Featured Blog

Photo: wildcoast.net

Reef temperature wrangler  
Oct 16, 2017 • Brandon Araujo

Coral reefs often go unnoticed because they’re underwater; but even though we don’t regularly pay much attention to them, they’re an extremely important part of our everyday lives. Coral reefs have been estimated to provide support for over a quarter of all marine species and this extreme biodiversity makes... more

Recent Posts

Why is genetic diversity important?  
Apr 17, 2016 • Abigail (Abby) Lynch

The Chicago River turns green every St. Patrick’s Day. Many Irish Americans are descentants who migrated because of the potato famine.

You could almost blame the greeness of the Chicago River on lack of genetic diversity.

Well, at least, indirectly…

If it weren’t for the Irish potato famine, the Windy City, along with many other American cities, may not have had the influx of Irish immigrants in the mid 19th century bringing their Celtic traditions, affinity for fine whiskey, and that frolicking holiday every... more

Of trees and beetles: Research at the intersection of climate change and disturbance dynamics  
Apr 11, 2016 • Katie Renwick

A mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) perched atop a match stick for scale. Photo credit: US Forest Service

Many trees in the Rocky Mountains were alive long before I was born- before my grandparents were born. These trees bore witness to an unprecedented rise in CO2 concentrations, and have weathered the associated changes in climate. In the past decade, however, many trees that survived two centuries of climate change have been killed by a tiny insect: the mountain pine beetle.

... more

Downscaled to an estuary: Making it easier on climate data users  
Apr 4, 2016 • Geneva Gray

Photo: Geneva Gray

There is a lot of data out there. It seems like every agency has produced their own downscaled dataset using different methods, training data, and a hodge-podge of global climate models. They are all unique, but none of them are the “best.” This blog post will not give you tips in working downscaled data or picking what is right for your project;... more

From scarcity to inclusion: The continued need for women in science  
Mar 28, 2016 • Meaghan Guckian and Toni Lyn Morelli

Photo credit: NJSACC

As March comes to a close, we have once again celebrated the many contributions of women to society. For many of us conducting research at the Climate Science Centers and partner institutions, women who have made tremendous strides in our various scientific fields like Marie Curie,... more

The Small Stuff Matters  
Mar 21, 2016 • Adrienne Wootten

There have been several times so far in my short graduate career where I have ended up arguing with one professor or another over something few would think of.  How much does the small stuff matter?  That is, how much does a small change in methods in research matter?  Let me take a moment to talk about why I think that (at least in the context of climate modeling), the small stuff is very... more

Corals under climate change: Hawai’i’s winners and losers  
Mar 14, 2016 • Keisha Bahr

Keisha Bahr, Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Hawaiʻi in the Coral Reef Ecology Lab at the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology.

The beauty of a healthy, thriving coral reef community is astonishing. These ‘rainforests of the sea’ are unique and their beauty is unmatched. While coral reefs only occupy less than 1% of the world’s ocean floor, they support more than 25% of all marine species. An estimated 85% of the United States’ reef area is located within the Hawaiian Archipelago that holds the largest marine sanctuary... more

The Invisible Elephant in the Room  
Mar 7, 2016 • Adrienne Wootten

Photo credit: MissionMode Communications Blog

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Peter Thorne when he visited the Southeast CSC and the NCSU Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences.  Dr. Thorne is one of the lead authors of Chapter 2 of the National Climate Assessment (“Our Changing Climate”) and a lead section author for the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report.  During his time visiting with us, Dr. Thorne... more

Bye Bye Birdie: The Disappearing Avifauna of Hawaiʻi  
Feb 29, 2016 • Lauren R. Kaiser

Critically Endangered ʻAkekeʻe (Loxops caeruleirostris) Photo Credit: Jim Denny

As an isolated island archipelago in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the Hawaiian Islands have become home to many endemic species found nowhere else in the world. Hawaiʻi provided a unique place for ecological divergence, leading to the evolution of the islands’ expansive and impressive native avifauna. The forest birds in particular are biologically significant to the complex and fragile... more

Fieldwork Letters from the Gulf Coastal Plain: Dendrotempestology  
Feb 22, 2016 • Clay Tucker

Trees nearest to the coast suggest substantial stress from saltwater. The coastal (top) cross section is much older than the inland (bottom) cross-section. Photo: Clay Tucker

Dendrotempestology (it’s a mouthful I know!) is the study of the effects of hurricanes on trees. When people hear this, they normally spout something like, “Well, hurricanes kill the trees! Duh!” I quickly attempt to note that though the trees surrounding their houses may suffer substantial damage, many ecosystems are adapted to these disturbances and can respond positively to the damage. Many... more

The Importance of Philosophy in Responding to Climate Change  
Feb 16, 2016 • Jessica Blackband

Photo: Jessica Blackband

When I tell people that my undergraduate majors were environmental studies and philosophy, they usually respond with a confused look and a comment like, “Hmm, those are very different topics!” Of course, science and philosophy are fundamentally different in the questions they ask and in how they answer those questions. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t related in critically important ways. To... more