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August Newsletter

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August Newsletter 2021
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Climate Change Report Shows the Need to Take Climate Action Now


What This Report Shows Us About Human Impact on Climate Change


On August 9th, 2021, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report on climate change. This report, prepared by 234 scientists from 66 countries, highlights that human influence has warmed the climate at a rate that is unprecedented in at least the last 2,000 years. The report states that, "[i]n 2019, atmospheric CO2 concentrations were higher than at any time in at least 2 million years...and concentrations of CH4 and N2O were higher than at any time in at least 800,000 years... " Not only have concentrations of carbon dioxide been higher; there has also been sufficient evidence to suggest that humans have impacted the melting of our glaciers, the global temperature rising, increased precipitation, shorter winters, and other environmental damages. This is an incredibly worrying update on the state of our world, because it shows just how exponential our destruction can be.


Humans have known for years now of the direct impact we have on the world around us, yet there has not been enough traction to get our indominable nature in check. The Los Angeles Times states, "[t]his report has concluded that, thanks to a continued rise in global temperatures, we can expect more wildfires, floods, heat waves and water shortages over the next 30 years. That's a big problem, since unprecedented rise in extreme events has already been causing massive levels of destruction."


Hearing news such as this can be very frightening, disheartening, and upending for those who want to prioritize saving our world. However, experts assure that if we all come together to take action, the dire situation is not hopeless. It will require an unprecedented level of concerted effort to make the systemic changes needed. One of the most important ways to let your voice be heard and bring about systemic change is by voting in a greener direction: reading party platforms to see what they say about climate change; attending candidate forums and asking about candidates’ specific climate policy plans; and, of course, casting your ballot accordingly.


While it may be a small step, it is still a step forward towards all of us doing our part to show that we care for our environment!


Written by Jala Tyler, Program Director for TCC




Activities



High Knob Naturalist Rally: Due to COVID-19 concerns, our High Knob Naturalist Rally is now entirely virtual. Keep up to date with our event by checking our website at www.clinchcoalition.org.


HNorton City’s High Knob Outdoor Fest, August 16-21st. For the full itinerary go to: www.highknoboutdoorfest.wix.com/highknoboutdoorfest.


High Knob Hellbender 10k: October 2nd, 2021. Contact Katie Dunn for more information at katied@nortonva.org.





Plant of the Month


Virginia Creeper

(Parthenocissus quinquefolia)


Virginia creeper, otherwise known as woodbine or American Ivy, is a woody vine in the grape family Vitaceae. The plant is sometimes confused with poison ivy, yet it is distinct due to its leaf count. While poison ivy is known to have three leaves, the woodbine bears palmately compound leaves with five toothed leaflets. It’s fruit are a purple to black color and are attractive to birds, and it is often used as a cover vine for walls, fences, and trunks of large trees.





Animal of the Month


Wood Frog

(Lithobates sylvaticus)



Lithobates sylvaticus, or the wood frog, is most recognized by the black marking on its eyes, often compared to a mask. They vary from shades of red, green, and grey, with females tending to be more vibrantly colored than males. In the winter, they freeze, meaning they stop breathing and their hearts stop beating! Their bodies contain a special antifreeze that prevents their cells from forming ice, which would kill them. In the warmer months, the wood frogs thaw and begin feeding and mating. They tend to eat arachnids, insects, worms, and slugs, and snails. Females can lay anywhere from 1,000-3,000 eggs during mating season, which then hatch 9 to 30 days later.Their lifespan typically goes up to 3 years.




Fun Fact!


The High Knob Landform contains the deepest cave system east of the Rockies, and north of Mexico, on the North American continent ( at 1263 vertical feet in depth ).





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