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Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid: The Fraught and Fascinating Biology of Climate Change

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A beloved natural historian explores how climate change is driving evolution   In Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid, biologist Thor Hanson tells the remarkable story of how plants and animals are responding to climate change: adjusting, evolving, and sometimes dying out. Anole lizards have grown larger toe pads, to grip more tightly in frequent hurricanes. Warm waters cau A beloved natural historian explores how climate change is driving evolution   In Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid, biologist Thor Hanson tells the remarkable story of how plants and animals are responding to climate change: adjusting, evolving, and sometimes dying out. Anole lizards have grown larger toe pads, to grip more tightly in frequent hurricanes. Warm waters cause the development of Humboldt squid to alter so dramatically that fishermen mistake them for different species. Brown pelicans move north, and long-spined sea urchins south, to find cooler homes. And when coral reefs sicken, they leave no territory worth fighting for, so aggressive butterfly fish transform instantly into pacifists.  A story of hope, resilience, and risk, Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid is natural history for readers of Bernd Heinrich, Robin Wall Kimmerer, and David Haskell. It is also a reminder of how unpredictable climate change is as it interacts with the messy lattice of life.


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A beloved natural historian explores how climate change is driving evolution   In Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid, biologist Thor Hanson tells the remarkable story of how plants and animals are responding to climate change: adjusting, evolving, and sometimes dying out. Anole lizards have grown larger toe pads, to grip more tightly in frequent hurricanes. Warm waters cau A beloved natural historian explores how climate change is driving evolution   In Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid, biologist Thor Hanson tells the remarkable story of how plants and animals are responding to climate change: adjusting, evolving, and sometimes dying out. Anole lizards have grown larger toe pads, to grip more tightly in frequent hurricanes. Warm waters cause the development of Humboldt squid to alter so dramatically that fishermen mistake them for different species. Brown pelicans move north, and long-spined sea urchins south, to find cooler homes. And when coral reefs sicken, they leave no territory worth fighting for, so aggressive butterfly fish transform instantly into pacifists.  A story of hope, resilience, and risk, Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid is natural history for readers of Bernd Heinrich, Robin Wall Kimmerer, and David Haskell. It is also a reminder of how unpredictable climate change is as it interacts with the messy lattice of life.

30 review for Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid: The Fraught and Fascinating Biology of Climate Change

  1. 4 out of 5

    Elentarri

    I usually love the books Thor Hanson writes, but this one is a bit of a disappointment. This book didn't contain anything I didn't already know even though some of the examples used were new to me. The topics discussed were also covered in a rather superficial manner and I dearly wanted to know more about the topics and also more examples. I found the first two chapters were incredibly boring, and the last three chapters the most interesting. If you know nothing about the effects of climate chan I usually love the books Thor Hanson writes, but this one is a bit of a disappointment. This book didn't contain anything I didn't already know even though some of the examples used were new to me. The topics discussed were also covered in a rather superficial manner and I dearly wanted to know more about the topics and also more examples. I found the first two chapters were incredibly boring, and the last three chapters the most interesting. If you know nothing about the effects of climate change on animals and plants you might find this book interesting, but otherwise this is a superficial and weak offering with nothing new to add to the discussion. It's basically a bland salad instead of a decent meal you can sink your teeth into. Sorry, Dr. Hanson, but your books on seeds, feathers and bees were much better than this one. NOTE: I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid by Thor Hanson is enjoyable and accessible science writing that will appeal to a large demographic. “When complex ideas are attached to a narrative, they immediately become more relatable,” Hanson writes in his introduction. And he does a marvelous job of telling stories of climate change’s impact on species whose ecosystems are changing, the species changing, or dying, in response. And as Hanson takes us across the world, the book is an ecological travelogue. Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid by Thor Hanson is enjoyable and accessible science writing that will appeal to a large demographic. “When complex ideas are attached to a narrative, they immediately become more relatable,” Hanson writes in his introduction. And he does a marvelous job of telling stories of climate change’s impact on species whose ecosystems are changing, the species changing, or dying, in response. And as Hanson takes us across the world, the book is an ecological travelogue. We humans have known climate change has been happening, yet continued to believe it was ‘coming.’ Changing our lives and cultures hasn’t happened. And now, plants and animals across the globe are showing us that the change is already here. They are modifying their behaviors, even if we haven’t. We are seeing before our eyes rapid changes in climate and shifting ecosystems. What can we learn from species adapting to these changes? Hanson visits Waldon Pond, a major source of harvested ice in Thoreau’s time, while he found ice barely 2″ thick in February. He tells stories of the “greatest redistribution of species since the last ice age,” as Gretta Pecl stated. Some plants and animals “roll with the punches.” That gives some hope. The book is illustrated with photographs. The ‘hurricane lizards,’ for instance, are shown during a wind test to see how they coped with gale force winds. Those with the largest toe pads could cling better. Those lizards survived the hurricanes. The book is as enjoyable to read as it is informative.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jammin Jenny

