The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine set to release Greenhouse Gas Emissions Information for Decision Making.

Climate change, driven by increases in human-produced greenhouse gases and particles (collectively referred to as GHGs), is the most serious environmental issue facing society. The need to reduce GHGs has become urgent as heat waves, heavy rain events, and other impacts of climate change have become more frequent and severe. Since the Paris Agreement was adopted in 2015, more than 136 countries, accounting for about 80% of total global GHG emissions, have committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. A growing number of cities, regional governments, and industries have also made pledges to reduce emissions. Providing decision makers with useful, accurate, and trusted GHG emissions information is a crucial part of this effort.

The full description and info on how to order available here

A new threat has become apparent: Arctic lakes are drying up, according to research published in the journal Nature Climate Change. The study, led by UF Department of Biology postdoctoral researcher Elizabeth Webb, flashes a new warning light on the global climate dashboard.

Webb’s research reveals that over the past 20 years, Arctic lakes have shrunk or dried completely across the pan-Arctic, a region spanning the northern parts of Canada, Russia, Greenland, Scandinavia and Alaska. The findings offer clues about why the mass drying is happening and how the loss can be slowed.

The vanishing lakes act as cornerstones of the Arctic ecosystem. They provide a critical source of fresh water for local Indigenous communities and industries. Threatened and endangered species, including migratory birds and aquatic creatures, also rely on the lake habitats for survival.

Read more about Webb's findings here.

This week-long event with guest speakers was designed to help you understand the impacts our changing climate is having on the Sunshine State. Industry leaders and front-line advocates spoke about the effects climate change is having in your community, and how to become a part of the solution to ensure a sustainable planet for future generations. 

Hear Tiffany Troxler (FIU) and Kebreab Ghebremichael (USF) discuss Laying the Groundwork for 'Getting to Neutral' in the State of Florida- Presented by Florida Climate Institute Watch recorded session at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byrJD224y0w&list=PLzDGN_mfeF7_chlVE-EV8vLYLgdeSvttm&index=6

Hurricanes cause widespread interruption to meteorological and hydrological measurement stations exactly at the time when researchers and decision-makers need them most. To fill this observational gap, researchers led by Dr. Forrest Masters (UF) developed a state-of-the-art monitoring station, called a "Sentinel," engineered to operate in and measure extreme wind, storm surge, wave, and hazardous water quality conditions. This platform is currently being used to collect data in the Tampa area by this research group.

In 2021, a Mark I Sentinel was designed and prototyped. In contrast to permanent stations that are elevated and hardened to avoid/ resist flooding and waves, the station was designed for temporary installation at the shoreline between the mean tidal datum and the sand dunes. Its system was designed to resist 5 m breaking waves in a 5 m still water depth, accounting for 1 m of combined erosion and pile scour. Data such as 3D wind velocity, pressure, temperature, humidity data, and videos are collected at the top of the mast.

This year, the team, including Dr. Brian Phillips (UF), Dr. Forrest Masters (UF), Dr. Britt Raubenheimer (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute), Dr. Maitane Olabarrieta (UF), Dr. Elise Morrison (UF), Dr. Chris Ferraro (UF), and Dr. Justin Davis (UF), received an NSF Major Research Instrumentation award to support the design of a Mark II Sentinel system and the commissioning of a fleet of six Mark II Sentinels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Data and video will be shared with a broad spectrum of research, operational, and commercial partners as well as interests supporting local response and recovery, such as state departments of environmental protection or natural resources. These stations will support fundamental research that includes, but is not limited to, numerical weather prediction, storm surge, shallow wave modeling, boundary layer meteorology, air-sea interaction, biogeochemistry, aircraft- and satellite-based remote sensing of the surface wind and wave fields, and hydrodynamic loading of coastal structures. We wish the team smooth, safe conditions for their deployment this week!

The VISTA Award is VoLo's latest recognition, specific for graduate students who display exemplary leadership, along with Vision, Innovation, Sustainability, Technology, and Action in climate solutions.

VoLo will gather proposals from students at the Graduate level who are enrolled full-time with a US-based University or College. The finalist student individuals or teams will be invited by VoLo to present their ideas at our 2023 Climate Correction™ conference in Orlando, Florida.

