Scientists refer to the time in which we now live as the Anthropocene epoch – one in which humans are exerting a tremendous influence upon the natural world. One of the ways in which we are doing that is in our cities and suburbs where creatures are evolving through fast-paced natural selection to deal with our presence.
It sure seems like extreme weather is increasingly common: floods, droughts, extreme rainfall, powerful snowstorms, hurricanes and so on. But we tend to focus on recent events and often give them undue emphasis. So, it is reasonable to ask whether extreme weather really is more common these days.
America’s National Parks are special places of incomparable beauty and fascination. When the National Park Service was first created 100 years ago, it was instructed to leave these places “unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” We now live in a time when the changing climate is altering many aspects of the landscape including in many national parks. The parks are protected, but they are changing.
According to a recent study published in the journal Global Change Biology, rising CO2 levels in the ocean can disrupt the sensory systems of fish and can even make them swim toward predators and ignore the sounds that normally deter them from risky habitats.
There are lots of potential impacts associated with global climate change – shifts in the distribution of plants are among them. Most plant species are adapted to a range of climate conditions. If the climate changes, their habitat can shift as well. This is true for crop and forestry plants, as well as native species.
Bumblebees face their share of hazards – habitat loss, disease, and harmful pesticides among them. New research shows that climate change is also a significant threat to bumblebee populations in Europe and North America. In fact, University of Ottawa scientists suggest that, for these bumblebees, climate change may be the biggest threat of all.