Biosphere – Biofera Wed, 15 Sep 2021 11:49:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Biosphere – Biofera 32 32 Design around Grandma Cottonwood’s tree – The Durango Herald Wed, 15 Sep 2021 11:01:07 +0000

Thank you for creating a path from 32nd Street to Oxbow. The expected benefits are good, encouraging cycling as a means of transport and inviting to engage in the river corridor. I also witness the incredible grief of our community after the loss of 33 elderberries and huge willow stands along the Animas River.

An elder, Grandma Cottonwood, still stands at the 32nd Street Bridge. It does not interfere; it invites a better way.

May we prioritize life, quality of life for all of our relationships. May we protect elderberries and wild ecosystems. May our designs reflect the depth of connection we have with our place identity. May we adapt to a grandmother wiser and older than any of us.

Old trees keep our earth cool, keep water in the biosphere, and trap water in the soil like a damp sponge. They sequester carbon dioxide, provide habitat for wildlife, shade, beauty, peace and friendship. A concrete path does not.

The bottom line is that Grandma Cottonwood’s life is precious and represents a path honoring the relationships with the roots that grow here before us. Let her tell our grandchildren how she was protected by the community of Durango.

The current design is the shortest distance between two points, a straight line. Actress Mae West once said, “The nicest distance between two points is a curved line.” Let’s take a look at our plan for Grandma Cottonwood, a vital member of our community who provides wisdom in shady riparian habitat.

Katrina blair


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Monarch butterfly tagged in Kentucky research project discovered 1,600 miles away in Mexico Sat, 11 Sep 2021 04:22:47 +0000

A monarch butterfly tagged in Kentucky as part of a research project last October was found 1,600 miles and months later in Mexico.

Kentucky Wild member and citizen-scientist Tri Roberts, of Versailles, originally captured and tagged the female monarch butterfly at the Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site in Perryville.

The Kentucky Department of Fisheries and Wildlife tags monarch butterflies each fall from late August through early October. Kentucky Wild hosts an annual tagging event to help capture, tag, and collect data on migrating monarchs.

Kentucky Wild member and citizen scientist Tri Roberts initially captured and tagged the female monarch butterfly at the Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site in Perryville. (Photo by KDFWR)

Kentucky Wild is a conservation community that offers its members the opportunity to go out into the field and work alongside researchers supporting vulnerable wildlife that face threats in the state.

Roberts has participated in several monarch experiences and workshops, including the most recent tagging day on October 2 at the Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site.

“I first heard of the Kentucky Wild when I renewed my fishing license several years ago,” said Roberts. “I also read an article on the Kentucky Wild in an edition of Kentucky Afield magazine. I was intrigued by the Kentucky Wild Mission and chose to become a member, and I’m so glad I did.

Kentucky State Park naturalist Robert Myers noted that the Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site is home to more than 750 acres of restored pollinator-friendly habitat. The Pollinator Habitat Project is a collaboration between the Kentucky Department of Parks, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, Office of Kentucky Nature Preserves and Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund, Friends of Perryville Battlefield, Natural Resources Conservation Service-USDA and the American Battlefield Trust.

After migrating south from Perryville, the monarch was recovered the following winter thanks to Monarch Watch’s tagging program. He had traveled over 1,600 miles to the El Rosario Butterfly Reserve in Michoacán, Mexico. El Rosario is the largest and most visited sanctuary in the 217 square mile Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, a World Heritage Site designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO ).

Millions of monarch butterflies from eastern North America migrate to central Mexico each fall to spend the winter, clustered in high-altitude fir forests. During this great migration, markers from across the range of the monarch capture and mark butterflies. Each tag consists of a small sticker displaying a unique code, which identifies the tagged monarch and where it traveled from in the event of recovery.

“This is a very rare and exciting event,” said Michaela Rogers, environmental specialist at Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. “With the help of our partners, we have tagged over 600 monarch butterflies in recent years. This is our first cover.

This recovery marks a contribution to nearly 20 years of tagging data collected and managed by Monarch Watch, a nonprofit education, conservation, and research program based at the University of Kansas. Tagging data helps scientists better understand the timing and rate of migration, the origin and routes of itinerant monarchs, changes in the distribution of monarchs in North America, and localities that may be critical in sustaining the migration.

