Climate change threatens our lands and seas, our wildlife, and our natural and cultural resources. To conserve our natural environment, managers rely on climate model projections to determine where to take action, what type of action to take, and how much action to apply. Ecologists and biologists depend on these projections to better understand how natural ecosystems will respond to the changing climate.
Science & research
This morning I’m sitting on my porch with my computer in my lap, sipping coffee from my Star Trek mug and enjoying the beautiful morning sky. I’m staring out over a temperate deciduous forest surrounding a beautiful lake, all beneath patches of clouds, the blue sky, and a faint moon descending over the horizon. What makes this even better is that I am near the middle of downtown Raleigh, NC surrounded by urban habitat and you can’t tell (at least not from this view).
A decade ago, I would have NEVER have believed that I would write the following words, but here they are: I love working with 7th graders! My twenty-something self would have further cringed at the idea of leading dozens of boisterous middle schoolers through quiet mountain landscapes. And yet, here I am, traipsing across alpine boulder fields with 60 of my closest 7th grade friends.
The restored stone walls of two ancient heiau (Hawaiian temples) rise black and strong out of the gentle waves of the Kona Coast. Large rocks sit farther out in the sea, and coastal plants and bushes spread along the tops of the dunes and farther back, behind the great stone structures. Small groups of university students can be seen peering into the tidal pools, snorkeling among the waves, and gesturing toward plants on the beaches while making notes on data sheets and comparing observations.
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Peter Thorne when he visited the Southeast CSC and the NCSU Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences. Dr. Thorne is one of the lead authors of Chapter 2 of the National Climate Assessment (“Our Changing Climate”) and a lead section author for the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report. During his time visiting with us, Dr.
This post originally appeared on May 20, 2013 and is part of our throw-back series.
North America’s resource managers and conservation practitioners protect and preserve lands, waters, and wildlife in the face of land use change, development pressure, and now, climate change.
The evening I’m writing this, our first real snow this winter has been on the ground for barely a day. My desk (or rather, kitchen table) is in the watershed of the Cache La Poudre River, at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. The Cache La Poudre is part of the South Platte River which drains to the Platte River, a tributary to the mighty Missouri. The snow is very welcome after a long drought year in the Cache La Poudre, but the drought is still playing out far downstream in the Missouri’s receiving waters, the Mississippi.
One of the big challenges with communicating climate change is the perception that the impacts will be far into the future or will affect someone else. These perceptions make it very easy to resist action to mitigate potential future impacts because there are a lot more pressing issues closer to home.
Global temperature increases have been stalled since 2000. Meanwhile, the extreme summer droughts of 2011 and 2012 left many US farmers in ruins. Most climate models failed to project these phenomena correctly. US researchers now took a new attempt on finding a solution.