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Warming Us
The Washington Post

Summer in America is becoming hotter, longer and more dangerous

Wildfires had been burning for weeks, shrouding Reno, Nev., in harmful smoke, when Jillian Abney and her eight-year-old daughter Izi drove into the Sierras last year in search of cleaner air. The eerie yellow haze that filled the sky had brought summer to an abrupt halt, canceling all of the season’s usual delights.

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Unsplash/Maxim Hopman

Is fungi the most underused resource in the fight against climate change?

Picture a group of “climate change warriors” massing together in a battle to save the planet. Did you imagine a line of mushrooms? Well, maybe you should have, according to scientists at Boston University in the United States.

Fungi play a critical role in helping forests absorb carbon and combat the potential impacts of climate change, two Boston researchers say. Known as the “fifth kingdom of life on Earth”, there are millions of species of fungi and they are present everywhere: in water, in the air, in the soil, and on trees…

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Researchers can now explain how climate change is affecting your weather

Chances are, if you live on Earth, you’ve experienced some strange, or downright dangerous, weather in the last few years. Maybe it was a heat wave that was hotter and longer than you’d ever experienced. Or a thunderstorm that dropped a scary amount of rain. Or a powerful hurricane that seemed to materialize overnight.

Climate change is part of that story. Extreme weather is more likely as the Earth gets hotter. But such sweeping statements can feel impersonal, when really what you want to know is: has climate change affected me?

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Climate change affects bird nesting phenology: comparing contemporary field and historical museum nesting records

Global climate change impacts species and ecosystems in potentially harmful ways. For migratory bird species, earlier spring warm-up could lead to a mismatch between nesting activities and food availability. CO2 provides a useful proxy for temperature and an environmental indicator of climate change when temperature data are not available for an entire time series.

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Mental health and our changing climate

When you think about climate change, mental health might not be the first thing that comes to mind. Americans are beginning to grow familiar with climate change and its health impacts: worsening asthma and allergies; heat-related stress; foodborne, waterborne, and vector-borne diseases; illness and injury related to storms; and floods and droughts. However, the connections with mental health are not often part of the discussion. It is time to expand information and action on climate and health, including mental health.

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The climate anxiety discussion has a Whiteness problem

In the late 2010s, as concern around the climate crisis finally began to swell toward today’s crescendo, Ray, a professor of environmental studies at California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt, turned her focus toward a relatively new phenomenon that had entered the discourse: climate anxiety — the “chronic fear of environmental doom.” As Ray began to write and talk about climate anxiety, she very quickly noticed that the people interested in her work shifted. “What happened? It got a lot whiter,” she says…

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Judy Anderson

Ensuring that NbS support thriving human and ecological communities

Their mission is to enhance understanding of the value of nature-based solutions to societal challenges and to help ensure they support thriving human societies and ecosystems without compromising efforts to keep fossil fuels in the ground…

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Nature-based solutions: How can they work for climate, biodiversity, and people?

Experts gathered in Oxford this month to discuss how “nature-based solutions” can be used to tackle the twin threats of climate change and biodiversity loss.

Over three days at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, the Nature-based Solutions Conference considered techniques such as forest creation or mangrove restoration, which are increasingly appearing in climate strategies. In theory, such projects could also help to reverse the loss of wildlife, provide economic boosts to local communities and strengthen resilience against climate impacts.

But the topic can be highly contentious and the conference provided a space for critics to outline their objections to nature-based solutions. Speakers took aim at companies and governments “greenwashing” and treating the natural world as a commodity…

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Americans beginning to correlate extreme weather with a climate crisis, but purse strings are still tight

Broader socioeconomic factors are also affecting those who are experiencing weather events, and more importantly, how these parties can financially respond to these events — and thus how willing they are to pay even more.

For instance, only 29% of households that experienced extreme events had 100% of their damages covered by insurance. Renters though had it worse — with those who have experienced extreme events being uninsured 70% of the time…

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Increasing climatic decoupling of bird abundances and distributions

Species differences in climate matching trends were related to their ecological traits, particularly habitat specialization, but not to average rates of climate and land use change within the species’ ranges. Climatic decoupling through time was particularly prominent for birds that were declining in abundance and occupancy, including threatened species….

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