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Boulevard Trees

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…

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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…

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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.

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Early Fall Foliage

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…

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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

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Yellow Seedeater

$5.25 million fund launched for land conservation and climate change in the [southeast] region

Land trusts are increasingly connecting the dots on how climate change is impacting their communities—and working to provide authentic solutions.

Open Space Institute’s (OSI) conservation support within the Cradle of Southern Appalachia focus area will bolster the work of the Thrive Regional Partnership’s Natural Treasures Alliance. With the region’s population expected to double by mid-century, and recognizing that economic health is inextricably linked to preserving intact natural systems, the Alliance calls for the protection of a million additional acres of the area’s forestland over the next several decades. The resulting lands will be protected for climate, recreation, clean water, and quality of life.

To expand the impact of the Fund, OSI is also turning to organizations such as American Forests, The Nature Conservancy, and the Land Trust Alliance, to share expertise, amplify efforts, and coordinate the Fund’s investments. OSI is also collaborating with eastern Climate Alliance states, a growing coalition of 25 states committed to achieving emissions reductions set by the Paris climate accord..

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Seth Davis/Audubon Photography Awards

Forests are important in the fight against the climate crisisForests are important in the fight against the climate crisis

National Audubon continues to push for climate action from a variety of perspectives. See if this is something you agree with—and if so, you could share it.

“Congress should pass a suite of policies that enhance the carbon storage and biodiversity of our forests.

Audubon’s own science shows that climate change is the greatest threat to North American birds, with two-thirds of species vulnerable to extinction if carbon emissions continue at their current pace. Birds that rely on boreal and western forests are at especially high risk. However, if we keep warming below 1.5 degrees C—which would require reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050—we can improve the outcomes for 76 percent of those imperiled birds. While reaching this target will require decarbonization across our electric, transportation, and industrial sectors, we can also implement policies that help our working lands be part of the climate solution…”

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Dragonfly On Stem

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.

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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.

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Spotted Butterfly On Flower

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…

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