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Archive for February, 2010

Web Resources:

NOAA’s Climate Services

http://www.climate.gov/

Climate change web site managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Site provides articles, data, and educational materials related to climate change. Site has a large amount of “ready to use” teaching resources including interactive tool-kits, lesson plans, and presentations for a variety of audiences. This site is the “central federal source” of information on everything from projections of sea level rise to maps of the nation’s best sites for wind and solar power.

Energy Policy – Department of Commerce, Washington State

WA Climate Change Website

The Energy Policy division of the state Department of Commerce (CTED) has compiled a list of reports and websites related to climate change in Washington and the West Coast region.

Citizens Climate Lobby

http://citizensclimatelobby.org/

Creating The Political Will For a Sustainable Climate. CCL trains volunteers to speak powerfully to their elected officials, the media and their local communities in order to inspire members of Congress to be leaders and spokespersons for a sustainable climate.

Articles:

Rural Co-op Chief Blasts Excessive Partisanship on Energy Issues (2/16/2010)

National Rural Electric Cooperative Association

Directing a forceful charge to the nation’s co-op leaders at the opening session on February 15, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association CEO Glenn English told them they must demand that elected officials put affordability at the center of their energy policy discussions.

ELI’s Schang discusses challenges to implementing cap-and-trade plan (02/16/2010)

E&E News (subscription required)

If and when Congress passes a cap-and-trade plan, what will the key challenges be to implementing the scheme? How will regulators avoid corruption within the system? During today’s OnPoint, Scott Schang, vice president of climate and sustainability at the Environmental Law Institute and editor-in-chief of the Environmental Law Reporter, discusses the challenges associated with implementing a cap-and-trade scheme in the United States. He addresses concerns over corruption and talks about the economic effects of cap and trade.

Climate change scientists losing ‘PR war’ (2/11/2010)

BBC News

A Nobel peace prize-winning Welsh physicist says climate change scientists are losing “a PR war” against sceptics with vested interests.

Climate science emails cannot destroy argument that world is warming, and humans are responsible (2/9/2010)

The Guardian

Is the science of climate change fatally flawed by the climategate revelations? Absolutely not. Nothing uncovered in the emails destroys the argument that humans are warming the planet.

U.S. couple sells world’s first personal carbon credit (2/9/2010)

Financial Times

World’s first personal carbon credit earns $17 cashback for one tonne of carbon dioxide.

San Francisco launches $150 million energy efficiency program (2/8/2010)

About.com

GreenFinanceSF, the nation’s largest Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program to date, will make $150 million in bonding capacity available to private property owners to finance water conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements through a voluntary special property tax.

A refreshing dose of honesty (2/4/2010)

From The Economist

Maria Cantwell – the junior senator from Washington state – and the politics of global warming. She is pushing a simpler, more voter-friendly version of cap-and-trade, called “cap-and-dividend”. Under her bill…

CONNING THE CLIMATE: Inside the carbon-trading shell game (2/2010)

Harper’s Magazine

By Mark Schapiro

Banking On Carbon (1/31/2010)

Mail Tribune

Oregon forestland owners can use their properties as carbon storage banks and trade carbon credits on the open market.

A Response to Climate Change Denialism (1/2010)

Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Richard Somerville, a distinguished professor emeritus and research professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, issued the following statement in response to a recent request to address claims recently made by climate change denialists.

Reports:

Managing Forests in Response to Climate Change

FDCH Congressional Testimony, Nov 18, 2009

Statement of Dr. Beverly Law Professor, Global Change Forest Science Oregon State University

Committee on Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands And Forests

Assessing Forestation Opportunities for Carbon Sequestration in Minnesota

A report from: Minnesota Forest Resources Council

As directed by the 2009 Minnesota Legislature, this study assesses the feasibility of creating one million acres of new forests to increase CO2 sequestration. Nearly 7.6 million acres of the state’s current croplands and grasslands were dominated by forests prior to European settlement and subsequently deforested, but likely would support productive forests now. The study uses hypothetical scenarios to illustrate a variety of ways in which landowners could replace income from current land uses by managing forest on their lands.

