Winter woes? No problem! say plants

Winter woes? No problem! say plants
Plants have evolved numerous ways to endure cold, wind and ice formation. How do they do it? How is climate change affecting plants and plant communities? More »

As snow goes, where go the animals?

As snow goes, where go the animals?
Animals like the wolverine evolved to live in the snow, and they excel in conditions that defeat most animals. How will they fare if (when?) snow continues to decline in their homes? And whassup with the balmy but hidden ecosystem under the snow? More »

Typhoon flogs Philippines

Typhoon flogs Philippines
As scientists try to understand the biggest storms in a warming earth, we try to make sense of what’s known, and what’s not. Does adding energy to the Earth system cause more titanic storms – or does it blow them apart before the real destruction begins? More »

Arctic warming: Greenhouse gas nightmare?

Arctic warming: Greenhouse gas nightmare?
Large amounts of methane and carbon dioxide could be produced as warming changes Arctic lands and ocean. Could this start a frightening feedback, where warming makes more gas that makes more warming? More »

Wildfire goes wild in Arizona

Wildfire goes wild in Arizona
As wildfires torch Western states, what is the role of global warming? Does hotter weather contribute to fires? Does the resulting carbon dioxide accelerate global warming? Could we see a vicious cycle of warming, fires and more warming? More »

Warming: A bad climate for endangered species?

newborn sea turtle on sand

How will rising temperatures affect endangered species? Are there ways to abate the consequences, and are they being tested? Can we even be certain that climate change is the cause of specific declines? More »

Melting methane: New thermometer for ancient ocean?

Melting methane: New thermometer for ancient ocean?

Vast deposits of a strong greenhouse gas are frozen under the ocean. As the ocean warms, this methane is releasing. How much more methane is on the way, and how will it affect climate? More »

West Nile virus running wild

West Nile virus running wild

Mosquitoes spread a lot of disease, but they are not just “flying hypodermic needles.” As we rush to protect ourselves against a virus that can cause permanent brain damage, how can we understand and control the mosquitoes that spread West Nile? More »

Himalayan glaciers

Himalayan glaciers

A long debate about these giant ice streams has gyrated wildly. Now, satellite data show a moderate loss of mass for a recent six-year period. For inaccessible glaciers, satellites may be the best thing since the ice axe! More »

Denial of science, science of denial

old color engraving
Tobacco and cancer. CFCs and ozone. Vaccines and autism. And evolution through natural selection, acid rain and global warming. Why do the facts get lost in a cacophony of argument, falsehood and outright denial? A conference looks at why the media get taken for a ride, and how they can improve. More »

Hot: Living through the next fifty years on Earth

Hot: Living through the next fifty years on Earth

Global warming is not an abstraction to people in flood-ravaged Bangladesh or corruption-addled New Orleans. Now that warming is a reality rather than a threat, what do effective response to changes in climate, oceans, and life look like? More »

Shaking it up: Maverick scientist dies

Shaking it up: Maverick scientist dies

Sometimes, scientists feel the need to leave the lab and warn the public about onrushing hazards. Rowland warned about ozone, but others are warning about warming. Does scientific culture encourage or hinder going public? Does the helpful response to ozone depletion suggest we’ll succeed in confronting global warming? More »

A Climate of Extremes

Detail from schematic diagram

Classroom Activity Page: Higher temperatures are only part of the climate change forecast. Are current extreme weather events a sign that warming is already here? What do climate models forecast for weather around the globe? Why is it so hard to predict the climate? More »

Ocean fish in hot water

Ocean fish in hot water

The ocean’s most valuable fish are caught in a vise. Areas known as dead zones are encroaching on their living zones and pinning them closer to the surface, where they are more vulnerable to becoming the day’s catch. The predicament is yet another side effect of climate change. More »