Track the effects of a warming climate on Concord, Massachusetts' plants and animals. This book describes how warming temperatures have altered other aspects, from the dates when ice departs from Walden Pond in late winter, to the arrival of birds in the spring, to the populations of fish, salamanders, and butterflies that live in the woodlands.
In the acclaimed Walden Warming, Richard B Primack uses Henry David Thoreau and Walden, icons of the conservation movement, to track the effects of a warming climate on Concord, Massachusetts' plants and animals. Under the attentive eyes of Primack, the meticulous natural history notes that Thoreau made years ago are transformed from charming observations into scientific data sets. Primack finds that many wildflower species that Thoreau observed - including familiar groups such as irises, asters, and lilies - have declined in abundance or have disappeared from Concord. Primack also describes how warming temperatures have altered other aspects of Thoreau's Concord, from the dates when ice departs from Walden Pond in late winter, to the arrival of birds in the spring, to the populations of fish, salamanders, and butterflies that live in the woodlands, river meadows, and ponds. Climate change, Primack demonstrates, is already here, and it is affecting not just Walden Pond but many other places in Concord and the surrounding region. Although we need to continue pressuring our political leaders to take action, Primack urges us each to heed the advice Thoreau offers in Walden: to "live simply and wisely." In the process, we can each minimize our own contributions to our warming climate.
Richard B. Primack is professor of biology at Boston University. He is the author of Essentials of Conservation Biology and A Primer of Conservation Biology and coauthor of Tropical Rain Forests: An Ecological and Biogeographical Comparison. He lives in Newton, Massachusetts.
"Walden Warming shows compellingly how a place and its ecosystems can alter dramatically in the face of climate change." (Times Higher Education) "A constant presence throughout this book, Thoreau would be pleased to read this volume, which weaves together science, nature, ethics, and human action as part of a single whole." (Science)
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