Climate Change- A change in the typical or average weather of a region, or the globe. Includes changes in temperature, precipitation, and other weather-related events.
Weather- The atmospheric conditions of a specific place at a specific point in time.
Think of your local 10-day forecast
2C- The threshold determined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as the global temperature rise limit that we as a planet should not cross
*Note: This is actually debated by some small island nations, who believe 1.5C (or less) is a better threshold because otherwise their nations will be underwater
Agroecology- the application of ecological principles and concepts to the design and management of sustainable agroecosystems (food-producing, biodiverse landscapes)
Carbon sequestration/carbon sink- A place where carbon from the atmosphere can be stored in the ground (terrestrial sink, i.e. trees and soil) or ocean
Adaptation- Adjustment in natural or human systems to a new or changing environment that moderates negative effects, reduces harm to the environment.
Example: planting drought-resistant almond trees in California
Mitigation- Technology changes that reduce emissions, reduces or prevents greenhouse gas emissions.
Example: applying compost to rangeland to drawn more CO2 out of atmosphere and into soils (via stimulated plant growth)
Methane- CH4, a carbon-containing molecule in the Earth's atmosphere
Sources: released when cows fart/burp, from manure piles, landfills, and anaerobic soil conditions.
Carbon dioxide- CO2, a carbon-containing molecule in Earth's atmosphere
Most common greenhouse gas, concentrations currently at around 400 ppm (parts per million)
Carbon emissions- The act of producing or sending out carbon-containing molecules to the atmosphere
Includes CO2 and CH4
Greenhouse Gas- gases which allow direct sunlight to reach Earth’s surface, but absorb the infrared energy (heat) that is reradiated to the atmosphere. These gases include: water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, among others. Also referred to as heat-trapping gases.
Regenerative Agriculture- Farming practiced in such a way that restores the health of the land, fertility of the soil, ecosystem diversity, and water resources nearby
Example: Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture
Organic- Farming practices that strive to cycle resources, promote ecological balance, avoid chemical fertilizers/pesticides, and conserve biodiversity.
*For official/legal definition, see USDA Organic site.
Industrial Revolution- Name given the movement in which machines changed people's way of life as well as their methods of manufacture. About the time of the American Revolution, the people of England began to use machines to make cloth and steam engines to run the machines.
Typically also referenced as the start of significant human impact on the climate system via increased carbon emissions
Compost- Organic matter that has been decomposed and recycled as a fertilizer and soil amendment
Phenology- the study of cyclic and seasonal natural phenomena, especially in relation to climate and plant and animal life
One of the natural cycles impacted by climate change
Carbon footprint- the amount of carbon dioxide and other carbon compounds emitted due to the consumption of fossil fuels by a particular person, group, etc.
See CoolClimate carbon footprint calculator
Intercropping- Growing different kinds of crops in side by side rows or within the same row
Cover Crop- Planted primarily to manage soil erosion, soil fertility, soil quality, water, weeds, pests, diseases, biodiversity and wildlife in an agroecosystem (Lu et al. 2000), an ecological system managed and largely shaped by humans across a range of intensities to produce food, feed, or fiber.
Part of set of practices constituting agroecology or climate smart agriculture