Climate Change: Wildlife Then and Now

by Jen Petrova

As a lover of wildlife and birds, Franzen begins his article by questioning the effects of climate change on birds. Many reputable sources deem that bird biodiversity and populations will be endangered by climate change, however Franzen argues that birds are capable of adapting. In fact, argues that North American birds may become even more diverse due to climate change. Needless to say, Franzen is not convinced of the immediate threat to birds that global warming presents. In this article, he explores climate change in relation to democracy, Peru, and Costa Rica. Continue reading

Climate Change and Endemic Species

 

by Marina de Castro Deus

The great increase of species extinctions due to human-related habitat destruction, pollution, overharvesting and global climate change, often force conservationists to choose which species to help. Usually species that are poor dispersers, with few populations, low reproduction rates, or very specific environmental requirements, reproductive site or feeding habits, are most vulnerable to extinction. Endemic species, limited to a specific habitat, fall under the list of vulnerable species, small changes in their niche, including temperature, can be enough to destabilize the population to the point of extinction. Continue reading

Blooms at Lower pH Levels Could Upset Ocean’s Acidification Cycle

by Max Breitbarth

Ocean acidification—the absorption of atmospheric CO2 by the ocean—has increased due to anthropogenic emissions of CO2, resulting in growing concentrations of CO2 in our oceans. Flynn et al. (2015) created models based on projections of increasing ocean acidity to explore the effects of algae blooms at decreasing pH levels and the effects of these blooms on phytoplankton populations that keep the ocean’s acidity within a manageable spectrum. Continue reading

Can Mass Communication and Marketing Affect Climate Change Intervention?

by Pedro Ureña

The negative effect that climate change has on the well-being of our planet is well known and agreed upon throughout the science community. Gradual increases in global temperature have led to severe changes in weather patterns– including excessive rainfall in some areas and devastating drought in others– that are growing increasingly difficult to ignore due to their negative effects on public health. Some of these effects include injuries, fatalities and an increased vulnerability to certain waterborne and foodborne illnesses. Despite this common understanding of the direct and indirect negative effects of climate change, the general public does not often view climate change as a threat to public health. According to Maibach et al. (2008), properly influencing climate change-related behaviors amongst the population needs to be done through mass communication and marketing–in other words, spreading pertinent information to those who lack it. Continue reading

The Economy of Climate Change

by Alejandro Sandell-Gandara

In “Economists: Climate Change is Going to Cost a Lot More than Previously Thought”, Chelsea Harvey analyses a survey published by New York University School of Law’s Institute for Policy Integrity. The survey report shows answers from more than 300 experts on how climate change is impacting the world economy.

The survey asked economists a series of questions including when and how the economy will be influenced by climate change and how Unites States policy can influence international action. The report also compared the results to those from a survey conducted on the American public by MIT. Continue reading

Scientific Skepticism Due to Prior Attitudes and Implicit Biases

by Jen Petrova

Why is it that certain people are skeptical about scientific facts and data? Are there any overlying trends that show that certain groups of people are more likely to be skeptical about climate change than others? Kraft, Lodge, and Taber (2015) found that religion is not the only factor that plays into climate change skepticism; political ideology and partisanship affect how people react to scientific facts as well. These authors came to the conclusion that conservatives are more likely than liberals to be scientifically skeptical due to their prior attitudes, affect-driven motivated reasoning, and biased attitude formation. Continue reading

Verbal Warming: Labels in the Climate Change Debate

by Owen Dubeck

Justin Gillis discusses a movement to alter the terminology used by the media to describe climate change deniers. Mark B. Boslough, a New Mexican physicist, started the movement with an open letter urging the phrase “climate skeptic” to be discontinued. His letter gained support from Bill Nye and Lawrence M. Kraus. There is now a petition with 22,000 signatures to make the phrase “climate denier” a convention for news outlets. Continue reading