Climate Change News

Humans threaten wetlands' ability to keep pace with sea-level rise – December 4, 2013

Left to themselves, coastal wetlands can resist rapid levels of sea-level rise. But humans could be sabotaging some of their best defenses, according to a Nature review paper published Thursday from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. For full story, click here.

New Report Offers Legal Tools to Limit Risks of Climate Change for Coastal Communities

Columbia Law School – October 30, 2013

State and municipal governments across the United States can employ a variety of legal tools to discourage or prevent development or redevelopment along risky coasts, according to a new study released by the Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law on the first anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, which struck the New York metropolitan area and caused $65 billion in damages in 2012. For full story, click here. To view report, click here.

Climate change and the rise and fall of civilizations

By Emily Sohn – Global Climate Change – December 23, 2013

The search for the fabled city of Ubar began with a cold call to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in 1982. Documentary filmmaker Nicholas Clapp had heard stories about a lost settlement in the Arabian Desert that was once teeming with riches. At some point many centuries ago, Ubar had disappeared into the sand and Clapp wondered if he might use NASA spacecraft to look for it. As scientists dig in to these sites, they are turning up evidence that changes in climate – both large and small – are at least partly responsible for the rise and fall of many ancient civilizations. For full story, click here.

Lots to learn from Lizard Lake

By Pembina – Morden Times – October 6, 2011

The Lizard Lake Wetland Project is a world class model of what partners can do in successfully managing a wetland for both wildlife and agriculture.  But the Lizard Lake infrastructure has been in place for approximately 25 years and needs an estimated $100,000 or more to repair.

Pembina Valley Conservation District touts the Lizard Lake site as unique and showing the benefits of preserving wetlands by providing a better quality of life and water resources, protection of our environment and a climate change solution. There was a long history of disagreement between those wanting to drain the wetland and those interested in retaining it prior to construction of the project in 1985. Since then, people have learned the valuable role it plays in the watershed by helping maintain groundwater levels and water quality, minimize downstream flooding and provide benefits for wildlife and agriculture. Construction of the ring-diked central or marsh cell ensured the continued presence of the wetland and wildlife habitat. For full story, click here

Are Wetlands Saving Us from a Changing Climate?

By Jeanne Christie – The Compleat Wetlander – December 13, 2011

It is a good news~bad news week for wetlands and climate change following the close of the Durban Climate Change Summit.  The good news is that for the first time there is an incentive for restoring and protecting peatlands included in an international agreement addressing climate change. The bad news is that other contributions from other kinds of wetlands are not included. Peatlands occur from the tropics to the arctic and drained peatlands are a significant source of carbon accounting for 6% of the global carbon emissions.  Carbon contributions from peatlands occur in part in response to drainage of these wetlands for agriculture and forestry.  For full blog post, click here. 

Study: Climate Change Could Put Millions More at Risk of Water Scarcity

By Allie Bidwell – U.S. News – December 16, 2013

Although water scarcity is already a problem in many countries today due to factors like population growth, the effects of global warming could put millions more people at risk of absolute water scarcity, according to a new study from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. The study, published Monday in a special issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that water resources will be affected by changes in rainfall and evaporation due to climate change, putting 40 percent more people at risk of absolute water scarcity. For full story, click here.

Christie Administration Ignores Climate Change in New Jersey's Post-Sandy Rebuild

By Katherine Bagley – Inside Climate News – December 19, 2013

When asked in May about Sandy's connection with climate change, Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, said the question was "a distraction" and that global warming was an "esoteric" theory. That philosophy has permeated New Jersey's post-Sandy recovery effort. Instead of planning for future climate threats, New Jersey focused on rebuilding quickly to get people back into their homes and to get the tourist industry up and running for the lucrative summer season. As a result, the state spent billions of federal aid dollars to rebuild boardwalks, businesses and houses almost exactly as they stood pre-storm. For full story, click here.

Climate change is causing Earth's poles to DRIFT, claim scientists

By Victoria Woollaston – Daily Mail – December 16, 2013

Earth's poles are drifting and climate change is to blame, claim scientists.The planet's rotation has always wobbled slightly, and over time this movement has caused the North Pole to shift very slightly over time. But researchers now believe global warming could be drastically increasing this shift. For full story, click here.

Growing Climate Change: The Farm Bill as Comprehensive Climate Change Policy

By Laurie Ristino and Allison Gabala – Environmental Protection – December 16, 2013

The Farm Bill is the United States’ primary food and agriculture legislation. The breadth of its policies make the Farm Bill the primary vehicle influencing whether agricultural lands will mitigate against or contribute to climate change. Will the Farm Bill, already a year past its scheduled renewal, finally pass? If it does pass, will Congress protect critical conservation programs that both reduce contributions to climate change and protect American farmlands from future climate impacts? As it stands, the current Farm Bill proposals reduce mandatory funding for conservation programs by billions of dollars, while also providing increased resources for crop insurance. As a policy signal, one might think the U.S. government has turned a blind eye to agriculture’s role in climate change mitigation, and has shifted its resources toward protecting the profit margins of commodity producers in the face of extreme weather. Agriculture and climate change are inexorably linked. Agriculture is a primary source of methane and nitrous oxide emissions, two prominent greenhouse gasses. Changes in climate will affect crop and livestock yields, resulting in increased costs for agricultural commodities and decreased farm incomes, influencing where and how we produce food. At the same time, agriculture can also remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by storing carbon in soil and vegetation. For full story, click here.