Ecological grief: In my feelings along the Gulf Coast

Aldo Leopold stated “One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds.” He meant that those of us with deep connections to the natural environment, whether that be a farmer, fisher, or ecologist, are more aware of declining ecological health. We notice that there are less birds. We notice all the dead turtles along the road. We notice that it hasn’t rained in weeks and all the plants are crying. The unprecedented changes stemming from climate change have gained an increasing amount of people’s attention leading to the formation of the term ecological grief. The verdict is out. Climate change is making many of us depressed.

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Every birdie poops: How birds could be helping coral reefs in a changing climate

Warming ocean temperatures pose a big threat to coral reefs, but could coral reefs be getting some help from having feathered friends nearby? In this study, scientists investigate how the nutrients from bird poop may be helping to keep coral reefs from going to waste.

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Backyard Biodiversity: Urban Schoolyards Can Play an Important Role in Conservation

Biodiversity matters. Not just in the Amazon, but in your backyard, too. The recent report from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) took the world by storm; the biodiversity crisis is here, and plants and animals across the globe are facing extinction, ultimately transforming ecosystems as we know it. Since the report, there has been a public outcry about what we can do to slow the impending biodiversity crisis, covered everywhere from scientific journals to media outlets worldwide.

While there are many pathways to address the crisis, a paper from a team of African researchers published in Urban Forestry and Urban Greening points to the importance of addressing a big problem on a small scale, suggesting urban schoolyards can positively impact local biodiversity for both native and exotic species.

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Finally! A Global Documentation of Plant Extinction in the Anthropocene

“Most people can name a mammal or bird that has become extinct in recent centuries, but few can name an extinct plant. This study is the first time we have an overview of what plants have already become extinct, where they have disappeared from and how quickly this is happening. We hear a lot about the number of species facing extinction, but these figures are for plants that we’ve already lost, so provide an unprecedented window into plant extinction in modern times.” (Ledford 2019)

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Can We Save Our Corals? Using Investment Planning to Conserve Coral Reefs

By now, most of us have heard the news that climate change is threatening our oceans. Rising carbon dioxide levels due to increasing greenhouse gas emissions into the earth’s atmosphere are warming our oceans and causing a multitude of other adverse effects on our planet. In particular, these changing environmental conditions are wreaking havoc on the world’s coral reefs. Meanwhile, conservationists around the world have been working to mitigate coral reef degradation, with little overall success. However, a recent study describes a new approach taken from investment theory that could shed a hopeful light on coral conservation efforts.

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Climate Change and Inequality: The Missing Link.

In the most recent IPCC report, scientists have concluded that global warming is likely to reach 1.5o C between 2030 and 2052, if it continues to increase at the current rate. To curb this warming, and the host of environmental plagues with it, we must completely halt our carbon emissions by 2050. That’s 30 years. But who is actually on the front-lines of climate change? And why do some people draw parallels between climate change and inequality? Is the key to all of this solving both at the same time?

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Improvements in Water Quality Offset Climate Debt in UK Rivers

By analyzing over 20,000 samples of aquatic macroinvertebrates, researchers were able to show that shifts in macroinvertebrate communities corresponded to improvements in water quality from 1991 to 2011. The improvements in water quality have created a “credit” that could have offset the climate debt created by rising temperatures. Local improvements can potentially offset global climate impacts, but for how long can this trend continue?

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Mother of dragons in the city

City habitats are often much warmer due to lower forest cover and an increased density of manmade surfaces which retain heat. Increased temperatures can greatly affect animals that develop as male or female depending on the incubation temperature of the eggs. Read on to find out how mothers of eastern water dragons deal with living in the warm cities of Australia.

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