Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

Climate Change (94 found)

Could there be a turning point for Indonesia’s CO2 emissions?

A recent study showed empirical evidence of a turning point of Indonesia COemissions. According to the findings, COemissions will start to decline as income per capita reaches around $8,000, with profound implication Indonesian energy policy.

You can't dodge the impacts of climate change

New research shows that climate change has profoundly altered another region. The victim this time is a mountainous region in northwestern China. 

Can bonds help Asia achieve renewable energy goals?

A recent study examines the causes behind the financing gap in Asia’s renewable energy sector and proposes bonds as a potential solution.  

Wet feet? Climate change might just be sneaking up on you

In a recent study, a team of scientists was able to show how places like Norfolk, Va. will experience more flooding and coastal erosion than ever before — not only during hurricanes like Sandy and Isabel, but more frequently during typical rain and wind events.

We are losing more than sea ice

A team of scientists from the U.S. and Canada has expanded the conversation about climate change and its effects on the world’s ecosystems. In a study they look at a critical consequence of climate change — the potential for entire ecological systems to transition into new systems — and begin a discussion of management strategies, including whether or not we should intervene.

Can fungi and trees, working together, slow climate change?

Can the alliance between trees and fungi reduce climate change effects? A recent study looks at the role of fungi in increasing the ability of trees to take up the potent greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide.

A Roadmap to 100 Percent Clean Power

A recent study outlines the steps we need to take to fundamentally transform our power system and rely primarily on renewable energy sources. Reaching that goal will be challenging but not impossible. 

Can the Chinese economy take on a renewable energy revolution?

A new study takes a closer look at how large-scale renewable energy development may impact China’s macro-economy.

Research roadmap towards justice in climate change adaptation planning

Climate change presents an unequal threat to the most marginalized groups of society, which current urban adaptation plans have not adequately addressed. Researchers have proposed a research roadmap toward an adaptation planning framework that is more equitable and sustainable.

Framing environmental migrants for policy action

Environmental migrants are often categorized or “framed” as victims, a security threat, adaptive agents, or political subjects. How these framings evolved and are used in a variety of contexts by multiple actors can have a significant impact on policy action.

Dry times lead to the blues: Drought takes a mental toll on public health

Drought is a common and widespread occurrence in the United States. A new study explores the complex relationship between drought and mental health by creating a causal process diagram that can be used to guide further prevention efforts, public health programming, and vulnerability, and risk assessment.

Global health community is needed to help fight climate change

A team of medical professionals and scientists says that experts from different disciplines need to work together in order to prevent, diminish, or adjust to the negative consequences of climate change. 

Green versus gray infrastructure: The economics of flood adaptation in Fiji

Despite their relative obscurity, green infrastructure that incorporates natural processes offers significant economic advantages over conventional gray infrastructure, as demonstrated by a recent study of flood adaptation options in Fiji.

Meatless revolution: A future where humans no longer eat animals?

Through new technologies, a recent study finds, humankind could begin a whole new era of food production – one where meat can be produced in laboratories and may even reduce the environmental costs of the livestock industry.  

Healthy planet, healthy you: Investing in new energy solutions proves a boon for health and climate.

Energy efficiency and renewable energy installation produce both public health and climate benefits. These benefits also have significant dollar values that can be estimated using an integrated model assessment, a recent study says. 

Adapt and overcome? In rural Nigeria, communities face down climate change

In a recent report scientists in Nigeria took a close look at the impacts of climate change on rural communities, and how these communities are trying to adapt. They explain the tangible effects that people are experiencing as a result of environmental change — and evaluate the best adaptation strategies.

Climate change: Plan locally, think globally

When planning for climate change at the local level, it may seem irrelevant to consider events that occur far away. Two researches give examples and provide a framework that explain why we must think globally to plan locally.

Does climate skepticism necessarily mean climate inaction?

