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A Cape ground squirrel sits upright on its hind legs, holding its forelimbs up to its face.
Animals Are Shape-Shifting in Response to a Warming World
Forced to respond to a climate that’s changing faster than it ever has, it remains unclear whether species’ adaptations can keep pace.
Animals Are Shape-Shifting in Response to a Warming World
Animals Are Shape-Shifting in Response to a Warming World

Forced to respond to a climate that’s changing faster than it ever has, it remains unclear whether species’ adaptations can keep pace.

Forced to respond to a climate that’s changing faster than it ever has, it remains unclear whether species’ adaptations can keep pace.

climate change
An image of a pale, dead tree taken from the ground, so that the tree limbs stretch up into the sky. 
Certain Tree Species Are More Susceptible to Death by Lightning
Hannah Thomasy | Dec 12, 2022 | 2 min read
Expected increases in lightning strikes due to climate change could alter the botanical composition of tropical forests.
Three flying foxes (a type of bat) hanging upside down on a bare branch
Climate Change, Deforestation Drive Bat Virus Spillover Into Humans
Amanda Heidt | Nov 17, 2022 | 4 min read
Bats that experience food shortages due to climate change and habitat loss end up roosting in urban settings, where they shed more of the deadly Hendra virus. 
Mammoth Extinction
Finding The Cause of Mammoth Extinction
Sejal Davla, PhD | 3 min read
Environmental DNA and climate change data suggest that vegetation scarcity led to the mass extinction of herbivore species, including Arctic mammoths.
Rows of soybean plants with green leaves beneath a partially clouded sky with the rising sun in the background.
As Carbon Dioxide Goes Up, Plants’ Nutrient Content Declines
Dan Robitzski | Nov 3, 2022 | 5 min read
Abundant environmental CO2 can increase plant biomass and photosynthesis, but it has downsides for agriculture and ecosystems, a growing body of research finds.
A mesquite tree in an arid environment
Climate Change May Favor Nitrogen-Fixing Plants
Andy Carstens | Oct 17, 2022 | 2 min read
Aridity appears to configure landscapes with a greater diversity of plant species that rely on symbiotic bacteria for nitrogen.
News feature
Photo of a shallow, drying pond blocked off by a low fence in a hilly grassland with trees in the background.
Severe Drought, Heat Upended Research This Summer
Dan Robitzski | Oct 13, 2022 | 8 min read
Researchers scramble to adapt as bouts of severe heat and aridity increasingly become the norm.
Organic food - flat design style colorful illustration. A composition with male, female characters, family, a big plate of vegetables, vegetarian salad, carrot, pepper, greens. Healthy lifestyle
Opinion: Eating Right to Avoid Catastrophe
Giulia Wegner and Kris A. Murray | Oct 3, 2022 | 5 min read
The key to averting cataclysmic events, such as pandemics, climate change, and mass extinction of species, lies partly in what’s on our plates.
Black and white photo of a man looking into the camera
Union of Concerned Scientists Cofounder Kurt Gottfried Dies at 93
Lisa Winter | Sep 20, 2022 | 2 min read
The Cornell University physicist was an advocate on issues such as nuclear weapons and climate change.
group of people standing on rock outcropping with ocean in distance
Repeated El Niño Events Could Spark Big Ecological Shifts
Margaret Osborne | Sep 19, 2022 | 5 min read
Five major El Niño events per century could lead to fewer fishes that thrive in cold water and more terrestrial birds in eastern coastal ecosystems.
A male and female lizard sit together on a fence post with grass in the foreground
Climate Change Prematurely Ages Lizards Before They’re Born
Amanda Heidt | Aug 9, 2022 | 2 min read
Lizards born to parents that experienced persistent heat had shortened telomeres, a genetic weathering that typically happens with age but can also be exacerbated by stress.
Mosquitos flying at sunset
Climate Change Worsens Most Infectious Diseases
Andy Carstens | Aug 8, 2022 | 2 min read
Of the pathogens known to have infected humans, more than half may cause more widespread disease as a result of rising temperatures, precipitation changes, or other climate-related factors, a study finds.
A headshot of James Lovelock standing between tree trunks
Gaia Theorist James Lovelock Dies at 103
Andy Carstens | Jul 29, 2022 | 3 min read
Lovelock’s environmental research improved humanity’s understanding of pollutants, but he’s best known for his hypothesis that Earth behaves like a self-regulating organism, which changed how scientists view the planet.
four polar bears on floating sea ice
It’s a Bear-Eat-Bear World: Understanding Cannibalism in the Largest Land Carnivores
Raegan Scharfetter | Jul 20, 2022 | 3 min read
A new review seeks to understand why the animals sometimes devour members of their own species.
Adélie penguin family
Penguins Are Among the World’s Slowest-Evolving Birds: Study
Catherine Offord | Jul 19, 2022 | 2 min read
The findings mean that penguins may struggle to adapt under rapid climate change, researchers say.
Photo of Colin Carlson
Colin Carlson Works to Predict and Prevent Viral Spillover
Catherine Offord | Jul 18, 2022 | 3 min read
The Georgetown University biologist studies how climate change contributes to the emergence of new zoonotic threats.
dense evergreen forest with mountains in distance
Climate Change Likely to Slow Plant Growth in Northern Hemisphere
Margaret Osborne | Jun 14, 2022 | 2 min read
While the higher temperatures and CO2 levels associated with climate change currently fuel plant productivity, a study finds that changing conditions could take a toll on photosynthesis rates in regions outside the Arctic within a decade.
caged panels submerged underwater
How Rising Temperatures Affect Ocean Predation
Andy Carstens | Jun 9, 2022 | 3 min read
A study yields insights into how predator-prey dynamics may shift with climate change, but many questions remain.
spikes of white coral underwater
Great Barrier Reef Suffers Sixth Mass Bleaching in Two Decades
Bianca Nogrady | May 14, 2022 | 2 min read
A survey showed that 91 percent of the reef experienced bleaching despite this year’s cooler, wetter conditions associated with the La Niña weather pattern.
sunlit coral reef
Corals and Sea Anemones Turn Sunscreen into Toxins—Understanding How Could Help Save Coral Reefs
Djordje Vuckovic and Bill Mitch, The Conversation | May 6, 2022 | 6 min read
Researchers have long suspected that an ingredient in sunscreen called oxybenzone was harming corals, but no one knew how. A new study shows how corals turn oxybenzone into a sunlight-activated toxin.
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