Money Matters - Simplified


Sea grass traps more heat than forest -- Study

According to the latest study initiated by the researchers state that sea grass plays a vital role in controlling heat as it absorbs more heat compared to forests.

Snakes slither into Bangkok homes

Bangkok -- With housing developments going up in former rice paddies and forests in Thailand's capital, more calls are being made to report intrusive snakes.

Yutasak Romchatthong, head of the Bangkok Fire and Rescue Department, said there had been 2,935 calls by the end of October bout snakes in houses, the Bangkok Post reported. There were 1,582 in 2008 and 2,744 last year.

Because only calls where the fire department actually finds a snake are recorded, the actual number of calls is probably significantly higher, Yutasak said.

Most of the snakes are pythons or other non-venomous species. But some cobras turn up, especially in areas recently used for farming.

Beetle-infested forests pose water threat

Denver -- U.S. forest managers say threats to watersheds from fire-prone dying forests are so severe they need help from local water utilities, ski resorts and others.

The crisis, experts say, is a beetle epidemic that has killed more than 17 million acres of national forest, The Denver Post reported Wednesday.

The Forest Service spends nearly $1 billion a year to clear and treat beetle-ravaged forests, but it is looking for help, the newspaper said.

"The federal government doesn't have enough resources to deal with this," said Harris Sherman, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's undersecretary for natural resources and environment.

The problem is erosion and sediment, which can clog reservoirs and water delivery systems, the Post said.

Eastern U.S. forests resume decline

Reston, Va. -- A U.S. government study says forest cover over the eastern United States is again declining after increasing during much of the 20th century.

The study led by Mark Drummond and Thomas Loveland of the U.S. Geological Survey, examined changes in the eastern part of the country from 1973 to 2000 using remotely sensed imagery as well as statistical data, field notes and ground photographs.

The researchers said they found a 4.1 percent decline in total forest area, a "substantial and sustained net loss" equivalent to more than 3.7 million hectares. The researchers describe considerable regional variation, with net loss being particularly marked in the southeastern plains.