Climate Change & Anthropocene Extinction 36: Ocean plastic outpaces warming & CO2 in race to bottom

Earth’s oceans currently take up almost 50% of our CO2 emissions and absorb over 90% of the heat the other half of the CO2 traps in the atmosphere. Both ocean CO2 and heat absorption will have major consequences for deep-sea … Continue reading

Climate Change & Anthropocene Extinction 34: ‘Sahel greening’ unlikely to benefit African biodiversity

The below graph comes from a new global temperature trend study that compares different established datasets for land and ocean temperature. The results emphasize an often-overlooked phenomenon: geographically ‘skewed warming’ – leading to planet-wide precipitation shifts. Possible effects not only … Continue reading

Climate Change & Anthropocene Extinction 33: ‘Temperate biodiversity’ faces specific challenges

The response of endemic biodiversity to climate change in Earth’s temperate climate zones is complex. A new study suggests that species that have evolved in regions with relatively high natural climate variability may at the same time be more resilient … Continue reading

Climate Change & Anthropocene Extinction 31: ‘New’ great ape species – directly at risk of extinction

Say hello to Pongo tapanuliensis, or ‘the Tapanuli orangutan’ – a close relative of yourself who had been hiding in plane sight on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Sadly, unless hunting and deforestation are halted, you can also immediately say … Continue reading

Climate Change & Anthropocene Extinction 30: Heavy breathing tropical forests under record heat

Today the WMO announced that the atmospheric CO2 concentration last year rose at a record high speed: +3.3 ppm – jumping from 400.0 ppm in 2015 to 403.3 in 2016. The annual average rise is close to 2 ppm. A … Continue reading

Climate Change & Anthropocene Extinction 29: Last straw Madagascar bamboo lemur drying out

When you’re looking at the effects of climate change on the forests of Africa, you may be inclined to overlook Madagascar, the continent’s largest island. But especially when biodiversity is your concern, it deserves special attention. In fact Madagascar has … Continue reading

Climate Change & Anthropocene Extinction 27: Africa is warming fast, but what about Congo Basin?

21st century climate change affects the entire globe: every ecosystem, every mountain range, all the glaciers, all the land, the oceans. But of all continents it’s often said that Africa will face the biggest impacts. African climate change is far … Continue reading

Climate Change & Anthropocene Extinction 26: Congolese rainforests store twice as much carbon

A new study, published earlier this year in Nature, shows that the Congolese rainforests store far more carbon than previously thought: over 60 billion tonnes, about half of which in the living biomass of the forest trees, and the other … Continue reading

Climate Change & Anthropocene Extinction 25: Congo rainforest shows drying trend – and degradation

The climate over the Congolese rainforests (in the central tropics of Africa) seems to show a drying trend over the last four decades. And although this deviation is smaller than multi-annual variation, the average decline in precipitation does lead to … Continue reading

Climate Change & Anthropocene Extinction 24: Insects Germany declined 76% in just 27 years(!)

The numbers of flying insects in nature reserves throughout Germany show a staggering decline. Taken on average over the months of April to October between 1989 and 2016 insect numbers declined 76%. In mid-summer measurements show an even more rapid … Continue reading