Category Archives: Climate Change

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Could We Manage Mangrove Communities To Increase Carbon Capture?

Of all the carbon buried in the floors of Earth’s oceans, most of it is found in the narrow strip of tidal marshes, seagrass beds, and mangroves along their edge. Known as blue carbon ecosystems, these vegetated coastal habitats “occupy only 0.2% of the ocean surface, yet contribute 50% of the total amount of carbon buried in marine sediments. Meter for meter, they’re some of the most effective carbon storage systems we have. But could people make them even more effective? (Click on title for full story.)

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Climate Change + Fire Will Replace Forests With Shrublands

Although most of these cone-bearing evergreen softwood trees are well adapted to fire, the study examines whether two likely facets of climate change—hotter, drier conditions and larger, more frequent, or more intense wildfires—could potentially transform landscapes from forested to shrub-dominated systems. “Our study helps to identify the places that are at greatest risk of forest loss, where managers could either target management to promote post-fire forest recovery, or accept that we’re going to see some degree of landscape transformation in the coming decades and learn to meet ecological objectives under the new climate and disturbance regimes,” (Click on title for full story.)

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Can A Return To Ancient Crops Make Agriculture Sustainable?

Farmers who grow single crops are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, but now researchers are resurrecting ancient crop varieties to encourage diversity and offset the risks of extreme weather. (Click on title for full story.)

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Climate Change Pushes Tough Decisions For Commercial Forestry Plantings

The interest for alternatives to be used in forest conversion has grown immensely with the change in climate. Naturally the desire for higher yields in growth, accompanied by a good suitability to a warmer and dryer climate, also play an important role. A search for alternate species in order to transform the forest to better face climate change has been underway for a long time. It is now imperative to examine the alternatives based on clear principles, in an emotionless manner and without stereotypes. (Click on title for full story.)

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How A Changing Climate Will Change Gardens

As the world warms and weather patterns shift, the study by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) concludes that British gardens will need to adapt. (Click on title for full story.)

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Did Humans Make The Sahara A Desert?

The story that emerged suggests that as communities of people spread, they changed the landscape to accommodate crops and livestock, causing an exchange in plant species that covered the ground for specimens that exposed the soil. As sunlight bounced from the brighter soil, it warmed the air, building a feedback loop that shifted the atmospheric conditions enough to reduce the frequent monsoon rains and benefit scrub vegetation over grasslands until rainfall virtually vanished, leaving only a scattering of hardy desert plants. (Click on title for full story.)

0213001849

Are Tree Trunks Contributing To Global Climate Change? (WHAT?)

Methane is about 25 times stronger than carbon dioxide, with some estimates as high as 33 times stronger due to its effects when it is in the atmosphere. Because of methane’s global warming potential, identifying the sources and “sinks” or storehouses of this greenhouse gas is critical for measuring and understanding its implications across ecosystems. Upland forest soils usually take up and store methane, but this effect can be counteracted by methane emissions from tree trunks, (Click on title for full story.)

0213001849

More Than A Carbon Sink: Forests Necessary For Moderating Temperatures

While forests often absorb more solar radiation than grasslands or croplands, they also put more moisture into the air and promote more mixing of the air near the surface than those shorter types of vegetation. “What we are finding is that these mechanisms are often more important, even in some of the higher-latitude regions, where surface light reflection has been given more weight,” (Click on title for full story.)

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Will Re-Creating Ice Age Landscapes Slow Climate Change? Welcome To Pleistocene Park.

If this intercontinental ice block warms too quickly, its thawing will send as much greenhouse gas into the atmosphere each year as do all of America’s SUVs, airliners, container ships, factories, and coal-burning plants combined. It could throw the planet’s climate into a calamitous feedback loop, in which faster heating begets faster melting. “Pleistocene Park is meant to slow the thawing of the permafrost,” (Click on title for full story.)

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Coastal Wetlands Uniquely Valuable To Slow Climate Change

All told, coastal wetlands may capture and store more than 200 metric tons of carbon per year globally. Importantly, these ecosystems store 50-90 percent of this carbon in soils, where it can stay for thousands of years if left undisturbed. “When we destroy coastal wetlands, for coastal development or aquaculture, we turn these impressive natural carbon sinks into additional, significant human-caused greenhouse gas sources,” (Click on title for full story.)