Researchers with the Australian Antarctic Program Partnership have deployed deep-diving robots to the Southern Ocean to study climate change and have encountered some fascinating creatures in their trawls.
The federal government has issued a tender for an organization to operate a regional climate change hub for Atlantic Canada.
“The purpose of the organization is to help provide climate data, climate information to users in the provinces that are making decisions on things like investments or policy, so they can start to incorporate the impacts of climate change in those decisions,” said Jason Hollett, executive director of climate change for Nova Scotia’s Environment Department.
For the past two decades, Suzanne Simard, a professor in the Department of Forest & Conservation at the University of British Columbia, has studied mycorrhizae: the symbiotic unions of fungi and root long known to help plants absorb nutrients from soil. Beginning with landmark experiments describing how carbon flowed between paper birch and Douglas fir trees, Simard found that mycorrhizae didn’t just connect trees to the earth, but to each other as well.
Simard went on to show how mycorrhizae-linked trees form networks, with individuals she dubbed Mother Trees at the center of communities that are in turn linked to one another, exchanging nutrients and water in a literally pulsing web that includes not only trees but all of a forest’s life. These insights had profound implications for our understanding of forest ecology—but that was just the start.