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Sheep And Solar
Serkan Ates/Oregon State University

Agrivoltaics bill introduced in U.S. Senate

Based on a recent study, the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Department of Agriculture would develop a regulatory definition of agrivoltaics. The bill, according to NSAC staff, comes with an authorization of appropriations of $15 million for 2024 through 2028.

According to the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), the study would aim to answer many questions about agrivoltaics, including what panel designs are best for livestock versus crops; what animal breeds are best suited to graze under panels; how to handle fencing, manure, and other livestock considerations in solar panel systems; and how growing crops under panels impacts yields, soil moisture, and other factors.

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Judy Anderson

Climate-smart agriculture Inflation Reduction Act Activation Guide

Check out examples of funding available to farmers and ranchers. This might be something you could share with others.

A broad range of companies within the food sector can use IRA-funded agricultural programs to support their climate goals. On average, two-thirds of food sector companies’ emissions are generated by farm-level production, making on-farm sustainability critical for abatement.

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Liana liberation: New study shows freeing trees from woody vines is a profitable natural climate solution

Recent studies from The Nature Conservancy and others show that restoring and protecting nature could provide up to a third of the emission reductions needed by 2030, annually capturing up to 11 billion metric tons of CO2. However, those same studies note that nature needs us to reduce fossil fuel consumption, significantly, for nature to thrive... let alone survive.

Liberating trees from their burdens of woody vines (lianas) is an extremely cost-effective way to improve the economic value of managed forests and help mitigate climate change, according to new research published in Forest Ecology and Management  by scientists from the University of Florida, The Nature Conservancy, Conservation International, and partner institutions…

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Yale Climate Map

Yale Climate Opinion Maps 2021

Those fires in Canada, and of course within our own country, remind us that "keeping it the same" isn't working. Thankfully, there is good news. People are concerned.

This version of the Yale Climate Opinion Maps is based on data through fall 2021. Public opinion about global warming is an important influence on decision making about policies to reduce global warming or prepare for the impacts, but American opinions vary widely depending on where people live. So why would we rely on just one national number to understand public responses to climate change at the state and local levels? Public opinion polling is generally done at the national level, because local level polling is very costly and time intensive. Our team of scientists, however, has developed a geographic and statistical model to downscale national public opinion results to the state, congressional district, and county levels. We can now estimate public opinion across the country and a rich picture of the diversity of Americans’ beliefs, attitudes, and policy support is revealed.

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Fire And Smoke Map

Maps: Tracking air quality and smoke from Canada wildfires

I've been thinking about climate change a lot these days. Last week, the wildfires in Canada continued to rage, with smoke penetrating the northeast to the point of unprecedented unhealthy air.

Smoke and haze lingers over sections of North America, as polluted air continues to spread from hundreds of wildfires burning throughout Canada.

This is the current status of air quality across the United States and Canada. (Here’s a guide to understanding air quality readings.)

In early June, the level of particulate matter in the air from smoke became so unhealthy that many U.S. cities set records. Some Canadian cities experienced far worse conditions. At points, it was hazardous to breathe everywhere from Minnesota and Indiana to sections of the Mid-Atlantic region and the South, according to AirNow, a U.S government data source.

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Dairy Cow
Judy Anderson

Climate change, antibiotics may threaten soil

Researchers say livestock antibiotic residues can degrade microbe activity when combined with rising temperatures. That doesn't mean making animals suffer, however.

study by researchers at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York, has shown that when rising temperatures combine with antibiotic residues expelled by livestock, it degrades soil microbe efficiency, soil resilience to future stress, and its ability to trap carbon…

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Judy Anderson

Breaking down the Inflation Reduction Act program by program, incentive by incentive

The GOP is out to gut the Inflation Reduction Act. Ironically, study after study notes that it's more cost-effective to slow down climate change than to deal with increasing disasters. And that doesn't factor in the loss of life. Here's what's at stake.

The Inflation Reduction Act is the biggest investment in clean energy and climate solutions in American history, so it can be hard to keep track of everything in it. This spreadsheet breaks down the funding opportunities in the bill in a way that allows a variety of users to easily find out which IRA programs and tax incentives can benefit them.

In particular, this spreadsheet was developed for use by:

  • State and local/municipal governments
  • Tribal Nations
  • Businesses
  • Non-profits
  • Institutions of higher education
  • Individual consumers
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Urban Trees
Cokko Swain via American Forests

Cities are rethinking what kinds of trees they’re planting

Inclusive conservation means working with, and for, people and of diverse landscapes, including villages, hamlets, town centers, and cities (and if your region has different language for more populated areas, let me know). That's true with climate change action, too.

The U.S. Forest Service estimates that cities are losing some 36 million trees every year, wiped out by development, disease and, increasingly, climate stressors like drought. In a recent study published in Nature, researchers found that more than half of urban trees in 164 cities around the world were already experiencing temperature and precipitation conditions that were beyond their limits for survival.

“So many of the trees that we’ve relied upon heavily are falling out of favor now as the climate changes…”

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A fresh look into grasslands as carbon sinks

While scientific interest in grassland soil for carbon sequestration is not new, researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Colorado State University have provided a fresh analysis of the existing research on soil carbon sequestration in grasslands.

The researchers also found that continuous livestock grazing reduces plant cover, diversity, and productivity, and that seasonal or rotational grazing show the least negative effects and can even promote soil carbon storage.

“[We found that grassland ecosystems’] plant and microbial biodiversity and functions can be restored by improving grassland management, leading to substantial carbon removal from the atmosphere thus contributing to climate change mitigation”…

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Talking climate in a red state

If you are interested in connecting with people from all walks of life, this is a good talk to watch. Her insights are something that all of us can emulate. It's not rocket science — but so few are doing this.

Climate change has become one of the most politically-polarized topics in the entire country. Today, the extent to which we agree with the simple facts that climate is changing, humans are responsible, the impacts are serious, and action is needed has nothing to do with how much science we know and everything to do with where we fall on the political spectrum.

In such a polarized environment, how can we have constructive conversations that move us forward together rather than driving us farther apart? Katharine Hayhoe untangles the science behind how our beliefs shape our identity and highlights the key role our values can play in shaping our conversations on this crucial topic.

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