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How animals are coping with the global ‘weirding’ of the Earth’s seasons

This article by Dr Line Cordes, Lecturer in Marine Biology, School of Ocean Sciences is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

The UK’s weather did a somersault  in the first half of 2020, as the wettest February on record gave way to the sunniest spring. Climate change has warped the environmental conditions that might be considered normal, creating progressively weirder seasons that cause havoc for society. Longer, drier summers increase the risk of crop failure and fires, floods engulf homes, and less winter snowfall and earlier thaws threaten freshwater supplies.

Publication date: 9 July 2020

The impact of climate change on marmot survival differs between seasons

Many animals have evolved life cycles and strategies (patterns of survival and reproduction) in line with predictable seasonal variation in environmental conditions. Short and mild summers produce bursts of vegetation and food, the perfect time to give birth to young. Long, harsh winters when food is scarce have shaped animals to largely depend on fat reserves for energy, and in extreme cases, to hibernate or migrate.

However, climate change is altering these seasonal conditions to which many species are adapted. Temperatures are increasing, winter snowfall is declining, snow is melting earlier, summers are extending, and the frequency of extreme events (e.g., droughts, floods) are on the rise.

Publication date: 7 July 2020

Artificial night sky poses serious threat to coastal species

The artificial lighting which lines the world’s coastlines could be having a significant impact on species that rely on the moon and stars to find food, new research suggests.

Creatures such as the sand hopper (Talitrus saltator) orientate their nightly migrations based on the moon’s position and brightness of the natural night sky.

Publication date: 23 June 2020

Pilot programme to measure coronavirus prevalence in waste water treatment plants

A pilot programme which will flag early signs of the coronavirus in Welsh communities by monitoring sewage systems, has been awarded almost half a million pounds - the Health Minister Vaughan Gething has confirmed.

The frequent monitoring of coronavirus levels at waste water treatment plants can offer a signal of the infection rate in the community and provide early sign that coronavirus is present.

Publication date: 20 June 2020

Bangor marine energy research in UK Parliamentary briefing

UK Parliament POST on Marine Renewable Energy cited recent Bangor University research on the role of marine energy for a low-carbon, resilient, and sustainable future.

Publication date: 19 June 2020