Natural Areas

Climate Change & Conservation eNews

Natural Areas

Walk Boulevard Trees
Pixabay

Study: Review of the Available Literature and Data on the Runoff and Pollutant Removal Capabilities of Urban Trees

This article might be of interest if would like to learn more about the specific benefits of urban forests.

This is a dense, but potentially useful scientific article on the runoff and pollutant removal capabilities of urban trees.

Read More »
Boulevard Trees
Unsplash

Air quality effects of urban trees and parks

There's some interesting research produced by the National Recreation and Park Association. You might find it helpful for more background information on the importance of urban forests.

Trees—and urban trees in particular—provide enormous benefits. For starters, they’re responsible for producing oxygen and removing CO2 and other pollutants from the air. Urban forests in the U.S. remove an estimated 75,000 tons of air pollution per year. They reduce the impact of falling rain and encourage that water to soak into the ground, reducing flooding and erosion as well as preventing pollution from entering waterways…

Read More »
Planting Trees
Getty Images

Using urban forestry to fight for environmental justice

Land conservation around climate work needs to include urban areas, villages, and those places that often aren't seen as "valuable" for conservation efforts. If your local conservation group doesn't conserve land in these areas, it might be time to at least elevate the need by spreading the word and supporting partnerships that do.

Trees—and urban trees in particular—provide enormous benefits. For starters, they’re responsible for producing oxygen and removing CO2 and other pollutants from the air. Urban forests in the U.S. remove an estimated 75,000 tons of air pollution per year. They reduce the impact of falling rain and encourage that water to soak into the ground, reducing flooding and erosion as well as preventing pollution from entering waterways

The U.S. Forest Service estimates that trees reduce the energy consumption needed to cool homes in the U.S. by more than seven percent…

Read More »
Bluebird
Unsplash

The future of birds in our national parks

Audubon scientists have teamed up with colleagues from the National Park Service to look at how the accelerating change in climate will affect the birdlife in 274 National Park Service properties. Detailed reports for every park list birds for which the climatic conditions will be getting better or worse or staying the same. The reports also predict some species that might disappear from each park and others that could move in.

Read More »
Early Fall Foliage
Unsplash

Challenges to the reforestation pipeline in the United States

For those of you who like scientific papers, and are interested in the challenges of reforesting in the U.S., this might be of interest.

To accelerate reforestation, the entire “pipeline” for tree planting (i.e., seeds, nurseries, outplanting, and post-planting activities) would need to be scaled up, including seed collection and storage, nursery production, outplanting, and post-planting treatment and monitoring. Thus, identifying regional limitations and potential solutions is necessary for reforestation to be deployed at scale.

Based on an estimate of reforestable land, a survey of nursery managers, a survey of foresters, and a synthesis of the available literature, we estimated how many seedlings would be required, compared that to current production, examined where potential limitations exist in the reforestation pipeline, and offered some potential solutions to projected limitations…

Read More »
Grassland
Pixabay

Natural climate solutions

We, as conservationists and people who care, need to help others understand how renewables, energy conservation, and land protection are part of the climate strategy. 

In short, it’s time for us to realize that this energy work is core to our conservation mission—perhaps as much or more so right now as invasive species. Check out this informational graph, and the scientific article, linked.

Global Carbon Emissions Data

Read More »
Dragonfly On Stem
blickwinkel/Alamy

Insect populations suffering death by 1,000 cuts, say scientists

This ‘Frightening’ global decline is ‘tearing apart tapestry of life’, with climate crisis a critical concern...

Insect populations are suffering “death by a thousand cuts”, with many falling at “frightening” rates that are “tearing apart the tapestry of life”, according to scientists behind a new volume of studies.

The insects face multiple, overlapping threats including the destruction of wild habitats for farming, urbanisation, pesticides and light pollution. Population collapses have been recorded in places where human activities dominate, such as in Germany, but there is little data from outside Europe and North America and in particular from wild, tropical regions where most insects live.

Read More »
Beetle
Alias 0591/Flickr/cc

‘One of most disturbing articles I have ever read’ scientist says of study detailing climate-driven ‘bugpocalypse’

"Climate warming is the driving force behind the collapse of the forest's food web." —Bradford Lister and Andres Garcia

When a scientist who studies the essential role insects play in the health of the ecosystem calls a new study on the dramatic decline of bug populations around the world “one of the most disturbing articles” he’s ever read, it’s time for the world to pay attention.

The article in question is a report published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) showing that in addition to annihilating hundreds of mammal species, the human-caused climate crisis has also sparked a global “bugpocalypse” that will only continue to accelerate in the absence of systemic action to curb planetary warming.

Read More »
Spotted Butterfly On Flower
iStock

Fewer butterflies seen by community scientists across the warming and drying landscapes of the American West

This new study published in Science looked at three different data sets that cover the last 40 years of butterfly populations across more than 70 locations in the Western U.S..."That so many of our butterflies are declining is very alarming," Dr. Tara Cornelisse, an entomologist and senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD)...

Many recent studies have revealed sweeping declines in insects over the past few decades. Butterflies are no exception. This study used three different datasets, collected by both experts and community scientists, and found that the number of butterflies has declined over the past 40 years. Although the drivers of decline are complex, the authors found that climate change—in particular, warmer months in the autumn—explain a large portion, even as warming summers actually lead to increases. This work shows that climate change impacts may be insidious and unexpected in their effects…

Read More »
Sheep Farm
Civil Eats

Maine farmers struggle with new, harsher climate reality

Helping people understand the impacts of climate change on agriculture is important if we are going to prioritize solutions, including soil health, agricultural viability, and renewable energy that is compatible with agriculture. The Northeast is warming faster than any other region in the contiguous U.S., which means longer, drier summers—punctuated by more intense bouts of precipitation.

Tom Drew thought he’d seen it all. A dairy farmer of 30 years in Woodland, Maine, Drew has weathered an awful lot of change. On an overcast, chilly day last fall, he rested in his milking parlor.

As he leaned his large frame on the metal table, he recounted the history of the farm, his family’s attachment to the old jack pines out front. Like many small and medium-scale dairy farmers, remaining profitable is a challenge for Drew, and every day feels uncertain…

Read More »