The restored stone walls of two ancient heiau (Hawaiian temples) rise black and strong out of the gentle waves of the Kona Coast. Large rocks sit farther out in the sea, and coastal plants and bushes spread along the tops of the dunes and farther back, behind the great stone structures. Small groups of university students can be seen peering into the tidal pools, snorkeling among the waves, and gesturing toward plants on the beaches while making notes on data sheets and comparing observations.
Science & research
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.
This post originally appeared on May 20, 2013 and is part of our throw-back series.
North America’s resource managers and conservation practitioners protect and preserve lands, waters, and wildlife in the face of land use change, development pressure, and now, climate change.
The evening I’m writing this, our first real snow this winter has been on the ground for barely a day. My desk (or rather, kitchen table) is in the watershed of the Cache La Poudre River, at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. The Cache La Poudre is part of the South Platte River which drains to the Platte River, a tributary to the mighty Missouri. The snow is very welcome after a long drought year in the Cache La Poudre, but the drought is still playing out far downstream in the Missouri’s receiving waters, the Mississippi.
One of the big challenges with communicating climate change is the perception that the impacts will be far into the future or will affect someone else. These perceptions make it very easy to resist action to mitigate potential future impacts because there are a lot more pressing issues closer to home.
Global temperature increases have been stalled since 2000. Meanwhile, the extreme summer droughts of 2011 and 2012 left many US farmers in ruins. Most climate models failed to project these phenomena correctly. US researchers now took a new attempt on finding a solution.
This project grew out of a week long workshop known as Climate Bootcamp, sponsored by the Pacific North West Climate Science Center. Graduate students, early career scientists, and people working at the science-management interface gathered from around the country to learn about the most recent advancements in climate science, practice ways to communicate climate science with broad audiences, and share expertise.
What does it mean to be plastic?
Plasticity refers to the variation in phenotypes under certain environmental conditions. This means that one genotype can translate into multiple phenotypes based on environmental change. Phenotypic plasticity is widespread in nature, and can significantly alter the relationship between organisms and their [abiotic and biotic] environment.
The evolution of plasticity
The National Climate Assessment (NCA) is a report released every four years (last assessment was in 2009) to inform Congress and the President on recent advances in climate change impacts in the United States. However, almost all of the components that go into the production of this report are made available to the public. Some of the components (e.g.