Menopausal Mother Nature

News about Climate Change and our Planet

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The unexpectedly weird and beautiful world of lichens

Lichen is something we commonly see growing on rocks or tree branches, on old wood fences and rotting stumps. But how often do you stop to really ponder lichens? Probably not often. And yet lichens are surprisingly fascinating … and…

Climate Science Proves Scams Don’t Die From Exposure

It’s the tenth anniversary next week of the 2009 Climategate email dump that exposed top climate scientists’ chicanery and subversion of science – and did so in their own words and out of their own mouths, or keyboards. I’ll list…

Lichens are way younger than scientists thought

(Field Museum) Lichens — a combo of fungus and algae — can grow on bare rocks, so scientists thought that lichens were some of the first organisms to make their way onto land from the water, changing the planet’s atmosphere and paving the way for modern plants. But a closer look at the DNA of the algae and fungi that form lichens shows that lichens likely evolved millions of years after plants.

The forests of the Amazon are an important carbon sink

(Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ) The world’s tropical forests store huge quantities of carbon in their biomass and thus constitute an important carbon sink. However, current estimates of the amount of carbon dioxide stored in tropical forests of the Amazon vary largely. Scientists at the UFZ have developed an approach that uses recent satellite data to provide much more precise estimates of the amount of biomass in tropical forests than in the past.

Amazon deforestation and number of fires show summer of 2019 not a ‘normal’ year

(Lancaster University) The perceived scale of the Amazon blazes received global attention this summer. However, international concerns raised at the time were countered by the Brazilian Government, which claimed the fire situation in August was ‘normal’ and ‘below the historical average’.An international team of scientists writing in the journal Global Change Biology say the number of active fires in August was actually three times higher than in 2018 and the highest number since 2010.

This coyote almost died because humans can't pick up after themselves

No one knew exactly how long the coyote had been roaming the grassy fields and wooded ravines at Bronte Provincial Park. But everyone knew one thing for sure: Catching her was a matter of life and death. The plastic jug…

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For some urban areas, a warming climate is only half the threat

A new study projects that the growth of urban areas in the coming decades will trigger ”extra” warming due to a phenomenon known as the urban heat island effect (UHI). According to their findings, urban expansion will cause the average summer temperature in these areas to increase about 0.5 to 0.6 degrees C — but up to 3 degrees C in some locations. 

ASU study shows some aquatic plants depend on the landscape for photosynthesis

(Arizona State University) ASU researchers found that not only are freshwater aquatic plants affected by climate, they are also shaped by the surrounding landscape. When in an environment where CO2 is limited, aquatic plants use strategies to extract carbon from bicarbonate. Scientists identified patterns across ecoregions around the globe and discovered a direct link between the availability of catchment bicarbonate and the ability of aquatic plants to extract carbon from that bicarbonate.

UNH researchers find climate change and turf seaweed causing ‘patchy’ seascape

(University of New Hampshire) Researchers at the University of New Hampshire find environmental developments caused by climate change are contributing to the transformation of the seafloor to a lower, more patchy seascape dominated by shrub-like seaweed which could impact species habitats and the structure of the food web.

New moon-seeking sensor aims to improve earth observations

(NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) A new instrument with its eye on the Moon is taking off aboard a high-altitude NASA plane to measure the Moon’s brightness and eventually help Earth observing sensors make more accurate measurements.