(February 29, 2012)
Belief in global warming among Americans is now on the rise again, after several years of decline, according to the newest bi-annual survey by the National Survey of American Public Opinion on Climate Change.
(February 29, 2012)
The Daily News
Experts at the USDA’s annual outlook conference stated that agriculture will need to prepare for climate change: “farmers will have to change the way they do business, from better managing of crops to considering changes in what they grow and even how much fertilizer or pesticide they buy… While the effects from region to region are not crystal clear, food-producing areas are likely to deal more with the stress brought on by heat and either too much or too little water. More extreme storms will increase the risk of crop losses, they said, and farmers will need to consider financial tools to ride out those years.”
(February 27, 2012)
A new book by biologist Reese Halter examines the feedback loop that climate change and the widespread mountain pine beetle are creating: Trees stressed by warming temperatures and a lack of cold spells to kill off the beetles become more susceptible to them, which then cause massive mortality, turning a critical terrestrial carbon sink into a carbon source, and further exacerbating climate change. The current epidemic is posited as both cause and consequence of global warming.
(February 20, 2012)
High Country News
A recent agreement between Denver Water and the Forest Service cost-shares watershed restoration in the hopes of preventing future catastrophic fires. The price is forwarded on to residential water users in an example of ecosystems services: “an emerging financial tool in which a market value is applied to environmental functions that users usually exploit without payment.” Watershed investment projects have been implemented in several western cities.
(February 19, 2012)
Red House Clearing Lodge via Greenwire
“A transition of all existing coal-fired power plants to natural gas would spare the world little warming over the next century, according to a study published yesterday by a prominent climate analyst and a former Microsoft polymath. Despite its reduced greenhouse gas emissions, the fossil fuel energy needed to build out natural gas plants at a massive scale, combined with the long atmospheric life of CO2, means that construction emissions will place a heavy thumb on the climate scale for gas into the next century…”
(February 18, 2012)
Northern Colorado Business Journal
Scientists will study how climate change could affect multiple ecosystems simultaneously in this large-scale study on grasslands across 4 states. The research will replicate severe drought conditions like those of the dust bowl era, and monitor the effects on vegetation.
(February 18, 2012)
This year’s American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting experienced a new mood of “palpable chill” as president Nina Fedoroff, one of the worlds most distinguished agricultural scientists, “confessed that she was now ‘scared to death’ by the anti-science movement that was spreading, uncontrolled, across the US and the rest of the western world.”
(February 15, 2012)
New research shows that extreme summer temperatures are already occurring more frequently in the United States, and these previously rare extreme temperatures are predicted to become normal by mid-century.
(February 7, 2012)
Summit County Citizens Voice
A new paper from the Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station that summarizes 30 years worth of research on yellow cedar decline attributes the decline to a changing climate. Continual cold weather across their range during late winter and early spring, when there’s no snow to protect roots, causes their roots to freeze. Yellow-cedar decline affects about 60 to 70 percent of trees in forests covering 600,000 acres in Alaska and British Columbia. The paper offers a framework for a conservation strategy for yellow cedars in Alaska.