Water problems are solvable. None of the many challenges are outside of the ability of human-kind to respond and resolve. As with so many things, political will and money are needed, but the International Water Forum at the UN took it further; the general public has to understand and care before the political will and money will materialize. And the way to the general public’s heart is through effective communication.
Read more about the Iconic Nile Crocodile, Honeyguide Brood Parasitism, Vibrations of a Hummingbird, and Flying Snails in this week’s edition of The Critter Corner.
Organisms in the natural world are constantly striving to avoid predation. Some prey depend on morphological characters to outsmart a worthy predator, utilizing camouflage or mimicry to avoid detection; others must engage in battle, relying on agility or strength. The Venezuela pebble toad, however, has an extremely peculiar defense mechanism: it rolls itself into the shape of a rock and bounces haphazardly down a hill.
Rising sea levels caused by global warming could displace millions of people worldwide who are living on low-lying coastlines, and it may prove fatal to some small island nations. At a conference at Columbia Law School, legal experts explored the implications for the people whose homelands could become uninhabitable within a matter of decades.
People understand that weather can affect certain markets — especially energy prices and other commodities — but its impact on portfolios more broadly might surprise. Just last week, a new study was released that estimated $485 billion of annual weather-related economic impact in the United States alone. Another calculated the effect at nearly 10 times that amount [...]
Index insurance could help small-scale farmers build wealth and cope with climate change, but more accurate weather and climate data is needed for index insurance to catch on, writes Daniel Osgood, a scientist at Columbia University’s International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI). In a new piece in Nature Geoscience, Osgood and colleagues outline [...]
Africa lags the developed world in weather stations but still produces a surprising amount of data. Too bad few people are using it. Scientists at Columbia University and a growing number of others—among them Bill Gates and the charity arm of Google—are pushing to open Africa’s climate archive to the world by making it free. [...]
Whether waddling amongst its young in snowy Antarctica or swimming in the northern shores of the Galápagos Islands, the familiar image of the penguin, with its black and white tuxedo is truly iconic. The Little Blue Penguin, however, reminds evolutionary biologists and wildlife enthusiasts that the world is rarely black and white.
In the biological world, both within and between species, adaptive progress and success are relative. This notion of evolutionary relativism is known as the Red Queen Effect, a term derived from the Red Queen’s race in Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Caroll.
Notably absent from this week’s program is any planned dialogue regarding energy demand and water supply, two issues whose inverse trajectories are threatening the environmental and economic futures of both nations.