American Geophysical Union 2021: Key Events From the Columbia Climate School

A guide to some of the most provocative talks at the world’s largest gathering of earth and space scientists.

Finding Thanksgiving Gratitude Despite Environmental Grief

It can be difficult to enjoy the holidays with sustainability on your mind. Here’s how one student found a moment of optimism on Thanksgiving.

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Welsh Government Offers Every Household a Free Tree to Plant

In an effort to help the country reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, the Welsh government is offering every household in Wales a free tree to plant or have planted in the country’s woodlands on their behalf. About 1.3 million native species of trees will be made available at a cost of about two million pounds.


“Trees are amazing,” Deputy Minister for Climate Change Lee Waters said, as reported by The Guardian. “They save lives by keeping our air clean, they improve people’s physical and mental health, they are essential for tackling our nature emergency, improving biodiversity and, of course, in tackling climate change.”

“To meet our climate change targets, we have to plant 86 million trees by the end of this decade,” Waters said, according to BBC News.

Trees will be made available from five locations beginning in March of 2022, with twenty more pickup sites to be added in the fall. The trees that are not planted in individuals’ gardens will be planted by Coed Cadw, The Woodland Trust in Wales.

“Some will plant a modest fruit tree in their small back garden while those with more space might plump for a sapling that will, hopefully, grow into a mighty oak,” reported Steven Morris of The Guardian.

Jerry Langford, Policy Lead for Coed Cadw, told the BBC he believes the public will be able to take care of the trees, “Trees are tough actually,” he said, “you’ve got to treat them pretty badly to kill a tree. So just a bit of tender loving care, and it will be fine.”

“In June the Welsh government held what it called a ‘deep dive’ exercise into trees and timber and concluded a step change was needed to create enough woodland to tackle the climate emergency,” reported Morris of The Guardian.

The Labour-led government judges it needs to plant 43,000 hectares (approximately 106,000 acres) of new woodland by 2030, and 180,000 hectares by 2050 to meet climate crisis targets. In 2020, just 290 hectares of woodland was planted in Wales and annual woodland creation has not exceeded 2,000 hectares since 1975,” Morris reported.

Waters called for a construction sector overhaul, as 80 percent of the timber it currently uses is imported, according to The Independent.

“There is real opportunity for timber processors and manufacturers in Wales to contribute to a ‘wood economy’ in Wales, creating new jobs in rural Wales as well as building an innovative supply chain for high value added, longer life uses,” Waters said, as reported by The Independent.

Waters also said a consultation regarding plans to start a national forest for Wales would begin in early 2022, according to The Guardian.

“While tree-planting is only one way to help tackle climate change, it is a simple and enjoyable way for every single person in Wales to have the chance to plant a tree and watch it grow,” said Natalie Buttriss, director of The Woodland Trust in Wales, as reported by The Guardian.

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Nebraska receives $3 million for climate-smart infrastructure

LABarometer survey finds adverse environmental conditions impact a growing number of Angelenos

The post LABarometer survey finds adverse environmental conditions impact a growing number of Angelenos appeared first on Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.

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Manatees, facing a crisis, will get a bit of help: extra feeding

Meet the ecologist who works for God and fights against grass

Up to 900 Bison to Be Removed From Yellowstone This Winter

As many as 900 bison could be removed from Yellowstone National Park this winter.

Wildlife officials and tribal entities agreed on Wednesday to the number of the large mammals that could be either hunted, slaughtered or quarantined this winter, The New York Times reported.


“Allowing the bison population to grow indefinitely could cause overgrazing in some areas and possibly mass starvation of animals in Yellowstone, as well as larger migrations and greater conflict outside the park,” Yellowstone National Park explained.

For these reasons, bison are removed every winter. The animals have a high survival rate and their population grows by 10 to 17 percent each year, but there is not really room in the park to support such large populations. Predation by wolves does little to curb these numbers because bison are large animals that can defend themselves from attacks. A total of 834 Yellowstone bison were killed during the 2019-2020 winter season, while officials recommended culling between 500 and 700 in 2020-2021. However, this goal was not met by about 200 animals, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported.

Another reason the bison are killed is that, as they grow beyond the boundaries of the park, they spread into Montana, where very few bison are allowed to roam outside the park. The state is concerned that the bison will spread a disease called brucellosis to cattle, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle explained. Brucellosis is a bacterial disease that can cause cows to abort their calves, The AP reported.

Despite these concerns, there has never been a documented case of a bison passing brucellosis to cattle, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported. Elk, however, have been known to spread the disease.

“That doesn’t seem to get much attention and discussion,” National Bison Association President Donnis Baggett told The New York Times. “Everybody blames it on the bison.”

Every year, the bison are either hunted or rounded up for slaughter as they leave the park, according to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. This year, as many as 80 bison may also be saved from death through the park’s quarantine program. This program holds and tests bison in pens for years before they are transferred to cultural herds under the control of Indigenous tribes.

This year, officials and tribes have preliminarily agreed that 600 to 900 bison can be culled, and an additional 200 can be hunted or captured in late winter depending on conditions on the ground.

Ultimately, the need for culling represents a conservation success story. There were fewer than 100 bison left alive on the Great Plains in 1902, and now there are 5,400 living in Yellowstone National Park, The New York Times pointed out.

However, that’s still a far cry from their historical numbers.

“As the (bison) population gets a little bit bigger every year, I can’t help but think about how much the population of cattle increased,” Quincy Ellenwood, who represents the Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee, told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. “I understand that you are looking out for a way of life, but that way of life radically changed my way of life …. Sixty million (bison) once roamed freely in North America.”

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How tree planting can seed climate resilience in communities of color


Trees line a sidewalk in a Chicago neighborhood.

A Chicago effort to plant 75,000 new trees aims to identify areas in greatest need of additional tree cover and prioritize restoring a green canopy in these under-resourced neighborhoods disproportionately affected by climate change.

How tree planting can seed climate resilience in communities of color is an article from Energy News Network, a nonprofit news service covering the clean energy transition. If you would like to support us please make a donation.

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‘Huge blow’ – cuts to gas finance sparks West African backlash

Nigerian and Senegalese leaders have criticised western countries for pledging to stop funding gas projects internationally, calling for exceptions to be made

The post ‘Huge blow’ – cuts to gas finance sparks West African backlash appeared first on Climate Home News.