We’re living in the epoch some scientists call the “Anthropocene”�”an age in which human influence touches nearly everything on the planet. Forty years after the signing of the Endangered Species Act, and nearly 50 years after the Wilderness Act, do we need to rethink how we protect nature? Environmental historian William Cronon and environmental geographer Paul Robbins discuss protecting wild places in the age of climate change.
Colorado’s record-breaking flood was caused, in part, by a blocking pattern parked over western North America. That same pattern also led to extreme drought in the West, worsening California’s Rim Fire. Rutgers atmospheric scientist Jennifer Francis talks about possible connections between climate change and severe events like these.
Snowshoe hares rely on camouflage, turning white in the winter to match the snow, and then turning brown for the summer. But a changing climate could mean fewer days with snow on the ground, and more days when they’re visible to prey.
Scientists looking back on last year’s extreme weather events conclude that human-induced climate change didn’t cause any of the events, but appears to have made some of them worse. The results are published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.
Known for its sparkling turquoise waters and white sand, Spain’s Mediterranean beaches are developing a new reputation — for a growing number of jellyfish. Scientists blame overfishing and, possibly, climate change for the spike in stinging invertebrates.
Climate skeptics point to 15 years of no warming trend as a reason to doubt global warming. But Kevin Trenberth at the National Center for Atmospheric Research can explain a good bit of that temperature plateau — and he argues the Earth has continued to warm appreciably, even though our thin blanket of atmosphere hasn’t.
When Republicans on Capitol Hill want to hear reasons not to take strong action on climate change, sometimes they call on Judith Curry to testify. The climatologist has staked out an unusual position on the subject: She says the climate is changing and people are partly responsible, but we shouldn’t bother regulating carbon dioxide.
The Cascades frog used to occupy alpine zones from California to the Canadian border, but its range is shrinking as global temperatures increase and snowpack declines. Scientists are hiking deep into the mountains of the Northwest to study the tiny frog, which makes a call that has been described as a “chuckling” sound.
This week President Obama announced his plan to tackle climate change, including proposals to regulate gas and coal emissions, and brace the nation for rising seas. David Roberts, who covers energy and climate change for Grist.org, talks about what to expect from the plan — and how much the president can accomplish without the help of Congress.