Get Your Dirt Working With Microbes

There are microbes (tiny, invisible fungi, bacteria and single-cell organisms) are everywhere and life is utterly dependent on them. In the same way microbes are essential to the body, they’re essential to the soil. But agriculture disturbs the soil. Tilling quite literally turns well-established microbial communities upside down. And in the process, stores of carbon are released.

Author Judith Schwartz Examines Water Management

For Judith Schwartz’s most recent project, Water in Plain Sight: Hope for a Thirsty World, Schwartz delves into the little-known role the water cycle plays in planetary health, which she illustrates with vivid, empowering stories from around the world. While we might not be able to change the rate of precipitation, as land managers we can directly affect the speed that water flows off our land and the amount of water that the soil is able to absorb. Trees and other vegetation are more than passive bystanders at the mercy of temperature extremes — they can also be powerful influences in regulating the climate.

Here’s What Indonesia Is Doing About Haze From Forest and Peatland Fires

Two years ago, Indonesia experienced the largest fire event in modern human history, with more than 2.5 million hectares (6 million acres) of tropical landscape burning, emitting more greenhouse gases than all of Germany does in a year. But the most visible sign of the disaster was the haze that spread across a huge swath of Asia; the particulates in the smoke sullying the air that tens of millions of people breathed. According to one study, the haze resulted in an estimated 100,000 deaths.