The Hot Zone

Gray whales a model in climate adaptation

In the time since California gray whales existed, the Earth has gone through more than 40 cycles of warming and cooling. Many species have been impacted and have even died out, but the gray whale has persisted for 250 million years. How did the gray whale survive? The gray whales, it turns out, may be a model in how a species can adapt and change during dramatic swings in the Earth’s climate. In the modern era, whaling has been the biggest threat to the gray whale survival, and in fact the... [Read more]

Posted by Alison Hawkes on July 14, 2011 1 Comment »
Category : Climates of the Past

Plants moving downhill in response to climate change

Higher temperatures are forcing species to take to cooler climes at higher elevations, the prevailing wisdom goes. But changes in precipitation also drive change, and in the case of plant species in the Northern Hemisphere, the movement may be driven downhill, not up. That’s according to a recent study published in the journal Science by a team of researchers led by Shawn Crimmins at the Department of Forest Management, at the University of Montana. The study looked at the distribution of 64... [Read more]

Posted by Alison Hawkes on January 26, 2011 No Comments »
Category : Climate Science and Scientists

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

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