puffin in flight

Climate Change & Conservation eNews


Home > Climate News > Climate News: Communications


New 50-year study offers insight into effects of climate on bird reproduction

Study co-author Jeffrey Hoover, an avian ecologist at the Illinois Natural History Survey, describes the findings in an interview with University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign life sciences editor Diana Yates.

Beyond effects of a warming climate on individual species’ reproductive output, the study also considered whether climate change may affect offspring production by interacting with other attributes of the birds…

Warming temperatures also were associated with less offspring production among relatively large birds. These changes were not necessarily caused directly by climate change but by the effects of climate change on the life histories and ecological traits of species that influence clutch size and rates of nesting failure over time…

Read More »

Future of many North American crops may depend on ground beetles’ response to climate change

A new study by researchers at Penn State University, Duke University, and the University of Saskatchewan suggests not all of the nearly 2,000 species of ground beetles found in North America will thrive under climate change. Some could decline. And that could have far-reaching implications for agriculture, forestry, and conservation.

By analyzing data on 136 different ground beetle species from diverse habitats across continental North America, Puerto Rico and Hawaii, the researchers found that a species’ odds of success in a changing climate depend on several core traits, such as its habitat preference, body size, and whether it flies, burrows, climbs, or runs.

“We found that less mobile, nonflying ground beetles, which are critical pest control agents, are more likely to decline over time in a warmer, dryer climate,” said Tong Qiu, assistant professor of multifunctional landscapes at Penn State, who led the study. “That means you’re going to have more pests that can impact agricultural and forest ecosystems…”

Read More »
Werner Slocum/NREL

New Jersey approves pilot program to demonstrate feasibility of agrivoltaics

Other states are paying attention and figuring out how elevated solar (a form of agrivoltaics that allows for greater farm diversification) can be part of farm and ranch viability, soil health, and water management strategy going forward.

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) has approved an agreement with the Rutgers University Agrivoltaics Program (RAP) to facilitate the development and implementation of a Dual-Use Solar Energy Pilot Program over the next three years.

The pilot program will provide incentives to solar electric generation facilities located on unpreserved farmland that plan to maintain the land’s active agricultural or horticultural use. Dual-use solar can provide farmers with an additional stream of revenue, assisting with farm financial viability enabling continued agricultural or horticultural production of land while also increasing the statewide production of clean energy…

Read More »
Creative Commons

Research report: Antibiotics and temperature interact to disrupt soil communities and nutrient cycling

A 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.

Soils contain immense diversity and support terrestrial ecosystem functions, but they face both anthropogenic and environmental stressors. While many studies have examined the influence of individual stressors on soils, how these perturbations will interact to shape soil communities and their ability to cycle nutrients is far less resolved. Here, we hypothesized that when soils experience multiple stressors their ability to maintain connected and stable communities is disrupted, leading to shifts in C and N pools.

Read More »
Politics And Policy

Climate Change in the American Mind: Politics & Policy, December 2022

Climate action needs to be focused on what people can relate to in an authentic way — with solutions they can trust, and to which they can relate. You might appreciate this report, Climate Change in the American Mind: Politics & Policy, from December 2022.

This report is based on findings from a nationally representative survey – Climate Change in the American Mind – conducted jointly by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication. Interview dates: December 2 –12, 2022. Interviews: 1,085 adults (18+), 938 of whom are registered to vote.

Read More »
Folks And Solar

Can agriculture and solar co-exist?

Katie Jilek grew up on a farm, graduated from LEAD New York (an agricultural leadership program), and serves as the Agricultural Stewardship Association's Communication and Outreach Manager.

As New York faces a future that includes wetter winters, and periods of more frequent droughts during the summer, farming continues to be a challenging livelihood. For many farmers looking to retire, as well as new or younger farmers, the economics of agriculture is increasingly a focal point as they plan their future. According to American Farmland Trust’s Farms Under Threat report, New York lost over a quarter million acres of farmland in sixteen years (2000 – 2016).

