Beekeepers in Spain moved more than one million Iberian black bees 3,940 feet above sea level to protect them from climate change and pesticides.
The apiarists in Girona acted as the effect of climate change and extensive agriculture is threatening the bees’ survival.
The Daily Mail newspaper reports the hives are kept beside tall trees, providing them with shade from the Spanish heat.
Humans must drastically alter food production to prevent the most catastrophic effects of global warming, a report from the United Nations panel on climate change warns.
The scientists looked at the climate change effects of agriculture, deforestation and other land use that generate a third of human greenhouse gas emissions, including more than 40% of methane.
“Emissions from agricultural production are projected to increase,” the authors warn. “Delaying action could result in some irreversible impacts on some ecosystems.”
Farmland must shrink and forests grow to keep Earth from getting more than 1.5° C hotter than it was in the preindustrial era.
Greenhouse gas emissions need to fall 40% to 50% in the next decade. The only way to achieve this is to significantly increase the amount of land covered in trees and other vegetation and significantly reduce greenhouse gases from livestock such as cows, sheep and goats.
The five U.S. cities most at risk from coastal flooding have begun planning for rising sea levels, Science News magazine reports.
Miami residents voted for a tax to fund coastal flooding resilience projects. The first, in the low-lying Fair Isle neighborhood, broke ground in March and will construct a drainage collection system and raise roadways.
New York City has programs to guide resiliency efforts, but few projects have started. Sandbags are installed around lower Manhattan to protect the waterfront while more permanent solutions are considered.
Louisiana has a $40-billion plan for New Orleans to build levees, restore shorelines and, if necessary, relocate communities at risk from flooding. The first projects are slated for completion in 2022.
Since 1952, sea levels in Tampa Bay are up by seven inches. Tampa’s Climate Science Advisory Panel recommended the city begin preparing for seas to rise an extra 11 to 30 inches by 2050 and 24 to 100 inches by 2100. A timeline for starting adaptation projects hasn’t been announced.
Boston has projects completed for East Boston, Charlestown and South Boston. A deployable flood wall is being installed along the East Boston Greenway. Mayor Martin Walsh says 10% of the city’s $3.49-billion capital budget in 2020 is for resiliency projects.
Federal government programs that mitigate risk in agriculture cost an average $12 billion a year over the past decade.
Fluctuations in these costs are heavily influenced by weather variability, which affects yields and prices, including the Federal Crop Insurance Program (FCIP).
The government’s cost exposure is expected to increase as weather averages and extremes change over the coming decades.
All scenarios suggest climate change will lower production of corn, soybeans, and wheat relative to a future scenario with a climate identical to that of the past three decades.
This implies prices will be higher, which suggests higher premiums and higher subsidies. Foreign supply or demand changes driven by climate change would mitigate or exacerbate this effect.
Under a moderate emissions scenario, the cost of today’s FCIP would be 3.5% higher than under a climate similar to the recent past. Under the higher emissions scenario, the increase is 22%.
Productive conversations about climate change aren’t only challenging when dealing with skeptics – they can also be difficult for environmentalists.
The first of two studies presented at the American Psychological Association convention found reinforcing belief and trust in science may be a strategy to help shift the views of skeptics.
“Within the U.S., bipartisan progress on climate change has essentially come to a standstill because many conservatives doubt the findings of climate science and many liberals cannot fathom that any rational human can doubt the scientific consensus on the issue,” says Harvard University researcher Carly Robinson.
The second study showed igniting a sense of resilience and perseverance can increase action and engagement around climate change for people who work in aquariums, national parks and zoos.
“Many educators working at these institutions reported wanting to talk about climate change and visitors reported wanting to hear about it, yet many educators still felt uncomfortable bringing the topic into their conversations because they were worried about being able to communicate effectively,” Indiana University researcher Nathaniel Geiger says.
Mega fires of the American future may be too extreme even for a bird that loves fire.
University of Connecticut research finds the changing nature of fire may pose challenges for birds, in particular, the Black-backed Woodpecker.
It specializes in using recently burned forests in western North America. Research suggests the birds prefer to nest near the edges of burned patches – and these edges are getting harder to find as wildfires become bigger and more severe.
Ph.D. candidate Andrew Stillman spent eight years monitoring more than 100 nests. He found the birds strongly prefer to nest in severely burned stands with lots of dead trees. But the birds chose to place their nests near the edges of these high-severity burned patches, typically within 550 yards of a patch with live trees.
Stillman says a diversity in the age, size and severity of burned patches, appears to be important for the woodpecker because it provides more edges between different burn severities. But climate change is fostering larger, more homogeneous fires with reduced diversity.
Researcher Morgan Tingley says every year there are more mega-fires.
“So even though the future is expected to hold more fire in western forests, the outlook may not even be good for fire-loving species,” he says.
Several factors related to climate change could make California bays less hospitable to shelled organisms such as oysters.
A University of California, Davis study finds changes to dissolved oxygen levels, water temperature, and salinity could have an even greater impact than ocean acidification on oyster growth.
Climate change is expected to lead to increased variability in precipitation, higher water temperatures, and increased upwelling. The study suggests this combination would lead to greater stress on oysters, particularly at the edges of bays connecting rivers and the ocean.
As extreme storms, flooding rains, and devastating wildfires make parts of the U.S. more challenging to live in, some Americans are moving.
Cities such as Duluth, Buffalo and Cincinnati are branding themselves as enticing destinations for those seeking to escape the brunt of a warming climate.
Social scientist Jesse Keenan of Harvard says attracting new residents from regions hard-hit by climate change could help the cities regain some lost economic strength.
University of Idaho research indicates consecutive low snow years may become six times more common across the Western U.S. over the latter half of this century, leading to expanded fire seasons and poor snow conditions at ski resorts.
“Across the West, we’re generally losing a lot of our snowpack – in many places, low snow conditions will be increasingly consistent from year to year,” says postdoctoral researcher Adrienne Marshall.
“Every time we have a snow drought, we’re delving into our water resources and the ecosystem’s resources. We’re drawing down on our savings without restocking the bank.
“This will negatively impact threatened wildlife, such as the wolverine; vegetation, tree establishment and fire activity.”