Climate skeptics have argued that additional action towards mitigating climate change should not be taken until we know what drives it. A recent paper, however, suggests that skeptics have reason to take action towards emission reduction precisely to understand the drivers of climate change.

Can a ‘climate club’ help solve global warming crisis?

A leading climate economist recently analyzed the projected outcomes of creating an international climate change club. To join the club, countries must agree to put a price on carbon domestically, and to tax imported goods from non-member countries — creating a strong incentive to join the club.

Quantifying regional climate trends in the U.S.

A recent study quantified climate change trends across the U.S.’s National Ecological Observatory Network regions, informing future efforts to research and mitigate climate change. 

Evaluating Latin American efforts to reduce future emissions

A new study on greenhouse gas emissions trends in Latin American shows that current policy efforts to reduce or prevent those emissions are not enough. The region should prepare for the coming challenges of a new climate agenda.

What is happening with the bees?

The diversity of bees and other pollinator populations has declined, leading to a potential global pollination crisis. Many factors influence this crisis, researchers say, making it necessary to find a variety of solutions. 

Drought and cooperation in a conflict zone

Despite decades of tension, a new case study reveals that Muslim Bedouin herders and Jewish farmers cooperated during the severe drought of 1957 to 1963, offering new insights into how societies deal with environmental changes.

How does your community measure up when it comes to resilience?

Emerging research provides an integrated and empirical approach to measuring disaster resilience in communities across the U.S. The metric is designed for widespread use and is deployable as an analysis tool for local-scale planning and policy development.

How will future generations remember me? Strengthening climate action by tapping into ‘legacy desires’

Prompting people to think about their legacy and how they can positively impact the lives of future generations results in increased donations to support environmental protection, a new study finds.

‘Negative’ carbon emissions needed to meet 2-degree warming targets

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change has increasingly emphasized the 2 degree C global warming target as a benchmark for future policies and strategies. Through modeling of future scenarios, researchers justify the physical need for negative emissions if this temperature target goal is to be remotely achievable.

The influence of corporate funding on the climate change debate

It has been widely thought that money wields power, and that corporate funding fuels climate change deniers. A recent study finds who these corporate funders are and just how much power they have.

As climate changes, butterflies find refuge in protected areas

As species shift out of their historic habitats in response to climate change, the role of protected areas is in question. Can the current global system of stationary bubbles of biodiversity protection help fauna on the move?

Making clothes that last: Surprising design insights from Norway

Is it possible to delay clothing disposal through better design? A recent study uses user-centered design methods and quantitative consumer research to suggest four strategies to delay clothing disposal.

Index-based insurance for climate risk mitigation: A case study from Syria

The consequences of a rise in extreme weather events worldwide due to climate change can be particularly catastrophic in politically unstable countries. A recent study analyzes the role that index-based insurance can play in the highly volatile Syrian market and its potential to increase the adaptive confidence of farmers in a changing climate.

Rescue from the urban heat island

One way to mitigate the effect of overheating in cities is to construct reflective or green roofs. A recent study reveals the potential and limits of reflective and green roof technologies.

The great hope of biofuels

A recent study suggests that it is possible — and worthwhile — to tackle greenhouse gases emissions using CO2 from power plants to produce algae biofuels.

Reframing greenhouse gas removal technologies as a viable climate solution

Greenhouse gas removal technologies provide a valuable option to decrease emissions beyond mitigation. While climate policy to this point has not included these important technologies, researchers in the United Kingdom have developed four pillars upon which to reframe the policy approach.

Protecting livelihoods in climate change adaptation

Shocks from climate change are felt by all, but it’s the poorer communities that are more sensitive to these disturbances. A recent study looks critically at the lens through which we view climate adaptation and asks: Are we building a resilience that accounts for the livelihoods of all, including the most vulnerable populations?

Moths, bats, and climate change: How changing weather could threaten migration

Weather can change the day-to-day life of agricultural pests, like the corn earworm moth. But how do weather systems affect large groups of migrating moths and the migrating bats that prey on them? And how might shifts to those systems caused by climate change impact agriculture?

