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Forest Burn

With fire, warming, and drought, Yellowstone forests could be grassland in 30 plus years

A recent study calls into question assumptions on the relationship between fire, tree growth, and how forests can be a major part of slowing down climate change…

“It wasn’t just a small reduction,” says University of Wisconsin–Madison Professor of Integrative Biology Monica Turner, “it was a failure to establish at the lower elevations.”… The park’s forests may be on the brink of abrupt change, where their resilience may suddenly be overwhelmed.

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Hunter Illustration
Eiko Ojala

Not all environmentalists eat tofu; hunters fighting climate change

If conservation groups want to be inclusive, and impactful, finding shared values no matter the party affiliation will be important. That means talking about climate change in ways that resonate and finding partnerships to create change.

“I’m one of those rare Republicans that believe that if you don’t take care of your environment, your environment can’t take care of you,” says Charlie Phillips, owner of Sapelo Sea Farms in Georgia. Phillips makes his living growing clams, so water quality is crucial to him, which is why he serves on boards and tries to help scientists and fishermen find common ground…

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Smoke Stack Video Clip

Planet has only until 2030 to stem catastrophic climate change, experts warn

With as little as 10 - 30 years to make a significant difference—or risk massive species die-off, loss of agricultural lands, forest loss, and extreme weather—I applaud the realization that we can’t continue to conserve land as if climate change is a distant issue.

“Governments around the world must take “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” to avoid disastrous levels of global warming, says a stark new report from the global scientific authority on climate change.

The report issued Monday by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), says the planet will reach the crucial threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels by as early as 2030, precipitating the risk of extreme drought, wildfires, floods and food shortages for hundreds of millions of people…”


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What Was Once A Maritime Forest Is Now Essentially Dead
Coastal Plant Ecology Lab

How will climate change impact coastal communities? Native plants out of control

‘”This shrub has always been here, it’s a native species. But it has just taken over,” said Julie Zinnert, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Biology in the College of Humanities and Sciences, on a recent visit to Hog Island. “If you look over this way, that’s all shrub. It’s a wall of shrub, just ginormous thickets. And that’s because of climate change…”‘

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Solar Panels Sunflowers
Engie Distributed Solar

Pollinators, solar, and your land trust

There’s a major opportunity to help slow down climate change and ramp up pollinator gardens with community and large-scale solar.

The timing is critical given new research is documenting that climate change is decimating pollinators of all kinds. As one article notes, “it’s a great year for monarch butterflies [but] climate change means that won’t last.”

Limiting global warming to 1.5°C (and thus saving countless species) would require “rapid and far-reaching” transitions in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport, and cities. Global net human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) would need to fall by about 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching ‘net zero’ around 2050. This means that any remaining emissions would need to be balanced by removing CO2 from the air.

The good news is that solar pollinator farms can make a big difference. That’s also good news to landowners and farmers who could benefit from the regular income that solar payments provide. For many, that might make the difference between selling out or staying on the land…

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Row Boat On The Water

Fish species at risk from Lake Michigan warming

Warmer and wetter climate in the midwest could lead to the displacement of some cold water fish species in southern Lake Michigan and trigger die-offs in smaller inland lakes, according to a new report.

The research published last week by Purdue University found that the Great Lakes are warming along with the atmosphere due to the proliferation of greenhouse gases, the Chicago Tribune reported…

“They can’t really migrate much but up and down in the water column,” said Tomas Hook, a professor of fisheries and aquatic sciences at Purdue and director of the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant.

“I would expect to see more die-offs in those types of systems. A lot of aquatic species don’t have the flexibility to migrate into new systems like terrestrial organisms do…”

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Steve Gifford/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Spring is coming earlier to wildlife refuges, and bird migrations need to catch up

Climate change is bringing spring earlier to three-quarters of the United States’ federal wildlife refuges and nearly all North American flyways used by migratory birds. This is a shift that threatens to leave migrating birds hungry and in a weakened condition as they are preparing to breed, new research shows…

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UNH research finds Maine forest management hampering ability of forests to reap climate benefits

Over the last 20 years, Maine’s forests have become younger and less dense. As a result, forests are not providing the most climate benefits that they could through carbon sequestration and storage.

However, more carbon could be stored over the next 100 years with less frequent harvests of smaller amounts of wood from each acre, according to new research from the New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of New Hampshire.

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Aerial View
Getty Images

Climate change is becoming a top threat to biodiversity

Warming rivals habitat loss and land degradation as a threat to global wildlife. Climate change will be the fastest-growing cause of species loss in the Americas by midcentury, according to a new set of reports from the leading global organization on ecosystems and biodiversity.

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Students In Mohave Desert
Brandy Dyess

Students tracking climate change through the Joshua tree

The Joshua tree sweep is part of larger vegetation surveys looking at the entire plant community as well as the lizard population in each plot. They will return to each one over the coming years to track changes.

Dedicated crews of local volunteers act as citizen scientists, doing the monitoring once or twice a week. Some drive all the way from Los Angeles to take part. High school and college groups have been involved since 2016…

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