climate-change


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Cleveland Can Beat the Heat by Planting Trees—But Don’t Forget Environmental Justice

, Kendall Science Fellow

Climate change presents many threats to cities, compromising their ability to protect public health, or deliver critical services like sewage disposal or adequate protection against storm surges and flooding. Many cities are acutely aware of these threats, and are developing climate adaptation plans with strategies to mitigate, and adapt to, climate change impacts. Read more >

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Digital Visual Library
Article (doi:10.1175/WCAS-D-15-0026.1) Declet-Barreto, J.; Knowlton, K.; Jenerette, G. D. & Buyantuev, A. Effects of urban vegetation on mitigating exposure of vulnerable populations to excessive heat in Cleveland, Ohio Weather, Climate, and Society, 0, 0, null Abstract: AbstractHot weather is a threat to human health, especially in cities, where Urban Heat Islands (UHIs) are elevating temperatures already on the rise from global climate change. Increased vegetation can help reduce temperatures and exposure to heat hazards. We conduct an ensemble of Geographically Weighted Regressions (GWR) on Land Surface Temperature (LST) for May-October to estimate potential LST reductions from increased vegetation and assess the effect of temperature reductions among vulnerable populations in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. We apply possible tree canopy increases to our results, finding that LST reductions can range from 6.4 to 0.5 °C for May-October, and are strongest from May-July. Potential LST reductions vary spatially according to possible canopy increases, are highest in suburban fringe neighborhoods and lower in downtown areas. Among populations at high heat-related health risks, the percentage of the population 65 years of age or older in Cleveland is negatively associated with LST, while percentages of Hispanics and those with low educational achievement are most positively associated with higher LST. Percent Hispanic also has the lowest potential temperature reductions from increased vegetation. Neighborhoods with the highest potential temperature reductions had the highest percentages of Whites. Three sub-populations associated with high heat health risks are negatively correlated (African-Americans, the elderly) or not correlated (persons living in poverty) with LST, and the relationships to LST reduction potential for all three are not statistically significant. Our estimates of the effect of vegetation increases on LST can be used to target specific neighborhoods for UHI mitigation under possible and achievable, policy-prescribed tree canopy scenarios in Cleveland.
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Obama in China: Lessons from the Red Carpet

, China project manager and senior analyst

President Obama’s precipitate decent onto a Chinese red carpet generated more media attention than what could be a planet-saving commitment to combat climate change. This triumph of the trivial raises important questions about the future of US-China relations.

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No Need To Wait for the Future: Global Warming Impacts Are Happening Right Here, Right Now.

, climate scientist

NASA just released its global temperature measurement for August 2016, which tied July 2016 as the warmest month ever on record. Read more >

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California Just Made Climate Change History. How Did it Happen?

, Western states policy manager

The day before yesterday I sat in the gallery of the California Senate and saw something that just a few weeks ago I wasn’t expecting: Senators casting the final vote on an historic set of bills—Senate Bill 32 (Pavley) and Assembly Bill 197 (E. Garcia)—that reaffirm the state’s commitment to addressing climate change through 2030. After the vote was over, my colleagues and I shared hugs, smiles, and tears as the weight of the accomplishment washed over us. It was a great day. Read more >

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Peak Oil, Peak Coal, Peak Deforestation, Peak Emissions…. and Why They’re Not Nearly Enough

, scientific adviser, Climate and Energy

Recent data related to our global emissions of heat-trapping gases suggest that humanity may have reached a turning point, or even several. We may be moving from increasing emissions, to peaking and starting to decline. We could be close to such peaks, or even have passed it, for several of the main sources of greenhouse gases, including coal and deforestation—perhaps even for humanity’s total emissions.

If so, this would be a momentous occasion, reversing centuries of growing global warming pollution. But before we start celebrating, we should realize that peaking is not nearly enough.

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