The Hot Zone

Climate refugees or invading species? What to do with species on the move.

Previously├é┬á I wrote about the debate in the scientific community about recolonizing species into new areas as climate change forces them out of their old homes. Apparently, a similar debate is happening in the U.S. parks service. I was at an event this week commemorating the opening of a Ocean Climate Center in San Francisco, a place where federal agencies can combine research and mitigation efforts on climate change. Frank Dean, the superintendent of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area,... [Read more]

Posted by Alison Hawkes on October 27, 2010 No Comments »
Category : The man made climate

Commerical space travel could threaten the climate

Commercial spaceflight could open up all kinds of new opportunities that would expand the limitations of Earth. Mining asteroids for heavy metals, energy generation through solar power satellites, and space tourism are all ideas that are being explored as companies seek ways to make business out of the Final Frontier. With companies like Spaceport America opening the world’s first commercial spaceport in Las Cruces, New Mexico earlier this month and Virgin Galactic now booking $200,000 space... [Read more]

Posted by Alison Hawkes on October 25, 2010 No Comments »
Category : The man made climate

Species may experience survival ‘tipping points’ at high temperatures

Some species seem to be taking climate change really hard, while others appear to be skating through it with little impact. But looks can be deceiving. As temperatures continue to rise, resilient species may, too, find themselves under too much change to survive. A new study published in the recent journal Nature explores how Arctic and alpine species are coping. Moss campion is vulnerable to high temperatures in the Rockies. Photo: Ben K on Picasa Ecologists Daniel Doak from the University of... [Read more]

Posted by Alison Hawkes on October 20, 2010 No Comments »
Category : Climate Science and Scientists

Population growth could reverse carbon reduction gains

Back in the late 1960s, the environmental movement was in a tizzy over predictions that overpopulation would soon cause mass human starvation and eventually kill the planet. But the Malthusian vision fell to the wayside once the Green Revolution made farming that much more productive and countries began enacting environmental reforms that lessened some of the worst abuses in pollution. These days you don’t hear much concern over the size of Earth’s ballooning human population, even as... [Read more]

Posted by Alison Hawkes on October 15, 2010 No Comments »
Category : Climate Science and Scientists, The man made climate

Climate change could jumpstart the metabolisms of tropical species

Metabolism is more than just what may be responsible for sluggishness or weight gain. In fact, it’s the basis of life, controlling everything from growth and reproduction to energy production and cell formation through a series of chemical reactions. Air temperature can affect metabolism, especially for species that rely on the external weather to control body temperature. Ectotherms like reptiles and amphibians get lethargic when it’s cold and frisky when it’s warm. New research... [Read more]

Posted by Alison Hawkes on October 7, 2010 No Comments »
Category : Climate Science and Scientists

The seas are rising, but how much?

As the mercury continues to rise, we all know that the sea level is also going up. But by how much? Scientists do the best they can to model the impacts, and based on that policy makers have come up with the 2 degree Celsius limit to how much hotter the Earth can get and still be in the safety zone. But what if they’re wrong? A paper published in the September Journal of Quaternary Science synthesized ice, marine, and terrestrial data from the last interglacial event, some 125,000 years ago,... [Read more]

Posted by Alison Hawkes on October 3, 2010 No Comments »
Category : Climates of the Past

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