Posts Tagged ‘Climate Change’

Thursday, June 14, 2018

More Adirondack Lake Trout Monitoring Needed

spawning lake trout Lake Trout are designated species of Greatest Conservation Need in NY, based on the reduction of cold, well oxygenated waters in lakes due to climate change.

Lake Trout, Salvelinus namaycush are one of two native salmonines to the interior Adirondacks, Brook Trout, S. fontinalis being the other.

However, unlike Brook Trout, which can be found from small headwater streams to deeper lakes, Lake Trout reside in the hypolimnion (bottom) of lakes during the majority of the year, where water temperatures are most suitable. The depth of the hypolimnion depends on many factors, including latitude, size of the lake, and the height of surrounding land that offers protection from the wind.  » Continue Reading.


Saturday, June 9, 2018

What the… Adirondack Turkey Vultures

“Mom, there’s a really big crow in the compost,” my son said one day early this spring, followed closely by, “Wait. What is that bird? It’s huge!”

I peeked out the back window to find a bird, huge indeed, a red head atop of cloak of dark feathers, sitting on a corner post of the garden fence, peering into the compost heap. Two others perched behind the garden, high in a tall white pine tree. The red head, naked of feathers, easily gave the birds away as turkey vultures. While we see these vultures often during the warmer months, soaring in circles high in the sky, we’d never seen them up close. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, June 3, 2018

Saranac Lake Adopts Climate Smart Community Resolution

saranac lake tourism logoOn May 14, the Saranac Lake Village Board voted unanimously to join the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation’s Climate Smart Communities (CSC) program.

In joining this program, Saranac Lake joined 221 other communities around NYS in leading on climate action, and became one of a few communities in the Adirondacks to participate. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, March 24, 2018

Arrival of Spring, Phenology and Climate Change

Native ground nesting bees visit apple blossomHow do you know when spring has begun? Is it the flow of maple sap? The first crocuses coming up through the snow? Ice out on local lakes? The arrival of the first red-winged blackbirds? The clamor of peepers? Apple trees and/or lilacs blooming?

Meriam-Webster defines phenology, which is derived from the Greek word ‘phaino’ meaning to show or appear, as ‘a branch of science dealing with the relations between climate and periodic biological phenomena.’ Think of it as a timeline or chronology of periodic natural events; such as when insects hatch or arrive; when flowers and plants emerge, bloom, and produce seed; when migrating birds and insects (e.g. monarch butterflies) arrive, mate or nest, and depart; and how all of these function within ecosystems and respond to change. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Ice-Out Days and Climate Change

ice outWhile driving down from Isle La Motte in early December, my son and I noticed a fine skim of ice floating down the Alburg Passage. As it collided with the Route 2 bridge supports, it broke into rectangular fragments. I wondered if what I was seeing was typical, or a symptom of changing climate? But a single observation tells you only about the current weather, and says nothing about climate trends.

To understand long-term patterns requires long-term data. So I reviewed ice formation data on Lake Champlain. I learned that between 1816 and 1916, the lake was “closed” to navigation in 96 of 100 winters. In the last 30 winters, the lake has closed 13 times, and just three times this past decade. At first blush, this might seem like overwhelming evidence for less ice, but again, this is not the whole story. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, December 24, 2017

(Flying) Reindeer and Climate

reindeerI recall years ago; two young boys having a conversation. “There’s no such thing as Santa Clause,” the older boy insisted. But the younger boy wasn’t buying it. Come Christmas Eve, he was going to stay up all night, just to catch a glimpse of old Santa and his legendary sleigh full of presents. What excited the little guy the most though, was the thought of seeing those remarkable flying “reindeer on the roof!”

“Santa’s reindeer really can fly, can’t they?” he asked me, catching me completely off guard. I hesitated; then told him that reindeer were deer; very much like the whitetails we see around here, but with thicker bodies, shorter legs, and broader hooves. I added that whitetails and reindeer are cousins. And that moose and elk are reindeer cousins, too. Fortunately, he let it go at that. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Adirondack Youth Climate Summit Getting Underway

The Wild Center in Tupper Lake will host their Ninth Adirondack Youth Climate Summit on November 8th and November 9th, 2017.

Over 25,000 students will be represented by the 250 participants from 30 high schools, colleges and universities across the region. The program has created a White House Champion of Change and sent student leaders to the United Nations and COP 21 in Paris. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, October 29, 2017

Paul Smith’s Sustainability and Resilience Forum

Ma’ikwe Ludwig, a TEDx speaker and longtime sustainable community activist, will lead a presentation and workshop at the Paul Smith’s College VIC on Nov. 1.

The TED-style talk, which begins at 9:30 am, will be based on Ludwig’s recently published book Together Resilient: Building Community in the Age of Climate Disruption and touch on ideas such as sustainability initiatives taken at a community level. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

$500k to Help Wild Center Build Climate Literacy

A $494,000 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will support The Wild Center as it helps students and teachers in New York City, the Catskills and the Adirondacks respond to climate change in their communities.

