For my whole life, America’s Independence Day on July 4th was celebrated at my great uncle’s house in northeastern Connecticut (CT) on a beautiful glacial lake. Spending summer days on the lake signaled that summer had arrived and months of sunshine and warm weather were to come. In those years, I never anticipated that I would be living at that same house as a graduate student completing a PhD in paleoclimatology. To me, the lake represented the epitome of summer, but over the past couple years, I have learned much more about what lake life is.
How does climate change affect my local city of Heidelberg? To answer that question, let us have a general look at the climate and conditions in the Rhine-Neckar region, which surrounds Heidelberg. Rhine-Neckar is a region in the southwest of Germany located around the confluence of the rivers Rhine and Neckar and inhabited by around 2.5 million people . Continue reading “Tiger mosquitoes invading the Rhine rift”
When looking at traces of climate change on land, you might think about arid land, flooded villages or burning forests. But what do you have in mind when thinking about traces of climate change in the ocean? The deep ocean remains hidden for land-living creatures like us – except if you are an ocean scientist – so it is difficult to detect traces of climate change under the surface.
Drive through any national park in eastern Australia and the catastrophic bushfires of the 2019-20 summer are visible. The bush is regenerating – Zamia palms and grass trees are the first shoots to appear, little sprouts of green in the desolate landscape. Then the Eucalypts sprout, fuzzy pipe cleaner leaves on blackened trunks. But even as the bush regenerates, showing that nature always finds a way, we can’t forget what we’ve lost; 17 million hectares burned, and nearly three billion animals – mammals, reptiles, birds, and frogs – killed or displaced in the fires. Continue reading “Fire frequency and the fight to save the ‘dinosaur trees’”
Current climate research is almost routinely exposed to attacks from climate skeptics, in the social media, in public discussions, even in the elected parliaments. In the science communication modules of the summer school, key competencies in communication are trained, that are urgently needed to communicate the sometimes complex and isolated results in climate research to an interdisciplinary and possibly critical audience. Continue reading “Communicating Climate Change”