Most people know that global warming spells bad news for polar bears and other creatures that depend on Arctic sea ice. But it could have an unexpected effect on a kind of animal rarely considered in climate change debates: crocodiles. According to a new study, climate change could lead to a huge population increase and diversification of crocodile species in North America and Europe.
The snowpack in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains has hit a level “unprecedented” in the past 500 years due to the state’s historic drought, according to new research. For the study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, researchers compared the snowpack on April 1 with estimates from the last 500 years derived from tree ring studies. Tree rings provide a window into the climate of centuries past, expanding during warm periods and decreasing in size during cold periods. Of course, higher temperatures prevent precipitation from landing as snowfall and keep snow from accumulating.