News and Briefs

Short articles, news reports, and coverage of new studies.

Una advertencia grave para los arrecifes hondureños

«Se siente una impotencia», me dijo en una videollamada. Guerrero es la coordinadora para Honduras de la organización Arrecifes Saludables para Gente Saludable, que hace monitoreo de la salud de todo el sistema arrecifal mesoamericano, que también incluye México, Belice y Guatemala. «Realmente no puedes hacer nada más que documentarlo y regar la voz…pero una solución a corto o mediano plazo, pues no la sé», dijo.

Global Study Finds Adaptation Progress Local Not Societal – KneeDeep Times

Behind the public fanfare and declarations of international climate negotiations, like the COP26 conference that just ended in Glasgow, are thousands of researchers on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) who toil for years to summarize the science on every aspect imaginable of climate change so policymakers have the best available facts to work from. But when hundreds of scientists working on the IPCC tried to summarize the research on how humans are adapting to climate change,

A new partnership is pushing to tally the “blue carbon” in marine and coastal ecosystems.

Seagrass meadows, kelp forests, and even the seabed can all lock away carbon—but exactly how much is still up in the air for these and other ocean ecosystems. The Seascape Carbon Initiative, a partnership formed in late 2021 between four environmental problem-solving organizations and one independent carbon verifier, is pushing the science forward so protecting and restoring these valuable ecosystems can join mangrove forests and terrestrial forests as certifiable nature-based carbon capture...

Retreat By Any Other Name – KneeDeep Times

Affluence often aligns with stronger resistance to relocation. But an even stronger factor could be how much private versus public land is imperiled. In wealthy San Francisco, a lengthy process of negotiation triumphed with a plan for managed retreat of a beloved public beach, while residents of the remote northern town of King Salmon rallied against the suggestion of relocating from their homes. Nearly three-quarters of the town qualifies as “economically disadvantaged” by federal criteria.

Cutting Green Tape

A novel exemption lawmakers passed to California’s landmark Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) in late 2021 has helped fast-track at least four habitat restoration projects so far, with more to follow in the next couple years. The Statutory Exemption for Restoration Projects, or SERP, offers a rare reprieve from California’s stringent environmental review and permitting process — and a clear indication of the urgency the state’s leaders feel in advancing ecological restoration work.

Seeding Citizen Scientists – KneeDeep Times

In the fall of 2021, ecologist and landscaper Billy Krimmel decided to sow 65 pounds of native seeds all around Davis, and to do everything wrong. Everything wrong, at least, by the standards of the professional landscapers Krimmel’s native landscaping company competes with. The seed disbursers were anybody and everybody in the West Sacramento area who stumbled across the project at various breweries or pop-up events and felt inspired to take home a seed packet in the name of citizen science. I

Teaching to Weather the Storms Within – KneeDeep Times

Nose streaming, eyes puffy, the child wails onscreen. He’s perhaps pre-K aged, and in most circumstances, you might assume he was mid-tantrum, perhaps brought on by a spat with a sibling or misplaced favorite toy. But between gasping sobs, the boy in the video explains that he’s upset because of climate change. The viral video is a vivid indicator of how “climate anxiety” affects even the youngest among us. Children, by definition, have no direct civic power and little say in how their lives ar

A South Bay Levee Breaks Ground, And Records – KneeDeep Times

On a drizzly Thursday in April, dozens of reporters, government officials, military brass, conservationists, and bureaucrats gathered beside a weedy shoreline on the edge of San Jose to break ground on an effort worth hundreds of millions of dollars. “We have a grave responsibility to take action, and what you see behind me is an example of that action,” declared Wade Crowfoot, the California Secretary for Natural Resources. The humble surroundings belied the significance of the South San Fran

This ultra-strong nanomaterial could cut carbon emissions — and it’s made out of garbage

For more than a thousand years, humans have dreamed of transforming a worthless substance (lead) into something precious (gold). But in the 21st century, the mythical philosophers’ stone might produce not gold, but graphene, a two-dimensional carbon nanomaterial with so many industrial uses that it’s more valuable by weight than the 24 karat stuff. And that transformation may no longer be a fantasy. Researchers at Rice University have devised a technique that seems akin to modern-day alchemy for

Will future East Coast winters be freezing or balmy? Scientists can’t agree.

As climate activists and progressive politicians are fond of saying, climate change is settled science. But in many regions, the details of what kinds of weather to expect in a changing climate are far from settled. Amid a positively balmy winter on the East Coast, a new study is invigorating one of the most contentious debates among climate scientists: What is climate change doing to eastern U.S. winters? Here’s what scientists agree on: The Arctic is getting warmer a lot faster than...