    I thought this was a very original look at the impact of climate change, especially on different species of animal and plants. Very thought provoking. I received an e-ARC of this book by the author and publishing via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion regarding the book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Chantal Lyons

    I enjoyed this book, but I wanted more. 'Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid' is a pleasing addition to the pop science shelf. Hanson is skilled at communicating his and others' science, and I appreciated how he so often "grounded" the reader with personal scenes involving him visiting a certain place, or examining the fauna and floral in his local area. There's also some great one-liners on the scientific process. Where the book feels thinner is the proportion spent on actual case studies and e I enjoyed this book, but I wanted more. 'Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid' is a pleasing addition to the pop science shelf. Hanson is skilled at communicating his and others' science, and I appreciated how he so often "grounded" the reader with personal scenes involving him visiting a certain place, or examining the fauna and floral in his local area. There's also some great one-liners on the scientific process. Where the book feels thinner is the proportion spent on actual case studies and examples. Very few species and ecosystems are looked at in any real detail (the "plastic squid" barely get a page, if I recall). It honestly feels like a bit of a rush job. I don't know if this is partly down to the pandemic - in the book, the author frequently bemoans not being able to travel to certain places and having to speak to people by phone instead - but I wish it had been given more time to fully develop. It feels more like a novella of science writing, instead. Given how rapidly the story of climate and our planet is changing, I'm certain there's plenty more to write on "climate change biology" - this book has whetted my appetite, but it hasn't satisfied it. (With thanks to Perseus Books and NetGalley for this ebook in exchange for an honest review)

  5. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid  caught my eye immediately, not only for its title but for its subject: climate change biology.  Although  humans have the ability to escape within our heads and pretend things which are happening aren’t, really,   plants and other animals live much closer to Earth and cannot remove themselves from facts. When faced with the threat of climate change, they must either move, adapt, or die.   I have previously read of how some plants and animals have adapted to in Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid  caught my eye immediately, not only for its title but for its subject: climate change biology.  Although  humans have the ability to escape within our heads and pretend things which are happening aren’t, really,   plants and other animals live much closer to Earth and cannot remove themselves from facts. When faced with the threat of climate change, they must either move, adapt, or die.   I have previously read of how some plants and animals have adapted to intense environmental challenges created by human activity (Unnatural Selection),  was eager to dive into this one.  Given the complexities of global ecosystems,  it’s not surprising to learn that altered circumstances are throwing things into disarray: one potentially disastrous trend is inducing mismatches between plant blooms and the re-emergence of their pollinators.  The struggle for survival is not a recent development, though, and  both flora and fauna alike are altering themselves to survive: starfish are withering in the warming waters of the Eastern seaboard, but now able to expand into northern waters once too frigid for their tolerance.  At least a quarter of the Earth’s animal population is actively on the move, changing its ranges, and possibly up to 80% of populations are in flux. Plants, too, are getting in on the action – trees moving their ranges uphill, or dandelions altering their leave shapes.  Although  the weirding effect is potentially catastrophic, it’s also an exciting if unnerving time to be a biologist, given the extraordinary display of plasticity we now have the opportunity to witness. 

