Carbon storage in new rainforests

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rainforestsEleven times as much carbon can be absorbed from the atmosphere by newly grown rainforests than old-growth forests. (BBC Article)

A new study published in the journal Nature, revealed the locations across Latin America that would produce the greatest benefits from growth of rainforests. Newly growing trees maximise their access to sunlight, nutrients, and water, and as such absorb greater amounts of carbon for use in photosynthesis.

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Climate change: How will rising CO2 levels affect trees in the Midlands?

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Lecture on Monday 22nd February: 6pm-7pm, School of Biosciences.


Dr Jeremy Pritchard will discuss the complex ecological system response to the rising CO2 levels which are driving climate change. The Birmingham Institute of Forest Research is conducting an exciting new FACE experiment to discover the ecological impacts.

More information can be found by clicking here.

Diseases affecting bees spread by humans

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Importing and exporting bees has been found to be driving a pandemic which further threatens bees and their hives.

Whole hives of bees can be killed by the Deformed Wing Virus (DWV) and Varroa mite, severely impacting bee populations.

Genetic evidence shows that infected honeybees are spreading the deadly disease to UK bees, suggesting that tighter controls are needed to protect the bees from this, and other diseases.


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Increased global warming from the wrong type of trees?

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A new study has challenged the idea that planting new forest will help reduce climate change. Apparently since 1750, trees grown have increased the warming effect on the planet.

Conifers are generally darker than broadleaved trees, absorbing more heat. As such the scientists from this study believe that species like oak and birch should be replaced by pines and spruce in a bid to reduce further heating of our planet.

However, there is still a wealth of literature supporting the ability of trees to act as a carbon sink – absorbing and storing carbon from the atmosphere and environment.

More details found below and on the BBC.


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Report finds way to cut emissions and noise of HS2 through Birmingham

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Reducing the top speed of the trains on the line between London and Birmingham would cause a massive reduction in carbon emissions as well as noise. Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of CO2 could be saved if trains were limited to 300km/h, a 60km/h reduction.

The journey times would only increase by 4.5 minutes, well worth the benefit to the environment.


Read more below or at The Guardian.

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Give a Fairtrade Rose this Valentines

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8th-12th February

Fairtrade roses will be on sale in the Guild in the week leading up to Valentine’s Day, with all proceedings going to Oxfam!

Roses will be £3.50 each, which includes a handmade card and delivery* on Valentine’s Day to a place of your choice, courtesy of the student volunteers.

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Fairtrade Fortnight is this month!

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29th February – 13th March

fairtrade fortnight

There are many events planned over this Fairtrade Fortnight, raising awareness of the benefits of Fairtrade and how the university incorporates Fairtrade ethics.

More details of the events will be posted to the University’s Fairtrade webpage:

Event details will also be posted here but we have a preliminary list to whet your appetite!

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LUCIA Events

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‘Life Uplifted by Change In Africa’ is a small charity based in Birmingham in the UK and run entirely by enthusiastic volunteers. I spoke to Jane Colbourne to find out more and that chat will be coming soon, but for now here is some information about upcoming events so you can support the great work they do!

  • The 5th February, will be Race Night at Highbury Pub – this will include films of horse racing and you can place bets. £4 entry.
  • There will be a Mamma Mia sing-a-long film night with fancy dress on the 11th March, also at Highbury Pub, £5 entry.


Find out more about this fantastic charity by clicking here!

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January Farmer’s Market

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farmers marketWednesday 27th January 10am-3pm in University Square-Chancellors Court,

Take a walk onto campus for the University’s first Farmer’s Market of the year. The products are locally-sourced and fairly-priced, so anything you buy will be helping the environment!

Typical stalls include: Hindleys Bakery, arts and crafts, hot food, Brockleby’s pies, Elizabeth Patisserie, and Norbury Norrest fruit products.

Click here for more information.