Idiospermum is otherwise known as “idiot fruit” or ribbonwood.
via Wikimedia Commons
In a few idyllic parts of Queensland grows the idiot fruit, a tall tree with intricate flowers and some of the largest seeds in Australia.
Planning and design for healthy, liveable communities in the Australian tropics can involve quite different considerations from those that apply down south.
There's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all plan for sustainable, healthy urban living. Urban diaries help identify what works – and doesn't work – for tropical cities like Cairns or Townsville.
Mangroves in the Florida Everglades.
As Earth's climate warms, mangroves are expanding north and south from tropical zones. Mangroves reinforce shorelines and store huge quantities of carbon, so protecting them is an effective climate strategy.
A supercell thunderstorm in the US state of Oklahoma.
The amount of atmospheric energy available to thunderstorms will increase in response to climate change, putting the tropics and subtropics at risk of being lashed with more intense storms.
The same beach on Henderson Island, in 1992 and 2015.
After making worldwide headlines with the story of the Pacific "garbage island", researchers were sent a photo of the same beach, white sand free of litter, as recently as 1992.
‘Tropics’ may conjure images of sun-kissed islands, but the expanding tropical zone could bring drought and cyclones further south.
The global tropical climate zone is expanding. At the current rate, by 2100 its edge will stretch from Sydney to Perth.
The southern Great Barrier Reef escaped both of the recent mass bleaching events. But time is running out.
AAP Image/ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, Tory Chase
Tropical coral reefs can be saved from climate change and other pressures, but the window of opportunity is closing. And reefs are guaranteed to be markedly different in the future.
The tropical Pacific has a large say in how fast the world warms.
If the Pacific Ocean enters an 'El Tio' phase, it could speed the world towards 1.5 degrees of global warming, one of the crucial benchmarks of the Paris Climate Agreement.
Cyclone Debbie looms over Queensland on Monday afternoon March 27.
The category 4 cyclone - the fifth storm of this year's season, and the strongest so far - has buffeted the Queensland coast across a wide area centred on Airlie Beach.
In Darwin the wet season usually arrives around Christmas Day.
Storm image from www.shutterstock.com
The Australian monsoon delivers most of northern Australia's rainfall and is a vital feature of life in the region. But why does it occur?
The Tropic of Capricorn sign in Namibia. Expansion of the tropics will have huge implications for people and nature.
The tropics are expanding at an unprecedented rate. This will have massive implications for societies, economies and the natural world.
The earth’s missing ‘fingerprint’ sits somewhere in the upper atmosphere, but for some reason eludes climatologists.
Without understanding why the 'fingerprint' has failed to appear our predictions about global warming - as carbon dioxide concentrations increase - are uncertain.
Just what the doctor ordered - more cane toads.
It sounds weird, but releasing small cane toads ahead of the main invasion front can help predators learn to avoid the biggest, most toxic ones. Here's exactly how it works.
Storm season in the Australian tropical savanna.
Australia's Great Northern Savannas are the largest and most intact ecosystem of their kind on Earth. But they still face pressure from grazing, mining and agricultural expansion.
Species lost from the eastern forests of the U.S. – from left to right: Ivory-billed Woodpecker, Passenger Pigeon, Carolina Parakeet and Bachman’s Warbler.
Alexander C. Lees ©Cornell University Museum of Vertebrates
The extinction threat you haven't heard of: several South American birds teeter on the brink of existence due to habitat loss. And history is not the best guide for how to save them.
Researchers compared the shipwreck history to tree ring data from slash pines to piece together the hurricane history over past centuries.
In an attempt to better understand hurricanes, researchers recreate hundreds of years of hurricane records with Spanish shipwreck logs and tree ring data.
At yesterday’s COP21 science briefing, University of Reading climate scientist Ed Hawkins displayed a chilling (pun intended) colour-coded world map. Nation by nation, it showed which countries are already…
Like many animals in the tropics, tree kangaroos are facing threats to their survival in the wild.
Our Tropical Future: A new report on the State of the Tropics has revealed rapid changes in human and environmental health in the Earth’s tropical regions. This is the third in a four-part series about…
Reason to smile: far fewer children are growing up in poverty in tropical regions of the world than 30 years ago.
Our Tropical Future: A new report on the State of the Tropics has revealed rapid changes in human and environmental health in the Earth’s tropical regions. This is the second in a four-part series about…
This Vietnamese school girl is growing up in a new era: by the time she is middle-aged, 60% of the world’s children will be living in a tropical region.
UN Photo/Mark Garten
Our Tropical Future: A new report on the State of the Tropics has revealed rapid changes in human and environmental health in the Earth’s tropical regions. This is the first in a four-part series about…