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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

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Opponents of latest AR state tax cuts say they benefit wealthy Arkansans; Julian Assange agrees to a plea deal that would allow him to avoid imprisonment in US; Tech-based carbon-capture projects make headway in local government; NV nonprofit calls Biden's student debt initiatives economic justice.

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Charges against fake electors in Nevada are dismissed, Milwaukee officials get ready to expect the unexpected at the RNC convention, and the Justice Department says Alaska is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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A Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival while rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town and prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands.

Public contributes to climate change research

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Monday, April 22, 2024   

A new report from the National Wildlife Federation warns that the effects of climate change in the Quad Cities, along the Iowa-Illinois border, will be severe.

But researchers got the public involved in studying to find ways to head off some of the most pressing concerns.

The report says climate change means a warmer, wetter future for the Quad Cities, which straddle the Mississippi River in Iowa and Illinois.

But rather than repeat what experts have already been saying about drastic flooding along the Big Muddy, Prairie Rivers Network River Health and Resiliency Organizer Nina Struss said researchers and Quad Cities residents brainstormed solutions to tackle the effects of climate change.

"Flooding and flash flooding were the top concerns," said Struss. "Extreme heat was also a big concern, as well as drought and other extreme weather events."

Researchers combined that information with hard science at the University of Illinois to create 3D models depicting what climate-induced flooding along the Mississippi could look like in the future.

The survey also asked people to identify which geographical areas and populations are most at risk from the effects of climate change, and worked with the community on solutions to mitigate some of them.

Struss said this research proposes what are known as nature-based solutions to combat the effects of climate change - restoring, preserving and even expanding existing ecosystems, like wetlands and tree canopies. But creating more eco-friendly infrastructure, too.

"Can we work to maybe have our pavements that we're putting in be more permeable, so that they can absorb that water and have that higher water-holding capacity?" said Struss. "Can we focus on areas to plant more native plants that have stronger root systems, versus ones that have shorter root systems, to help with that water-holding capacity?"

Struss said this research isn't a one-off. It will continue to change, she said, as the climate changes, the needs become more clear, and the effects more drastic.

She said progress in addressing climate change relies on more research, education and funding.




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