At Climate Correction™, VoLo’s Founders will determine the project that best drives positive change in FLORIDA climate solutions.

The winning project will receive a one-time grant from VoLo Foundation, paid to the affiliated university: US$10,000 if submitted individually, and US$25,000 if submitted by teams of 2 people or more. Students from all disciplines are encouraged to apply.

Details can be found here.

Deadline to apply is October 31, 2022

Researchers at the Florida Institute of Built Environment Resilience at UF are conducting a study about hurricane protective behaviors at institutions of higher education in Florida. They are looking into how housing conditions and physical characteristics of the built environment influence risk perception and intentions of protective behaviors for students, faculty, and staff, with the aim to improve emergency planning and disaster risk management at colleges and universities in Florida.

They will be conducting a large survey and are interested in three campuses in particular; Florida State University (FSU), University of Florida (UF), Florida International University (FIU). The survey should take around 15 minutes, and participants will have the chance to win one of three $150 visa gift cards. They would greatly value and appreciate support/collaboration from the Florida Climate Institute community of practice. For further information, please contact Amer (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

 

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse was impressed by UF students from Architecture, Historic Preservation, and Journalism who participated in a 6-university challenge to reimagine Narragansett Bay coastal communities during this past semester. All teams traveled to the sites, interacted with local residents and experts, participated in a 10-week lecture series, and created inspiring visions for the future of the Bay.

Professor Jeff Carney led his second group of Architecture students in the Envision Resilience Challenge this year after a huge success in Nantucket last year. Linda Stevenson led the Historic Preservation students and Cynthia Barnett the Journalism students.

This program, coordinated by Carolyn Cox, offers students the chance to work across disciplines, across universities, and within real communities to make an impact while gaining professional experience. This year’s teams hail from UF, Northeastern, Syracuse, Roger Williams, U Rhode Island, and the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).

Student work will be on exhibit at the Waterfire Arts Center in Providence, RI through June 26.

For more information, see https://www.envisionresilience.org/.     

This 3rd iteration of the international conference series will be hosted by UF Wildlife and the Florida Climate Institute and be held in SW Florida to explore the Everglades.

The conference brings together scientists and natural resource managers working in the disciplines of global change, biogeography and evolution, and relevant in contexts of natural resource management, biodiversity management and conservation, and theoretical ecology.

Species response to climate change is a rapidly evolving research field, however, much of our progress is being made in independent research areas: e.g. understanding the process vs responding to the implications, terrestrial vs marine ecosystems, global meta-analyses vs in depth species-specific approaches. This interdisciplinary conference develops connections between these parallel themes, and across temporal and spatial scales.

For more information, themes, and to be notified of the call for abstracts, visit  https://pwd.aa.ufl.edu/sotm/   

The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), in collaboration with the Office of Science and Technology Policy, requests comment from the public on its draft Decadal Strategic Plan.

USGCRP seeks feedback on program priorities and accompanying narrative in the strategic pillar sections. Respondents should consider (i) ideas on emerging, large-scale scientific questions related to global change and/or societal response, especially those where interagency collaboration will be critical; (ii) specific information on how science is or is not being used to inform societal response to global change, and why; and (iii) knowledge gaps and obstacles to implementing scientific tools or knowledge.

Please refer to the Federal Register Notice for full information.

Individuals wishing to participate in the public review of the draft 2022–2031 USGCRP Strategic Plan must register via the USGCRP Review and Comment System to access the draft.

The deadline to submit comments is 11:59 PM ET on July 15, 2022.

Geoengineering is often framed as a tool for climate justice. Our study challenges that idea, showing that solar geoengineering would create regional tradeoffs and potentially increases in malaria risk worldwide.

Our study is the first to project the impacts of solar geoengineering - an emergency intervention to reduce the effects of global warming, in theory particularly for vulnerable frontline populations - on an infectious disease. We focus on malaria, which doesn’t increase linearly with temperature (i.e., warmer isn’t necessarily more malaria; cooler isn’t necessarily less).

