groundwater levels, flooding, forest health and fires, increase droughts and ultimately water quality in general.
Forests are crucial to ecosystems and life on this planet. They are also critical to maintaining the U.S. water supply. Over 50 percent of freshwater comes from forested lands and 18 percent of it is used to quench the Nation’s demand. Forests also reduce runoff, shade water, cycle nutrients, stabilize riverbanks, and help filter out pollutants. Not to mention sustains wildlife, fish, plants, food, energy, and industrial production.
U.S. Green Building Market to Soar
The latest news from the green building sector is that the market is expected to hit $173.5 billion by 2015. EL Insights reports that the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has increased awareness to environmental issues and in turn the need to start building wisely. Green building touches on energy use, water use, indoor air quality, sourcing materials locally and reducing waste and pollution. In the United States alone, about 40 percent of energy consumption comes from buildings.