The Beans that Will Survive Climate Change

by Abby Schantz 

Concerns about climate change are high on peoples’ minds around the globe, but not many consider the changes it is already beginning to cause in food production. Dan Charles of NPR discusses bean production in his article, “Meet the Cool Beans Designed To Beat Climate Change.” It is estimated that approximately 400 million people globally rely on beans for nourishment. This is problematic because most beans, including the common ones–pinto, black and kidney–cannot survive in temperatures that remain above 66 degrees throughout the night. A Colombian scientist, Alvaro Mejia-Jimenez was intrigued by a bean indigenous to communities in the American Southwest, the tepary bean. Continue reading

Projecting the Frequency of Heat Waves in the 21st Century over the Paris Basin

by Amelia Hamiter

The high mortality of the 2003 heat wave in France, and its particularly severe impact in the Paris basin, has drawn attention to the importance of considering heat wave occurrences of the future. Evaluating heat waves in the Paris region from 1951-2009 and using several climate change and emissions scenarios to model future heat wave possibilities, Lemonsu et al. (2014) predict that the frequency of heat wave occurrences in the target area will increase systematically with time and global warming, and that the durations of these heat waves will grow. Continue reading