Linking climate impacts and public health: Just what the doctor ordered

Climate change poses a significant threat to both the environment and public health providing the opportunity to maximize co-benefits through mitigation and adaptation planning.

Disappearing glaciers pose downstream threat in Pacific Northwest

Glaciers are melting at high rates worldwide due to changes in global temperature. New research shows that in Canada most glaciers present in inland areas will disappear by 2100, creating water supply challenges throughout the Pacific Northwest.

What does sea level rise have to do with an inland spring?

While disappearing beaches and coastal flooding are the most commonly considered impacts of sea level rise, a recent study shows that the impacts will extend to inland springs.

Updating the ‘planetary boundaries’: A science-based approach to sustainable development

In a recent paper, scientists refined the proposed concept of Earth Systems global thresholds, revising the nine defined Planetary Boundaries 

Energy innovation and emissions reduction strategies overlook the poor

There is a distinct lack of innovation in energy technologies despite the need to curb emissions. Worse yet is the bigger void of innovation geared towards expanding energy access to the world’s poor. A team of experts analyzed the reasons for this gap and outlined potential solutions.

Does climate change really have negative impacts on agricultural production?

Economic research certainly back up the notion that climate change is reducing agricultural production in parts of the world. But what if we take into account farmers’ adaptation strategies?

Climate policies lead to higher GDP and employment rates

A new study offers encouraging news about prospective climate policy impacts on employment and GDP. Comparing two scenarios to a “business as usual” model, a team of economists present two scenarios that could achieve the European Union’s emissions reduction target by 2030 and also generate higher GDP and employment rates.

Is climate change a security threat?

Every year an average of 114,000 people migrate from their homes world-wide due to large, catastrophic floods. A recent study proves that such flood-induced migration can ignite existing civil conflicts and pose a security threat in weak and fragile countries.

No silver bullet: Addressing urban climate adaptation in the global south

Different planning pathways with innovative and collaborative stakeholder involvement approaches are required to effectively pursue adaptation planning of urban sectors, a recent study found.

U.S. drought risk for the 21st century is worsened by a changing climate

The Southwest and Central Plains are likely to experience conditions that rival the worst droughts of the past 1000 years.

Nutrient dynamics of forest growth affect climate change model outcomes

Accounting for nitrogen and phosphorous limitations on forest growth significantly alters projections of future climate change scenarios.

Finding a common language for the study of desertification

Desertification is one of the most pressing issues facing the world’s drylands. However, the term “desertification” is only vaguely defined, leading to complications in monitoring and management at all scales.

Water crowding, precipitation shifts, and a new paradigm in water governance

Cumulative pressures on the global water cycle threaten social stability. An integrated approach to water management that crosses traditional boundaries between business, political, and ecological systems is required to ensure harmonious social and economic development.

Carbon capture: Tree size matters

A new study shows that large trees capture carbon more efficiently than smaller trees, suggesting that they have a disproportionate effect on how forests influence global climate change.

The compounding effects of multiple stressors on freshwater environments

Water scarcity intensifies freshwater ecosystem degradation. A new study evaluates the compounding effects of several stressors on water-scarce ecosystems in order to construct better management strategies.

Produce or preserve? Examining the biofuel vs. reforestation debate

Ultimately, the factors that dictate the carbon footprints of producing biofuels versus reforesting degraded land are highly nuanced and vary from case to case

The costs of using ‘climate finance’

Transaction costs related to climate finance can be addressed not only by technological innovations but also by institutional innovations, researchers say. In a recent study, they found that considering all possible costs while undertaking economic assessments could lead to better policy and provide decision-makers with realistic cost to address climate change impacts.

Earth’s biodiversity is declining faster than ever before

Species are going extinct 1,000 times faster than at any point in Earth’s history, and even with protected areas, biodiversity preservation remains sub-optimal due to knowledge gaps and low representation of ecological habitats.