The number of monarch butterflies has fallen in recent years, reflecting the decline of other important pollinator species. The loss of suitable habitat is likely a key factor in these declines. Kentucky Fish and Wildlife and other conservation agencies have responded with increased efforts in education, research and habitat improvement for pollinators. The Kentucky Monarch Conservation Plan is a roadmap to help this species recover through contributions from the State of Bluegrass.

Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife

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Committee to reset the boundaries of the Dana Biosphere Reserve formed | Jordan News Wed, 08 Sep 2021 09:27:51 +0000

Ammon news – Environment Minister Nabil Masarweh on Wednesday agreed to form a technical committee to redraw the boundaries of the Dana Biosphere Reserve in order to mine copper ore in the southern region of Jordan.

Speaking to the Jordanian News Agency (Petra), Masarweh said the committee, pursuant to a Cabinet decision, was tasked with studying the coordinates of the reserve’s temporary boundaries, as claimed by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, as reported by Petra.

“It will also update the environmental regulations for mining operations and exploration in the targeted areas, and will seek alternative lands to annex to the reserve in order to safeguard its biodiversity,” he added.

The committee is made up of representatives from the Ministries of Energy, Agriculture and Tourism, the Department of Lands and Surveying, the Royal Scientific Society, the Local Council of Tafila Governorate, the Royal Society for conservation, the Union of Geologists, the University of Jordan and the Natural Resources Authority, according to Petra.

Meanwhile, the International Union for Conservation of Nature attends as an observer, and the director of the ministry’s nature conservation directorate as rapporteur.

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ASEAN-Korea Center to present virtual trip to ASEAN countries Sat, 04 Sep 2021 07:01:00 +0000

“ASEAN Familiarization Tour” in Brunei (ASEAN-Korea Center)

The ASEAN-Korea Center organized a virtual “ASEAN Familiarization Tour” to strengthen ASEAN-Korea tourism cooperation.

Ulu Temburong National Park in Temburong, Brunei (ASEAN-Korea Center)

The tour, which allows Korean travel journalists and social media influencers to explore tourist destinations in ASEAN member states, went live last year, when global travel restrictions began. The center produced promotional videos featuring tourism sites and resources in ASEAN countries.

This year, Korean actress and artist So Yu-jin and ASEAN Millennials will be taking online trips to four ASEAN countries: Brunei, Indonesia, Myanmar and Vietnam.

Phu Quoc, Vietnam (ASEAN-Korea Center)

The first episode, released on August 31, features Brunei tourist attractions that have not been widely explored by Korean tourists – the Temburong region, the ASEAN Amazon, and a wide variety of activities that can be practiced in Brunei, ranging from hiking in the jungle to scuba diving.

The second episode shows Indonesia’s strengths, with contrasts between the country’s present and future – Jakarta, the current capital and new mecca of modern art, and Balikpapan, the city in the jungle heralded as the new capital; surfers’ paradise and Bali; Indonesian soul food chosen as the best food in the world by CNN, rendang and nasi goreng.

Inle Lake, Myanmar (ASEAN-Central Korea)

On September 8, the third episode will be released which looks at the life of the people of Myanmar: the influence of Buddhism on the lives of its people in the golden pagoda of Shwedagon and the city of Bagan, the largest Buddhist pilgrimage site in the Myanmar; the traditional way of life of the inhabitants of Inle Lake, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and the cuisine of the country.

The latest episode features virtual trips to various regions and mouth-watering food from Vietnam, one of the most visited ASEAN countries by Korean travelers: Vietnamese dishes familiar to Koreans such as pho, banh mi and banh xeo, as well as Hue royal cuisine, flagship of Vietnamese food heritage; Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where East meets West; and areas where one can enjoy the country’s natural wonders – Tam Coc, Trang An, Dong Van Plateau, Phu Quoc and Nha Trang.

Nusa Penida, an island southeast of Bali, Indonesia (ASEAN-Korea Center)

Videos from the ASEAN Familiarization Tour 2021 are available on the official YouTube channels of the Center and ASEAN tourism agencies.

