Category: Climate Change

Making Climate Change Relevant to You: Climate Wizard Maps the Future

What will climate change bring to your community? Climate Wizard helps people around the world better understand how climate change will impact the places where they live, work and recreate.

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Peter Kareiva on How Nature Can Protect Us from Coastal Risk: An Interview

New York Public Television interviews Peter Kareiva on a new study touting the importance of nature in reducing the risk to people from coastal storms. Click through to watch the interview.

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Too Many Deer: A Bigger Threat to Eastern Forests than Climate Change?

Yes, white-tailed deer are beautiful, charismatic creatures. But there can be too much of a good thing. Three Nature Conservancy authors argue that deer are now the greatest threat to Eastern forest. To address the problem means not only managing deer, but managing people. What do you think?

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Forests: A Rising Global Climate Superpower?

It’s true: forests are already acting as a major solution to climate change, despite taking it on the chin from human activities. But does large role of forests in the greenhouse gas story translate to a large opportunity for an affordable forest solution to climate change? Bronson Griscom, the Conservancy’s director of forest carbon science, makes the case for forests as a rising climate superpower.

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Cool Green Review: Spine of the Continent, Imperial Dreams

Welcome to Cool Green Review, our monthly look at notable conservation science books. This month: Mary Ellen Hannibal’s The Spine of the Continent and Tim Gallagher’s Imperial Dreams.

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The Cooler: Why Everyone’s Being Rational About Climate Change

A new study from Yale’s Dan Kahan says that everyone is being rational in their positions about climate change — even people who deny that it’s happening. How could that be? And what does it mean for climate communications?

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Can Mangroves Adapt to Rising Seas?

Mangroves have had a hard-knock life, with coastal development destroying at least 35% of the world’s tidal forests in recent decades. Scientists have feared that rising seas would be the final blow. But mangroves just might be able to rise above, says a new report.

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Dead Heat and June Gloom: Connecting California’s Disparate Summer Climates

Summertime, and the living is easy? Or are we in the midst of the dog days of summer? It depends. In California, you can go from the hottest place on record to the oft-quoted “coldest winter I ever spent was summer in San Francisco.” California ecologist Sophie Parker reflects on California’s widely varying summer and what it means for ecosystems and people.

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New Study: Coastal Nature Reduces Risk from Storm Impacts for 1.3 Million U.S. Residents

Nature reduces risk from coastal storms for millions of U.S. residents and billions of dollars in property values, says a new study from scientists at the Natural Capital Project and The Nature Conservancy.

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Conservation Future: Announcing the 2013 NatureNet Fellows

Nine young scientists — with specialties ranging from energy infrastructure to urban ecology, Kenyan pastoral techniques to nanotechnology — inaugurate a program designed to help kick-start conservation toward addressing the challenges facing people and nature in the 21st century.

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A Green Contagion: What Could Make Investing in Nature Catch On?

New information and data is never enough to make ideas contagious, says new research. We need to add behavioral economics, social psychology and a healthy dash of emotion, too.

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Farming, Adapting to Climate Change & the Limits of Imagination

A new study from Conservancy scientists says irrigation needs are going to increase significantly under future climate change projections. Can farmers be equally radical in how they respond to these drier conditions?

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Climate Change and the Future of Bison

When the world gets warmer, what happens to bison and other grassland grazers such as cattle? A new paper, based on research conducted at Nature Conservancy preserves, is helping answer that question.

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Quick Study: How Will Climate Change Affect Irrigation of Farm Lands in U.S.?

Quick Study is just what it says — a rapid-fire look at a new conservation science study that might turn some heads.

The Study: McDonald, R. and E. Girvetz. 2013. Two challenges for U.S. irrigation due to climate change: increasing irrigated area in wet states and increasing irrigation rates in dry statesPLoS ONE 8(6): e65589. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0065589.

The Questions: Climate change models forecast higher average temperatures that will cause crop-growing seasons in the United States to become hotter and drier. How will this impact the irrigation needs of agriculture in the United States? And how will farmers respond to drier conditions?

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Genetic Engineers and Conservation Biologists: Scenes From a First Date

Sipping coffee one morning in early April, my eyes quickly darted to an article in my city newspaper by our local hunting columnist entitled “De-extinction coming to Montana.” I didn’t even need to read the column to know what was coming.

Having just read the cover story in the April issue of National Geographic on bringing back extinct species, our columnist — who has spent years fretting over a conservation initiative to restore bison to the grasslands of eastern Montana — now found good reason to fear that the reintroduction of woolly mammoths and other extinct species was headed our way.

Fast forward a week later and I was in Cambridge, England, along with Conservancy Chief Scientist Peter Kareiva, at an international conference organized by the Wildlife Conservation Society on the topic of synthetic biology and how it may influence the future of nature and conservation.

You may already be asking yourself, just what is synthetic biology? In a recent paper in PLOS Biology, Kent Redford and colleagues, borrowing from the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, defined it as “a scientific discipline that relies on chemically synthesized DNA, along with standardized and automatable processes, to address human needs by the creation of organisms with novel or enhanced characteristics or traits.”

The Cambridge meeting brought together over 80 synthetic biologists and conservation scientists to learn about each other’s disciplines and explore how we could work together. (It may be easier to think of synthetic biologists as genetic engineers, as they definitely approach their discipline from an engineering perspective.)

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Diverse Conservation

Call for Inclusive Conservation
Join Heather Tallis in a call to increase the diversity of voices and values in the conservation debate.

What is Cool Green Science?

noun 1. Blog where Nature Conservancy scientists, science writers and external experts discuss and debate how conservation can meet the challenges of a 9 billion + planet.

2. Blog with astonishing photos, videos and dispatches of Nature Conservancy science in the field.

3. Home of Weird Nature, The Cooler, Quick Study, Traveling Naturalist and other amazing features.

Cool Green Science is managed by Matt Miller, the Conservancy's deputy director for science communications, and edited by Bob Lalasz, its director of science communications. Email us your feedback.

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TNC Lead Scientist Heather Tallis is researching how to make people see nature as critical to life through three lenses: education, water and poverty.

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