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Forest fires in Indonesia are closely linked to deforestation


A recent study from LEAF researchers at the University of Leeds found a strong relationship between forest cover loss and the occurrence of fire in Indonesia. Across Indonesia, extensive forest and peatland fires occur every year. Indonesia contains most of the world’s tropical peatlands which are made of partially decayed vegetation that has accumulated over...

Indonesian fires and haze


By Laura Kiely (@laurafkiely)- University of Leeds and UBoC Emissions of smoke from peatland fires may have been underestimated, finds a new study from LEAF scientists at the University of Leeds. In the last few weeks thousands of peatland and forest fires have been burning across Sumatra and Kalimantan, two islands in Indonesia. Smoke from these...

Deforestation of Amazon warms local climate


The loss of forest cover in the Amazon has a significant impact on the local climate in Brazil, according to a new study by LEAF scientists in the School of Earth and Environment. Using satellite data, Dr Jess Baker and Professor Dominick Spracklen explored the impact of deforestation in the Amazon between 2001 and 2013....

i-Tree Leeds: Putting a Value on the City's Trees


As part of the Leeds4Trees project we are exploring the value of trees and green spaces across the city of Leeds, in collaboration with UBoC, the Sustainability Service at the University of Leeds, Leeds City Council, The Woodland Trust, Treeconomics and Forest Research. Urban green spaces such as gardens, parks and woodlands provide many benefits to...

Oil palm sustainability challenges in South-east Asia


Researchers at the University of Leeds and the University of York, in collaboration with partners such as UTM, Malaysia, have been tackling sustainable development challenges associated with oil palm production and consumption from multiple perspectives. This briefing note sets out the major projects and headline findings in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals. Oil palm waste...

Rise of small-scale deforestation across the Amazon


A study from University of Leeds researchers, published earlier this year, found significant shifts in the deforestation dynamics of Amazonian forests. The Amazon Basin is home to over 5 million km2 of tropical rainforest, storing up to 200 petagrams of carbon (each petagram = 1 billion tonnes). Changes to this important ecosystem are expected to...

Warmer springs may actually reduce overall plant growth


An extensive study from LEAF scientists shows substantially reduced plant productivity across northern regions in the months following a warmer spring. Using 30 years of satellite images, an international team led by the University of Leeds examined 41 million km2 of land in northern regions. They found that the early onset in plant productivity caused...

The bright ways forests affect their environment


For decades scientists have tried to find out why forests emit the volatile gases that give pine forests their distinctive smell. A new study led by LEAF scientists at the University of Leeds might help us understand the reasons. Particles in the atmosphere can scatter sunlight, causing light at the Earth’s surface to come from...

The underestimated cooling effect on the planet from historic fires


The extent of pre-industrial era fires, and the cooling that occurs due to their particulate emissions, may have been significantly underestimated, according to a new study. Fires cause large amounts of tiny particles, known as aerosols, to be released into the atmosphere. These aerosols, such as the soot in smoke or chemicals released by burning...