Articles on Adaptation

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Artistic view of the evolution of elephants. From left to right, Moeritherium (30 million years old), Deinotherium (5 million years old) and a modern African elephant. Alex Bernardini (Simplex Paléo) and Sophie Vrard (Creaphi).

How did elephants evolve such a large brain? Climate change is part of the answer

A shift in climate, along with other environmental disruptions and the invasion of competitors and new predators all likely played an important role in reshaping ancient elephants' brains.
Stucco frieze from Placeres, Campeche, Mexico, Early Classic period, c. 250-600 AD. Wolfgang Sauber/Wikimedia

Misreading the story of climate change and the Maya

Many people think climate change caused Classic Maya civilization to collapse abruptly around 900 A.D. An archaeologist says that view is too simplistic and misses the bigger point.
Here’s a close-up picture of a head louse. The eggs of the female head louse are what we call ‘nits’.

Curious Kids: what’s the point of nits?!

We like to think that all creatures play a role in the local ecosystem. We're especially interested in insects that provide a benefit for people too. But that's not always how it is.
Bamboo structures on the Brahmaputra river in Majuli, northeastern India, intended to help prevent land erosion in a region experiencing erratic weather patterns and bursts of intense rainfall. AP Photo/Anupam Nath

An Indian perspective on the Poland climate meeting: Not much help for the world’s poor and vulnerable

Climate change is a serious threat now for poor people in developing countries, but the COP24 conference in Poland offered them little hope of near-term emissions cuts or economic aid.
Protecting coastal wetlands, like this slough in Florida’s Everglades National Park, is a cost-effective way to reduce flooding and storm damage. NPS/C. Rivas

Protecting wetlands helps communities reduce damage from hurricanes and storms

Coastal development is destroying marshes, mangroves and other wetlands that provide valuable protection from hurricanes and storms. Research shows these benefits can be worth millions of dollars.
Paris “under water” and other European cities facing drastic climate change should trigger planners to think urban spaces differently. S.Faric/Flickr

When climate comes unhinged, we need to re-think how to build our cities

In the future, Europe will suffer from more heat waves as well as extreme rainfall, presenting new challenges for planners and health care services. Building resilient cities can help.
Children march at the welcoming ceremony of the Conference of the Parties (COP23) in Bonn, Germany. (UNclimatechange/flickr)

How citizens are fighting climate change on the global stage

As delegates meet in Bonn for the latest rounds of climate talks, civil society, NGOs, cities, regional governments and businesses, are stepping up to work together toward climate goals.

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