ecology

How do trees affect the weather?

Sure, you know that trees have an impact on climate change: to wit, fewer trees mean more atmospheric CO2. But did you know that trees can actually impact local and immediate weather? Learn about why you should love trees even more than you do.

I was perusing the net today and came across this really cool story from Wired Magazine's online edition. It's about a Harvard University biologist who studies the tiny ecosystems of the carnivorous pitcher plant -- so named because of its shape and for the fact that it holds rainwater. Here's the deal... Studying an ecosystem is difficult for a litany of reasons, ranging from the unethical to the impractical. Scientists can observe to their hearts content, but actually making changes to the ecosystem to see what happens is another matter. We've set up things to replicate nature, like the biosphere project in Arizona, and that's worked to some degree. But you can't do any better than working in nature itself.

When it comes to shark deaths, you're the problem, jerk. You!

Chuck and I met a guy at the Georgia Aquarium recently who runs the whale shark exhibit. We asked him what the biggest threat to sharks might be -- though after having written about 100 shark articles between us, we already knew the answer. It's humans. That's right, you human jerk, you're the problem when it comes to sharks.