Climate Change

As Earth's climate warms, the effects are showing up in the planet's biological systems, from the lowliest soil microbes to the grandest coral reefs. We set five of our writers loose to find research probing this dynamic. They turned up studies exploring everything from shell formation of tiny marine organisms to fruit fly genetics to coral immunity to the dynamics of soil decomposition to the spread of human diseases. We also enlisted the help of University of Alaska, Fairbanks climate researcher F. Stuart Chapin to put the affects of climate change in context. It's a two-way street, he writes: Just as global warming affects living things, those living things can magnify the effects on the atmosphere. Chapin also suggests where climate science and policy need to go in the future.

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