By Lee Si-jin (

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Beach mats improve access for wheelchair and scooter users Wed, 01 Sep 2021 11:59:21 +0000

New beach mats have been introduced on Dublin’s Dollymount Strand to provide better access for wheelchair and scooter users to the North Bull Island Nature Reserve and other beach areas.

The specially designed mats stretch 125 meters across the beach from the end of Causeway Road and will provide greater mobility on the sand.

Dublin City Council’s beach mat trial follows a recommendation from the North Bull Island Oversight Forum to improve accessibility for beach goers with additional mobility needs, both on the nature reserve and its 5 km beach.

It is expected, subject to use and demand, that the rugs will be extended further along the beach in the years to come.

Speaking at the launch of the initiative, Councilor Mayor Alison Gilliland said: “I warmly welcome the addition of this important resource here on Dollymount Strand, in the heart of the Dublin Bay Biosphere.

“Accessibility and inclusion should be at the heart of all our policies, and Dublin City Council is committed to making Dublin and its amenities more accessible for its citizens, especially those with additional mobility needs. “

A free beach wheelchair rental service operates at North Bull Island from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the bathing season from June 1 to September 15.

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DCDL Offers Home COVID-19 Test Kits Sat, 28 Aug 2021 10:02:20 +0000

Earlier this year, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) purchased two million COVID-19 home test kits in a bid to make these rapid test kits available and accessible in every county in Ohio . The ODH worked with the Ohio Library Council (OLC) to increase its reach, and public libraries quickly began offering free tests across Ohio.

Today, the Delaware County District Library (DCDL) is pleased to announce that we will be joining the list of more than 130 Ohio public libraries to distribute COVID-19 home test kits. Public libraries play a vital role in the daily lives of many people, but we have been asked to respond in many other ways during this COVID-19 pandemic. Testing alone won’t end the pandemic, but DCDL can help make the kits readily available to our community and fight the spread where we can.

In order for a person to receive a test kit, they will need to go to any location in the Delaware County District Library (in Delaware, Orange Township, Powell, and Ostrander) and go to a pickup area. curbside or in the driving window. They can follow the directions on the signs to call the branch and request a COVID test kit. DCDL staff will deliver the kit with a link to the instructions, and individuals may be on their way to perform the test at home.

Testing may not be performed in a DCDL building, and library staff cannot assist beyond distributing free tests. A QR code and link can be found on a corresponding sheet of paper, and instructions can be followed to complete the test or use the test app.

Abbott Labs, the maker of the tests, provides a free app called NAVICA that includes step-by-step instructions for both taking the test and recording the results. It also provides access to healthcare professionals who can help interpret the results. The Delaware Public Health District is another local resource that can offer help.

The Delaware County District Library continues to ask customers with symptoms of COVID-19 or those who are feeling ill to refrain from entering the library. If customers are sick, have symptoms, or have been exposed to someone who is sick or has symptoms, they should not come to the library to get a kit, but rather send a family member or friend to pick up the kit. test. We look forward to adding this to our list of services as another way to help our community. Please do not hesitate to contact me directly for any questions.

This week we’re exploring new books in the Nature and Science genres. From Katherine Johnson of “Hidden Figures” fame to The Life of a Fly, I hope you discover something new.

• “Super Fly: The Unexpected Lives of the World’s Most Successful Insects” by Jonathan Balcombe. A biologist makes an argument for admiring the often misunderstood order of Diptera, explaining the role of flies in pollination, waste disposal, and the food web. For example, did you know that the aptly named Chocolate Midge is the only pollinator of the cocoa tree? All chocolate lovers owe a debt of gratitude to these flies. Facts like these and more in this entertaining science read.

• “It’s elementary: the chemistry hidden in everything” by Kate Biberdorf. A chemist breaks down the role chemistry plays in everyday life, from what makes dough rise to how coffee boosts energy. Return to high school with this reminder of the basics of chemistry and a witty, engaging approach to the most complex subjects.

