Things at Eight Acre Wood look about the same as they did last week, with only an inch of new snow to make the landscape white. That shows the critters who have been wandering around the yard. [Some of these include] several deer, a coyote, a fisher, a mink, an otter, a snowshoe hare, one turkey, several varieties of mice, a pine marten, a couple red squirrels, a flying squirrel, ravens, crows, and a Bald Eagle stopped by for a snack on the dam. Most of them also got caught on one of my trail cameras, as many of them are night travelers. In all my hikes, I thought I might even see a bear track, but I guess they are smarter than that. There is nothing for them to eat right now, so they better stay napping.
Posts Tagged ‘Climate Change’
The Northern Forest Center has announced the next webinar in their Building the New Forest Future series, Ensuring Climate Resilience, which will take place on the afternoon of Tuesday, January 17 from noon to 1:30 p.m. Expert panelists will examine what communities can do today to ready themselves for environmental changes. Registration is free, but is required in order to participate in the webinar.
About the webinar:
Every community faces different pressures when it comes to our uncertain climate future. From flooding and drought to an influx of climate migrants, we will hear about ways communities can plan and prepare to face these changes. We will hear from communities that have already done this preparation and organizations that are leading the way. Speakers to be announced.
Covering the Adirondacks beat, you hear two words surface in a lot of conversations: climate refugees.
The idea is simple enough. As temperatures warm and the effects of climate change increase drought and water shortages, threaten deadly summer heat and render some parts of the country (let alone world) unlivable, many people may be looking at the Adirondack Park region with new interest.
Water is abundant. High temperatures will remain bearable for the foreseeable future and access to nature is plentiful. While the term typically applies to people around the world who will be forced to leave their homes, it may also apply to city-dwellers looking to escape the concrete jungle in the heat of summer.
A new paper from Paul Smith’s College researchers raises the specter of an Adirondack Park without the winter weather that has long shaped the region’s culture and economy.
Join Adirondack Explorer reporter Zachary Matson and Curt Stager for an online Q&A session from 7-7:30 pm on Thursday, Oct. 27. Bring your questions or send ahead to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Free to attend. RSVP to receive Zoom event info.
In a new paper on how climate change is impacting the Adirondacks, Paul Smith’s College researchers waited until their last paragraph to raise a term that has stayed with me: the demise of winter.
It’s practically an aside in the paper’s concluding discussion.
“Today’s annual crossing and re-crossing of the thermal threshold between solid and liquid water has profound effects on cultures and ecosystems alike, and the eventual loss of that transition – i.e. the demise of winter – could produce the greatest climate-driven changes in the region,” they wrote.
My ex-wife gave me a shirt that reads “Change is Good. You Go First” when our divorce was finalised, a much-appreciated bit of humour in the midst of a challenging time. It’s hard to find the mirth in some changes, especially when we don’t have a say in them. Climate change is a good example.
Global temperatures are rising at an ever-increasing rate. Extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and severe with time, and no amount of denial will make it go away. We have to learn to roll with this one. We can’t stop climate change tomorrow, but we can “trick” it by updating the kinds of trees we consider for home and community planting. A warmer world affects trees in a myriad ways: Record wet seasons like in 2013, 2017, and 2019 allow normally weak foliar pathogens to spread and flourish, becoming primary agents of mortality.
This mural was drawn by school children in the Andean Mountain community of Santiago De Okola. Photo by Cayte Bosler
Commemorating Earth Day
In 1970, famed anchor Walter Cronkite announced Earth Day for the first time on a CBS news special.
Tens of millions of people, mostly students, had taken to the streets across the country with a message for leadership — “act or die,” as Cronkite recounted to his audience. Air pollution from leaded gas emissions and inefficient vehicles reigned as the leading concern which united protesters and activists to rally for systematic change.
When I was camping a couple of summers ago at Sampson Lake in West Canada Lake Wilderness, all was silent in the dark night but the unforgettable calls of a pair of a loons.
Even someone with a tin ear for bird calls knew what they were hearing. It felt as if it was just me and the loons on that lake – maybe in the entire world. Visitors and residents of the Adirondacks have experienced that feeling of connectedness since time immemorial.
But just like so many other things, a warming climate presents new threats to the iconic species. The Explorer’s new climate change reporter Cayte Bosler examined how climate change may threaten loons in the coming years. From “molt-migration mismatch” that makes loons vulnerable to getting iced-in to torrential rain increasing lake levels, conservationists are working to respond to a variety of risks.
One of our most talked about contributions in recent weeks is this piece by Paul Hetzler. In it, he writes about climate change and debunking the “CO2 fertilization effect,” which is the idea that more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can be good for plants.
