Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid: The Fraught and Fascinating Biology of Climate Change

Basic. Sept. 2021. 304p. ISBN 9781541672420. $28. SCI
Biologist Hanson (Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees) explores ways in which plants and animals adjust to climate change, which fall into three categories: move, adapt, or die. While humans dither about what our responses should be, other species have been getting on with it. Hanson begins with a history of thought about the natural world and the carbon dioxide molecule, then delves into how nature is already shifting in response to changing climate. Not all species are doomed, he writes; the organisms that thrive will be those that display the most flexibility in response to shifts in temperature. For instance, trees can leaf out earlier in the year, and insects may be able to emerge sooner. However, birds, whose migration patterns depend on shortening or lengthening days, will arrive at the same time of year to find that their food sources have already bloomed or hatched. Sea creatures who migrate northward with warming water have the potential to upset the ecosystems they encounter along the way.
VERDICT This compelling read will spark the interest of everyone who cares about what is happening to the natural world.
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