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Flowers are changing their colors to adapt to climate change

flowers are changing their colors to adapt to climate change

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Alpine cinquefoil flowers picked in 1977 (left) and 1999 (right) have noticeably different ultraviolet pigment patterns.

Matthew Koski

By Lucy HicksSep. 28, 2020 , 3:00 PM

As the world’s climate changes, plants and animals have adapted by expanding into new territory and even shifting their breeding seasons. Now, research suggests that over the past 75 years, flowers have also adapted to rising temperatures and declining ozone by altering ultraviolet (UV) pigments in their petals.

Flowers’ UV pigments are invisible to the human eye, but they attract pollinators and serve as a kind of sunscreen for plants, says Matthew Koski, a plant ecologist at Clemson University. Just as UV radiation can be harmful to humans, it can also damage a flower’s pollen. The more UV-absorbing pigment the petals contain, the less harmful radiation reaches sensitive cells.

Previously, Koski and colleagues found that flowers exposed to more UV radiation—usually those growing at higher elevations or closer to the equator—had more UV pigment in their petals. He then wondered whether two factors affected by human activity, damage to the ozone layer and temperature changes, also influenced the UV pigments.

To find out, Koski and colleagues examined plant collections from North America, Europe, and Australia dating back …

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Ready to fight climate change? Website launched by Duke undergrads aim

ready to fight climate change? website launched by duke undergrads aim

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DURHAM — Climate change is one of the biggest threats to the plant today, but many people struggle with how they can personally make a difference.
Not anymore.
An international group of GenZ environmentalists — led by Duke undergrad Saad Ibrahim — has launched “You Change Earth,” an interactive site that aims to guide individuals to action.

Funded by Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment and tech founder Paul English, it provides users with personalized guide on how they can devote their time or money to most effectively reduce their carbon footprint.
“The goal of the project was to create a simple answer to the ever prevalent [question]: ‘What can I do about climate change’,” explained Ibrahim.
“There are millions of people out there who care deeply about the climate crisis, but there is no clear path for them to take action. We wanted to put in their hands an exact guide on how they can bring about meaningful change in their lives and communities.”

How it works: After answering a few short questions on the site, visitors are directed towards a step-by-step guide that shows them how they can start making a difference.
Examples include guides on how to move your …

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Joe Biden Wants to Make Almost Every Policy a Climate Change Policy

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Joe Biden’s plans to make climate change a major focus across his administration if he wins the White House would have significant ramifications for both businesses and consumers. The Democratic nominee seeks not just mass use of electric cars, as California’s governor mandated last week, but further changes across the economy, government and society: Electrified public and freight transportation, power plants running without greenhouse-gas emissions, and the placement of climate concerns at the center of social policies and…

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How climate change affects pandemics

how climate change affects pandemics

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Numerous scientists have studied how the 1918 flu spread to become the deadliest pandemic in history and which interventions worked, research that is becoming increasingly relevant during the current coronavirus crisis.But little research has been done on how environmental conditions affected the 1918 pandemic — until now.The 1918 flu coincided with the final years of the World War I, and it’s been well documented that heavy rain and cold temperatures impacted many battles. Now, a new study reveals that the cold, rainy weather was part of a once-in-a-century climate anomaly that occurred from 1914 to 1919 and added to the severity of the 1918 pandemic.

“We knew before, of course, from photos and eyewitness testimonies that the battlefields of Europe were really muddy and rainy and soldiers died of all sorts of exposure, even drowning in the mud and the trenches sometimes. What is news is that in fact it was a six-year anomaly and not just one or two instances,” said lead researcher Alexander More, a research associate at Harvard University’s history department and an associate professor at the University of Maine’s Climate Change Institute.A team of more than a dozen scientists collected and analyzed an Alpine ice core to reconstruct the …

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‘If COVID-19 Doesn’t Kill Us, Climate Change Will’: World Leaders At Annual United Nations Meeting

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Sounding alarm about climate change, some world leaders, at this week’s annual United Nations meeting warned, “If COVID-19 doesn’t kill us, climate change will.”The warning comes amid Siberia reporting its warmest temperature on record this year and the drastic melting of ice caps in Greenland and Canada.”We are already seeing a version of environmental Armageddon,” Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama was quoted as saying by Associated Press.Bainimarama cited the wildfires in the Western US and also pointed out that the ice chunk sliding into the sea in Greenland was larger than a number of island nations. He said that while this was supposed to be the year “we took back our planet,” the pandemic has diverted the resources and attention from what could have been the marquee issue at the current UN gathering.The Alliance of the Small Island States and the Least Developed Countries Group said, “In another 75 years, many … members may no longer hold seats at the United Nations if the world continues on its present course.”Meanwhile, the UN global climate summit has been postponed to late 2021.As per the 2015 Paris climate accord’s main goal, the rise in global temperatures should be limited to 2 …

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Minnesota professor looking to build climate change hub

minnesota professor looking to build climate change hub

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A new University of Minnesota professor in the College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences is creating a University Extension program that will bridge climate research and community outreach.

