Wetlands, especially coastal salt marshes, provide crucial ecosystem services including biodiversity preservation, water regulation, carbon storage, and climate regulation. Human activities have degraded many of these ecosystems, but restoration projects, such as those at Cape Cod National Seashore, aim to rejuvenate affected marshes and restore their vital functions.
Nature-based solutions to climate change, such as “Resilience Hotspots,” can enhance climate resilience by restoring and maintaining pockets of nature, such as wetlands and urban green spaces, to counteract storm surges and urban heat islands. Integrating these natural defenses into urban planning, while emphasizing community equity, not only mitigates climate impacts but also promotes climate justice.
Ammonia, vital for global agriculture, is traditionally produced with significant carbon emissions. Dr. Benjamin Snyder envisions farmers using solar power to create “green ammonia” on-site, reducing greenhouse gases and promoting self-sufficiency.
The “30 by 30” conservation movement aims to conserve 30 percent of the Earth’s land by 2030. California is among the first jurisdictions to implement a comprehensive 30 by 30 strategy and has invested $11 billion towards the effort. The movement focuses on protecting biodiversity, engaging local communities, and building resilient ecosystems, while also navigating challenges like land use conflicts and climate change adaptation.
How can insights from geophysics help us to make better use of rainwater? Geophysicists, like Stanford’s Dr. Rosemary Knight, can identify ancient, buried riverbeds called paleo valleys. We spoke with her about how such geologic structures can help us recharge aquifers deep below the Earth’s surface.
The use of indigenous forest burning practices, also known as prescribed burns, can reduce the risk of severe wildfires and promote healthier habitats amid climate change. Bill Tripp from the Karuk Tribe discusses the importance of re-establishing these practices.
Climate change puts California at an escalating risk of wildfires. Those fires are a challenge for agencies like the Department of Fish and Wildlife, which manages over a million acres of vital habitat statewide. Listen to Department Director Chuck Bonham explain how they’re managing lands to increase resiliency and protect wildlife.
When grassland ecosystems are healthy, they can hold a lot of carbon. But these days, most are degraded. UC Berkeley ecologist Whendee Silver says that by using compost to restore grasslands, we can help local ecosystems and draw down more carbon from the atmosphere at the same time.
How we farm can make a big difference to soil health, water quality …. and even the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. But implementing climate friendly agricultural practices – what’s known as “carbon farming” – is often hard. Ian Howell, who leads the carbon farming program at the Alameda County Resource Conservation District, explains why working one on one with farmers can help.
California coastlines used to be full of oyster reefs, until human activity and development caused populations to drop precipitously. Bringing them back could breathe new life into coastal ecosystems — and protect coastal communities’ against sea level rise. We spoke to Claire Arre about how Orange County Coastkeeper is using a “living shorelines” approach to reintroduce native oysters in Orange County and how other regions can use this strategy too.