Category Archives: Ecology

Nature is in crisis. A UN report says short-sighted economics is to blame

Grist reports: When governments make decisions, economic considerations often trump everything else — human well-being, social connections, the health of the environment. According to a new report from the United Nations, this imbalance is driving the global biodiversity crisis and the human suffering associated with it. “Despite the diversity of nature’s values,” the report says,… Read More »

Why you should care about the insect crisis

Allie Wilkinson writes: Imagine a world without insects. You might breathe a sigh of relief at the thought of mosquito-free summers, or you might worry about how agriculture will function without pollinators. What you probably won’t picture is trudging through a landscape littered with feces and rotting corpses — what a world devoid of maggots… Read More »

Mushrooms communicate with each other using up to 50 ‘words’, scientist claims

The Guardian reports: Buried in forest litter or sprouting from trees, fungi might give the impression of being silent and relatively self-contained organisms, but a new study suggests they may be champignon communicators. Mathematical analysis of the electrical signals fungi seemingly send to one another has identified patterns that bear a striking structural similarity to… Read More »

Ecuador’s high court rules that wild animals have legal rights

Inside Climate News reports: Wild animals possess distinct legal rights, including to exist, to develop their innate instincts and to be free from disproportionate cruelty, fear and distress, Ecuador’s top court ruled in a landmark decision interpreting the country’s “rights of nature” constitutional laws. The 7-2 ruling handed down last month in Quito is believed… Read More »

Animals that sense impending catastrophes

Norman Miller writes: In 2004, a tsunami triggered by a 9.1 magnitude undersea quake off Indonesia decimated coastal communities around the Indian Ocean, killing at least 225,000 people across a dozen countries. The huge death toll was in part caused by the fact that many communities received no warning. Local manmade early warning systems, such… Read More »

Is the Amazon approaching a tipping point? A new study shows the rainforest growing less resilient

Georgina Gustin writes: The world’s largest rainforest is losing its ability to bounce back from droughts and fires, pushing it farther toward a threshold where it could transform into arid savannah, releasing dangerous amounts of greenhouse gases in the process. A study published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change found that the Amazon has… Read More »