The three-year Environmental Literacy Grant is a collaboration of The Wild Center, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Delaware County, the Kurt Hahn Expeditionary Learning School in Brooklyn, and the Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) to build climate literacy and preparedness among students and teachers.

As part of the project, called Convening Young Leaders for Climate Resilience in New York State, high schoolers are expected to learn to assess the effect climate change is likely to have on their communities, work on techniques to convey those impacts to others, and develop the leadership skills needed to shape localized solutions to resiliency challenges posed by the issue. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Jen Kretser On Her Work With The Youth Climate Program

Jen Kretser is featured as the “Trailblazer” in the September/October edition of the Adirondack Explorer. Read more about Jen in the issue, which you can get through the Adirondack Explorer app. Download it from iTunes or Google Play.

Work on climate change is hard. And emotional, says Jen Kretser, director of programs for the Wild Center and project director for the Youth Climate Program run through the science museum.

It’s devastating, for example, to watch a community in Sri Lanka affected by “crazy flooding” when they themselves produce no carbon emissions at all, she said. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Plague of Ticks: Scientists Search for Solutions

tick life cycleOn a hike this spring, we walked through a clear-cut area with tall grass and brambles. Afterwards, our pant legs were crawling with black-legged ticks (Ixodes scapularis), also known as deer ticks, the kind that carry Lyme disease. Scientists with the Vermont Department of Health recently examined over 2,000 ticks and found that 53% of black-legged ticks tested positive for Lyme disease. A small percentage of the ticks carried pathogens that cause anaplasmosis or babesiosis, two other tick-borne diseases that can make people gravely ill.

Understanding the two-year life cycle of the black-legged tick can help prevent Lyme disease. In the spring of the first year, tick larvae hatch from honey-colored eggs in the leaf litter. The six-legged larvae, about the size of a poppy seed, soon seek their first blood meal. The larvae may become infected with the bacterium that causes Lyme disease through this blood meal; it all depends on what kind of animal they find as a host. If it’s a white-footed mouse, they’re very likely to contract the Lyme spirochete. If it’s a chipmunk or shrew, they’re somewhat likely. If it’s a squirrel or a larger mammal, they probably won’t. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, July 30, 2017

Eastern Forest Birds Face Wintering Grounds Habitat Loss

Rose-breasted GrosbeakWithin the next few decades, human-caused habitat loss looms as the greatest threat to some North American breeding birds and the problem will be most severe on their wintering grounds, according to a new study published  in the journal Global Change Biology. By the end of this century, the study’s authors say predicted changes in rainfall and temperature will compound the problem for birds that breed in eastern North America and winter in Central America. Migrant wintering grounds are important because the birds spend a greater proportion of the year in these places.

The scientists ran dozens of scenarios to predict what the future might look like for 21 species, most of them flycatchers, vireos, and warblers. They used observations that volunteers entered into the eBird database from 2004 through 2014 to establish where and in what density the species are found throughout the year. Then, they layered in modeled climate change projections (temperature and rainfall) and habitat data (land-use changes and the location of protected areas). » Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Antarctic Sciences Director Speaking on Climate Change

antartica mapNational Science Foundation Antarctic Astrophysics & Geospace Sciences Program Director Vladimir Papitashvili will speak on global warming Tuesday, July 11, starting at 7 pm at Town of Lake Pleasant Public Library, 2864 State Route 8, Speculator.

Papitashvili is responsible for the NSF’s Antarctic research, including its role in global systems. Examples include ozone, greenhouse gases, ocean circulation and sea level, climate changes, and continental drift. A new proposal focuses on how solar activity influences the properties and dynamics of the polar atmosphere and the global geo-space system. » Continue Reading.


Friday, May 26, 2017

Climate Change Adaptation, Mitigation Grants Available

Climate Change Hardiness Gardening ZonesUp to $9.5 million is available to award grants between $10,000 and $2,000,000 from the Climate Smart Communities Grant Program for implementation projects related to flood risk reduction, extreme event preparation, reduction of vehicle miles travelled (VMT), reduction of food waste, reduction of landfill methane leakage, and reduction of hydrofluorocarbons emissions from refrigeration and other air conditioning equipment. In addition, $500,000 is available to award grants between $10,000 and $100,000 for certification projects that advance adaptation, land use, transportation, and organic waste management planning, inventory and assessment actions aligned with Climate Smart Communities Certification requirements. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Wetland Monitoring Sites Established in Adirondack Park

Wetland in Winter photo by Steve LangdonThe College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) in Syracuse, New York partnered with the New York State Adirondack Park Agency (APA), NYNHP and Paul Smiths College to complete a two-phase EPA Wetland Protection Program Development grant. The grant was used to establish a network of long-term wetland monitoring sites to enable analysis of wetland responses to climate change.

The project fills in gaps of knowledge in Adirondack Peatlands by creating a snapshot of what these peatlands look like today and monitoring key environmental, and ecological indicators of change such as plants and animals. The project produced a network of volunteers trained to conduct long-term monitoring of wetlands, a wetland condition database, preliminary data analysis, and allowed for data distribution. » Continue Reading.


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