Many of us are familiar with rainforests; lush and exotic environments that serve as the pinnacle of life on Earth. For the most part we assume these only occur throughout the tropics, but as it turns out certain areas in the temperate latitudes can receive just as much rainfall, creating a number of rainforests in unexpected places.
Temperate rainforests are coniferous or broadleaf forests that occur in the temperate zone and receive heavy rain. … The moist conditions of temperate rain forests generally support an understory of mosses, ferns and some shrubs and berries.
“Sunday Morning” takes us to the Muir Woods National Monument in California, a contemplative forest that’s been called a “temple of peace.” Videographer: Lance Milbrand.
Muir Woods National Monument is part of California’s Golden Gate National Recreation Area, north of San Francisco. It’s known for its towering old-growth redwood trees. Trails wind among the trees to Cathedral Grove and Bohemian Grove, and along Redwood Creek. The Ben Johnson and Dipsea trails climb a hillside for views of the treetops, the Pacific Ocean and Mount Tamalpais in adjacent Mount Tamalpais State Park.
Travel to a land sculpted by ancient volcanoes, where crystal blue rivers carve their way through primeval forests, towering mountains give way to lush valleys and pristine lakes, and deep below the surface lie vast networks of cavernous wonders. This is the Deschutes National Forest.
The Deschutes National Forest is a United States National Forest located in parts of Deschutes, Klamath, Lake, and Jefferson counties in central Oregon. It comprises 1.8 million acres along the east side of the Cascade Range.
Plitviče Lakes National Park is a 295-sq.-km forest reserve in central Croatia. It’s known for a chain of 16 terraced lakes, joined by waterfalls, that extend into a limestone canyon. Walkways and hiking trails wind around and across the water, and an electric boat links the 12 upper and 4 lower lakes. The latter are the site of Veliki Slap, a 78m-high waterfall.
It’s no secret that warming temperatures are transforming landscapes in extreme northern regions. In Alaska, where wildfires have burned through many old-growth spruce forests in the past half decade, deciduous trees—such as aspen and birch—are starting to take over. But little is known about the impact these changes will have on how much carbon the forests release and store.
To find out, researchers trudged through the Alaskan taiga, seeking out wildfire sites where spruce once dominated. They mined these sites for information on carbon and nitrogen stores and forest turnover over time. What they found surprised them: In the long run, their estimates suggest that intensifying heat and more wildfires may lead to more carbon sequestration in Alaskan forests, they report today in Science. It’s impossible to know for sure that the flames will subside, but it’s a bit of good news as the fires burn out the old growth and bring in the new.
Australia’s Lord Howe Island is famous for its beauty and unique mix of plants and animals. Nowhere is this more evident than in a rare cloud forest atop the island’s two southern mountains. But its environment has faced a battle for survival.
NASA is working alongside Conservation International and the Liberian Government through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to pilot an innovative and replicable approach to more accurately map ecosystems to support effective planning and sustainable decision-making. NASA’s satellite data and expert analysis will provide a country-wide picture of Liberia’s hardwood forests, mangroves, and other ecosystems; Conservation International and the Liberian Government through the EPA will augment that data with their expertise in ecosystem accounting, field studies, and local knowledge to quantify the value of the country’s natural resources and related ecosystem services.
Liberia is a country in West Africa, bordering Sierra Leone, Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire. On the Atlantic coast, the capital city of Monrovia is home to the Liberia National Museum, with its exhibits on national culture and history. Around Monrovia are palm-lined beaches like Silver and CeCe. Along the coast, beach towns include the port of Buchanan, as well as laid-back Robertsport, known for its strong surf.