Climate Change Cachets

Bee City USA founder Phyllis Stiles is calling for people to plant more trees to help bees and other pollinators handle climate change.

“Almost all bees, butterflies, moths, wasps, flies, beetles, birds and bat pollinators would benefit tremendously from more native and/or blooming trees,” she says

“For substantial impact, researchers found we would need to plant at least one trillion trees as soon as possible to allow them to begin sequestering carbon and restore forest ecosystems.


Thousands of hives and their bees were damaged during France’s unprecedently hot summer.

Temperatures of 46°C (115 degrees F) left bees unable to control the temperature of their hives, causing honey to melt and bees to perish.

Veteran beekeeper Christian Pons told news network 20 Minutes it was catastrophic.

“We lost 80 hives due to the melted wax that overcame the colony and the queen,” he says. “It was so hot outside that the bees couldn’t ventilate the hives.

The Honey is positioned on top, he explains, and the wax melted, crushing the larvae and moving down to the bees and the queen.

“The wax blocked the exits so well that bees and queens died trapped inside.”

“In a normal year, we normally do almost two tonnes (2.2 tons) of wild honey. This year we did 150kg (330 lb.).”


Switching farms from feeding cows to growing crops, or feeding animals seaweed, are not the silver bullet solutions to Ireland’s biggest GHG problem.

Experts in Dublin say swapping the national dairy herd – the country’s single biggest producer of carbon emissions – for tillage fields could plough up carbon stored in the soil for centuries.

GHG scientist Gary Lanigan say research into changing the diet of cows to reduce methane produces mixed results.

“The seaweed idea has merit but you need an awful lot of it,” he says. “You can add nitrates to the diet but there’s a danger of killing the animal from nitrogen poison.

“There have been programs, particularly in New Zealand, looking for silver bullets for the past 20 to 30 years and they haven’t found any.”


Three studies showing higher seas are undermining New Zealand coastal property values, as home buyers retreat to higher ground.

The sea has risen about eight inches since 1900, and the pace is accelerating, with three inches added since 1993.

Scientists predict the oceans will rise another three to seven inches by 2030, and as much as 4.3 feet by 2100.

Most recently two homes at the mouth of the Waikato River, 60 miles southwest of Auckland, were condemned as the shoreline crept towards them at 7 ft. to 10 ft. a year.

The Port Waikato community hall has been is condemned and the beach car park is being eaten away. To date, climate change has claimed a total 165 ft. of shore since 2002.


Electing female politicians can help enact ambitious climate policy to fight global warming, one study claims.

Economics professor Astghik Mavisakalyan of Australia’s Curtin University examined the legislatures of 91 countries and compared the percentage of seats held by women to the rigor of each country’s climate policies.

“We found female representation in national parliaments does lead countries to adopt more stringent climate change policies,” she says. “Climate change campaigns may actually succeed more in places where there are more females in political power.”


The International Center for Tropical Agriculture details projects and their potential to mitigate climate change by restoring 350 million hectares (864 9 million acres) of degraded and deforested land worldwide by 2030.

“We’re asking a lot from the land, to produce food for another couple of billion people. We also don’t want to lose more forest,” says CIAT researcher Louis Verchot.

Natural regeneration is the most popular choice for restoring vegetation, along with assisted regeneration and mixed plantations.

“You don’t have to invest in seedling production and plantations,” Verchot says. “On the other hand, you get what you get. In degraded lands you get pioneer species; it might take decades to get back the pre-disturbed mix of species.”


The sea-ice extent in the Arctic Ocean was nearing its annual minimum at the end of the melt season in September with only about 1,5 million square miles of the ocean covered.

Researchers from Germany’s Alfred Wegener Institute and the University of Bremen say this is only the second time the annual minimum has dropped below 1.54 million square miles since satellite measurements began in 1979.

“This year confirms the continued long-term reduction of Arctic sea ice as a result of climate change, making it ever more likely in a few decades the Arctic will be ice free in summer,” the researchers say.


If climate and crop-improvement trends continue, Midwestern corn growers who rely on rainfall to water their crops will need to irrigate their fields.

Scientists say this could draw down aquifers, disrupt streams and rivers, and set up conflicts between agricultural and other human and ecological needs for water.

University of Illinois plant biology professor Evan DeLucia, says as the atmosphere warms, it dries, and the draw for water to go from plants to the atmosphere increases.

“You see an overall increase in water use and water loss through plant leaves – without comparable increases in rainfall to counter the deficit,” he says.

Precipitation is not expected to increase enough in the Midwest to compensate for the drying conditions of the warmer atmosphere, the researchers found.

“We are getting more intense storms in the spring and less rain in the late summer,” DeLucia says. “But the overall amount of precipitation is not expected to change much in the coming decades.”

DeLucia says the use of minimum tillage and mulches can reduce the rate of water loss from the soil.


New Zealand is developing a new generation grass with field trials in the United States of a genetically modified high metabolizable energy (HME) ryegrass.

AgResearch Institute forage scientists wants to know whether this grass – striking a balance between reductions in GHG emissions, greater tolerance to drought and farm productivity – will perform in the field in a similar way to controlled environment studies.

AgResearch principal scientist Greg Bryan says the goal of the U.S. research is to conduct realistic animal nutrition studies so the grass can be evaluated for potential environmental benefits such as reduced methane emissions and nitrogen excretion.


An international group of scientists urgently calls on world leaders to accelerate efforts to tackle climate change.

“Acting on climate change, Australia has a good return on investment when one considers the damages avoided,” says Prof. Ove Hoegh-Guldberg of the University of Queensland in Australia.

“We have underestimated the sensitivity of natural and human systems to climate change, and the speed at which these changes are happening. We have underappreciated the synergistic nature of climate threats – with the outcomes tending to be worse than the sum of the parts.

“ This is resulting i rapid and comprehensive climate impacts, with growing damage to people, ecosystems, and livelihoods.”


The risk of compound flooding – when rapid sea level rises associated with storms occur along with heavy rains – will greatly increase in Northern European as the climate warms, new modelling shows.

The flooding now is concentrated along Mediterranean countries.

The researchers found the probability of compound flooding risk is likely to increase heavily along the west coast of Great Britain, northern France, the east and south coast of the North Sea, and the eastern half of the Black Sea.

The Bristol Channel and the Devon and Cornwall coast in the UK, as well as the Dutch and German North Sea coast, are considered hot spots, with compound flooding events likely to occur more than once every six years.