» Carbon sequestration

North American forests unlikely to save us from climate change, study finds

Forests take up 25-30 percent of human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide—a strong greenhouse gas—and are therefore considered to play a crucial role in mitigating the speed and magnitude of climate change. However, a new study that combines future climate model projections, historic tree-ring records across the entire continent of North America, and how the growth rates of trees may respond to a higher concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has shown that the mitigation effect of forests will likely be much smaller in the future than previously suggested. Published in the journal Ecology Letters, the study is the first to reveal the possible impact of a changing climate on the growth rate of trees across all of North America, in other words, how their growth changes over time and in response to shifting environmental conditions. The result are detailed forecast maps for the entire North American continent that reveal how forest growth will be impacted by climate change. Read More

Climate-Ready Soil: How Cover Crops Can Make Farms More Resilient to Extreme Weather Risks

NRDC examined the carbon capture and water-holding benefits of soil stewardship methods to increase soil organic matter in the 10 highest-value-producing agricultural states in the United States. This analysis estimates that using cover crops on just half of the acres devoted to the nation’s two most ubiquitous crops—corn and soybeans—in those top 10 states could help capture more than 19 million metric tons of carbon each year and help soils retain an additional trillion gallons of water. Read More

Southeastern Forests and Climate Change

Project Learning Tree and the University of Florida have developed a new secondary module to help educators in the Southeast teach about climate change impacts on forest ecosystems, the role of forests in sequestering carbon, and strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to changing climatic conditions. The module explores these concepts in 14 experiential activities by using research related to the goals of PINEMAP—a regional research, education, and extension program focused on southern pine management and climate change. On this website, you will find the new secondary module, along with tools and resources to help you use these activities with your students. Read More

Field Investigation: Biomass Yield and Root Growth in Crops

This field investigation serves to strengthen student understanding of the ability of plants to sequester carbon above and below ground. Students will measure above ground biomass by harvesting small samples, and root growth using ingrown root-cores. These activities are adaptable to school-yard plots, existing agricultural plots or natural areas. Read More

Dead Planet, Living Planet: Biodiversity and Ecosystem Restoration for Sustainable Development

This report discusses some vital services that natural ecosystems contribute to human health and development. Read More

C-Learn: Climate Simulation

The first purpose of Climate Interactive’s C-Learn simulator is to help you use a scientifically rigorous model to set a goal for CO2 in the atmosphere, explore what it will take to reach that goal and to empower you to share those insights with others via graphs and explanation in order to make such actions happen. Read More

World Climate: A Computer-Simulation-Based Role-Playing Exercise

World Climate (formerly the Copenhagen Climate Exercise, or CCE) is a role-playing climate simulation designed by MIT and Sustainability Institute that gives groups from 10-60 an experience of reaching a global agreement to mitigate climate change. Read More

Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Library Holdings. The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The major feature of the Kyoto Protocol is that it sets binding targets for 37 industrialized countries and the European community for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Recognizing that developed countries are principally responsible for the current high levels of GHG emissions in the atmosphere as a result of more than 150 years of industrial activity, the Protocol places a heavier burden on developed nations under the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities.” Read More

Forests and Emissions: A contribution to the Eliasch Review

Library Holdings. This report discusses the impacts of deforestation and reforestation on carbon emissions and carbon storage, and how change in land cover will affect future trends in climate change and carbon levels. Read More

Feed-In Tariffs - Boosting Energy for our Future: A Guide to One of the World's Best Environmental Policies

This brochure explains Feed-In Tariff (FIT) laws. The big challenge for the renewable energy industry has been to make the cost of clean energy competitive with heavily-subsidized conventional energy. Householders or energy companies who want to install wind turbines or solar panels are faced with lengthy pay-back times and are forced to make a choice based on ethics rather than economics. The Feed-In Tariff (FIT) has proven to be the most effective policy instrument in overcoming these barriers. This simple, low-cost mechanism has turned several European countries into world leaders in the renewables sector. Read More


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