The Amazon is famous for being one of the most diverse places on Earth — its forests are home to tens of thousands of plant species alone. Now, scientists are claiming that all of these different plants may be key to the Amazon’s survival during future climate change. A study published in the journal Nature Climate Change suggests more diverse forests are better at adapting to the changing climate. Using a model that simulates tree growth in the Amazon, the researchers found that as climate change causes some trees to die off, other plants in the forest can grow in to take their place. In these cases, the composition of the forest does change, but it’s able to at least partly recover the amount of vegetation it had before.
Spacecraft gets look at Jupiter’s north pole
Seen from a different angle, Jupiter looks like a whole new world. After flying within about 2,500 miles of the planet’s cloud tops, NASA’s Juno spacecraft sent images of Jupiter’s north pole, revealing a stormy fluid-scape that looks as if it could be on a totally different gas giant. There’s surprisingly little known about Jupiter’s polar regions — and so Juno’s close-up camera work was bound to deliver a few surprises. The north pole is bluer than better-known areas of the planet, which are often dominated by red, orange and brown hues. Gone are those bands of light and dark; in their place are a whole lot of storms. Even the storms appear different — they look smaller and more clustered, unlike the squalls in other parts of Jupiter that swirl at the boundaries between the planet’s stripes of moving fluid.
Intensity of typhoons has been increasing
Typhoons that slam into land in the northwestern Pacific — especially the biggest tropical cyclones of the bunch — have gotten considerably stronger since the 1970s, a new study concludes. Overall, landfalling Asian typhoon intensity has increased by about 12 percent in nearly four decades. But the change is most noticeable for storms with winds of 130 mph or more, those in categories 4 and 5. Since 1977, they’ve gone from a once-a-year occurrence to four times a year, according to a study in the journal Nature Geoscience. The study’s lead author connects the strengthening of these storms to warmer seawater near the coasts.