Dr. James Elsner participated in the Policy Pub in September 2019. To listen to his pub navigate here. Summer is here and it’s hot. I love it. I loved summer in Milwaukee as a kid but it was always way too short. Not here. Summer starts in May and runs through most of September. Perfect….
As part of my Ph.D. research, I surveyed longleaf pine habitats before and after Hurricane Michael. My goals were to assess baseline conditions in habitats that were considered to be in exemplary condition and the subsequent damage caused by the storm. This information should help land managers and policy-makers be better informed while making decisions about recovery plans. In total, 0.3-0.4 million acres of longleaf pine habitat within the Florida panhandle were impacted by hurricane force winds, while up to 2.6 million acres experienced tropical storm force winds. My detailed surveys at four sites showed that the site nearest to the storm center experienced catastrophic losses with an estimated tree mortality of 88.7%. At the other sites further away, mortality ranged from 1.3 – 8.4%.
Our book is one of few English books focusing on the issue of ecological sustainability in China. It includes a selection of the best papers presented at the Jinan Forum on Geography and Ecological Sustainability held in Guangzhou, China, from 17 to 19 February 2017, as well as several invited papers.
As the world’s major energy consumer and greenhouse gas emitter, the United States is striving to increase the share of renewable energy in its electricity supply so as to address climate change and energy security concerns. Among all renewable energy sources, wind energy has great potential to provide a significant share of electricity generation. During the last two decades, the United States has experienced tremendous technological change in wind power both in terms of cumulative installed capacity and generation performance of wind farms.
That was one of the purposes of the book we contributed to and the reports and peer reviewed articles we’ve published on this topic; to use the best available science, both physical and social sciences, to inform policy makers about the changes in Florida’s climate and give them the information they need to do something about it.
Does this mean that climate change is good for tropical forests? The answer is no. First of all, we need to understand what more flowers mean for the entire life cycle of plants – seed production, dispersal, recruitment, growth, and survival. More flowers by themselves is not enough to indicate the overall integrity of the forest. Second, we need to understand species-specific responses to climate change. If some species are favored more than others, there may be shifts in the species compositions of these forests. Those shifts mean that the countless ecosystem functions that tropical forests perform, such as providing habitat and food for hundreds of species that live in tropical forests as well as carbon storage and biogeochemical cycling, may be altered.
The 2017 hurricane season is certainly one for the record books. The records will be examined for additional clues about what might happen in the future.