The loss of NY’s farmland is concerning. But imagine if farmers had an income stream that helped cover rough years caused by drought, flooding, and erratic weather. That’s part of a shift underway to rethink solar development that works for farmers and farming, rather than taking land out of production.

While I think we can all agree that no one wants to see solar panels on good farmland if it takes that farmland out of production, Farmer First Solar changes that paradigm and prioritizes designs that allow for greater farming options, increased farm viability, and soil health…

Read More »

Nicole Braddock honored as 2023 Solano County climate crisis champion

Finding common ground is one of the things Solano Land Trust has been working towards. Whether that means increasing access to trails and parks or supporting the region's farming community, Solano Land Trust is expanding its impact and work to ensure that conservation is part of the community's solution to climate change.

U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson named Nicole Braddock (Solano Land Trust’s Executive Director) the 2023 Solano County Climate Crisis Champion for California’s Fourth District….Braddock stresses the importance that “all children should have equitable access to outdoor programming. Also, Braddock sees her work as “bridge building.”

“Conservation is apolitical, but sometimes when the word ‘climate’ enters the conversation, it starts to become political,” Braddock says. “I want to make sure that all people are a part of the solution. What Solano Land Trust and I stand for is bringing people together to work on the solution together and talk to each other, that’s when all the possibilities open.”

Read More »

Forterra: Modular prototype homes

"Through our community real estate program, we apply our expertise in negotiation, financing, and entitlement to support local communities in fostering well-being. One example of this is cross-laminated timber (CLT), a wood panel product made by gluing together layers of lumber stacked in alternating perpendicular directions.."

The Modular Prototype of ModPro is the building block for the Forest to Home model and the first cross-laminated timber (CLT) modular multi-family home prototype constructed in the United States. Created in partnership with Zaugg AG Rohrbach, a leading timber construction and manufacturing company from Switzerland, ModPro was assembled, plumbed, and furnished in just 22 days.

Read More »

The impact of climate change in the Pacific Northwest

Forterra is a very interesting land trust, one I recommend you follow. Here they note: "Changes in temperatures and precipitation will also affect our mental and physical health. In addition to increasing risk of injury and exposure to toxics or hazardous substances in floodwaters, we can expect higher rates of respiratory and heat-related illnesses and water- and food-borne diseases. Not to mention the added stress that will come from dealing with damage, disruption, and tragedy. This is especially true for vulnerable populations..."

“Instead of feeling overwhelmed, it helps focus on the things we can control. To address climate change, we need to reduce our emissions and increase carbon sequestration. Forterra’s approach is two-fold: restoring our ecosystems, which are natural carbon sinks, and facilitating sustainable new development that both builds social equity and has a smaller carbon footprint.

“Through our community real estate program, we apply our expertise in negotiation, financing, and entitlement to support local communities in fostering well-being. One example of this is cross-laminated timber (CLT), a wood panel product made by gluing together layers of lumber stacked in alternating perpendicular directions. CLT reduces the cost of construction to make homes more affordable, creates new jobs in struggling rural communities, enhances forest health and stores more carbon when paired with sustainable harvesting. Learn about our work with a CLT modular prototype here…”

Read More »

Farming with climate change in mind

Maine Coast Heritage Trust owns a number of farms for educational and recreational purposes. "We’re constantly learning about more regenerative practices from other local farms and Indigenous communities, and we’re sharing what we’re learning with our program participants and through various workshops and networks. For farmers who don’t have the time and resources to try out regenerative techniques, we’re happy to be able to experiment and collect and share data as well as hands-on skills and knowledge of what works."

“A major contributor to climate change is carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Thankfully, trees, plants, and soils can draw carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and respirate out oxygen. (That’s one of the many reasons why we love them so much!)

“As farmers, we’re particularly focused on regenerative agriculture, and making our soils as effective as possible at storing carbon.

“At Erickson Fields, where we grow vegetables, we avoid annual row crop farming…”

Read More »