Inspiring and innovative projects are getting us through the week! Amidst a very serious climate crisis, there are incredibly compelling stories of solutions and resilience from around the world, and we want to share with you some of the highlights that have us really energized. This week features several stories about the successful blend of open-source data and AI to drive climate adaptation decision-making, a unique way to capture water, plus a powerful move to boost Indigenous knowledge-sharing! Feel free to jump in the comments with additional stories bringing you inspiration this week.
Initiative funds new Indigenous teachers in Canada
A Canadian foundation is investing $45 million into significantly growing and supporting the numbers of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis educators across the country, with a goal of 10,000 new teachers. The effort will focus on bolstering and bridging innovative, community-driven programs that already exist to attract Indigenous candidates.
Citizen science helps woodpeckers survive urban forest fragmentation
Wildlife habitat in congested places is becoming increasingly fragmented as forests give way to new construction. Researchers say wildlife corridors could help North America’s largest woodpecker survive forest fragmentation, thanks to the latest mapping techniques and citizen science. Using remote sensing data along with eight years of sightings collected by birders via the free eBird app, they created a model to identify the most critical habitat corridors, which could help park managers and government planners make better conservation decisions.
AI model aids design of hurricane-resistant buildings
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have devised a new method of digitally simulating hurricanes, using 100 years of hurricane data and modern AI techniques. Their recent findings show that the simulations can accurately represent the trajectory and wind speeds of a collection of actual storms. The authors suggest that simulating numerous realistic hurricanes with the new approach can help to develop improved guidelines for the design of buildings in hurricane-prone regions. In related news, Colorado researchers have developed a machine learning model to make accurate predictions of tornadoes, hail, etc. four to eight days in advance.
Chilean fog nets capture increasingly scarce water
The inhabitants of a rural community on the expanding frontier of Chile’s Atacama Desert are able to harvest around 500,000 liters of water per year, thanks to fog nets. This water has allowed them to revive their mountain region’s vegetation and launch new businesses to improve their quality of life and adapt to drought.
Additional Good News to Consider:
- The increasing use of “solar meadows” in Minnesota and other U.S. states shows the success of holistic solar project approaches that support pollinators and other threatened wildlife.
- A new AI-powered tool called Linda Planet helps forestry professionals track changes in both forest biodiversity and carbon storage in near-real-time.
4 thoughts on “This Week in Climate Solutions: New indigenous teachers, Chilean fog nets, and more”
I love these stories! The one about fog nets reminds me of this beautiful post Deane wrote this week on the RFPF blog, about the role of old growth forests in the production of hydroxides (OH), a key chemical the atmosphere uses to clean itself of pollutants. That article concludes with a delightful mention of redwood fog drip sustaining the forest during dry periods! Fog nets sound like some cool biomimicry in that sense. https://rfpf.org/2023/04/11/older-forests-boost-climate-cleaning-hydroxides-oh/
Amazing! Yes to more biomimicry. And to protecting some of our oldest protectors, the trees.
I love hearing any news about citizen science, which I feel is under-used as a resource and underrated as a source of inspiration and motivation. I think people generally understand and embrace the idea of economic crowdsourcing and it’s a short jump from that to these kinds of public-engagement-based research projects and solutions. Exciting!
So true, Ruby! Would love to see more of this type of crowdsourcing. eBird works especially well because it inspires data collection by doing what folks already enjoy (birdwatching). Here’s to more community science efforts that are an easy lift for people, and fun too!