  6. 4 out of 5

    jeremy

    an intriguing look into the science of climate change biology, thor hanson's hurricane lizards and plastic squid chronicles imperiled species and the fascinating ways they are adapting (or not) to rapidly evolving conditions. hanson blends scientific reporting and first-hand accounts to offer several examples of fauna and flora fighting for their very lives. rather than another bleak, distressing look into anthropogenic climate change itself, hurricane lizards and plastic squid instead focuses o an intriguing look into the science of climate change biology, thor hanson's hurricane lizards and plastic squid chronicles imperiled species and the fascinating ways they are adapting (or not) to rapidly evolving conditions. hanson blends scientific reporting and first-hand accounts to offer several examples of fauna and flora fighting for their very lives. rather than another bleak, distressing look into anthropogenic climate change itself, hurricane lizards and plastic squid instead focuses on the myriad ways some specific plants and animals are acclimating and adjusting to the new and shifting realities of our warming, changing world. the speed of climate change is a large part of what makes it a crisis. but for scientists, farmers, birdwatchers, gardeners, backyard naturalists, and anyone with an interest in nature, it also creates an opportunity. never before have people been in a position to witness such a radical biological event, and if the early results are any indication, it has a great deal to teach us. because just as the planet is changing faster than anyone expected, so too are the plants and animals that call it home. 3.5 stars

  7. 4 out of 5

    Audrey H.

    Hurricane Lizards & Plastic Squid is Hanson’s newest popular science book, which covers climate change biology - how species are responding to rapid changes in global temperature. It is roughly split into three sections - the challenges (ecological mismatches, narrowing habitats, declining opportunities for specialists), the responses (move, adapt, evolve, take refuge) and what we might be able to anticipate for the future (not much). While this is some super accessible science writing, I also fo Hurricane Lizards & Plastic Squid is Hanson’s newest popular science book, which covers climate change biology - how species are responding to rapid changes in global temperature. It is roughly split into three sections - the challenges (ecological mismatches, narrowing habitats, declining opportunities for specialists), the responses (move, adapt, evolve, take refuge) and what we might be able to anticipate for the future (not much). While this is some super accessible science writing, I also found it… super boring. I feel like I’d peripherally heard of most of the ideas here, and the repeated format got old (talking about a scientist, a sentence or two on what they look like, and Hanson’s method of communication with them, their graduate studies, a quote, and then a picture insert). Typically I like it when science authors bring in the human aspect of a research project (Elizabeth Kolbert does it really well), but it didn’t feel engaging here. I think part of this is due to Hanson’s rapid movement through different examples. Nothing is talked about for super long; “plastic squid” literally got half a page! I think focusing on fewer examples would have been better. I have found that a lot of new books about climate change have let go of the let-us-do-better tone, and have instead embraced the we-fucked-up-we-got-ourselves-here-now-what slant. The latter has really resonated with me, so Hanson’s cautiously optimistic and hopeful viewpoint felt flat. I know Hanson is well-loved and have seen his book covers everywhere, but I’m honestly hesitant to try anything else by him. If others felt similar about this book, but liked his older stuff - let me know! 2.5 stars, generously rounded up. I voluntarily obtained a digital version of this book free from Netgalley and Perseus Books in exchange for an honest review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Marianne

