Urban centers have been warming at double the global rate the last half-century. High daily temperatures are associated with increased mortality. Sustained increases in temperatures projected under most climate models represent a significant public health problem that may increase weather-related mortality in the United States. In a first of its kind study, Stone et al., (2014) modeled how local climate action plans that integrate land-based mitigation strategies through albedo and vegetation enhancement can mitigate future increases in heat-related mortality…
The Thursday talk – first of two in Professor Bill Ruddiman’s visit to Yale – is called “Depopulation and greenhouse-gas drops”. It summarizes evidence for drops in CO2 and CH4 concentrations during historical time prior to the industrial era. Then it reviews two possible causes: natural climate changes, and depopulation events that reduced anthropogenic gas emissions. For the largest CO2 decrease (between 1525-1610), natural causes were not the major factor. The main cause was the huge depopulation of the Americas because of disease brought in by Europeans.
One way species adapt to changing climatic conditions is by moving their geographic ranges in the direction of changing climatic niches, usually to either higher latitude or elevations. Successful range shifts, however, are contingent upon the ability of a species to migrate to the new, climatically suitable locations. For example, species might be unable to migrate due to their intrinsic characteristics (e.g., sedentary life style or short dispersal distances) or because of lack of suitable habitats between its current…
Predicting the effects of climate change on the structure and function of ecosystems is difficult because most ecosystems are staggeringly complex, with many directly and indirectly interacting animal and plant species. A recent study by Christenson and colleagues attempts to track the effects of climate change through a forest ecosystem in the northeastern US to understand how one climatic alteration might affect the plant community through multiple pathways…
Many species of plants and animals have declined in abundance and distribution or become extinct because of anthropogenic changes to the environment. Mangroves, trees that form dense coastal forests in tropical and subtropical areas, have declined in areal coverage by approximately one third since 1950 largely because of coastal development and logging.
Steven Stoll of Fordham University studies the history of agrarian society in the United States because he’s found that “agriculture offers the ideal vantage from which to observe the intersection of ideas and practices, economies and landscapes.”
His presentation was videotaped and is presented below:
Tracey Osborne is Assistant Professor in the School of Geography and Development and Director of the Public Political Ecology Lab at the University of Arizona. Her research investigates the political ecology of environmental markets, particularly carbon markets, and their implications for the lives and livelihoods of forest communities in the Global South. Specifically, she explores the intersection of carbon markets, development, and agrarian change as they relate to forestry-based carbon initiatives in Mexico.
Radley Horton from Columbia University Earth Institute will speak on climate projections for New York City. The $20 billion Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency (SIRR) Plan for New York is grounded upon climate risk information provided by the New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC). This expert panel, tasked with advising the City on climate-related issues, completed a ‘rapid response’ climate assessment with updated climate projections.