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Field Museum Birds
Ben Marks/Field Museum

Animals are shrinking. Blame climate change.

Wild animals are already facing a wide range of threats. If they shrink — and especially if they shrink at different rates, as researchers predict — that could push some species even closer to extinction. And it could throw a wrench into ecosystems that humans rely on…

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Faarmer

Could new soil practices save farmers from climate change?

Some farmers are finding that no-till soil management can insulate plants against extreme weather. Soil health is a big factor in this; managing weather stress, insects, and changing conditions are part of our farming future.

Good Morning America featured this video recently. It’s a good sign that regenerative agriculture is now starting to go mainstream. If you work with farmers and ranchers, this might be something you could share.

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Cows
Progressive Cattle

Solar panel shade for cattle

Dr. Brad Heins, associate professor of dairy management at the University of Minnesota and researcher at the West Central Research and Outreach Center in Morris, Minnesota, implemented this idea at the center’s 300-cow pasture to provide shade for the herd and energy to power milking equipment. “The concept of solar grazing started because we wanted to reduce heat stress and produce energy to utilize in our dairy farm,” Heins says. “Our goal is to have a net-zero dairy.”

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Solar On Parking Lot
Earthlight Technologies

Study: Connecticut could conserve land by installing solar above parking lots

The study, which appears in the current issue of Solar Energy, identified 8,416 large parking lots across the state that are suitable for power-producing solar canopies. Together, those sites could generate 9,042 gigawatt-hours annually, the equivalent of 37% of the state’s annual electricity consumption…

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Dragonfly
Michael P Moore

Climate crisis causing male dragonflies to lose wing ‘bling’, study finds

“Male dragonflies are losing the “bling” wing decorations that they use to entice the females as climates get hotter, according to new research.

The results have led to the scientists calling for more work on whether this disparate evolution might lead to females no longer recognising males of their own species in the long run.”

 

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Finch
iStock

Climate, climate change, and range boundaries

“For the majority of species, boundaries shifted in a direction that is concordant with being a response to climate change; 84% of all species have expanded in a polewards direction as the climate has warmed…”

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Solar 2
RMI

The future of landfills is bright

“There are more than 10,000 closed and inactive landfills around the country. These sites offer an incredible opportunity for solar development. By installing solar on closed landfills, states and municipalities advance local solar energy while repurposing relatively large, vacant sites within communities that have limited reuse potential.”

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Solar 1
BQ Energy Development

Landfills could host more than 60 GW of solar

The Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) released a report, The Future of Landfills Is Bright, that offers a guide to considering the value of solar power installed on landfills. The report indicates that more than 63 GW of solar power plant capacity could be located in less than half of U.S. landfills, generating 83 terawatt hours of electricity each year across all 50 states.

The plants also could generate more than $6.6 billion annually in electricity revenue.

The report offers guidance to local jurisdictions for how to take advantage of these resources, including the considerations that must be taken when building on landfills, as well as how to create a financially viable marketplace for the sale of the solar electricity. It covers several necessary bureaucratic structures, and provides guidance on collecting the data necessary for siting projects on landfills…

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Amherst Town Hall
Amherst Town Hall GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Capped landfill becomes conservation land

“A capped landfill on the south side of Belchertown Road will become Amherst’s newest conservation land.

In what town officials say will be a unique conservation restriction held by Kestrel Land Trust, the 53-acre site on which residents once disposed of their household garbage will be permanently protected.”

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Climate Creatives

Rising Waters

Rising Waters is a conceptual art project by Susan Israel that marks future flood levels due to sea-level rise and storms from climate change. The installations translate complex data into simple visuals that people can immediately understand and relate to viscerally, helping them visualize what is at risk. Susan began Rising Waters in 2013 to educate people about climate impacts and empower them to act.

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