The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
By Dan Nosowitz
Scientists from North Carolina State University stumbled into a weird paradox while analyzing certain high-altitude bees in the Rocky Mountains.
The team studied three species of bees in the subalpine regions of the Mountain West along with 43 years of local flower bloom data in order to understand how climate change might affect the pollinators.
The first part of their findings is very predictable: over the past four decades, warmer temperatures and less snowfall has led to longer growing seasons, with flowers blooming earlier and lasting later into the year.
This sounds good for bees, right? Wrong. The research also found that these exact circumstances (hotter days, longer seasons, less precipitation) correlate with the exact opposite: the bees, though reliant on flowers, do much worse. What gives?
It turns out that a longer flowering season does not necessarily mean a better flowering season. Why? It's not that plants are producing more flowers, or longer-lasting flowers—they're producing the same amount of flowers over a longer period. And that means there are chunks of time when there are fewer flowers than before. It's as if you took your normal lunch and extended it to six hours, instead of one. Your lunch break might be longer, but you still have the same amount of food.
The study doesn't really provide any solutions, but it does add to the growing body of information regarding how plants and animals—including especially important pollinators—are reacting to climate change.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Modern Farmer.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Get ready to toast bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. National Pollinator Week is June 17-23 and it's a perfect time to celebrate the birds, bugs and lizards that are so essential to the crops we grow, the flowers we smell, and the plants that produce the air we breathe.
The U.S Forest Service unveiled a new plan to skirt a major environmental law that requires extensive review for new logging, road building, and mining projects on its nearly 200 million acres of public land. The proposal set off alarm bells for environmental groups, according to Reuters.
By Teju Adisa-Farrar & Raul Garcia
In the summer of 1969 a banner hung over a set of condemned homes in what was then the predominantly black and brown Brookland neighborhood in Washington, DC. It read, "White man's roads through black men's homes."
Earlier in the year, the District attempted to condemn the houses to make space for a proposed freeway. The plans proposed a 10-lane freeway, a behemoth of a project that would divide the nation's capital end-to-end and sever iconic Black neighborhoods like Shaw and the U Street Corridor from the rest of the city.
Michigan prosecutors dropped all criminal charges against government officials involved in the Flint water crisis Thursday, citing concerns about the investigation they had inherited from the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) appointed by former Attorney General Bill Schuette, CNN reported.