In any scenario, geoengineering will probably shift malaria risk around continents, creating regional trade-offs in health outcomes within the Global South. But in the kind of extreme warming scenario where geoengineering might be most appealing, we find that deploying geoengineering would increase (or rather, reverse a decline of) malaria population at risk by roughly a billion people.

The study raises fairly major questions given that geoengineering is often framed around life-saving solutions for poor and vulnerable populations. The study was funded by a project called DECIMALS that revolves around projecting impacts of geoengineering on developing countries (and giving them more of a voice in the science - our project is a collaboration with icddr,b in Bangladesh and the Climate Risk Lab at the University of Cape Town), and highlights the need to bring the health sector into those conversations.

Carlson CJ, Colwell R, Hossain MS, Rahman MM, Robock A, Ryan SJ, et al. Nat Commun. 2022;13: 2150.
doi:10.1038/s41467-022-29613-w

 

The UF Architecture senior studio, led by Jeff Carney, participated in the Envision Resilience Challenge again this year. Carolyn Cox of the FCI facilitates the academic programming that includes 7 university teams (URI, RISD, Brown, Northeastern Syracuse, U Florida, and Roger Williams) looking at the Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island to address climate impacts. 14 students from UF Architecture, 6 from UF Historic Preservation led by Linda Stevenson, and 3 from Journalism led by Cynthia Barnett have worked together toward solutions while better understanding diverse disciplinary approaches and team dynamics.

Stay tuned for final products that will be part of the multi-university exhibition held at the Waterfire Arts Center in Providence, RI from June 3-30.

In response to warming winters, mangroves have been expanding and displacing salt marshes at varying degrees of severity in parts of north Florida, Louisiana, and Texas. A paper published in Global Change Biology, led by Michael Osland (USGS) with contributions from 21 coauthors including Mike Allen (NCBS); and Joe Marchionno (UF ESSIE PhD student), reviews the current understanding of impacts of mangrove range expansion on wetland ecosystem services. The authors identify knowledge gaps and research needs related to ecological and societal concerns over mangrove range expansion. While mangrove range expansion can produce beneficial changes to wetland ecosystem services (e.g., improved coastal fish and wildlife habitat), it also can produce detrimental changes to other services (e.g., loss of coastal views, impacts to property values). These service trade-offs are an important consideration for coastal managers due to the scale of their impacts. The paper summarizes the important implications of mangrove expansions given climate change.

Red tide blooms occur naturally in the Gulf of Mexico, but human activity can make them worse once they reach Florida's coast, according to new research led by research scientist Dr. Miles Medina. The peer-reviewed study, published in Science of the Total Environment, links red tide blooms near Charlotte Harbor to nitrogen-enriched flows from the Caloosahatchee River, Lake Okeechobee, and upstream areas.

"Our study is the first to find evidence of what many have long suspected--that nitrogen inputs from the watershed make red tides more intense and make them last longer," said Dr. Medina.

The results indicate that human activity has consistently played a role in red tide intensification during the past decade, suggesting that we can reduce the severity, duration, and impacts of red tides through management of land-based nutrients and discharges.

On Monday, April 4,  the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a landmark scientific report focused on mitigating climate change.

Climate change mitigation refers to actions that slow the rate of climate change by: 

·       reducing or stopping heat-trapping emissions, or
·       removing heat-trapping greenhouse gasses from the air

The Working Group III report provides an updated global assessment of climate change mitigation progress and pledges, and examines the sources of global emissions. It explains developments in emission reduction and mitigation efforts, assessing the impact of national climate pledges in relation to long-term emissions goals.

 The IPCC has published a technical summary and a summary for policymakers in addition to the full report.

CRIS (Community Resiliency Information Systems) is designed to identify unique resiliency needs by combining biophysical vulnerability to sea level rise, flooding and storm surge as well as socio-economic vulnerabilities at the neighborhood level, so solutions (including access to resources and information) can be customized by neighborhood to ensure equitable resiliency. This unique and interactive resiliency tool combines physical data (including, storm surge, sea-level rise and flooding), environmental hazards (including various environmental justice (EJ) indices) and socio-economic data from the census, with live survey data to map and reveal patterns of risks and highlight specific resiliency issues associated with natural hazards in our area. In addition, sensor data (currently only weather and air quality sensor data) are also fed into the system and displayed in real-time. CRIS, by virtue of being fully online and compatible with smart phone interface, fosters transparency and accessibility of information and comparison across neighborhoods that is needed for informed advocacy and resource allocations to address unique needs communities in the context of climate change and extreme weather events.

