Changes in climate and extreme weather are already increasing challenges for agriculture nationally and globally, and many of these impacts will continue into the future. This technical bulletin contains information and resources designed to help agricultural producers, service providers, and educators in the Midwest and Northeast regions of the United States integrate climate change considerations and action-oriented decisions into existing farm and conservation plans.
Carbon sequestration and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions can occur through a variety of agriculture practices. This publication provides an overview of the relationship between agriculture, climate change and carbon sequestration. It also investigates possible options for farmers and ranchers to have a positive impact on the changing climate and presents opportunities for becoming involved in the emerging carbon market.
Overview of how carbon sequestration in vegetation, soils, and geological features can reduce carbon emissions.
Land trusts and governments may tailor their land conservation work to help both reduce carbon in the atmosphere and mitigate the harm of climate change. (Print version of ConservationTools.org guide)
Series of fact sheets outlining different nature-based climate change solutions.
Detailed overview of various risks posed by climate change to land and water resources, and conservation practices to mitigate those risks.
Presentation focusing on how to take action on climate change.
Study examining perpetual conservation easements in light of a changing climate. What happens when a conservation easement sets rules pertaining to the treatment of a landscape on a property (i.e., coastline) that may drastically change or even disappear due to climate change?
This guide provides a resource for land trusts and other conservation organizations to fulfill their critical missions, even in the face of so many unknowns. With a basic knowledge of relevant climate science and the tools described in this guide, conservation leaders can both revise their land protection goals if appropriate, and confidently explain to funders, board members, and landowners why their efforts matter now more than ever. This guide focuses on the Northeast United States.
Report shows that family woodlands in the United States store 14 billion tons of carbon.
Forests across the United States are expected to undergo numerous changes in response to the changing climate. This guide explains a variety of tools and strategies designed to help forest managers incorporate climate change considerations into management and devise adaptation tactics.
Forests’ role in climate change is two-fold. They act as both a cause and a solution for greenhouse gas emissions. Around 25% of global emissions come from the land sector, the second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions after the energy sector. About half of these come from deforestation and forest degradation. Forests are also one of the most important solutions to addressing the effects of climate change. Approximately 2.6 billion tons of carbon dioxide, one-third of the CO2 released from burning fossil fuels, is absorbed by forests every year. Estimates show that nearly two billion hectares of degraded land across the world – an area the size of South America – offer opportunities for restoration. Increasing and maintaining forests is therefore an essential solution to climate change.
Comprehensive analysis of climate change risks, threats, and impacts in the United States.
Conservation organizations rely on conservation easements for diverse purposes, including protection of species and natural communities, working forests, and open space. This research investigated how perpetual conservation easements incorporated property rights, responsibilities, and options for change over time in land management. Many conservation easements involved significant constraints on easement holders’ options for altering land management to achieve conservation purposes over time. This study suggests the need for greater attention to easement drafting, monitoring, and ongoing decision processes to ensure the public benefits of land conservation in changing landscapes.
Forest ecosystems will be affected directly and indirectly by a changing climate over the 21st century. This assessment evaluates the vulnerability of 11 forest ecosystems in the Mid-Atlantic region (Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, eastern Maryland, and southern New York) under a range of future climates. The report synthesizes and summarizes information on the contemporary landscape, provides information on past climate trends, and describes a range of projected future climates. This information is used to parameterize and run multiple forest impact models, which provides a range of potential tree responses to climate. Finally, these results were brought before two multidisciplinary panels of scientists and land managers familiar with the forests of this region to assess ecosystem vulnerability through a formal consensus-based expert elicitation process.
The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment was called for by the United Nations. It assessed the consequences of ecosystem change for human wellbeing and the scientific basis for action needed to enhance the conservation and sustainable use of those systems and their contribution to human wellbeing. The findings provide a state-of-the-art scientific appraisal of the condition and trends in the world’s ecosystems, the services they provide, and the options to restore, conserve or enhance the sustainable use of ecosystems.
In the Paris Climate Agreement, nations agreed to hold global average temperature rise to well below 2 °C. This study examines how much climate mitigation nature can contribute to this goal with a comprehensive analysis of “natural climate solutions”(NCS): 20 conservation, restoration, and/or improved land management actions that increase carbon storage and/or avoid greenhouse gas emissions across global forests, wetlands, grasslands, and agricultural lands. It shows that NCS can provide over one-third of the cost-effective climate mitigation needed before 2030 to stabilize warming to below 2 °C. Alongside aggressive fossil fuel emissions reductions, NCS offer a powerful set of options for nations to deliver on the Paris Climate Agreement whilei mproving soil productivity, cleaning our air and water, and maintaining biodiversity.
Groundbreaking study analyzes the potential of 21 natural solutions—such as growing taller trees, preserving grassland, and improve agricultural practices—to store carbon and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.
While climate change presents some very significant challenges, conservation practices can do much to both limit its effects and cope with the impacts. This plan provides an overview of the current and projected impacts of climate change on DCNR’s lands and mission. It also lays out a framework for implementing the department’s climate change strategy.
Detailed and thorough report assessing the current and future impacts of climate change on Pennsylvania, including impacts on water resources, outdoor recreation, farmland, and more.
Researchers from six universities across the country reached out to the land conservation community to learn how organizations are addressing climate change, if at all, and to assess the effectiveness of conservation easements in the face of a changing climate. The white paper suggests five strategies conservation organizations can follow to continue effectively protecting land in a changing climate.
A study of the carbon-sequestration capability of restored meadows compared to degraded meadows indicates that restored meadows contain twice as much total carbon as degraded meadows; on average approximately 40 tons more carbon per acre. Virtually all of the additional carbon in restored meadows occurs in the soil, and is thus protected from loss via grazing, haying, wildfire, etc.
Land trusts are already addressing climate in a variety of ways — integrating climate resilience science into strategic planning, advancing natural climate solutions and developing carbon offset projects. Renewable energy presents another opportunity for land trusts to address climate change, to become valued community partners in helping to solve a complex issue and, ultimately, to safeguard our nation’s natural assets. In this document the Land Trust Alliance articulates the important role that land trusts can play in renewable energy development and offers specific guidance on ways that land trusts can participate in this important issue to support improved conservation outcomes in the context of a changing climate.