Archive by category | Roberta Kwok

Picture post: ‘thermal microhabitats’

Picture post: 'thermal microhabitats'

Cross-posted from The Great Beyond At a talk yesterday in Washington, plant ecologist Christian Körner showed just how variable temperatures can be in the mountains, even between patches of land that are close together. This could offer possible escape routes for animals impacted by global warming, as potentially they wouldn’t have to move as far as people think to reach a cooler place to live, he says. Korner’s lab explains the image as follows: Using a high resolution thermal imaging camera, this picture illustrates the large variation of temperatures in an alpine landscape at 2500m elevation in the Swiss Alps.  Read more

Holy snakes!

Holy snakes!

Posted on behalf of Roberta Kwok Scientists have found a new way to estimate past climate: snakes. In case you haven’t seen the media flurry, researchers have uncovered the remains of a gigantic snake in northeastern Colombia (which news outlets have described as “” http://features.csmonitor.com/discoveries/2009/02/04/prehistoric-one-ton-super-snake-ate-alligators-for-lunch">Super-snake", “”http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gvMX4MXQYzy22YM8gMEBTIUR6lFQ">Bus-sized boa", and “”http://www2.canada.com/technology/columnists/grandaddy+snake+world+unearthed+colombia/1252613/story.html?id=1252613">Granddaddy of the snake world", among other things). The newly named Titanoboa cerrejonensis would have measured 13 metres long and weighed about 1,135 kilograms, making it the biggest known snake, living or extinct. Why does this matter for climate predictions? The snake lived 58 to 60 million years ago, around the Palaeocene  … Read more