Over 40% of all insects, like this tropical dragonfly, are in decline.
New data from tropical and subtropical regions suggests insects are declining thanks to dammed rivers
Meerkats on high alert.
Tracking species over their lifetimes can reveal their climate adaptation secrets.
Climate change has already made tropical oceans too hot for some marine species to survive. As they flee towards the poles, the implications for ecosystems and human livelihoods will be profound.
Hollywood movies have historically represented the tropics as lush green coasts but lurking underneath is disease and danger.
Hollywood movies have long leaned into colonial representations of the tropics: imagined as romantic palm-fringed coasts full of abundance, but also scary places full of pestilence and primitiveness.
Absolute temperatures are expected to rise more slowly in the tropics than in higher latitudes and polar regions, but the combination of heat and rising humidity will make life more challenging.
Researchers operate inexpensive drones to ‘see’ the areas with the highest likelihood of parasites.
Chelsea L. Wood/University of Washington
Schistosome worms infect hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Researchers have discovered how to use inexpensive drones to identify disease hotspots in remote African villages.
The northern hemisphere jet stream crossing Cape Breton Island in the Maritime Provinces of Eastern Canada.
The jet stream is being distorted on both sides by fast-warming tropical and Arctic air. Should the tropics win out, weather patterns could change profoundly.
During a heatwave in late 2018, Cairns temperatures topped 35°C nine days in a row and sensors at some points in the CBD recorded 45°C.
The world’s fastest-growing cities are in the tropics. They are highly exposed to climate change, especially as urban heat island effects and humidity magnify the impacts of increasing heatwaves.
Cairns Lagoon: as a good response to the tropical climate, it’s a very active place but with little business activity.
Good urban design and walkability boost local economic activity by increasing public activity, but cities need to pay more attention to the effects of microclimates on streets and public spaces.
Marine Drive in Mumbai, viewed here from across Chowpatty Beach, is an ‘accidental’ planning legacy that’s now one of the most popular places in the city.
When we plan a better future for an increasingly urbanised world, we need to be aware that more than half of all children now live in the tropics. That calls for solutions with a tropical character.
A regenerating stand of rainforest in northern Costa Rica.
Many nations are restoring degraded tropical forests to slow climate change, protect endangered species and improve rural life. But those forests often are cleared again soon afterward.
Cairns has lots of hard grey infrastructure but much less green infrastructure that would reduce the impacts of the city’s growth.
Urbanisation is the main reason for rising temperatures and water pollution, but receives little attention in discussions about the health of water streams, reefs and oceans.
Clouds roll across Samosir in northern Sumatra.
Despite its global importance, the rainy ‘Maritime Continent’ around Indonesia is hard to capture using global climate models. But fear not - new research shows how to improve our forecasts.
A vine shade structure being installed in Cavenagh Street will help cool the hottest street in Darwin city centre.
Darwin’s climate is getting even hotter and it’s one of the main reasons people leave the city. A lot more can be done, though, to make our tropical cities safe, cool and enjoyable.
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.