Climate change

Community Resilience Toolkit

The Community Resilience Toolkit 2.0 is a collection of online tools to help you understand local impacts of the climate and energy crisis in your region and what you can do about them. The tools are for individuals, community groups, teachers, and municipal planners. They come with easy instructions to facilitate community resilience workshops.

Fetch Climate

FetchClimate provides rapid access to complex geographical information, including but not limited to climatological information. All you need to specify is what you want to know, where on the Earth you want to know it for (any set of points or grids), and when in time you want to know it for (and combination of averages over, or steps through, years, days, and hours). FetchClimate will then select the best data-set for your query, and do all the necessary regridding in space and time, returning a best guess, uncertainty, and provenance for your query, packaged into a visual explorer.

Webinar: Out of Town, Not Out of Trouble: Small Agriculture and Indigenous Communities

This two-part webinar raises issues for small agriculture and Indigenous Community/Tribal adaptation with people and groups who are potential collaborators.

This webinar is part of the National Adaptation Forum Webinar Series, sponsored by EcoAdapt and hosted by CAKE.

Climate change is disrupting flower pollination, research shows

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Sexual deceit, pressed flowers and Victorian bee collectors are combined in new scientific research which demonstrates for the first time that climate change threatens flower pollination, which underpins much of the world’s food production.
The work used museum records stretching back to 1848 to show that the early spider orchid and the miner bee on which it depends for reproduction have become increasingly out of sync as spring temperatures rise due to global warming.

The orchid resembles a female miner bee and exudes the same sex pheromone to seduce the male bee into “pseudocopulation” with the flower, an act which also achieves pollination. The orchids have evolved to flower at the same time as the bee emerges.

But while rising temperatures cause both the orchid and the bee to flower or fly earlier in the spring, the bees are affected much more, which leads to a mismatch.

“We have shown that plants and their pollinators show different responses to climate change and that warming will widen the timeline between bees and flowers emerging,” said Dr Karen Robbirt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and the University of East Anglia (UEA). “If replicated in less specific systems, this could have severe implications for crop productivity.”

She said the research, published in Current Biology on Thursday, is “the first clear example, supported by long-term data, of the potential for climate change to disrupt critical [pollination] relationships between species.”

New Online Training Now Available for AVERT, EPA’s AVoided Emissions and geneRation Tool

EPA has just launched new online training for AVERT, a free tool designed to estimate the emissions benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy policies and programs. This training walks users through each step of the AVERT Main Module with dynamic “how to” videos and can be accessed on demand.

State air quality planners, energy office staff, public utility commission staff, and other organizations interested in knowing the emissions benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy (EE/RE) policies and programs can use AVERT to:

  • Quantify the nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (S02), and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions benefits of state and multi-state EE/RE policies and programs.
  • Examine the regional, state, and county level emissions impacts of different EE/RE programs based on temporal energy savings and hourly generation profiles.
  • Include AVERT-calculated emissions impacts of EE/RE policies and programs in air quality modeling and Clean Air Act plans used to meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.
  • Compare the emissions impacts of different types of EE/RE programs, such as the emissions impacts of wind installations versus solar installations.
  • Understand the emissions impacts of different EE/RE policies and programs during high electricity demand days.
  • Analyze the emissions benefits of EE/RE programs implemented in multiple states within an AVERT region.
  • Share information about location-specific emissions benefits in easy–to–interpret tables and maps.

EPA also recently updated the AVERT Main Module and User Manual and added 2013 data to the Statistical Module. Visit the AVERT web page to download these new materials.

A truly smart city is more than sensors, big data, and an all-seeing internet

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Investing billions in big data and smart technology isn’t the only answer to building more sustainable urban areas. We need to focus on the big levers.

Within 2 years, a quarter of the world’s carbon emissions are likely to be priced

Read the full post at Grist.

It often surprises people to hear that big companies like Exxon use a “shadow carbon price” when assessing future investment opportunities (in other words, they assume a price on carbon even where/when there isn’t one). After all, if you only pay attention to the headlines, it sounds like the big story on climate change is that nobody’s doing anything and we’re all doomed. Why would Exxon think carbon will be priced any time soon?

Well, it turns out that carbon is getting priced, not in the big, dramatic, simple way climate hawks would prefer, but incrementally, piecemeal, country-by-country, region-by-region, still inadequately but in a way that’s starting to add up.