2019 ESM News

The latest research and updates from the Ecosystems Services & Management Program

2019

12 August 2019
Preserving forests is critical to slowing global warming

Forests are the largest reservoirs of biomass on the planet and an important sink for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. An international team including researchers from IIASA analyzed decades of experiments to map the potential of forests to increase their biomass and continue to absorb and store CO2 in the future.  More

12 August 2019
Mapping the effects of drought on vulnerable populations

The greater frequency of droughts, combined with underlying economic, social, and environmental risks means that dry spells have an increasingly destructive impact on vulnerable populations, and particularly on children in the developing world. In a new study by researchers from IIASA and the University of Maryland in the US, the team set out to map at-risk populations at the global scale.  More

06 August 2019
How much carbon dioxide can tropical forests absorb?

Current climate models suggest that trees will continue to remove manmade greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere, making it possible to stay within the targets set by the Paris Agreement. A study by an international team including researchers from IIASA however indicates that this uptake capacity could be strongly limited by soil phosphorus availability.  More

25 July 2019
Pathways to sustainable land use and food systems: First FABLE Consortium report launched

The Food, Agriculture, Biodiversity, Land, and Energy (FABLE) Consortium has released its first report, titled “Pathways to Sustainable Land Use and Food Systems”.  More

22 July 2019
Understanding the drivers of a shift to sustainable diets

One of the 21st century's greatest challenges is to develop diets that are both sustainable for the planet and good for our bodies. An IIASA-led study explored the major drivers of widespread shifts to sustainable diets using a newly developed computational model of population-wide behavioral dynamics.  More

17 July 2019
Protecting a forgotten treasure trove of biodiversity

The lesser-known Cerrado biome in Brazil is a hotspot of biodiversity, but it is being destroyed at an alarming rate by unsustainable agricultural activities. A study involving IIASA researchers published in the journal Science Advances, calls attention to this forgotten region and urges the international community to support measures for its protection.  More

20 May 2019
IIASA Program Director to join University of Oxford

Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM) Program Director Michael Obersteiner is embarking on a new endeavor and will join the Environmental Change Institute (ECI) at the University of Oxford as Director.  More

17 May 2019
New study maps symbiotic relationships in forests worldwide

Data collected from over 1 million forest plots reveals patterns of where plant roots form symbiotic relationships with fungi and bacteria. The study is the first proof of a new ecological law, and lends new insight into potential climate feedbacks.  More

16 May 2019
Shedding light on the key determinants of global land use projections

Land use is at the core of various sustainable development goals. An international research group consisting of researchers from several institutions including PBL Netherlands, IIASA, and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, endeavored to disentangle the key determinants of global land use projections in a study published in Nature Communications this week.  More

15 May 2019
Horizon 2020 project launches innovative earth observation

IIASA will play a key role in a Europe-wide project to transform earth observation data into useful products and services to support action on sustainable development and climate change.  More

15 May 2019
Satellite data shed new light on North Korea

Nocturnal luminosity implies that North Korea's economy is poorer, more volatile and more vulnerable to weather that formerly thought according to an article in The Economist.  More

14 May 2019
NatureMap-plants: help conservation scientists reveal hidden important places for biodiversity conservation

NatureMap-plants is a citizen science project aimed at improving our knowledge of flowering plant species distribution in four countries - Indonesia, India, Ethiopia and Turkey - that are extremely rich in plant species. Currently, these countries have insufficient plant observation data available to be able to identify areas of high plant species richness and to ensure that threatened plants are sufficiently protected to avoid their extinction.  More

14 May 2019
Fixing a broken food system

In a comment in Nature, researchers lay out a solution for climate change and food security that draws on an integrated view of agriculture, biodiversity, trade, and nutrition.  More

13 May 2019
Trade could be key to balancing the conservation of natural freshwater sources and food security

An IIASA study published in the journal Nature Sustainability today, evaluated whether water for the environment could be prioritized under growing competition from other sectors. The results indicate that this could be achieved by shifting crop production from water scarce- to water abundant regions and tripling international food trade.  More

12 April 2019
Rethinking conservation efforts for improved biodiversity

A study published online by the journal Science, looked into why the global commitment towards the expansion of protected areas has not delivered the expected conservation benefits. The researchers propose a new target and a set of indicators that can galvanize global conservation efforts and lead to positive biodiversity outcomes.  More

27 February 2019
New report identifies critical investment needs for climate-friendly infrastructure

IIASA researchers contributed to a new World Bank report that provides a comprehensive estimate of spending needs for infrastructure goals in developing countries. It shows that smart investments could allow countries to achieve climate goals while simultaneously filling basic needs such as water and energy.  More

17 January 2019
IBFRA

Successful “IBFRA18 - Cool Forests at risk?” conference and appointment of Dr. Florian Kraxner as IBFRA president  More

2018

17 December 2018
Changes in agriculture could cut sector non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions by up to 50%