A short video overview of CRIS is available here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAYikhQrj7M

Kathe Todd-Brown, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Engineering Sciences within the Engineering School of Sustainable Infrastructure & Environment, has been awarded the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) CAREER award to improve the predictive understanding of soil carbon dynamics by connecting different theories with diverse measurements.

More details can be found here:
https://www.essie.ufl.edu/todd-brown-receives-nsf-career-award-to-predict-soil-carbon-dynamics/

The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a $12.8 million four-year cooperative agreement to Florida International University’s Extreme Events Institute to support the design of a national full-scale testing facility capable of wind speeds of up to 200 miles per hour, combined with a water basin to simulate storm surge and wave action.
 
This Mid-scale Research Infrastructure-1 (MsRI-1 DP) project is formally titled
 “Mid-scale RI-1 (M1:DP): National Full-Scale Testing Infrastructure for Community Hardening in Extreme Wind, Surge, and Wave Events (NICHE).”The NICHE is intended to become part of NSF’s Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (NHERI) – a distributed, multi-user national facility that provides the natural hazards engineering research community with access to research infrastructure that includes earthquake and wind engineering experimental facilities, cyberinfrastructure (CI), computational modeling and simulation tools, high performance computing resources, and research data, as well as education and community outreach activities.

FIU’s academic partners for the NICHE project include the University of Florida, Oregon State University, Stanford University, the University of Notre Dame, the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Colorado State University, and Wayne State University. The principal industry partner is Aerolab.

You can read more about this project here.

A team of University of Florida (UF) faculty members has been awarded a grant of $1.6 million to study the impact of climate change in West Africa, the Minerva Research Initiative announced on Friday 24 February 2022.  The project, Social & institutional determinants of vulnerability & resilience to climate hazards in the Sahel, was one of seventeen grants selected from 220 applications in this year’s competition.

The research team aims to understand and explain the variations in responses to the effects of climate change in the region. It is comprised of an interdisciplinary group of scholars affiliated with the UF Sahel Research Group, including project P.I. Leonardo A. Villalón, Professor of African Politics and currently Dean of the International Center and Associate Provost, and co-P.Is Sarah McKune (Global & Environmental Health and African Studies) and Renata Serra (African Studies), with contributions by Gregory Kiker (Agricultural and Biologial Engineering) and Steven Radil of the US Air Force Academy.

The three-year research project will focus on the six countries of the Sahel region of West Africa: Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad.  These are among the least developed countries on earth according to United Nations rankings, and highly susceptible to the effects of climate change.  In the past decade they have also been subject to intense pressures from many sources, including violent extremist movements. Yet the region also shows continued sources of resilience among its diverse populations, drawing on its historical models of adapting to uncertainty.

“Understanding the factors shaping how the countries of the Sahel will adapt to the effects of climate change is of critical importance for the livelihoods of the people of the region,” Villalón notes, “and it also has major implications for the entire global community in our increasingly interconnected world.”

The Minerva Research Initiative, launched by the US Secretary of Defense in 2008, supports university-based social science research aimed at improving basic understanding of the social, cultural, behavioral, and political forces that shape regions of the world of strategic importance to the U.S.

New IPCC report does not mince words.

The Working Group II contribution to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) Sixth Assessment Report assesses the impacts of climate change, looking at ecosystems, biodiversity, and human communities at global and regional levels. It also reviews vulnerabilities and the capacities and limits of the natural world and human societies to adapt to climate change.

“This report is a dire warning about the consequences of inaction,” said Hoesung Lee, Chair of the IPCC. “It shows that climate change is a grave and mounting threat to our wellbeing and a healthy planet. Our actions today will shape how people adapt and nature responds to increasing climate risks.”

The IPCC has published summaries, FAQs, and fact sheets, in addition to the full report.