• “My remarkable journey: a memoir” by Katherine Johnson. An African-American mathematician recounts her life and career as a “human computer,” performing complex calculations that were critical to the success of the US space program. Read it for Katherine Johnson’s richly detailed personal account of historical events including WWII, the Civil Rights movement, and the Space Race.

• “Diary of a Young Naturalist” by Dara McAnulty. A year in the life of a 16 year old climate activist who enjoys the nature of his Northern Irish home while dealing with the daily life of teenagers. Lyrical descriptions of our fragile biosphere are paired with candid writings about the complexities of life as an autistic person. Dara McAnulty is the youngest recipient of the Wainwright Award for Nature Writing in the UK and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds Medal for Conservation.

• “Brainscapes: The Warped and Wonderful Maps Written in Your Brain – and How They Guide You” by Rebecca Schwarzlose. A neuroscientist explains how the collection of “maps” – interconnected neurons that transmit signals – in our brains allow humans to interpret and interact with the world. Read accessible descriptions of scientific breakthroughs, such as those that allow people with paraplegia to control prostheses through thought and those in an apparently vegetative state to communicate using mental images.

If you have a question you would like answered in this column, mail it to Nicole Fowles, Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015, or call us at 740-362 -3861. You can also email your questions by visiting the library’s website at or directly to Nicole at No matter how you contact us, we’re always glad you asked!

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How elastic are our mussels: resilience in the conservation of freshwater mussels Tue, 24 Aug 2021 14:42:45 +0000

2021 marks the 150th anniversary of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Since its origins in fisheries conservation in 1871, there have been tremendous changes in the upper Mississippi. But for freshwater mussels, the need remains the same; populations of species and their communities resilient to change and local impacts. This is not to say that historic harvest, hydrological changes, pollution and introductions of invasive species in the intervening period have not caused declines, extirpations (when a species is eliminated from an area, but is not going to disappear), and the need for protection and management at the state and federal levels, but that our objectives are the same. What does environmentally resilient mean? Perhaps it is better to think of species as ships. Some are able to withstand a hurricane at sea or crossing the Drake Passage to Antarctica when even the unsinkable Titanic failed to cross the North Atlantic. The most resilient species are numerous enough to withstand reproductive failures, loss of parts of their populations, genetic diversity for future adaptation to their environment, so we need to find ways to recognize and protect that very resilience. among our common species to maintain the resilience of their communities, ecosystems and the biosphere.
What does resilience mean for freshwater mussel populations and communities? This is a complex question and we do not have specific parameters for most species, let alone for most communities. This year at the hatchery, we conducted two surveys as additional steps to identify characteristics of resilient populations. One on the Chippewa River where two federally threatened mussel species, the Winged Maple Leaf and the Higgins Eye Pearl Mussel were reintroduced and one in Guttenberg, IA on the Mississippi River where a train derailment took place. was produced in 2008. The data from each survey represents a different part of the Resilience Web.

The hatchery bred and reintroduced the Higgins Eye found during the Chippewa River survey. Photo Credit: Megan Bradley / USFWS

For the reintroduction on the Chippewa, a formula was used to calculate the persistence of a number of mussels to be released based on an estimate of the chances of survival, area and percentage of the community we wanted. they represent, according to other communities of freshwater mussels. where they are. Our survey shows that our estimate of five-year survival was very conservative, and that there are likely many more Higgins Eye persisting in the population than we expected. These data are helping us refine what the mortality and survival of this species might look like since all of the Higgins Eye pearl mussels found in the area have been placed there. Guttenberg’s survey examines the reaction of what was probably a former stable community of freshwater mussels to an acute event, or the proverbial cannonball from above. This year’s survey shows that mussel densities returned to current levels just after the event thanks to the support of the hatchery reintroduction efforts and that the subadult mussels added to the site have survived and thrived.
These efforts, while small within the larger framework of freshwater mussel conservation, could play a role in understanding what it means for a mussel species or community to be resilient in the future. by promoting the recovery of individual species in the Chippewa and Mississippi rivers. Each mussel collected in a cage, tagged or placed in rivers by our volunteers and biologists subtly shapes the science of freshwater mussel recovery and this is a pretty big change from some pretty tiny mussels.
By: Megan Bradley

White suckers inoculated with Rock Pocketbook mussels are housed in an AHAB system – a series of flow-through aquariums that allow easy collection of juvenile mussels after they have transformed and the fish’s gills have fallen off. Photo: Beth Glidewell / USFWS.

