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Audubon MagazineAudubon Magazine

Audubon Magazine

Fall 2019

Audubon is the official magazine of the National Audubon Society. Get Audubon Magazine digital magazine subscription today for news coverage of the natural world. We help our readers appreciate, understand, and protect the environment with a particular focus on birds, other wildlife and their habitats

United States
National Audubon Society
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£18.59(Incl. tax)
4 Issues


1 min.

In July, the hottest month ever recorded globally, a severe heat wave hit Europe, sending countless Germans to seek relief at the beach (right), shutting down nuclear reactors in France, and melting ice sheets in Greenland at historic rates. We have warmed the planet by about 1 degree Celsius in the industrial era, and we’re already seeing dangerous consequences for birds and people. “Climate change isn’t this distant thing that’s going to happen to your great-grandchildren,” says NOAA climate scientist Stephanie Herring. “It’s happening today, to you.” It’s now hard, she says, to point to a heat event that scientists conclude wasn’t exacerbated by climate change. France and the Netherlands, for example, topped 105 degrees Fahrenheit during the July scorcher—temperatures made 100 times more likely by long-term warming trends. That followed oppressive…

1 min.

When Hurricane Maria battered Puerto Rico, nearly 3,000 people died and many survivors (below) lost their homes and jobs. The storm turned California-based climate scientist José Javier Hernández Ayala’s in-laws into temporary climate refugees; he housed them for three months. Maria’s rains surpassed not only those from the hurricanes he experienced growing up on the island, but also the precipitation unleashed by any of the 128 other hurricanes recorded there since 1956, Hernández Ayala reported this year. After considering El Niño and other factors, he calculated that long-term warming made Maria’s rainfall totals nearly five times more likely in Puerto Rico. The Atlantic Ocean is hotter than it’s ever been in the past century. That additional heat can fuel stronger tropical cyclones that linger longer or dump more water, says hurricane researcher…

1 min.

Sea-level rise is a slow-motion disaster that creeps up with the high tide, flooding streets and sewers and overtopping beaches and avian habitat. Sensitive coastal-nesting birds, like the rapidly declining Saltmarsh Sparrow (below) and the Eastern Black Rail, are struggling to survive on the East and Gulf coasts. And it no longer takes a major storm, or even, at times, any rain at all, to overwhelm urban infrastructure installed decades ago. Sometimes a breezy day or a full moon will do it, says NOAA oceanographer William Sweet. In the hard-hit Chesapeake Bay region, towns that experienced only one to three days of high-tide floods in 2000 are now being inundated two to three times as often. After a historic number of tidal floods in 2018, NOAA predicted a chronically waterlogged future…

1 min.

Central Americans who leave their homes for an uncertain future are often fleeing desperate poverty and violence. Yet migrants and asylum seekers from the region, such as those arriving in southern Mexico last year (right), have also suffered years of drought, and crop losses and growing food insecurity may further spur them to make the dangerous trek. These nations don’t have the historic data needed to analyze climate change’s role in recent droughts, says Edwin Castellanos, a climate scientist at Universidad del Valle de Guatemala. But his surveys of Guatemala’s farmers confirm that once-reliable daily rains in May and June, just after planting, are a thing of the past. “The models are predicting that we are going to get less rain, little by little,” he says. “What the models were predicting…

2 min.
audubon magazine

Board of Directors Maggie Walker Chair of the Board Susan Bell Vice-Chair David B. Hartwell Vice-Chair Joseph H. Ellis Secretary Karim Al-Khafaji Assistant Secretary Jeffrey Goodby Assistant Secretary Terry L. Root Assistant Secretary Phil Swan Assistant Secretary George S. Golumbeski Treasurer Ajay Shah Assistant Treasurer Jane Alexander Peter Alpert Christian T. Brown Coleman Burke Douglas T. Chang Mike Connor Michele Crist Mary Daugherty Sara Fuentes James C. Greenwood William Heck Kate James Sarah Jeffords J. Drew Lanham Richard H. Lawrence, Jr. Hector E. Morales, Jr. Susan Orr R. Cynthia Pruett Heather Singh Kathy Sullivan Stephen Tan Lili Taylor Art Wang Joseph Watts CEO & President David Yarnold Executive Staff Jose Carbonell Chief Marketing Officer Mary Beth Henson Chief Financial Officer Chermia Hoeffner Vice President, Human Resources Susan Lunden Chief of Staff Stephen Meyer Chief Operating Officer Sean O’Connor Chief Development Officer David O’Neill Chief Conservation Officer David Ringer Chief Network Officer Rebeccah Sanders Senior Vice President, States Vice Presidents Steve Abrahamson Olga Bellido de Luna Marco Carbone Stephanie Cook Natalie Dawson Kevin Duffy Deeohn Ferris Greg Goldman Sarah Greenberger Jonathan Hayes Julie Hill-Gabriel Alison Holloran Andrew Hutson Karen Hyun Samaria Jaffe Marshall…

3 min.
this is what solutions look like

When we were putting the finishing touches on this issue, Hurricane Dorian slammed into the Bahamas as a deadly category 5 storm—one of the strongest and longest-lasting hurricanes on record in the Atlantic. It then raked the U.S. shoreline from Florida to North Carolina, sending coastal populations scrambling to prepare for yet another devastating storm. Five years ago, when Audubon published its first report on birds and climate change, scientists might have observed that Dorian—which moved slowly, gathering strength from warm sea and air temperatures—is precisely the kind of extreme-weather event one would expect to see more frequently with climate change. Now, thanks to a rapidly advancing area of research called attribution science, they can calculate the extent to which climate change contributes to such an event. This is the science…