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Archive for June, 2013

U.S. farmers: growing a positive impact on climate change

(May 31)

The Vindicator

AUSTIN, Texas – America’s agriculture industry contributes a relatively small amount of this country’s greenhouse gases, but experts say various techniques that are growing in use can take a proactive approach to the issue – and farmers could play a key role in altering the path of climate change.

By implementing certain practices, said Johnathan Hladik, senior policy advocate for the Center for Rural Affairs, agricultural soils have the potential to pull carbon out of the air and reduce greenhouse gases.

California native fish could disappear with climate change

(May 31)

Los Angeles Times

Climate change could be the final blow for many of California’s native fish species, pushing them to extinction with extended drought, warmer water temperatures and altered stream flow.

The authors of a new study published online in the journal PLOS ONE used 20 metrics — including species population trends, physiological tolerance to temperature increase and ability to disperse — to gauge the vulnerability of native fishes to climate change.

The results: 82% of 121 native species were deemed highly vulnerable.

NOAA Climate Research Funding Could Be Gutted Under New House Bill

(May 29)

Huffington Post

A bill being drafted in the House could potentially undermine the climate science research activities and the oceans programs of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The bill, known as the “Weather Forecasting Improvement Act,” would put more emphasis on research and development of new weather forecasting capabilities for anticipating near-term, high-impact events, such as tornadoes and hurricanes, at the possible expense of two of the agency’s other long-standing areas of focus — climate and marine science.

The bill was the subject of a May 23 hearing in the House Science Subcommittee on the Environment. It has not yet been formally introduced, and is largely being drafted by Republicans on the subcommittee, which has jurisidiction over NOAA’s National Weather Service, according to several close observers of the legislation.

Protest could delay Forest Service’s update of aging air fleet

(May 23)

E&E News via Red Lodge Clearing House

A Missoula, Mont.-based air tanker company has protested a Forest Service plan to issue contracts for seven new air tankers, potentially hampering the agency’s ability to battle wildfires well into the 2013 season. Neptune Aviation Services yesterday protested the contracts to the Government Accountability Office, arguing that it was unfairly excluded from the agency’s latest contracts announced earlier this month.

The company had won contracts for two of its BAe-146 fire-bomber jets last August, but other contractors challenged the award.

Last week, the Forest Service said it intends to award new contracts to five companies — but not Neptune — for seven “next generation” wildfire air tankers that can fly faster and carry more flame retardant than most of its legacy fleet (E&ENews PM, May 6).

Natural Disturbances Affect Climate Response Strategies

(May 29)

Laboratory Equipment

Fires and hurricanes are only two examples of natural disturbances that drastically affect millions of people worldwide. Now, scientists are considering how these events might limit opportunities for climate mitigation as well. A team of scientists from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, working at the Joint Global Change Research Institute at Maryland, found that strategies to alleviate the impacts of climate change will need to account for future land and atmospheric disturbances that impact forests. This study is the first to quantify the effect of future natural disturbances on climate mitigation strategies.

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