Heidi Roop — a recent hire in the Department of Soil, Water and Climate— plans to build a hub that will foster conversations about climate change and help farmers and policymakers implement changes based on their research.

“Whether we are aware of it or not, climate is part of our lived experience,” Roop said. “It will touch every one of our lives, and everyone will experience climate change differently. And (one of) the fundamental questions now (is), how do we prepare our communities for the changes?”

Part of Roop’s role will be engaging with important stakeholders, including economists, community leaders, policy makers and farmers, about the impact of the changing climate. Roop will also be conducting her own research on the effectiveness of climate change communication. She will be working with a number of national organizations like the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to analyze weather and climate patterns, The Minnesota Daily reported.

Joel Larson is an associate director of the …

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Truth check: Hickenlooper ad targets climate change

truth check: hickenlooper ad targets climate change

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DENVER (KDVR) — The Truth Check team continues to look at the candidates and their commercials in the 2020 election. Every advertisement that claims something — we will research and determine if the ads are actually telling the truth.

You can watch our previous “Truth Check” segments here and you can read our criteria and standards here.

The latest Truth Check involves the highly competitive race for one of Colorado’s United States Senate seats. Former Gov. John Hickenlooper is challenging incumbent Sen. Cory Gardner, who’s defending the seat for the first time.

Hickenlooper’s new ad focuses on climate change.

CLAIM #1 

Solar and wind power fight climate change

Exact quote in ad: “Solar power, wind power… This is how we fight climate change. ”

Verdict: True

Reason: Solar and wind power are two ways to fight climate change. The federal government’s own scientists from NASA and the Environmental Protection Agency agree. They say an increase in greenhouse gases is one of the causes of warmer temperatures and some of those gases come from coal, oil and gas. Replacing those energy sources with solar and wind power cuts down on the greenhouse gases and fights climate change.

CLAIM #2

When Hickenlooper was governor, …

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Sir David Attenborough to 60 Minutes on climate change: “A crime has been committed”

sir david attenborough to 60 minutes on climate change: “a crime has been committed”

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Sir David Attenborough was 28-years-old when he convinced his bosses at the BBC to let him travel the world and document his explorations. He has perpetually been on the road ever since. For nearly 70 years, the knighted Briton and his teams of filmmakers have traveled to some of the most remote places on earth to explore the natural world.”I want [people] to know…not the human story particularly, but the story of life on this earth, how it how it developed,” Attenborough told 60 Minutes.

Attenborough with Orangutans 

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Now 94, Attenborough has witnessed the evolution of the natural world more closely than most.Attenborough studied geology and zoology before embarking on a career in television and film. Ever since, he has been an animal advocate, conservationist, and serves as an ambassador for the World Wildlife Fund. For much of his career, Attenborough chose not to preach conservation in his films. In 2002, the naturalist told 60 Minutes correspondent Ed Bradley in an interview that his role was to show an “objective depiction of the natural world.”

Attenborough with Ed Bradley

“The most important job is persuading people that the natural world is complex and wonderful and one of the most precious …

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Climate Connection: Carbon Farming: A solution to climate change is right under our feet

climate connection: carbon farming: a solution to climate change is right under our feet

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Teen demands bold action from Sacramento County leaders on climate change

teen demands bold action from sacramento county leaders on climate change

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A 14-year-old girl is calling on Sacramento County leaders to take more decisive action on climate change. Supriya Patel, of Sacramento, unfurled a banner in front of the county administration building in downtown Sacramento on Friday, asking the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors to declare a climate emergency and commit to zero carbon emissions by 2030.”We are out here asking the county to declare a climate emergency because their current action on the climate crisis has been widely insufficient,” Patel said. Sacramento County has taken steps to curb climate change, but according to Patel, they haven’t been strong or effective enough. “Under what is arguably their boldest piece of climate legislation, which is their climate action plan, emissions have only risen,” Patel said. “So, we’re really not seeing a lot of progress here.”Patel became passionate about the climate crisis during a trip to India when she was just 10 years old. “When I was there, I was just struck by the sheer amount of pollution. Because I have asthma, I found it really hard to breathe. I had asthma attacks when I was inside. I just couldn’t believe that people had to live like this,” Patel said. …

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