Can private land conservation efforts adapt to climate change?

Conservation easements aimed at protecting privately owned land from development are self-limiting in the face of climate change. The time has come for land conservation organizations to reframe strategies that not only stand the test of time, but also a changing climate.

Human population and a sustainable future

Population reduction will likely benefit the planet in the long-term, but can it address our most pressing environmental concerns?

Electrified vehicles: a solid choice

A comprehensive review of passenger vehicle life cycle assessments shows converging opinion that electric vehicles are better for the environment than previously believed.

New performance indicator
helps inform corporate water decisions

In a recent study, researchers developed an approach to help companies make more informed water decisions based on which suppliers use more or less water throughout the supply chain.

Quantifying the primary causes of the urban heat island effect

Regional differences in the impacts of the urban heat island effect across the US are largely explained by variations in efficiency of heat convection to lower atmosphere and strongly influenced by humidity patterns rather than evapotranspiration.

Strength in numbers:
A guide to urban resilience

During natural disasters, urban centers with large numbers of flexible coping mechanisms may ultimately fare better than those with fewer, but currently effective, mechanisms.

Fish slow to adapt behaviors to climate change

Rising COlevels in the world’s oceans interfere with the ability of some fish to avoid predators, a condition to which fish will be slow to adapt.

Greening trade agreements:
Environmental impact analysis for policy

Environmental impact assessment of economic policies can help export-oriented countries manage environmental pressures and make smarter trade decisions.

New climate modeling
projects weather extremes for India

Recent climate projections for India, based on the regional climate models, identify that India would face more days of extreme rains and more consecutive dry days – which would lead to more floods and more droughts, towards the end of the 21st century.

Reducing emissions in the U.S. housing sector will require multiple approaches

As carbon emissions climb, the US housing sector must embrace both energy retrofits and widespread adoption of green building in new construction to reduce their impacts.

Does air pollution increase fresh water availability?

Why recent improvements in air pollution may have shrunk river flows in the northern hemisphere.

Healthy diets important for sustainable food production

A new model suggests it may be possible to feed the world’s growing population with minimal environmental impact, but doing so will require targeted policies to reduce food waste and incentives towards healthier diets in industrialized nations.

Can New York City be a global leader in energy efficient building design?

The buildings of New York City can be zero greenhouse gas emitting as early as 2050

Forest regrowth as a counterbalance to climate variability

A resurgence of forest cover in the North Carolina Piedmont has a significant effect on stream discharge and drought timing. 

Animals as carbon-cycle mediators

Animals likely play a more instrumental role in carbon cycling and storage than previously understood, making wildlife management a potential avenue for mitigating carbon emissions. 

Carbon policies may neglect the interest of water scarce areas

A national carbon policy may exasperate water shortages in the western United States. Yet, the high cost of water reduction in the electricity sector makes it an unlikely candidate for mitigating water consumption in light of climate change and carbon policies. 

Thirsty World: Hydrology alone doesn’t determine water supply in Peru’s Santa River Basin

Incorporating human behavior into hydrology models is critical to predicting water availability

Sea rises and high rises: A model approach

Integrating sea level rise projections with cost-benefit analysis can provide guidance in assessing the trade-offs between coastal development and conservation objectives. 

Arsenic control during aquifer storage and recovery cycle tests in the Floridan aquifer

Aquifer storage and recovery may represent an efficient, effective, and safe water storage option for maintaining drinking water and environmental supplies in Florida.

How personality traits are associated with environmental engagement

Scientists find that the Big Five personality traits are related to environmental values and behavior at the individual and national level. Policymakers can use this information to tailor programs and policies to yield changes in environmental behavior. 

