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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

CSU experts research living with climate change

By Anne Manning and Robin Young | PREVIEW Columnists

A warming planet is forcing us to face new realities: hotter, drier summers. Western wildfires that burn into winter months — and in suburban neighborhoods. Dwindling groundwater for crops. Longer, more intense hurricane seasons. These aren’t blurry glimpses into a distant future where we will all be living with climate change — they’re happening now.

Just as scientific consensus tells us that human activities -— mainly burning fossil fuels — are driving the rise in global temperatures, so is science fighting to reverse the tide. 

Thousands of researchers, including many at Colorado State University (CSU), are developing innovative strategies for combating climate change, whether by sequestering carbon from the air in healthy, regenerated soils or designing engines that decrease the worst greenhouse gas emissions.

Even as this and other work continues, it’s becoming apparent that humanity won’t solve the planet’s temperature crisis through emissions-curbing strategies and technical achievements alone. The most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report tells us that the world will warm by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2040 or sooner.

We must accept that climate change is here; adapting nimbly to this crisis of our time is the other half of our whole reality. 

Climate adaptation

Across the extraordinary breadth of disciplines at CSU, the work required to deliver hope to future generations is taking shape through a team examining the consequences and opportunities that come with living with climate change. 

The Climate Adaptation Partnership is a consortium of faculty members and graduate students who are seeking to unravel the complexities of how humans can and must adapt to a hotter world, whether it’s fire management experts trying to build resilience in our drying forests or historians exploring how humanity has repeatedly shown ingenuity and adaptability amidst tumult and change. 

The Climate Adaptation Partnership was awarded a Catalyst for Innovative Partnerships (CIP) grant by the Office of the Vice President for Research in 2020. The CIP program provides support to multidisciplinary research groups who work together on difficult, even existential, problems.

Led by Courtney Schultz from the Warner College of Natural Resources and Leisl Carr Childers from the College of Liberal Arts, the Climate Adaptation Partnership is taking a deep dive into what it means to create resiliency across disparate groups who are affected in different ways by climate change. That could mean farmers forced to change crops or irrigation practices as their fields dry up or people living close to urban-wildland interfaces who face greater threats from wildfires. 

The CSU partnership’s goals are in lockstep with federal agencies’ growing efforts to plan for and respond to climate change. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, among others, has released an “Action Plan for Climate Adaptation and Resilience” that reflects the Biden administration’s “whole-of-government” approach to climate.

“Every agency has put out these climate resilience strategies, so this is an important time to be thinking about these issues,” said Schultz, an associate professor in the Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship and director of the Public Lands Policy Group. “We want to build something that’s going to add value to the conversation.”

Seed potatoes

Seed potato orders are being taken now. Visit our website for more information: https://archuleta.extension.colostate.edu/seed-potatoes/ and fill out the Google form to place an order.

You can also place your order by calling the office at (970) 264-5931 or emailing tschaaf@archuletacounty.org.

Electric pressure
cooking classes 

There will be two classes on electric pressure cooking offered on April 6, at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. 

Call (970) 264-5931 or visit https://archuleta.extension.colostate.edu/electric-pressure-cooker-101/ to sign up. 

CPR and first aid classes

CPR and first aid certification classes are offered every other month starting Feb. 21 and 23 from 6 to 10 p.m. The cost for the classes is $80 for combined CPR/first aid, and $55 for CPR, first aid or recertification. Call the Extension office at (970) 264-5931 to register.

Visit online

Visit us on the Web at https://archuleta.extension.colostate.edu/ or like us on Facebook and get more information: https://www.facebook.com/CSUARCHCTY.

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