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Category Archives: Climate Change

Native Species or Invasive? The Distinction Blurs as the World Warms

YaleEnvironment360: “With thousands of species on the move as the climate changes, a growing number of scientists say that the dichotomy between native and alien species has become an outdated concept and that efforts must be made to help migrating species adapt to their new habitats…In recent years, scientists have documented countless species shifting their ranges toward the poles, higher into the mountains, and deeper into the seas in response to the changing climate. Deciduous shrubs of willow, birch, and alder have spread into the low Arctic tundra. Brightly colored tropical parrotfish and rabbitfish have arrived in the temperate kelp forests of the eastern Mediterranean. Elkhorn corals from the Caribbean now sprout in thickets off the coast of Galveston, Texas. The trend is expected to continue as the climate crisis deepens, with species that societies rely upon for a wide range of economic, cultural, and recreational value shifting their ranges to survive. “The entire trajectory of natural capital, from aesthetic to economic,” says University of Florida wildlife ecologist Brett Scheffers, “is going to be moving.” The coming exodus, Scheffers and other scientists say, will require a transformation in the way we think about wildlife management and conservation — and a reevaluation of the traditional native-alien dichotomy that has governed it. For decades, conservation biology has characterized the movement of species into new habitats as potential invasions of alien species with the capacity to threaten local ecosystems and already resident species, leading to the formulation of policies to reflexively repel the newcomers. This approach, and its underlying classification of wild species as either “native” (and thus worthy of protections) or “alien” (and thus likely not) has been the subject of growing controversy in recent years…”

Burning Planet: Climate Fires and Political Flame Wars Rage

“Economic and political polarization will rise this year, as collaboration between world leaders, businesses and policy-makers is needed more than ever to stop severe threats to our climate, environment, public health and technology systems. This points to a clear need for a multistakeholder approach to mitigating risk at a time when the world cannot wait… Continue Reading

Visual guide to Australia’s bushfires raging across the country

The Guardian – “Bushfires have swept large parts of Australia since October, leaving more than 20 people dead, destroying thousands of homes and devastating wildlife. Unprecedented bushfires continue to ravage south-east Australia, with at least 24 people confirmed dead so far and almost 2,000 homes destroyed. Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from… Continue Reading

The Most Important Scientist You’ve Never Heard Of

MentalFloos – Michael Rogalski: “For 60 years, American drivers unknowingly poisoned themselves by pumping leaded gasoline into their tanks. Here is the lifelong saga of Clair Patterson—a scientist who helped build the atomic bomb and discovered the true age of the Earth—and how he took on a billion-dollar industry to save humanity from itself…Over the… Continue Reading

The Healing Power of Gardens

Brain Pickings – Oliver Sacks on the Psychological and Physiological Consolations of Nature – “…“After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, love, and so on — have found that none of these finally satisfy, or permanently wear — what remains? Nature remains; to bring out from their torpid recesses, the affinities of… Continue Reading

Water Peace and Security Partnership Predictive Tool

WPS – “Water insecurity is increasing worldwide. A third of the world’s people now live in countries that experience high levels of water stress, with droughts affecting around 50 million people and causing more than $5 billion in damage annually. These numbers are expected to rise as population growth, rapid urbanisation, increasing climate change and… Continue Reading

What you’d spend to prevent climate change and what you could get with your money

ABC.net.au: “As the country burns and temperatures rise, climate change is once again at the forefront of our national consciousness. It’s a problem that seems intractable, and has dogged politics for decades. More than 54,000 Australians took part in the nationally representative Australia Talks National Survey, and the number one thing they said was keeping… Continue Reading

Eurasia Group’s Top risks For 2020

This is Eurasia Group’s annual forecast of the political risks that are most likely to play out over the course of the year. This year’s report was published on 6 January 2020. “2020 is a tipping point. We’ve lived with growing levels of geopolitical risk for nearly a decade, but without a true international crisis.… Continue Reading