Ecology

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Photo Essay: Where the Trees Meet the Tundra

Due to warming climate and increasing human exploitation, far northern forests and the tundra beyond are undergoing rapid changes. In northern Alaska, scientists from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and other institutions are studying the responses of trees at the very edge of their range.

by |November 16, 2016
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Rising Temperatures Load the Dice for Megadrought Risk

As the American Southwest grows hotter, the risk of severe, long-lasting megadroughts rises, passing 90 percent this century if greenhouse gas emissions continue at their current pace, a new study from scientists at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory says. Aggressively reducing emissions can cut that risk.

by |October 5, 2016
In the Ndumo Nature Reserve in South Africa, a team dehorns a rhino, part of a desperate attempt to save the species from poaching. Photo: Wendy Hapgood

Rhino Number 100 and World Rhino Day

The sound of a chainsaw rises discordantly above all natural sounds, disrupting the quiet of a warm African winters’ day, a destructive sound at odds with the African wilderness. But it is not a tree that is being felled. It is the horn of a rhino.

by |September 22, 2016
Chak Cherdsatirkul (MSSM '11) Wetland Viewing Platform

MSSM Alumnus Designs Bird Habitat in Thailand

MSSM Alum Chak Cherdsatirul, is transforming 30 acres into a natural sanctuary for birds in Thailand. A challenge for architects, zoologists and botanists to juxtapose biodiversity concepts with aesthetic human-nature design to ultimately create a sustainable avian habitat.

by |September 1, 2016
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Wonder Where Pepperoni Went? Now We Know

Big Mac, Pepperoni, Billie Jo, Birdy Sanders, Bertie, Journey, Hippy and Twitter flew an average of about 1,215 km. “Paul,” named for a teacher who had passed away, traveled 3,220 km.

by |August 4, 2016
Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua. Photo: Hans-Petter Fjeld via Wikimedia Commons.

Climate and Cod

A new study finds that the climatological phenomenon known as the North Atlantic Oscillation contributes to fluctuations in the cod population off the New England coast, and could help fishery managers protect the population from future collapse.

by |July 27, 2016
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Balancing Development and Preservation in an Urban National Park

Nairobi National Park is the only wildlife park in the world within a city’s administrative boundaries. However, the park’s value to its greater ecosystem, as well as its role in promoting conservation throughout Kenya, are under threat due to recent urban and infrastructure developments.

by |July 14, 2016
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Crossing Boundaries for the Environment

It is not the concept of a borderless nature that should serve as a model to facilitate cross-border dialogue and cooperation. Rather, it is that nature’s systems are interconnected and their borders are open to exchange.

by |June 21, 2016
Asian elephants, like these in Sri Lanka, are sensitive to temperature. A new study explores the impact of warming on populations in the tropics. Photo: Amila Tennakoon, CC-BY-2.0

An Ecological Traffic Jam in the Warming Tropics?

The tropics are already hot, and they’re getting hotter as global temperatures rise. A new study offers a glimpse into how seriously a couple more degrees could disrupt the region’s ecological map.

by |June 9, 2016
A human skull on the left, versus a Neanderthal skull on the right. Photo via Wiki Commons.

The 2 Million Year Melee: Neanderthals vs. Humans

Given their adaptation to cold climes and their advanced, albeit under-appreciated, skills, how were Neanderthals beaten out by their human counterparts? The answer lies in a combination of culture and genetics that enabled the successful radiation of humans.

by |May 8, 2016