A pair of hatchery-reared Higgins Eye was found in the Guttenberg mussel survey. Photo: Megan Bradley / USFWS.

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Give your opinion on the direction of Noosa’s economy Mon, 23 Aug 2021 04:44:16 +0000

The board reviews Noosa’s local economic strategy to ensure it remains focused and current and seeks input from the community.

Mayor Clare Stewart said the world has changed dramatically since the strategy was adopted five years ago.

“We have to make sure that these long term plans stay up to date in the future,” said Cr Stewart.

“This document is essential to identify where we are applying our economic development effort. ”

“The discussions the board has had with local business groups and business leaders suggest that key elements of the existing strategy continue to resonate with the community and will be retained and built upon. “

The Board has developed a discussion paper that outlines the direction of the revised strategy and solicits feedback from the community.

Centered on the concept of a ‘smart biosphere’, the proposed direction is underpinned by three guiding principles and three key areas for enabling economic growth.

Achieving growth in smart industries, diversifying beyond tourism and population growth, and being globally connected are key principles of the strategy.

These are the concepts and principles on which the board seeks comments.

“I encourage anyone interested in the future of Noosa’s economy to read the discussion paper and answer the survey questions,” said Cr Stewart.

The discussion paper and survey are available at until September 3.

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Humans will always have oxygen to breathe, but the same can’t be said for ocean life Sun, 22 Aug 2021 17:58:42 +0000

We might be fine, but what about ocean creatures? Photo: Joseph Barrientos on Unsplash


There is nothing more fundamental to humans than the availability of oxygen. We don’t care about the oxygen we need, we just breathe, but where does it come from?

To shed some light on this point, statements such as “the ocean provides 50% of the oxygen we breathe”, or its equivalent, “every second breath we breathe comes from the ocean”, have become mantras. currents to highlight human dependence on the ocean and the risk of decreased oxygen supply due to climate change and environmental degradation.

These mantras are repeated by prominent politicians including US Climate Envoy John Kerry and French President Emmanuel Macron, international organizations such as Unesco and the European Commission, and even major reports from the IPCC and d other reputable scientific institutions.

While they can be good fodder for speeches, these claims distort the real source of the oxygen we breathe and, in so doing, mislead the public as to why we should be strengthening our role as steward of the oceans. .

Where do we find our oxygen?

Earth’s atmosphere has not always been as rich in oxygen as it is today. The atmosphere is now 21% oxygen, but it was only 0.001% of current levels during the first 2 billion years of Earth’s history.

It was the advent of bacteria and microscopic ocean plants (phytoplankton) and, later, larger plants on earth that caused the astounding increase in oxygen in our atmosphere. This oxygen is derived from photosynthesis – the process by which plants convert carbon dioxide and water into organic matter and oxygen.

Oxygen has been relatively stable at a high level for the past 500 million years. Today, about half of photosynthesis takes place in the ocean and the other half on land.

So yes, the ocean is responsible for about 50% of the oxygen produced on the planet. But it’s not responsible for 50 percent of the air we humans breathe. Most of the oxygen produced by the ocean is directly consumed by the microbes and animals that live there, or when plant and animal products fall on the seabed. In fact, the net oxygen production in the ocean is close to zero.

A tiny fraction of primary production, about 0.1 percent, escapes degradation and is stored as organic carbon in marine sediments – a process called a biological carbon pump. This organic carbon can eventually turn into fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas. The minute amount of oxygen that was generated to produce this carbon store can then be released into the atmosphere. A similar process also occurs on earth, with carbon stored in the soils.

Therefore, the oxygen we currently breathe comes from the slow build-up of O in the atmosphere supported by the burying of organic matter over very long time scales – hundreds of millions of years – and not from contemporary production by the terrestrial or oceanic biosphere. .

