Brazilian Amazon released more carbon than it stored in 2010s

first_imgBrazilian Amazon released more carbon than it stored in 2010s Degraded forest in Mato Grosso, Brazil (credit Ted Feldpausch)The Brazilian Amazon rainforest released more carbon than it stored over the last decade – with degradation a bigger cause than deforestation – according to new research.More than 60% of the Amazon rainforest is in Brazil, and the new study used satellite monitoring to measure carbon storage from 2010-2019.The study found that degradation (parts of the forest being damaged but not destroyed) accounted for three times more carbon loss than deforestation.The research team – including INRAE, the University of Oklahoma and the University of Exeter – said large areas of rainforest were degraded or destroyed due to human activity and climate change, leading to carbon loss.The findings, published in Nature Climate Change, also show a significant rise in deforestation in 2019 – 3.9 million hectares compared to about 1 million per year in 2017 and 2018 – possibly due to weakened environmental protection in Brazil.Professor Stephen Sitch, of Exeter’s Global Systems Institute, said: “The Brazilian Amazon as a whole has lost some of its biomass, and therefore released carbon.“We all know the importance of Amazon deforestation for global climate change.“Yet our study shows how emissions from associated forest degradation processes can be even larger.“Degradation is a pervasive threat to future forest integrity and requires urgent research attention.”Degradation is linked to deforestation, especially in weakened portions of a forest near deforested zones, but it is also caused by tree-felling and forest fires.Climate events, such as droughts, further increase tree mortality.Such degradation can be hard to track, but the research team used the satellite vegetation index L-VOD developed by scientists at INRAE, CEA and the CNRS.Using this index and a new technique for monitoring deforestation developed by the University of Oklahoma, the study evaluated changes in forest carbon stocks.A change of government in Brazil in 2019 brought a sharp decline in the country’s environmental protection.The 3.9 million hectares of deforestation in that year is 30% more than in 2015, when extreme El Niño droughts led to increased tree mortality and wildfires. However, the study shows that carbon losses in 2015 were larger than in 2019.This demonstrates the dramatic impact that degradation can have on overall biomass and carbon storage in the rainforest.The paper is entitled: “Carbon loss from forest degradation exceeds that from deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon.” /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Amazon, Brazil, carbon storage, climate change, Exeter, Government, mortality, Oklahoma, Professor, rainforest, satellite, Scientists, technique, university, University of Exeter, University of Oklahomalast_img read more

Time for tenants – not landlords – to face up to responsibilities

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Focused approach keeps Renfe on target

