Category Archives: Science

Surviving the winter as a tree

In much of the northern United States, temperatures are now regularly falling below freezing. For organisms made mostly of water — like you and me and all other animals and plants — this poses some problems. Many mobile creatures like … Continue reading

Posted in Science | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Spring leaf unfurling as temperatures rise

Tree leaves are unfurling earlier with increasing temperatures, but this tendency is slowing down. That was the message of an article that came out recently in the high-profile science journal Nature called “Declining global warming effects on the phenology of … Continue reading

Posted in Science | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The end of autumn

It’s early December, and in Cambridge, MA, most of the trees have shed all their leaves by now. There are exceptions: some of the red oaks are still holding on to a few crispy-dry, brown leaves (the same is true … Continue reading

Posted in Science | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Phenology and urban heat islands

Following my last post, I’d like to continue on the theme of why deciduous tree phenology is different from place to place. Last time, I discussed how phenology might be different over relatively small distances, like hundreds of feet, between … Continue reading

Posted in Science | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Human perception and autumn colors

This year seems to be the brightest and most spectacular display of autumn colors in a long time. But are we right in thinking so? We often perceive the world differently from it’s physical (absolute) reality. This is easily illustrated … Continue reading

Posted in Science | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Birds, Cones, and Climate

Some birds have very unpredictable winter ranges. One of these, the pine siskin, primarily eats seeds, and in many winters can be found throughout the boreal forests of Canada and the northern United States, where it eats the seeds of … Continue reading

Posted in Science | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Croplands affect climate

This guest post is contributed by Josh Gray, Earth & Environment Research Assistant Professor at Boston University. Natural ecosystems are the subject of the bulk of phenological research. This makes sense because we are interested in understanding the natural cues … Continue reading

Posted in Guest post, Research, Science | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment