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A Brief Guide to the Benefits of Urban Green Spaces


In collaboration with the United Bank of Carbon, and the Sustainable Cities Group at the University of Leeds, LEAF researchers have produced a report summarising the latest research on the impact of green spaces in urban areas. In 2014, around 54% of the world’s population were living in towns and cities, and this number is...

Reduction in Amazon deforestation improves air quality and saves lives


Brazil’s recent success in reducing deforestation rates is saving lives; a new study led by LEAF scientists shows that the recent drop in deforestation has improved air quality across South America, preventing up to 1700 deaths each year. Over the last 50 years, deforestation of the Amazon has been a major environmental issue. Each year...

Deforestation, fires and unhealthy air quality in Singapore


Poor air quality in Singapore is back in the news again this week. In the last few days, the Pollutant Standards Index in Singapore reached 148 meaning that the air quality was “very unhealthy”. Unlike most cities in the world, this poor air quality is not caused by cars or industry but by forest fires....

Tropical forests will still exist in 2100 – but they will be a sorry sight


By Simon Lewis - University of Leeds & UCL; article originally published on The Conversation. By the end of the century, the world’s remaining tropical forests will be left in a fragmented, simplified, and degraded state. No patch will remain untouched – most remnants will be overrun by species that disperse well, which often means...

Fire emissions enhance photosynthesis across Amazon Basin


A new study from LEAF scientists indicates that particles generated by biomass burning in the Amazon increase the productivity of the remaining forest. Fires in forests can occur naturally but are often started deliberately by humans. The main reason for this is to clear the land of trees so that it may be used for...

Just one percent of Amazon tree species account for half its carbon storage


The Amazon rainforest is home to around 16,000 different species of tree, but a recent study from the School of Geography indicates that just 1% of these tree species are responsible for storing almost half of the region's carbon. “Trees produce sugars from CO2, sunlight, and water through the process of photosynthesis, and some of...

Students lead the way in environmental management


On Friday 6th March, students from the Environmental Science for Environmental Management module in the School of Earth and Environment came together to present their research to each other and professionals working in the environment sector. The afternoon saw a wide range of topics discussed on three main themes: ‘Water and Flood Management’, ‘Woodlands, Agriculture...

LEAF Launches!


The Leeds Ecosystem, Atmosphere and Forest (LEAF) centre officially launched on the 24th November 2014 with an event held in the School of Earth and Environment. The aim of LEAF is to bring together all the forest-related research being conducted across campus. By linking researchers across faculties, LEAF will strengthen existing collaborations and encourage new...

VERA project to investigate impact of tropical forests on rainfall


LEAF scientists from the School of Earth and Environment have been awarded a NERC grant to study the complex interactions between tropical forests and rainfall. The Vegetation Effects on Rainfall in West Africa (VERA) project will be led by Professor Doug Parker and Dr Dominick Spracklen at the University of Leeds, in partnership with the...

Hazy times for Singapore


Vegetation and peatland fires occur frequently across Southeast Asia. These fires result in extensive deforestation and forest degradation and release large quantities of carbon dioxide and other pollutants into the atmosphere. Particulate pollution emitted from these fires is of major concern because it has adverse effects on regional air quality, and consequently on human health....