Fossil fuels and the air we breathe

What about future trends in atmospheric oxygen? As early as 1970, the eminent geochemist Wally S Broecker recognized that if we were to burn all known reserves of fossil fuels, we would be using less than 3% of our oxygen reservoir.

If we were to cut down or burn all forests and oxidize all the organic carbon stored in vegetation and arable soils around the world, it would only lead to a low depletion of atmospheric oxygen. If photosynthesis in the ocean and on land stopped producing oxygen, we could continue to breathe for millennia, although we would certainly have other problems.

The expected decline in atmospheric oxygen, even in the worst-case scenarios with massive fossil fuel combustion and deforestation, will be very small compared to the very large atmospheric reservoir. Models show that the oxygen content of the atmosphere will undergo a minute change over the next 100,000 years in response to the use of fossil fuels. So while there is much to fear in our climate future, the availability of oxygen to air-breathing organisms (including humans) is not one of them.

Decline of oxygen in the ocean

However, there are significant concerns about the oxygen content of the ocean. The ocean’s O₂ reservoir is vulnerable because it contains less than 1% of the oxygen stored in the atmosphere. In particular, regions of the ocean with very little or no oxygen, known as low oxygen zones, expand as the planet warms, making new regions habitable for the respiration of organisms like fish.

The open ocean lost 0.5 to 3.3 percent of its oxygen supply in the first 1,000 meters from 1970 to 2010, and the volume of minimum oxygen zones increased by 3 to 8 percent.

This loss of oxygen is mainly due to the increased stratification of the oceans. In this process, the mixing of the surface ocean, which becomes warmer and lighter, with the deeper and denser ocean layers is less efficient, limiting the penetration of oxygen. The activity of enzymes, including those involved in respiration, also generally increases with temperature. Thus, oxygen consumption by ocean creatures increases as the ocean warms.

A recent study found that the minimum oxygen zones in the high seas have expanded by several million square kilometers, and that hundreds of coastal sites now have oxygen concentrations low enough to limit animal populations and alter the cycle. important nutrients. The volume of low oxygen areas is expected to increase by about 7% by 2100 under a high CO₂ emissions scenario.

Such deoxygenation affects biodiversity and food webs; and negatively affects food security and the livelihoods of those who depend on it.


So where does that leave our mantra?

While it is incorrect to say that the ocean provides 50 percent of the oxygen we breathe, it is correct to say that at geological time scales, the ocean has provided much of the oxygen that we breathe. we are absorbing today. It’s also perfectly correct to say that the ocean is responsible for 50 percent of primary production on Earth, supporting our food system.

And while we shouldn’t be worried about the future supply of oxygen that humans will be able to breathe in the future, we should be concerned that fish are increasingly displaced from expanding ocean areas that are depleted in water. oxygen.The conversation

This article was written by several authors: Jean-Pierre Gattuso, Teacher-researcher, CNRS, Iddri, Sorbonne University; Carlos M. Duarte, Emeritus Professor of Marine Sciences, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology; Fortunat Joos, professor, University of Bern, and Laurent Bopp, professor-researcher, CNRS, École normale supérieure (ENS) – PSL

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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“We are doing a very good job”: Hawaii on track to meet zero emission deadline Sun, 22 Aug 2021 10:05:00 +0000

Despite a dire United Nations warning of the looming danger of climate change, state officials believe Hawaii is making good progress in protecting the environment.

Earlier this month, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its sixth assessment report on how climate change is affecting the global environment.

The report, drawn from years of data collected since the Fifth Assessment Report in 2013, paints a grim picture of unprecedented and accelerating climate change in recent decades and extrapolates a potential future where global average temperatures rise by more than 10 degrees Fahrenheit by turn of the century.

Since pre-industrial times, human activities have already increased the average temperature of the planet by about 1 degree Celsius, or nearly 2 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the report.

Although the report does not include data specifically for Hawaii, the report’s worst-case scenario predicts that the Pacific Ocean will warm by nearly 1 degree Celsius by 2040, local air temperature will rise by nearly of 2 degrees Celsius and the local sea level will rise by about 0.2. meters, or nearly 8 inches.

