A far-ranging study of wood frogs have found that the bog-breeding amphibians could be vulnerable to global warming at the southern edge of their range, and that the population could shift northward, similar to many other species.
But the research, covering more than 740 wood frog populations in 27 different areas, also showed some nuance in the response to climate change. That makes it hard to determine which species and which populations are in danger of declining or disappearing, according to researcher David Miller, assistant professor of wildlife population ecology at Penn State.Local and regional precipitation trends are nearly as important as temperature in determining the fate of many animals, he explained, and that’s especially true with moisture-sensitive creatures such as amphibians. Continue reading “How will global warming affect wood frogs?”→
From aboard a commercial airline flight, Greenland’s shore looks peaceful during the peak of the summer icemelt season, but the Arctic is changing fast, and U.S. policy is in disarray.
Tasty chanterelles mushrooms sprout in an Austrian forest.
A lightning blast strikes the ground near Keystone Resort, in Colorado.
The Verdon River in southern France may start flooding later than water managers expect, which makes it tougher to know when to store and when to release water in reservoirs for flood control and hydropower.
Global warming and nitrogen are a bad combination and will result in serious algae problems in many waters.
The last few weeks included a productive stretch of writing some interesting climate change and environmental stories. My favorite was about reef restoration in Florida, where hundreds of scientists and volunteers are gardening corals and transplanting them back out into the ocean. Careful monitoring shows there’s good potential to rebuild some ecosystems, especially where it counts, like offshore Miami, which would benefit from intact reefs to help protect the coast from storm surges. You can read the story at Fusion’s Project Earth.
I also spent quite a bit of time listening to people like the U.S. Coast Guard commander, high-ranking naval officers and scientists speaking about environmental changes in the Arctic, and how well the the U.S. is prepared to respond to those changes in a story for Pacific Standard. In another story for the same publication, I wrote about how fungi, through their symbiosis with plants, play a much larger role in regulating the terrestrial part of the carbon cycle than was thought just a few decades ago.
There is also a clear climate change signal evident in the timing of river floods across Europe, with some regions seeing serious flooding come up to two weeks earlier. This has implications for how communities manage water, as I described in this piece for InsideClimate News. Besides the potential for damage to communities, changes in precipitation and flooding patterns also will affect the concentration of nutrient pollution like nitrogen, which leads to toxic algae blooms and ocean dead zones.
New modeling shows where global warming will increase cyanobacteria
Scientists say it’s all but certain that global warming will increase potentially threatening outbreaks of freshwater algae that can produce toxins dangerous to people and animals.
A team lead by Tufts University researcher Steven C. Chapra has developed a modeling framework showing harmful algal blooms will increase the most in the northeastern region of the U.S. but that the biggest economic impact will be felt in the Southeast, where waters important for recreation will probably take a big hit.
Exposure to systemic neonicotinoid pesticides causes queen bumblebees to lay 26 percent fewer eggs. That rate of decline could result in the extinction of some wild bumblebee populations, according to researchers at the University of Guelph.
Measure would exempt huge logging projects from environmental review
Logging projects as large as 10,000 acres could be rushed to approval without environmental reviews under a new bill proposed by Sen. John Thune, (R-S.D.).
As introduced, the law would limit public comment and disclosure of the environmental impacts of large-scale logging projects. The measure is similar to a House bill that also aims to significantly limit public input and scientific environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act. Continue reading “New GOP bill aims at forest protections”→
It’s highly unlikely Earth would have seen a three-year run of record global temperatures without its blanket of human-caused greenhouse gases, scientists concluded in a new study that tried to pin down the relationship between record warmth and human-caused global warming.
Without the warming effect of carbon dioxide, methane and other heat-trapping pollutants, there’s only a 0.03 percent chance that there would be three consecutive years of record temperatures; when the warming effects of greenhouse gases are added into the equatio, the odds of three consecutive record-breaking years happening any time since 2000 rises to as high as 50 percent, according to the new study. Continue reading “We’re losing the global warming poker game”→
Salzburg and Tirol may get all the glory for dramatic mountain scenery, singing nuns and happy cows, but the northeastern quadrant of Austria also has its charms. The Waldviertel is one of the most rural and agricultural sections of the country, with a pleasing patchwork of carefully tended fields and forests, not to mention ponds and lakes that have been managed for aquaculture for several hundred years. The images in this set were all taken around the town of Zwettl, the heart of the Waldviertel at the confluence of the Kamp and Zwettl rivers. Check out the last few Summit Voice photo essays in the archives and visit our online gallery for more nature and landscape photography.