So wait, climate change could be good for trees?

Many politicians lacking knowledge about the effects of climate change like to point to the fact that increased CO2 concentrations in our atmosphere will be good for plants and, by default, conclude that climate change is good for humans. But will climate change actually be good for plants? Well maybe. Like all predictions in this world there is quite a bit of uncertainty in the answer to that question; however, quite a few recent studies indicate that due to a longer growing season this may be true at least for some tree species. Trees are extremely important to humans’ and other species’ ability to exist on this planet. We need oxygen and they giveth. Trees also store a lot of carbon, but predicting how this will change in the future is important as we try to prepare for a changing climate.

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What can 100 years of mud tell us?

Turns out 100 years of mud can tell us quite a bit about microbial communities. Capo and colleagues found out how microbial communities are impacted by environmental change. Using an emerging proxy, DNA recovered from lake sediments, they were able to show microbial eukaryotic diversity through time, which revealed interesting trends in response to eutrophication and climate warming.

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Old rain, new data: past climate change in the Southeastern US

What was the weather like in Alabama in 4,000 BCE? A newly published record of ancient rainfall preserved in rocks shows several severe droughts in the region. The study’s authors have produced new data on ancient climate changes and helped us get closer to understanding rapid shifts in climate.

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Wildfires Are Shaping Our Ecosystems: One Species They Affect and How

Disturbances that occur around us help shape our world; from spilling a cup of coffee, to a natural disaster. During the past few decades we’ve experienced a lot more of the latter: from Katrina to tornados in the eastern US, severe natural disturbances are on the rise. One of those disturbances is wildfire. Over the last couple of decades wildfires have increased in intensity and scale. While this is alarming to our safety and infrastructure, wildfires play an important role and are necessary for various organisms. Of the many organisms that live in and rely on forest communities that are susceptible to wildfire disturbances, one of major interest is the northern spotted owl.

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