The agricultural sector is the world’s largest source of non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions, and IIASA-led research has found that changing agricultural practices and a shift in diet away from meat and dairy products could reduce the sector’s emissions by up to 50% by 2050 compared to a situation without mitigation efforts.  More

30 November 2018
European Commission long-term strategy on climate change underpinned by IIASA research

The European Commission has adopted a new long-term strategy, A Clean Planet for all, on how Europe can become climate neutral by 2050 and meet its Paris Agreement commitments, and IIASA research has contributed to the quantitative backbone.  More

29 November 2018
IIASA researchers among top 1% of most highly cited scientists

Several IIASA researchers from the Air Quality and Greenhouse Gases Program, the Energy Program, the Ecosystems Services and Management Program, and the Water Program are among the world’s most highly cited scientists, according to a new list published by Clarivate Analytics.  More

22 November 2018
Crowdsourced field data shows importance of smallholder farms to global food production

A new global field size data set collected as part of a crowdsourcing citizen science project by IIASA researchers has shown that the proportion of smallholder farms may be much larger than previously thought, contributing much more to global food production.  More

21 November 2018
Forests under threat

Options Winter 2018/19: The world’s forests are in serious trouble. IIASA researchers are exploring approaches for protecting the environment and ensuring the sustainable management of this important resource.  More

19 November 2018
A people-centered approach to limiting global warming

Options Winter 2018/19: IIASA’s Low Energy Demand scenario shows how to limit global warming to 1.5°C in a different way.  More

01 November 2018
Reducing US coal emissions through biomass and carbon capture would boost employment

Employing bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), would not only retain 40,000 jobs currently held as part of the US coal industry but would create 22,000 new jobs in the forestry and transportation sectors by the middle of this century, according to new IIASA-led research.  More

30 October 2018
Nothing natural about nature’s steep decline: WWF report reveals staggering extent of human impact on planet

Humanity and the way we feed, fuel and finance our societies and economies is pushing nature and the services that power and sustain us to the brink, according to WWF’s Living Planet Report 2018.  More

23 October 2018
For a lower climate footprint, vegetarian diet beats local

A new study provides a more comprehensive accounting of the greenhouse gas emissions from EU diets. It shows that meat and dairy products are responsible for the lion’s share of greenhouse emissions from the EU diet.  More

19 September 2018
Reduction of soil microbes limit feedbacks in a warming climate

Soil microbes get more active in warmer temperatures, causing increased CO2 emissions. But a new study shows that in prolonged warming, the amount of microbial biomass decreases, balancing the effect.  More

17 September 2018
Paris climate targets could be exceeded sooner than expected

A new study has for the first time comprehensively accounted for permafrost carbon release when estimating emission budgets for climate targets. The results show that the world might be closer to exceeding the budget for the long-term target of the Paris climate agreement than previously thought.  More

28 August 2018
Remote islands harbor higher numbers of non-native species

Numbers of native species on islands decrease with greater remoteness, while the numbers of non-native species on islands increase, according to an international research team including IIASA researcher Florian Hofhansl.  More

30 July 2018
Climate taxes on agriculture could lead to more food insecurity than climate change itself

New IIASA-led research has found that a single climate mitigation scheme applied to all sectors, such as a global carbon tax, could have a serious impact on agriculture and result in far more widespread hunger and food insecurity than the direct impacts of climate change. Smarter, inclusive policies are necessary instead.  More

26 July 2018
IIASA researchers help EU states to assess forestry’s role in achieving climate commitments

IIASA researchers have led the development of new guidance for EU member states estimating greenhouse gas emissions and removals from their forests and developing plans to show how they will account for these emissions and removals in the future.  More

24 July 2018
IIASA signs MOU with Indonesia’s Institute Teknologi Bandung (ITB)

Researchers, scientists and experts from both sides will participate in the joint research project. IIASA will contribute its expertise on modelling while ITB makes their research Indonesia-specific.  More

09 July 2018
Brazil’s Forest Code can balance the needs of agriculture and the environment

If fully implemented, Brazil’s Forest Code, an environmental law designed to protect the country’s native vegetation and regulate land use, will not prevent growth in Brazilian agriculture, according to new IIASA-led research.  More

05 July 2018
Biorefineries will have only minimal effects on wood products and feedstocks markets

A new report from researchers from IIASA, Luleå University of Technology (LTU), and RISE Research Institutes of Sweden has shown that more biorefineries, which produce biobased fuels and chemicals, will have only a small effect on the availability and pricing of wood products and feedstocks.  More

08 June 2018
Citizen scientists across Europe can help monitor land-use change with new FotoQuest Go app

An expanded FotoQuest Go app, developed by IIASA researchers, launches today, and as well as now covering the whole of the EU rather than just Austria, it will have some other exciting new features.  More

12 January 2018
Thinking outside the box on climate mitigation

A new article lays the groundwork for alternative climate mitigation scenarios that place less reliance on unproven negative emissions technologies in the future.  More



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Last edited: 17 May 2019

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Ecosystems Services and Management

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