The Cary Institute's Environmental Monitoring Station instruments track air pollution, precipitation patterns, and solar radiation, among other things. These measurements provide a window into powerful storm systems, like Hurricane Sandy.
Projects that improve water quality by planting vacant lots, parking strips, and other urban spaces with trees and community gardens also bring people out of doors and teach local kids about their environment.
A new report warns that climate change is causing shifts in species composition faster than expected. Co-author and Cary scientist Peter Groffman comments, "cold temperatures are a critical regulator of species outbreaks and also of species distributions".
A new report says the effects of climate change are already being felt in bug-infested forests of the Intermountain West, in reduced flows of the Colorado River basin and in the amount of snow that falls in the Rocky Mountains.
Nearly every day, we read about problems caused by invaders like the emerald ash borer killing trees across New York, West Nile virus killing people across the United State (1,499 so far), zebra mussels clogging water intakes and changing the Great Lakes and Hudson River ecosystems and Burmese pythons eating everything in the Everglades.
Everybody seems to know about food webs these days — how primary producers capture the energy of the sun, and pass it along to consumers and then on to predators — but I’m not sure that most people really understand what food webs are about.