    I loved this! It's clear-minded and the examples are useful and the structure makes sense and the voice is warm and funny and encouraging. Also it was surprisingly heartening to think about climate change as a thing that is happening that we are studying rather than solely as the disaster that it inarguably is - easier to not get swept up in a doomful overwhelm that way. Will definitely be reading more of Hanson's books. (note: I read an advance reader's edition provided by the publisher.) I loved this! It's clear-minded and the examples are useful and the structure makes sense and the voice is warm and funny and encouraging. Also it was surprisingly heartening to think about climate change as a thing that is happening that we are studying rather than solely as the disaster that it inarguably is - easier to not get swept up in a doomful overwhelm that way. Will definitely be reading more of Hanson's books. (note: I read an advance reader's edition provided by the publisher.)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    Thanks to Netgalley and Basic Books for a copy in exchange for a fair and honest review. Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid is an accessible look into how nature is adapting (or isn't) to climate change, and what the implications of these adaptations are. I'm a biochemist with a bare grasp on ecology. Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid never seemed to oversimplify the research results, nor did it make it too hard to understand without extra ecology reading. I appreciate that in any science-bas Thanks to Netgalley and Basic Books for a copy in exchange for a fair and honest review. Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid is an accessible look into how nature is adapting (or isn't) to climate change, and what the implications of these adaptations are. I'm a biochemist with a bare grasp on ecology. Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid never seemed to oversimplify the research results, nor did it make it too hard to understand without extra ecology reading. I appreciate that in any science-based book. The stories told to emphasize the points made were interesting and not too long or short. I think they'd be understandable to anyone with a basic science education, which is a feat of science communication. Hanson's communication style is clear and relaxed. It tells the facts, but not in such detail that it feels like reading an academic paper. The focus of the book is different than anything I've seen in books about climate change. The author offers a new perspective on climate change without undermining or feeling the need to lengthily debate the seriousness of the situation. I recommend Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid to anyone with a serious interest in science or a mild interest in ecology and climate change.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sayani

    Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid: The Fraught and Fascinating Biology of Climate Change by Thor Hanson PUBLISHERS: Basic Books ISBN-13: 9781541672420 ON SALE: September 28th 2021 PAGE COUNT: 304 The joy of receiving an ARC of an upcoming Thor Hanson book has been one of the happiest moments of 2021 for me. His previous books on seeds, feathers, and bees rekindled my interest in plant biology from my undergraduate days and a specific interest in honeybees. The upcoming book is an account of the bio Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid: The Fraught and Fascinating Biology of Climate Change by Thor Hanson PUBLISHERS: Basic Books ISBN-13: 9781541672420 ON SALE: September 28th 2021 PAGE COUNT: 304 The joy of receiving an ARC of an upcoming Thor Hanson book has been one of the happiest moments of 2021 for me. His previous books on seeds, feathers, and bees rekindled my interest in plant biology from my undergraduate days and a specific interest in honeybees. The upcoming book is an account of the biological factors that come into play concerning climate change. The book has four parts discussing a) culprits, b) challenges, c) responses, and d) results of global warming and its effects on the ecosystem. A cursory glance through studies on evolution from a historical standpoint, the formulation of the idea of “punctuated equilibrium” which tells us that evolutionary change occurs in sudden and rapid bursts followed by long periods of stability, and 18th and 19th-century studies on the nature of carbon dioxide by chemists like Arrhenius, Priestley, and Tyndall comprise the short first part as an introduction into the causative agents of increasing temperatures. In Hanson’s usual style, these chapters have his own experiments sometimes carried out with his son Noah and add a touch of relatability to the reader. I was intrigued to learn about Henry David Thoreau’s data on the flora and fauna around Walden Pond which makes for a time capsule of phenology (the study of seasonal changes). This data is being used to compare with modern flowering and nesting observations for changing climate. Hanson’s books always inspire you to think about your neighbourhood and observe the nature around you more closely. And just like in the Walden Pond, an Alstonia tree outside my window has been blooming early in the autumn because of warming seasons. These early flowering species confuse the pollinators (birds and bees) who come late in the season to find the end of blooming. Such a phenomenon is called “time mismatches” by biologists. On the other hand, high temperatures are shifting organisms from their feeding grounds gradually sometimes causing overlap of species in a particular zone. