Earth Day 2021

On April 22nd 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Spearhead by Senator Nelson, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill, the first Earth Day protests forced environmental protection onto the national political agenda and led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passing of key environmental legislation.

Today, Earth Day is widely recognised as the largest secular observance in the world, marked by more than a billion people every year as a day of action to change human behaviour and provoke policy changes. Now, the fight for a clean environment continues with increasing urgency, as the devastating effects of climate change become more and more apparent every day.

To mark Earth Day 2021, Elsevier presents a curated list of free access journal articles and book chapters in support of this year's theme - Restore our Earth.

Elsevier, Trends in Food Science and Technology, Volume 104, October 2020
Background: The environmental impact of meat consumption requires immediate action. Cultured meat—which is emerging through technologies to grow meat ex vivo—has exciting potential to offset the burden of livestock agriculture by providing an alternative method to sustainably produce meat without requiring individuals to become vegetarian. However, consumer uptake of cultured meat may be challenged by negative public perceptions.
RELX,

22nd March 2021

RELX’s Global Head of Corporate Responsibility, Dr Márcia Balisciano, talks to Dr Annabelle Houdret and Dr Michael Brüntrup about water security, sustainable consumption and SDG 6. 
Elsevier, Global Environmental Change, Volume 63, July 2020
Recent research and policies recognize the importance of environmental defenders for global sustainability and emphasize their need for protection against violence and repression. However, effective support may benefit from a more systematic understanding of the underlying environmental conflicts, as well as from better knowledge on the factors that enable environmental defenders to mobilize successfully. We have created the global Environmental Justice Atlas to address this knowledge gap.
Elsevier, One Earth, Volume 2, 19 June 2020
Protecting the ocean has become a major goal of international policy as human activities increasingly endanger the integrity of the ocean ecosystem, often summarized as “ocean health.” By and large, efforts to protect the ocean have failed because, among other things, (1) the underlying socio-ecological pathways have not been properly considered, and (2) the concept of ocean health has been ill defined. Collectively, this prevents an adequate societal response as to how ocean ecosystems and their vital functions for human societies can be protected and restored.
Elsevier, One Earth, Volume 2, 22 May 2020
Mangrove forests are found on sheltered coastlines in tropical, subtropical, and some warm temperate regions. These forests support unique biodiversity and provide a range of benefits to coastal communities, but as a result of large-scale conversion for aquaculture, agriculture, and urbanization, mangroves are considered increasingly threatened ecosystems. Scientific advances have led to accurate and comprehensive global datasets on mangrove extent, structure, and condition, and these can support evaluation of ecosystem services and stimulate greater conservation and rehabilitation efforts.
Elsevier, Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, Volume 292, 15 April 2020
Nitrous oxide (N2O) is the most important greenhouse gas produced by agricultural soils and is a byproduct of microbial nitrification and denitrification processes. The N2O emission rates depend on soil, climatic and management factors. The objectives of this study were i) to evaluate N2O emissions during a barley crop period and its subsequent barley-maize interperiod, under two management systems, and ii) to relate the N2O flux rates with soil mineral N content, waterfilled pore space (WFPS) and soil temperature.
Elsevier, Remote Sensing of Environment, Volume 239, 15 March 2020
The natural world has multiple, sometimes conflicting, sometimes synergistic, values to society when viewed through the lens of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Spatial mapping of nature's contributions to the SDGs has the potential to support the implementation of SDG strategies through sustainable land management and conservation of ecosystem services. Such mapping requires a range of spatial data.
Elsevier, Remote Sensing of Environment, Volume 239, 15 March 2020
In the face of the growing challenges brought about by human activities, effective planning and decision-making in biodiversity and ecosystem conservation, restoration, and sustainable development are urgently needed. Ecological models can play a key role in supporting this need and helping to safeguard the natural assets that underpin human wellbeing and support life on land and below water (United Nations Sustainable Development Goals; SDG 15 & 14).
Elsevier, Remote Sensing of Environment, Volume 237, February 2020
Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicator 15.1.1 proposes to quantify “Forest area as a proportion of total land area” in order to achieve SDG target 15.1. While area under forest cover can provide useful information regarding discrete changes in forest cover, it does not provide any insight on subtle changes within the broad vegetation class, e.g. forest degradation. Continental or national-level studies, mostly utilizing coarse-scale satellite data, are likely to fail in capturing these changes due to the fine spatial and long temporal characteristics of forest degradation.
Elsevier, Global Environmental Change, Volume 60, January 2020
There is widespread belief that meaningful interaction between scientists and practitioners, or co-production, increases use of scientific knowledge about sustainability and environmental change. Although funders are increasingly encouraging co-production, there have been few empirical studies assessing the outcomes of these efforts in shaping knowledge use. In this study, we systematically analyze research project reports (n = 120) and interview project participants (n = 40) funded by the U.S. National Estuarine Research Reserve System from 1998 to 2014 to support coastal management.

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