ICYMI: From Earliest Life to the Future of the Arctic

Mar 6, 2017

Each month, we check in with the crew at Nature Podcast to see what stories they've been thinking - and talking - about. Topping the list this month are stories that span some four billion years, from the beginning of life on Earth to what the Arctic of the future will look like:

  1. Life just got older: If you look at a textbook, it will tell you that life on Earth arose about 3.5 billion years ago. But a British team has announced fossil evidence of bacteria that is at least 200 million years older.
  2. Post-ice Arctic: Remember those record low sea ice numbers
  3. While there's a chance that reducing greenhouse gas emissions could save some Arctic sea ice, ice researchers aren't banking on it. Instead, some are starting to think about what an ice-free Arctic would be like ... and what it would take to re-grow sea ice.
  4. Climate refugees: In a special issue on human migration, Nature highlights the role of climate change in creating refugees and spurring movements. And it's not a futuristic scenario; it's already happening.

Meanwhile, on a local note, scientists have designated an area of ocean south of Martha's Vineyard for long-term research and monitoring. No surprise, climate change is high on the agenda.