Ecosystems & Species

National Public Radio: Researchers Observe Climate Change, First-Hand

National Public Radio's "Talk of the Nation" features a discussion of some of the changes scientists are witnessing and studying in the field as climate rapidly changes.  Guests include Craig Allen, research ecologist, United States Geological Survey; and George Divoky, director, Friends of Cooper Island (Alaska). 

Arctic Temperatures Continue Rapid Rise as 2011 Breaks Record Set in 2010

NASA yesterday (19 January 2012) released data showing that last year temperatures in the Arctic rose beyond the record established in 2010 -- setting a new record for 2011. News of the record Arctic temperatures follows a series of alarming developments related to the Arctic in recent months.

IPCC Says Essential Actions Needed to Reduce Risks of Changing Climate Extremes

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) approved on Friday (18 Nov 2011) a report on preparing for weather and climate extremes. The report’s summary warns that a changing climate “can result in unprecedented extreme weather and climate events” and says that actions ranging “from incremental steps to transformational change are essential for reducing risk from climate extremes.” The U.S. this year has experienced a record fourteen weather-related disasters each in excess of a billion dollars – and many more disasters of lesser magnitudes. Yet the U.S. has no national climate change preparedness strategy; and Federal efforts to address the rising risks have been undermined through budget cuts and other means. Though seriously constrained by the lack of strong and unified leadership in Washington, communities and others around the country nevertheless are taking commonsense actions to address the emerging impacts of increasingly disruptive climate extremes.

White House Reports on Climate Change Adaptation, as Communities Face Rising Impacts Without National Strategy

The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) on Friday (28 October 2011) released a second annual progress report from the government’s Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force.  Despite the significant progress summarized in "Federal Actions for a Climate Resilient Nation," the U.S. still has no national strategy for adapting to climate change, leaving America dangerously unprepared for climate conditions that are becoming more extreme and disruptive. With Washington (and the field of presidential candidates) largely AWOL in responding to climate change, the burden shifts to cities and towns across the country to face these growing extremes mostly on their own.  Fortunately, some communities and businesses around America  are beginning to prepare.  Unfortunately, those cities and businesses are the exception, not the rule.

Iconic Coca-Cola Red Cans Turn Arctic White

The Coca-Cola Company and World Wildlife Fund Partner to Protect the Polar Bear’s Home.

Join Us for 24 Hours of Reality

This year has given way to record breaking weather extremes. From the Midwest blizzard that shut down Chicago to the Mississippi flooding, Texas drought and Hurricane Irene. It’s been a record year for billion-dollar disasters and these extremes are projected to become more frequent as the climate changes. On Wednesday September 14th (2011) the Climate Reality Project is showing 24 hours of reality on the climate crisis. While 2011 has provided a window into the extreme weather of the future, the event is showing the world in every time zone the reality of climate change, connecting the dots between extreme weather and climate change.

Number of Walruses Hauled Out near Point Lay, Alaska, Swells to over 20,000

Just weeks before Arctic sea ice extent reaches a record or near-record annual low, observers estimate that over 20,000 walruses have hauled-out near Point Lay, Alaska.  The aerial observers also have spotted dead walruses on their flights over the Chukchi Sea.

Climate Change is Causing Species to Shift Faster Towards Poles, Says New Study

A new study published in Science magazine, shows that species are moving toward the poles three times faster and climbing higher twice as fast as previously reported in 2003. The study looks at how over 1,500 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, plants and insects have responded to a warming climate over the past 40 years.

8,000 Walruses Congregate along Alaska Shoreline, Unable to Find Sea Ice Near Feeding Areas (Photo)

We reported on 12 August 2011 that walruses, driven ashore by the lack of Arctic sea ice over shallow waters, were starting to "haul out" along the Alaskan shores of the Chukchi Sea.  Airborne observers now report that by 17 August, "[a]pproximately 8,000 walruses were observed hauled out on land slightly north of Point Lay [Alaska]."  A panoramic photo shows the two immense haul-outs spotted during the survey flight.

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