Mission Statement: Honor creation with wonder and respect by becoming
guardians/stewards of all of God's creation, educate members the degradation of our natural resources disrespect God's perfect creation and threaten human life, encourage members to become responsible guardians/stewards of God's creation and support First Lutheran Church and its members in modeling practices that will sustain and restore natural resources.
December 20: GLOBAL WARMING, BEETLES AND FIRE
Bark beetles, including the mountain pine beetle, the southern pine beetle and similar species have become serious tree-killing pests in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Siberia as global temperatures have risen. All species of bark beetles have destroyed over 46 million acres of forests in the U.S., and currently they are killing more than 100,000 trees/day in the western U.S. and Canada. These species of beetles are generally native to the areas where they have proliferated, but before global warming, their populations were controlled because they didn't survive cold winter temperatures. Now, they not only survive winter in their normal range, but they also can move north to new habitat. Once forests are destroyed, many ecological and economic impacts have resulted, such as increased fire danger; decreased tourism; stress on wildlife that depend on these forests; serious changes in water runoff and storage; and reduced carbon storage by the trees. Source: Daily Beast 10/24/20
December 6: S.P.R.U.C.E. STUDY CONFIRMS CLIMATE FEEDBACK FROM PEAT
An international team of scientists working in the Chippewa National Forest near Marcell, MN have demonstrated that global warming is accelerating the release of CO2 and methane from peatlands to the atmosphere. This finding has major implications because all peatlands on earth contain about 1/3 of the total carbon in soils, although they occupy only about 3% of the terrestrial surface area. Prior to global warming, carbon was slowly cycled from the atmosphere to peatland plants and back, at a slower rate, to the atmosphere when plants decomposed, but with a net storage of carbon in the peat. Now, the decomposition process is faster due to warming temperatures and peat is storing less carbon. This is a prime example of positive feedback, when warming temperatures cause a secondary effect that further enhances global warming. Sources: www.ornl.gov.news; https://mnspruce.ornl.gov