Category Archives: climate change

Volunteers Observe Impacts of Climate Change

IMG_0612Photo by Robert Barossi

by Robert Barossi

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the high in Boston could hit sixty degrees today. Later this week, temperatures are predicted to be in the high forties and low fifties. This kind of weather has been the rule, rather than the exception, throughout this warm New England winter. As this story out of Maine demonstrates, volunteers are front and center when it comes to observing the ramifications of a warmer climate. These volunteers with Aroostook Birders are seeing countless indicators of just how climate change is impacting bird species. Many birds are staying in the area much longer, rather than flying south, and other birds are appearing for the first time ever. These changes can and likely will have ripple effects throughout the ecosystem in Maine and in every region where these wildlife population changes are taking place.

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Climate Change, Birds and Volunteers

P1000364(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

According to Weather.com, it’s 44 degrees Fahrenheit today, here in the Boston area. Above normal, for sure, but perhaps not as shocking as this coming weekend. Temperatures are expected to hit the high 50s by the end of the week and then reach 62 degrees on Sunday. That’s Sunday, December 13th. These types of unusual temperatures have numerous impacts and ripple effects, on us humans as well as every other animal species.

This great story out of upstate New York details how citizen scientist volunteers are helping collect data on birds of prey. The volunteers are working alongside professionals in Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, cataloging the presence of raptors, from owls to hawks and numerous others. They are also seeing some of the ways temperature changes are impacting the birds, such as changes in migration observed in certain owl species.

Surveying and monitoring birds is just one way to deal with the ways climate change impacts our avian friends. As described in this blog post from the National Audubon Society, volunteers can also help by  protecting and maintaining bird habitats. Specifically, the story deals with volunteers with Audubon Miami Valley in Ohio who are working to remove invasive species which are negatively impacting places where birds find food and shelter. It’s another way that we can help birds, and other species, survive in the new environments and ecosystems created by the changing climate.

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Volunteers and the People’s Climate March

ID-10010562(Photo by Danilo Rizzuti, Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

by Robert Barossi

This past Sunday, the 21st of September, marches were held all over the world to raise awareness for climate change. I had the pleasure and the honor to be in the massive crowd that assembled in New York City. Surrounded by over 300,000 people (some have claimed it may have been close to 400,000) it was an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experience. It was also inspiring. Words can’t really do justice to the energy, the enthusiasm and the passion that filled those streets as the crowd slowly marched the two-mile route. There were also many volunteers who helped to make the event happen and make it a huge, resounding success. Volunteers get a mention in many of the stories that appeared before, during and after the march. This story describes some of the work and preparations which occurred leading up to the event, including the work of volunteers. A story from Indiana demonstrates another way volunteers were involved in the march, by getting buses filled with people to NYC for the event.  In Montreal, according to this story, volunteers organized a march that  coincided with the march in NYC and, while smaller, was no less  important. Volunteers also lent a hand during a similar march on Sunday in Iowa City. This final story offers a fantastic set of photos which document the day in NYC. It also mentions volunteers and a few of the important roles they played.