audibleecoscience Earth Headphones

Audibleecoscience is a database of podcasts on subjects related to global change biology. It is designed as a resource for the general public and for educators looking to assign "required listening" to their students. Reviews of each podcast and links to the original source have been provided by students taking the IB107 class at the University of Illinois. The database is fully text searchable or you can browse on your favorite subject...
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Grasslands and flowers

How to Green the World

Media Source: TED talks
Program Name: TED talks
Show Name: How to Green the World
Broadcast Year: 2013
Original Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpTHi7O66pI

One of the biggest elements of global warming according to Dr. Savory is desertification. Desertification is when the land becomes infertile and dry. According to his studies, a great contributor to desertification is caused by the dry biomass that does not decay biologically before the next growing season. If it builds up it prevents fresh growth the next year. In order to combat this, many farmers have been traditionally burning away the dead biomass - for example, as much as 1 billion hectares of grassland are burned in Africa every year. This burning of fire releases more CO2 than a lot of commercial and industrial activities. This layer of dead biomass first built up when people started hunting cattle and other animals that lived on the land. Originally, these animals periodically trampled the grass which ensured good cover of the soil. When the animals were eradicated, the layers of biomass started to build up because there is nothing removing them naturally. Dr. Savory has started a program of natural grazing and tramping by farmers to reverse the desertification process. So far, the results have been promising. According to some numbers, if we are able to restore just half the grassland in the world using this tramping process, the grasslands would be able to restore the CO2 level back to pre-industrial level. In addition to solving global warming, these newly restored farmland will be able to provide families in poor regions with a source of food.


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