The post inspired some passions from readers and I’m curious to hear more from you about climate coverage in general. Especially as the Adirondack Explorer (which runs the Adirondack Almanack) has recently hired a climate reporter, Cayte Bosler.
Help us shape our coverage: Tell us the kinds of climate stories you’d like to see next in these pages and in Adirondack Explorer’s magazine.
Some examples to get the ball rolling:
- How warmer temperatures are affecting lakes and ponds in the Adirondacks.
- Ways communities are adapting/need to adapt to climate change
- Changes in species living in the region and how wildlife is impacted.
Photo: Adirondack Youth Climate Summit students hold an ”I Am Pro Snow” rally at Mount Van Hoevenberg in this Adirondack Explorer file photo by Mike Lynch
Scientist-like persons hired by the fossil fuel industry have long maintained we should celebrate an ever-increasing level of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. This gas, a key building block in the photosynthetic process, can enable plants to grow faster and get larger. It’s been called the “CO 2 fertilization effect.” Many crop yields are projected to increase. And bigger woody plants, the reasoning goes, can amass more carbon, thus helping to slow the rate of CO 2 increase in a handy negative-feedback loop.
In other words, they argue that climate change is good for plants, which in turn will help curb climate change. It’s an elegant win-win situation, and environmentalists no longer have to lose sleep over skyrocketing carbon dioxide. However, as with many supposed “truths,” this argument falls apart upon close examination. It’s like in 1981 when former President Ronald Reagan said “Trees cause more air pollution than automobiles do.” He was referring to terpenols (responsible for the pleasant piney-woods aroma in the forest), which can react with auto emissions to form ozone. In the larger picture, trees reduce air pollution of all sorts – and sequester carbon as well – on a colossal scale worldwide. His statement was “true” in a minor, technical sense for a single pollutant, but it was misleading, and for all intents and purposes, false.
New Yorkers Encouraged to Review and Comment on Draft Scoping Plan Beginning Jan. 1 to Advance and Implement Nation-Leading Climate Law
New York State’s Climate Action Council Co-Chairs, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) President and CEO Doreen M. Harris, today announced the release of the Draft Scoping Plan, which describes recommended policies and actions to help New York meet its ambitious climate directives as part of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act). After a unanimous 19-0 vote by the Climate Action Council on Dec. 20, 2021. The Draft Scoping Plan is now available for public review and public comment beginning Jan. 1, 2022.
On July 18, 2019, Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act) was signed into law. To quote from the NYS Climate Council website, “New York State’s Climate Act is the among the most ambitious climate laws in the world and requires New York to reduce economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 and no less than 85 percent by 2050 from 1990 levels.
“The 2019 law creates a Climate Action Council charged with developing a scoping plan of recommendations to meet these targets and place New York on a path toward carbon neutrality.”
The Climate Council’s scoping plan is supposed to be released for public comment at the end of December. In an early December interview with WMHT-TV’s New York Now, Climate Action Council co-chair Doreen Harris (president and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, or NYSERDA), spoke of the careful accounting of carbon emissions that the state’s law requires.
As water across the park starts to freeze, I thought I would share an interesting paper published this fall that I came across in the Adirondack Journal of Environmental Studies, published at Union College.
The study outlines the potential impacts of climate change on elite hockey athlete development in the North Country, focusing on the potential outcomes of shrinking access to outdoor ice during warming winters.
The paper, “The Impact of Climate Change on Hockey Expertise in the North Country and Adirondack Region of New York,” analyzes two emissions scenarios and arrives at widely divergent worlds. Jon Rosales, an environmental scientist who studies climate change at St. Lawrence University, authored the paper with four others.
Here are a few excerpts from past Adirondack conferences preparing audiences for climate change, severe weather events, and consequences.
Photo: Post Hurricane Irene streambank and instream restoration efforts on the E. Branch Ausable River. Photo by Dave Gibson
September, 1989: George Woodwell, global ecologist and then director of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, from an address at the Ausable Club, St. Hubert’s, Keene:
By cutting vast tracts of the world’s forests without replacement, humans are seriously adding to the atmospheric pool of CO2 and diminishing the natural background modulating effect of the earth’s lungs – our forests. A 25% increase in atmospheric CO2 since the mid-19th century, if allowed to continue at present rates, will have a severe impact on our climate. It, in addition to even more dramatic increases in methane and other greenhouse gases, will inevitably lead to global warming and climatic changes on a large scale. Ecological and societal changes, many of which may drastically affect the Adirondack Park, are sure to follow.
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