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Two groups want to put focus on carbon credits from urban forests

Urban woodlands haven't been seen as a key part of the climate solution. That might change if they are managed in a way that helps them survive. It will also enhance the lives of people who live near them.

National Public Radio discusses urban carbon credit work. Lookout Mountain Conservancy is participating in this effort.

“We know trees can help address climate change. A forest sucks carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. That can be sold as a carbon credit to companies looking to offset their environmental impact. But the way those credits are calculated has long been scrutinized. And two groups want to put focus on urban forests. Bellamy Pailthorp of KNKX explains…”

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Snowy Owl

As Congress funds high-tech climate solutions, it also bets on a low-tech one: nature

The new Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) can make a significant difference with regard to climate change, land conservation, natural climate solutions (including farmland), and renewable energy. Check out how the IRA is also helpful to nonprofits.

[B]eyond those headline-making investments, the legislation acknowledges a less-heralded but essential part of the effort to combat climate change: nature. Or, more precisely, that given a chance, nature can be a profound ally in the fight against climate change…

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Davis Ranches

Climate patterns thousands of miles away affect US bird migration

Bird migration in the U.S. is monitored in the context of four “flyways” or principle migration routes, two in the east and two in the west. The new research digs into the timing of environmental cues, such as temperature and weather patterns, that prompt birds to travel along their flyway.

The scientists analyzed 23 years of bird migration data collected via NOAA’s Next Generation Radar system — a network of 143 radar stations across the continental U.S. — to determine the variability in the birds’ arrival times each spring. This is where they made their first discovery: the U.S. could be divided into two regions, east and west, each with a distinct pattern of variability in bird arrival times…

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Spring Forest Floor Snow
RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Western forests, snowpack, and wildfires appear trapped in a vicious climate cycle

Fire has long been seen as an important part of the ecological cycle. But climate change, and the extreme weather it is driving, is a different ball game.

A new study probes how extreme 2020 wildfires affected the water cycle in key mountain forests that store water in the form of late-melting snow.

The surveys, up at about 10,000 feet in the Rocky Mountains west of Fort Collins, were part of a rapid response science assessment to measure just how much the extreme 2020 wildfire season in the West disrupted the water-snow cycle in the critical late-snowmelt zone which serves as a huge natural reservoir…

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Sea Ice

Climate change drives rapid decadal acidification in the Arctic Ocean from 1994 to 2020

The ocean, which absorbs a third of all of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, has grown more acidic because of fossil fuel use. This scientific study goes into more detail.

The Arctic is warming at a rate faster than any comparable region on Earth, with a consequently rapid loss of sea ice there. Qi et al. found that this sea ice loss is causing more uptake of atmospheric carbon dioxide by surface water and driving rapid acidification of the western Arctic Ocean, at a rate three to four times higher than that of the other ocean basins. They attribute this finding to melt-driven addition of freshwater and the resulting changes in seawater chemistry.

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Anadolu Agency/Getty

Arctic Ocean acidifying up to four times as fast as other oceans, study finds

Scientists ‘shocked’ by the rate of change as rapid sea-ice melt drives absorption of CO2 – with ‘huge implications’ for Arctic sea life, which in turn impacts life on the land.

Acidification of the western Arctic Ocean is happening three to four times faster than in other ocean basins, a new study has found.

The ocean, which absorbs a third of all of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, has grown more acidic because of fossil fuel use. Rapid loss of sea ice in the Arctic region over the past three decades has accelerated the rate of long-term acidification, according to the study, published in Science…

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Saving Our Swamps [Letter in the New Yorker Magazine]

Taking the time to reinforce ideas in the public realm is important if we are going to change people's perceptions of climate solutions. It's not easy getting published. Often you have to respond quickly, which means paying attention to what's going on around you and reserving time to be nimble.

Here you will find a short letter submitted by the land trust’s executive director, under the heading “Letters respond to Annie Proulx’s piece about swamps” (and beavers as part of the climate solution):

The dewatering of North America that Proulx describes was underway well before the nineteenth century, when westward expansionists began cutting down forests and farmers began draining and tilling fields. By the time those people were “reclaiming” land for their use, fur traders had been wreaking havoc on our wetlands for almost two hundred years, through the commodification of beavers…

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Species Migration
Emma Jacobs for NPR

Foresters hope ‘assisted migration’ will preserve landscapes as the climate changes

There's a shift in thinking about assisted migration (what I call "species jumping") given the increased pace of climate change. While many species won't survive, some may have a better chance if humans provide assistance.

“Thinking about actively moving species around is a little, well a lot uncomfortable for us,” acknowledges Abe Miller-Rushing, the science coordinator for Acadia National Park in Maine. “What might be the kind of unintended consequences? What diseases might we unintentionally move around if we move species around?”

He says, historically, the Parks Service has preferred hands-off management and modeled restorations on past conditions. In Acadia though, he noted, not intervening as warming takes place could mean the park’s iconic evergreen forests get replaced by shrubland, dominated by invasive bushes…

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Extreme Heat
Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images

How is the jet stream connected to simultaneous heat waves across the globe?

Check out the graphics. It's helpful to understand what's going on.

“As often happens in the atmosphere, it is connected: if we see an extreme event in one place, it can be connected to extreme events in another,” said Stephen Belcher, chief scientist at the U.K. Met Office. “The Met Office forecasters are looking very, very closely at this wavenumber 5 pattern to see how long it persists,” he added…

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Under The Sea

Study shows 90% of marine species at risk of extinction in 78 years if greenhouse gas emissions are not curbed

Many conservation groups and people are focused on land-based conservation work, yet the health of the oceans will have far-reaching impacts on land-based communities and wildlife, as well as our weather patterns.

Greenhouse gas emissions impact the world’s climate in two ways. They raise the temperature of the atmosphere (and by extension, Earth’s surfaces and bodies of water) by holding in heat, and in the case of CO2 emissions, they make water more acidic, like carbonated soft drinks…

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