The Hot Zone

Sixth extinction almost here, but not quite

Scientists define a mass extinction as when the Earth loses more than 75 percent of its species in short geological time, within 2 million years. This hasn’t happened very often — only five times in the last 540 million years. Is it happening now again? The “sixth extinction” has been discussed by biologists for decades. In a paper published this week in the journal Nature, University of California at Berkeley-led biologists take stock on the status of the the Earth’s... [Read more]

Posted by Alison Hawkes on March 3, 2011 No Comments »
Category : Climates of the Past, 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

Helping dying species find new habitats

Speaking of finding a habitable planet, the Sept. 24 journal Science has highlighted an interesting debate in the conservation community about recolonizing species that are going under because of climate change. The hope is that they can prevent species from going extinct by giving them a new home, one that is now habitable because of changing climate conditions. Some 20-30 percent of the Earth’s species are at high risk of extinction if global temperatures exceed 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial... [Read more]

Posted by Alison Hawkes on September 29, 2010 1 Comment »
Category : The man made climate

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