first_imgINTRO: To beat their financial targets for 1997, the eight operating business units of Spanish National Railways placed key emphasis on sales, applied rigorous cost control and made maximum use of resourcesTHE EIGHT business units forming the Operations Directorate of Spanish National Railways were particularly successful in meeting the commercial and financial targets that were set for them last year. Passenger services are provided by the Suburban, Regional, Long Distance and High Speed business units, the remaining four being Freight, Intermodal, Traction and Rolling Stock Maintenance.In their budgets for 1997, the eight were charged with increasing traffic revenue by 4·7% and ensuring that costs rose by no more than 1·4%. The income target was beaten by 3·2%, 8% up on 1996. Actual costs for 1997 were kept at 1·3% below the budgeted figure, and were roughly the same as those recorded in 1996.This meant that all eight exceeded their cost recovery target for 1997 by 14·4%, thanks largely to a focused strategic approach that places heavy emphasis on sales, makes the fullest use of available resources and tightly controls costs.These strategies have proved to be particularly successful within Renfe, where fixed operating costs represent a large share of the total. The business units have also been forming strategic alliances with suppliers, customers and operators to introduce market forces to the railway environment, motivate staff and attract private finance. The Freight business unit has been particularly active, and has signed an agreement with Transfesa to develop joint marketing initiatives, concentrating first on car parts moving between Spain and Portugal.Efficiency has also been improved by creating market segments, such as the geographical corridors within the Long Distance business unit or the commodity-based structure of the Freight business unit. By focusing on a particular sector of the market, managers can develop a fuller understanding of the commercial environment in which their business unit works.Challenges for 1998 Across the passenger business units, this year will see rolling stock acquisition and refurbishment programmes continue as well as the development of ticketing and information initiatives embracing the Internet, smart cards and ticket vending machines. Customer loyalty programmes will be developed and new schemes introduced, and through ticketing agreements will be signed with other operators.The Long Distance business unit will define and quantify its travel products in terms of passenger comfort, journey time and on-board service. A new agreement is to be negotiated with the Madrid Transport Authority, which will cover 40% of the Suburban business unit’s total annual revenue and could form the model for relations with other regional governments. A similar process will seek to formalise relationships between the Regional business unit and those regional governments that support its services.Key tasks for the Freight and Intermodal business units in 1998 include active paticipation in the Port Bou – Barcelona – Valencia branch of the Muizen – Lyon – Gioia Tauro Trans-European Rail Freight Freeway (RG 2.98 p69). This is due to be inaugurated on May 24, following the signature of an agreement with SNCB of Belgium, CFL of Luxembourg, SNCF and RFF of France and FS of Italy on February 27. Work will also continue on schemes to develop new freight facilities with the help of private finance, and the introduction of total transport packages including warehousing and distribution.Organisational tasks include the fine tuning of accounting procedures to present results by market segment, line management and corridor, as well as tailoring the rolling stock fleet to meet traffic demand.This year will present equally challenging tasks for Traction and Rolling Stock Maintenance, which act as service providers to the other business units within the Operations Directorate. The passenger and freight business units will this year begin to take direct responsibility for traction resources, and more trains will be operated by one driver only. Recent legislation opens new opportunities for purchasing traction current and could lead to strategic alliances with suppliers and other major consumers.The Rolling Stock Maintenance business unit, responsible for depots and five major workshops, will continue to pursue opportunities in the refurbishment market. It will also seek strategic alliances with the private sector and fine tune its maintenance procedures using the latest techniques and equipment. All business units will be drawing up and implementing business plans, as well as staff training and communications strategies and personal savings schemes for employees.Funding frameworkThe broad lines of Renfe policy, as well as investment funding and performance targets, are set out in a five-year Contract-Programme with the government. The 1994-98 Contract-Programme comes to an end on December 31, with Renfe achieving its objectives and bringing down the total cost of the railway to the taxpayer by Pts74·3bn. This figure represents the difference between the 1993 results and those budgeted for 1998, and would reach Pts78·2bn had planned fare rises for Suburban and Regional services been implemented this year.The obvious success of the 1994-98 Contract-Programme suggests that a similar agreement will be signed by Renfe and the government for 1999-2003, setting out major investment programmes for this period. Major investment for 1998 includes Pts53bn for new and refurbished rolling stock, Pts11bn for station improvements and Pts9bn for freight and maintenance facilities. A total of Pts2bn has been earmarked for improving rolling stock reliability, and Pts1bn is to be spent on forming strategic alliances.Courting the private sectorAlthough at present there are no plans to privatise any of its business units, Renfe is actively seeking to introduce market forces and private finance to the railway environment. This strategy lies behind the proposed formation with rolling stock manufacturers of Agrupaciones de Interés Económico (p260) under Spanish and European Community law.These AIEs would operate five selected Suburban, Regional and Long Distance corridors, using fares revenue to meet track access charges levied by the government, Renfe’s operating and maintenance costs and lease payments to the train builder. Designed to meet RENFE’s objectives and those of its suppliers, this novel concept is now being studied closely by the Ministry of Development.The application of the AIE concept to passenger services, and possibly freight corridors, will depend on the results of this study. No formal decisions have yet been announced, and Renfe is working closely with the ministry on this project as with others. oCAPTION: Suburban traffic around Barcelona, Madrid and other cities now forms the major part of Renfe’s total passenger businessCAPTION: Intermodal freight is a growth sector for Renfe, particularly in view of the break of gauge at the French frontierTABLE: Table I. Key 1997 traffic indicators and 1998 targets (millions) 1997 1998Business unit Passengers Pass-km Passengers Pass-kmSuburban 353·27 6·50 361·36 6·63Regional 23·48 2·17 24·25 2·24Long Distance 12·50 6·45 13·15 6·78High Speed 4·37 1·44 4·52 1·49Total 393·61 16·58 403·27 17·15 Tonnes Tonne-km Tonnes Tonne-kmFreight 18·42 7·15 19·30 7·47Intermodal 6·93 3·84 7·14 3·96Total 25·35 10·99 26·43 11·43En Espagne les investissements se poursuiventAu cours de leur programme contractuel de 1994 à 1998, les Chemins de fer nationaux espagnols ont réduit le coût annuel de 74·3 milliards de pesetas et ils ont consolidé leur structure d’entreprise maintenant basée sur 13 unités commerciales. En continuant à concentrer les investissements dans le matériel roulant, la Renfe cherche à développer des liens plus étroits avec le secteur privé et à attirer un financement privé pour certains projets. Sur les lignes à grande vitesse, les dépenses publiques sont maintenant administrées par GIF, qui espère terminer la ligne de Madrid à Barcelone et à la frontière française d’ici 2004Spanische Investition läuft weiterIm Laufe des Vertragsprogramms 1994-98 hat die staatliche Eisenbahn in Spanien die jährlichen Kosten um Pta. 74·3 Mrd. gesenkt und eine Unternehmensstruktur gefestigt, die heute auf 13 Geschäftseinheiten basiert. Während sich die Investitionen weiterhin auf Schienenfahrzeuge konzentrieren, strebt Renfe eine engere Verknüpfung mit dem Privatsektor und den Gewinn privater Finanzierungsmittel für bestimmte Projekte an. Öffentliche Ausgaben für Hochgeschwindigkeitsstrecken werden jetzt von GIF verwaltet, die davon ausgehen, daß die Strecke zwischen Madrid und Barcelona und der franzlast_img read more