Can the toughest animal survive climate change?

Global temperatures are increasing around the world due to climate change. While some animals can survive the harsh conditions, many will die off. Researchers have turned to the toughest animal alive, and it is not a lion, tiger, or bear as you might expect. Sometimes called a (water) bear, the toughest animal is microscopic and lives in the soil. Will they be able to take the heat?

Read more

Will climate change bring cultural change?

Sometimes science isn’t enough to protect a species. Sometimes, culture is necessary. People are likely to care most about protecting species they find culturally important. But are these culturally important species the most threatened due to climate change? A case study from Costa Rica offers some insights into this question.

Read more

Climate Change is Increasing the Likelihood of Worst-Case Scenarios

If you were following coverage of Hurricane Delta this week, you might’ve noticed that it seemed to come out of nowhere — one day we were all talking about Tropical Storm Gamma, and then seemingly overnight the conversation shifted to sounding alarms over Hurricane Delta. This phenomenon, in which a hurricane goes from nobody to nightmare in under a day, is known as rapid intensification. The one-two punch of rapid intensificaton being both deadly and difficult to predict has made it an urgent problem for forecasters as we all try to adjust to our changing climate.

Read more

In otter news: Disappearing otters and climate change spell double trouble for reefs

As many people know, sea otters are great at being adorable. But do sea otters also play an important role in combating the impacts of climate change? In this study, scientists looked at how the loss of sea otters might be making reefs more susceptible to climate change.

Read more

California Electrification – what buildings, the grid, and the environment need in an age of energy transition and climate change

A team of energy scientists from California tackle the big question of what will electricity demand look like in a changing climate? By analyzing the evolution of the electric grid to supply an increasing demand under the state’s climate action plan AND the increasing demand to make people comfortable in a variable and changing climate, these researchers have given imperative insight into the future of California electrification.

Read more

Uncool beans: The future of coffee under climate change

A lot of people would say that a hot cup of coffee is a morning necessity, but a hotter future under climate change could mean trouble is brewing. In this study, scientists examined how rising temperatures might impact the growth of one of the major types of coffee produced in the world.

Read more

Where have all the flowers gone? Climate change is driving the loss of forbs and diversity in Californian grasslands

Science predicts that climate change will disrupt many natural processes and cycles and there is ever increasing media coverage regarding expectations for Earth’s future under these pressures. Yet there is little popular discussion about how plant communities will be impacted by these changes despite the fact that they represent the first level of the food web, support entire ecosystems of species, and contain one of the only organisms that can capture free energy to produce life. Understanding the ways that these communities are changing and will change in the future is crucially important to seeing the full picture of how climate change will re-shape life as we know it.

Read more