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Are Natural Climate Vid

Stanford researchers discuss imperative to combine natural and industrial approaches to global decarbonization

Natural climate solutions are an important part of the puzzle — including soils — but unless we transition off fossil fuels in the near term, and conserve more energy, those natural climate solutions are increasingly at risk.

Protecting carbon sinks, such as forests and wetlands, is key to slowing climate change, but only part of the puzzle, Stanford researchers say. Reducing emissions is still essential for meeting global climate goals…

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Tundra
Pixabay

Pliocene warmth, polar amplification, and stepped pleistocene cooling recorded in NE Arctic Russia

Comparing our current atmosphere to that of the Pliocene period millions of years ago is pretty fascinating — and puts into perspective how historical this time we are living in now, is.

“The geologic record makes it clear that global temperatures are intimately linked to changes in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. Today’s CO2 levels are similar to Pliocene estimates (4.5 to 2.588 million years ago)…”

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Fossil
Creative Commons

Constraints on global mean sea level during Pliocene warmth

This scientific research refers back to the Pliocene period, and is relevant for what we understand about sea temperatures, today.

“Reconstructing the evolution of sea level during past warmer epochs such as the Pliocene provides insight into the response of sea level and ice sheets to prolonged warming. Although estimates of the global mean sea level (GMSL) during this time do exist, they vary by several tens of metres, hindering the assessment of past and future ice-sheet stability.”

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Fall Pond
Steve Neel

How the Community Forest Program works

Community forests can be part of the climate solution — and help increase public access to lands, close to home.

“The Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program (Community Forest Program) of the Forest Service offers a unique opportunity for communities to acquire and conserve forests that provide public access and recreational opportunities, protect vital water supplies and wildlife habitat, serve as demonstration sites for private forest landowners, and provide economic benefits from timber and non-timber products…”

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Forest
Flickr

Community Forests: A path to prosperity and connection

Community forests can be part of the climate solution — and help increase public access to lands, close to home.

“Community forests are protected forestlands that contribute to healthy, flourishing communities. Importantly, they offer residents and community members a direct say in how these lands are stewarded over time…”

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Fern Forest
iStock

New special report on the benefits of community forest

Community forests can be part of the climate solution — and help increase public access to lands, close to home.

The Trust for Public Land announced the release of a special report, “Community Forests: A Path to Prosperity and Connection,” in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and with generous support from the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities. The report, and accompanying handouts, takes a case-study approach to understanding and exploring the numerous economic benefits provided by community forests created through the U.S. Forest Service’s Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program (CFP).

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Solar Install
Taos Land Trust

Producing energy while protecting the land

Some of the most innovative land trusts are small and nimble. In 2017, Taos Land Trust was already focused on climate change and modeling how to make a difference. Today, other land trusts are realizing that compatible solar is going to need to be at the core of their conservation efforts — just like invasive species management.

“Part of our work as a community land trust is to help reframe the energy debate and build community energy resiliency.

…[W]e flipped the switch on our first solar energy array and as of today more than 50% of the energy we use to run Taos Land Trust is generated by our new solar panels. The 2kW photovoltaic array sitting on our downtown Taos property was installed through a generous grant from the PPC Solar Photovoltaic Donation Program. This is a huge move for us…”

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Owls
Gorder Ellmers/Grassland Bird Trust

Argyle bird trust working with solar developer to conserve more land

With so many birds at risk due to climate change, finding ways for renewables to work with them is increasingly important.

“We’re excited about this collaboration and look forward to working with Eden on future mitigation projects,” said Grassland Bird Trust Executive Director Laurie LaFond. “We believe that renewable energy, when done right, can play an important role in restoring populations of grassland birds to sustainable levels.”

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Healthy Sprout
iStock

Climate change affects soil health

Installing millions of acres of solar that are mowed like lawns, to me, is a gigantic waste. Instead, we could promote elevated solar that allows for a diversity of farming and ranching underneath and between the panels.

For too long, we’ve been saying that solar should avoid farmland, based upon soil type (meaning, avoiding lands of “prime” or “statewide” importance, etc.). Yet given that we know that climate change is stressing soils, and making farming and ranching more difficult, the question could better be framed: “How can solar (and wind) help farm and ranch viability, water retention, and soil health?”

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Dawn Fishin
San Bernardino County

Six habitat improvements that are also climate solutions

One of the challenges of working to slow down climate change is realizing that current lands and waters are already doing an important part of the job. Conserving them, as is, won't increase their ability to do more; managing them with climate change in mind might — and it will help reduce the chances that climate change will get worse due to land loss or conversion.

When you think about who cares about slowing down climate change, don’t forget about hunters, anglers, and those who have a long-standing connection with the land.

There is no one silver bullet nor single set of actions that will turn the tides entirely — climate change can only be addressed with a comprehensive strategy that involves all of us and all the tools we have. Thankfully, this includes habitat conservation measures that are already supported by sportsmen and women.

Here are six habitat improvement strategies that provide this win-win proposition: better hunting and fishing opportunities and fewer climate-change-driven impacts to fish and wildlife….

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