How are Travel Plans in Germany Affected by Climate Change?

by Chris Choi

Claudia Schwirplies and Andreas Ziegler (2016) examine the effects of climate change on German tourism and the demand on the tourism market. For example, climate change can lead to higher temperatures and may threaten the attractiveness of certain holiday attractions. To make holiday activities more diverse, investors must shift where they put their money. However, this will result in multiple costs to the investment sector. Overall, Schwirplies and Ziegler seek to improve the comprehension of the multiple effects and defects of adaptation to climate change and tourism by conducting a study examining the German population’s travel habits. Continue reading

Forest Owners’ Response to Climate Change: University Education Trumps Value Profile

by Charlie Thomson

A study conducted by the University of Freiburg in Germany, in conjunction with Lund University in Switzerland, aimed to answer the question of whether or not forest owners’ response to climate change had any correlation to their level of education and personal values. The study was conducted to test the cultural cognition thesis (CCT), which has historically cast significant levels of doubt over the frequently-mentioned and criticized “knowledge deficit” model –an assumption that the average person is less concerned about climate change and the effects of climate change due to a lack of scientific literacy and knowledge of the matter. Proponents of the cultural cognition thesis believe that citizens with the highest levels of education and scientific literacy fall under a category of people who are least concerned about climate change, due to a high level of cultural polarization and a difference of cultural values. Continue reading

Crop Wild Relatives and Global Food Security

by Adin Bonapart

Domestication by humans has reduced the genetic diversity within certain crops over time, making agriculture more susceptible to changes in climate. Some of the relevant effects of global climate change include shifts in temperature, rain variability, and plant pathogen range, all of which impact crops in various ways. Models predict that such climate-driven effects account for yield losses of 6 to 10% per 1°C of warming (Guarino and Lobell 2011). Furthermore, a global human population predicted to reach over 9.3 billion by 2050, plus degraded soils, water, land, and other resources, is creating further instability for food systems around the world. Continue reading

Mass-flowering Crops Positively Affect Wild Bee Brood Numbers

 

by Lia Metzger

The expansion of mass-flowering crops has been linked to the loss of biodiversity of farmlands because they escape into natural and semi-natural habitats. However, these mass-flowering crops have a higher density of flowers than non-crop species, and thus produce more food resources with more access to nectar and pollen, so they may enhance the abundance of wild foraging bees. Holzschuh et al. (2013) investigated how oilseed rape, a mass-flowering crop, affects the abundance of the solitary and polylectic Red Mason Bee Osmia bicornis, a generalist bee species that nests in both natural and semi-natural habitats. Using data from 67 sites in Germany, they compared the abundance of Osmia bicornic in grasslands adjacent to oilseed rape fields and isolated from oilseed rape fields and vice versa. Artificial nests were assessed for Continue reading