Public attitudes towards bike-sharing

Cities can implement effective bicycle-friendly programs by examining how different groups of people view bike transportation

How cooking method and practice affects energy consumption

Whether you like your potatoes hashed, mashed, baked, broiled, crinkle cut or barbecued you are going to need to use energy to cook those spuds, but just how you accomplish this task has a lot to say about the energy footprint of your home-cooking.  

Hurricane Season: Do Warmer Oceans Mean More Cyclone Damage?

As ocean surface temperatures heat up and urban coastal populations continue to grow, climate models predict an increase in the number of intense storms and corresponding economic damage.

Can playing games protect cities from climate change?

Social strategy games can help urban planners and developers learn the complex trade-offs between climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies in cities.

Bioenergy and Biochar – Two concepts brought together for sustainable land use?

Increasing carbon storage in soils through biochar and producing bioenergy from perennial plants can be a powerful means to mitigate climate change. Understanding soil microbial processes is crucial to achieve improved soil fertility, biodiversity, and carbon sequestration.

Melting ice in the arctic may change the equation on greenhouse gases

With sea-ice hitting an all-time low in September 2012, scientists are examining how the melt will affect the transfer of greenhouse gases in arctic plant communities.

Water for All, Disease for Some?

The most widespread techniques for increasing water supplies under climate uncertainty are also those with the greatest potential to spread disease. How can communities best adapt?

Orchids flourish with assisted migration

Assisted migration is hotly debated as an aid for species adapting to climate change, but new research reveals survival success for orchids.

Can forests earn more money than oil palm plantations?

Sustainable forest management that aims at Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) includes payments to landowners and can provide economic benefits over alternative land uses such as oil palm plantations. If certain key factors are resolved, REDD+ can simultaneously achieve economic and social success while bringing ecological benefits and contributing to climate change mitigation.

Local solutions for local problems

In the search for effective adaptations to climate change, governments and international organizations may have little need to cast their nets far from home.

Shifting bee seasons could disrupt pollination

Spring is coming earlier for wild bees in the Northeast. This could have serious ecological consequences if bee seasons go out of sync with plant seasons.

Insect species with specialized diets may weather climate change after all

Butterflies and moths with specialized diets are utilizing human-altered environments to expand their ranges with climate change.

Coastal parks restore mental health, but environmental and weather conditions impact by how much

Coastal parks provide places for restoring psychological health, but climate change—which is predicted to change factors that impact perceived restorative value of beaches such as temperature, tide levels, and air and water quality—may affect society’s mental health. Leading scientists recommend that climate change adaptation plans include inland open space and shaded parks to provide places of mental restoration as beaches lose their restorative value.

Only three countries lead 60 percent of global environmental technology innovations

Despite capital investment and regulatory initiatives worldwide, international environmental technology transfer between developed and developing country occurs rarely while 60 percent of related innovation is concentrated in 3 countries.

The challenge of solidifying safeguards in REDD+

The policies and measures aiming at reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) have proliferated, resulting in varying interpretations of “safeguards”. Now that REDD+ is maturing, direct trade-offs between monetized emissions reductions and social and biodiversity values call for more explicit regulations in this approach to climate change mitigation.

Climate warming doesn’t guarantee that tree lines will rise

It is often assumed that global warming will make mountain trees climb uphill. A new long-view study shows that this is not always the case, meaning that managers must take heed when planning the future of their forests.

Avoiding the next Katrina: preparing for sea-level rise in the U.S.

Local leaders must prepare for sea-level rise and coastal disaster management. Besides property damage, issues of social justice will arise because minorities, the poor, and the most vulnerable people are at greater risk than others.

Does Al Gore affect environmentally related behavior?

Information and advocacy campaigns can affect environmentally related behavior, but not for long.   

Confusion and communication about climate change

Common terms have different meanings to scientists and the general public. Recognizing this simple fact will help bridge the gap in the climate science debate.  

Biodiversity left behind in climate change scenarios

Climate change predictions are classifying species in the wrong way – putting biodiversity at risk.