Wetlands provide more value to humans and nature alike per unit area than any other part of our landscape. They control floods, clean up water polluted by fertilizers and other contaminants, and serve as the best carbon sequestration ecosystems on the planet.
Studies by Dr. William Mitsch and his students at Ohio State’s Olentangy River Wetland Research Park over the past 20 years, as well as his studies at Old Woman Creek National Estuarine Research Reserve in Ohio, the Florida Everglades, the Louisiana Delta, Botswana’s Okavango Delta, and all over the world have illustrated the “how” of wetlands providing important ecosystem services, including those to mitigate climate change. Recent studies have illustrated that methane emissions from most wetlands do not matter because of their ability to sequester carbon at much higher rates.
Heavy precipitation events can have important impacts on communities throughout the year. Intense cold-season snowstorms and warm-season extreme flooding events, for example, regularly result in high social and economic losses. Heavy precipitation events in the Great Lakes region are caused by both large-scale weather systems (such as cyclones) and local storms induced by the lakes themselves (such as lake-effect snows). Long-term variations in these factors, including possible variations due to climate change, can result in large changes in the occurrence of heavy precipitation. This webinar will provide information about:
- Vulnerabilities in the Great Lakes region to changes in warm- and cold-season precipitation extremes
- How the frequency of heavy precipitation events in the Great Lakes have changed over the last century
- A recent reversal in the long-term trends of lake-effect snows near Lake Michigan
- How heavy precipitation events could change with a changing climate
Climate change is altering species habitats, and these impacts will only intensify as the climate continues to depart from current conditions. The use of species distribution models to evaluate potential responses of birds to climate change is important as we consider management options. This webinar will provide information about:
- Potential effects of climate change on 147 bird species habitats of the eastern United States
- Why information on potential climate and tree species habitat changes are important to evaluate when considering potential climate change impacts
- The importance of communicating uncertainties when applying results to vulnerability assessments.
The world’s religions are seriously engaging in work to address ecological and social concerns related to climate change. How are faith communities responding to climate concerns, and what do their ethical and moral perspectives add to scientific approaches to climate change? This webinar will provide information about:
- History, trends, and tensions in faith community response to climate change
- Religious teachings and moral imperatives about climate change and environmental stewardship
- Engaged projects within faith communities as examples of response in action
Great Lakes water levels fluctuate in response to such environmental factors as lake precipitation, runoff, and evaporation, as well as human influences like water withdrawals and controls of water flow between lakes. In light of future climate change scenarios, the water level changes we could face will have impacts on not only our Great Lakes ecosystems, but the public health of our coastal communities. To help better understand the implications of climate change on the future of Great Lakes water levels, this webinar will address the following questions:
- What processes govern the water levels of the Great Lakes? What information is used to understand these processes, and what are the different sources of uncertainty in this information?
- How is uncertainty in existing and future climate conditions expressed in water level forecasts?
- How might we incorporate uncertainty of future water levels into our water resource and infrastructure management decisions?