Articles on Tropics

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Idiospermum is otherwise known as “idiot fruit” or ribbonwood. via Wikimedia Commons

It’s hard to spread the idiot fruit

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. Silvia Tavares

Making a global agenda work locally for healthy, sustainable living in tropical Australia

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.
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

The world’s coral reefs are in trouble, but don’t give up on them yet

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.
In Darwin the wet season usually arrives around Christmas Day. Storm image from www.shutterstock.com

Explainer: what is the Australian monsoon?

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. Shutterstock

Africa should be worried about the expanding tropics

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. Shutterstock

Explainer: the search for Earth’s ‘missing fingerprint’

Without understanding why the 'fingerprint' has failed to appear our predictions about global warming - as carbon dioxide concentrations increase - are uncertain.
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

Will we soon see another wave of bird extinctions in the Americas?

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. Grant Harley

Shipwreck records and tree rings unveil Caribbean hurricane history – and clues to the future

In an attempt to better understand hurricanes, researchers recreate hundreds of years of hurricane records with Spanish shipwreck logs and tree ring data.
Brian Snyder/Reuters

Who feels the heat first?

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. Mark Ziembicki/markzphoto.com

Wild creatures of the tropics are being lost before they’re found

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. Mark Ziembicki

Earth’s generation next will be wealthier, but not always healthier

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

How the world is turning tropical before our eyes

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…

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