Climate change and environmental planning: Working to build community resilience and adaptive capacity in Washington State, USA

Habitat International, July 2009 (vol. 33(3), pgs. 246-252)

ABSTRACT: This work focuses on the efforts being made by King County, Washington to respond to the challenges of global climate change, concentrating on both mitigation and adaptation. King County is a leader in the United States in the development and implementation of meaningful climate change efforts in local government. The county, in conjunction with ICLEI, recently produced a workbook on Preparing for Climate Change at the Local, Regional, and State levels. While the vast majority of local governments in the United States have only taken limited steps to respond to global warming, King County stands out as aggressively looking to move in a new direction. The King County Climate Plan is based on the conviction that climate change is both a problem and an opportunity for communities to improve environmental quality through mitigation of greenhouse gases and simultaneously build resilience to adapt to global climate change. Its exceptional combination of responsibilities in planning and opportunities makes this an invaluable experience to other local governments throughout the world. The work to be presented is a case study that examines the underlying issues and challenges faced by this jurisdiction in adopting its climate change plan; the development and adoption of the plan; issues associated with monitoring and sustaining these efforts; and the broader challenges of building more resilient and adaptive communities. The case study will focus both on procedural issues, as well as, on the types of mitigation and adaptive responses. One aspect of the paper will examine King County’s efforts to link climate change efforts/policy/plans to other critical community concerns (e.g., issues of equity and race), and to the economic opportunities that have become critical motivators to successfully as moving forward the county attempts to establish itself as a global leader in meeting the challenges of global climate change.

Carbon dynamics of a ponderosa pine plantation following a thinning treatment in the northern Sierra Nevada

Forest Ecology and Management, January 2009 ( vol. 257 (2), pgs.385-764)

ABSTRACT: We investigated the impacts of a thinning prescription commonly used to reduce fuel loads in mature ponderosa pine forests of the northern Sierra Nevada Mountains on the distribution of carbon among functionally distinct pools, and on the component fluxes of net ecosystem production (NEP). The biomass of wood, foliage, and roots was highest in the unthinned control stands, lowest in stands measured 3 years after thinning, and intermediate in the stands measured 16 years following the same prescription. While total wood net primary production (NPP) followed the same pattern as biomass across treatments, an apparent doubling of shrub foliage NPP in the 3 years following overstory thinning reduced the impacts of thinning on total foliage NPP. Similarly, reductions in coarse root NPP associated with tree removal were largely offset by increases in fine root production. Compensatory NPP by shrubs and fine roots increased the light use efficiency of thinned stands 60% over that of unthinned plots. Both soil respiration and the decomposition of aboveground dead wood appeared conserved across all treatments. Results suggest that when modeling the influence fuel reduction treatments on regional carbon dynamics, it may be necessary to consider the compensatory responses of understory vegetation as such shifts in growth form can effect meaningful changes in the capture and allocation of carbon in the ecosystem.

Tree Farms: Driving Forces and Regional Patterns in the Global Expansion of Forest Plantations

Land Use Policy, July 2009 (vol. 26(3), pgs. 545-550)

ABSTRACT: People have planted trees in rural places with increasing frequency during the past two decades, but the circumstances in which they plant and the social forces inducing them to plant remain unclear. While forests that produce wood for industrial uses comprise an increasing number of the plantations, most of the growth has occurred in Asia where plantations that produce wood for local consumption remain important. Explanations for these trends take economic, political, and human ecological forms. Growth in urban and global markets for forest products, coupled with rural to urban migration, may spur the conversion of fields into tree farms. Government programs also stimulate tree planting. These programs occur frequently in nations with high population densities. Quantitative, cross-national analyses suggest that these forces combine in regionally distinctive ways to promote the expansion of forest plantations. In Africa and Asia plantations have expanded most rapidly in nations with densely populated rural districts, rural to urban migration, and government policies that promote tree planting. In the Americas and Oceania plantations have expanded rapidly in countries with relatively stable rural populations, low densities, and extensive tracts of land in pasture. If, as anticipated, the growing concern with global warming spurs further expansion in forest plantations in an effort to sequester carbon, questions about their social and ecological effects should become more pressing.

Announcements:

Climate Change, Bioenergy, and Sustaining Forests in Idaho and Montana

This conference will help people connect global-scale issues regarding climate change, renewable energy, and carbon emissions to potential effects on forests in Idaho and Montana. Discussions will center on strategies for sustaining our forests and the services people expect from them.

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