Based on the report’s most optimistic scenario, humanity will need to immediately start reducing carbon dioxide emissions, dropping to zero by 2050, to prevent the temperature from rising more than another 1.5 degrees Celsius. , which has been identified as the maximum allowable temperature increase. before risking catastrophic impacts around the world, ranging from a sharp increase in extreme weather events to the collapse of the biosphere.

However, Hawaii’s sustainability coordinator Danielle Bass said Hawaii, at least, is on track to meet that deadline.

“The state of Hawaii recognized human-made climate change years ago,” Bass said, noting that Hawaii was much faster at doing so than many other states and nations. “We already have laws in place to address this.

“We’re doing a really good job, actually, although we could do more,” she continued.

The state has set a goal of fully switching to clean energy by 2045, Bass said, and has already introduced a wide variety of programs to pave the way towards that goal. However, she continued, the state will need to introduce more climate resilience measures – after all, she said, even the most optimistic IPCC scenario will lead to sea level rise, acidification. oceans and an increase in severe weather.

“We can see that we are threatened,” Bass said. “We envision worse storms, coastline erosion, droughts, forest fires… we really need to act now. “

The state’s Department of Transportation released a Climate Resilience Action Plan earlier this year, examining how the state’s roads could be affected by the various effects of climate change.

While the report states that most of the Big Island’s highways are not immediately threatened by rising sea levels, the increased risk of powerful storms will increase the risk of landslides statewide and require a more frequent road maintenance.

Bass said the assessment was only targeting national roads, however, and areas such as Banyan Drive will almost certainly be affected by rising sea levels.

A 2017 DOT report determined that most of the Big Island State’s highways have a low risk of impact from sea level rise, with the exception of Highway 19 along Hilo Bayfront, which is at “moderate” risk.

Beyond the island’s roads, Bass noted that the state’s hurricane shelters could benefit from additional funding, as the frequency and severity of tropical storms are expected to increase over the coming decades.

With changes in the local climate looming, Bass said the state will ultimately have to reconsider how its economy is structured in order to survive.

“We need to have a lot more food security than now,” Bass said, adding that Hawaii is too isolated to depend on mainland agriculture, especially if supply chains are disrupted by weather events.

Bass said the state’s ecology will also become more fragile over the years. A 2017 report on coral bleaching from the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources found that several fishing practices, such as underwater underwater fishing – which was banned in the western waters of the Big Island in 2013 – should be completely reduced in order to allow the reefs to recover. .

“We want to see a diverse economy. We don’t want to depend so much on tourism, ”Bass said, acknowledging the negative climate impacts caused by 10 million annual visitors to the state. According to a 2017 report from the European Parliament, international aviation could account for up to 22% of all global carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.

But Hawaii may have options.

This year, the state legislature passed House Bill 683, which establishes a subsidy program for businesses in Hawaii that develop products related to sustainable aviation fuel, which produces up to 80% less carbon emissions than traditional aviation fuel.

Hamakua representative Mark Nakashima, who introduced the bill, said several state companies are working on developing a cleaner electrolysis system to generate hydrogen-based aviation fuel, which would generate much less emissions.

“Hydrogen, when burned, only produces water, so it is much cleaner than normal fuel,” Nakashima said, adding that manufacturing conventional jet fuel also uses a certain amount of hydrogen. which could be synthesized more cleanly.

Unfortunately, no commercial aircraft in existence today uses hydrogen as an energy source. European aerospace company Airbus plans to produce a range of fuel cell aircraft by 2035.

Closer to the ground, Nakashima said he hopes the county’s first hydrogen buses will start operating in Kailua-Kona soon, although their launch has been repeatedly delayed. They were due to arrive on the island in May, but have yet to be modernized.

Bass noted that the state’s actions might be insignificant compared to the global action needed to mitigate the climate catastrophe, but expressed confidence that Hawaii is doing what it can.

“What this report shows us is that it’s going to be an important decade – it’s the decade of action,” Bass said.

“Locally, we have to do what we can, but it will be a collaborative effort around the world. “

Email Michael Brestovansky at

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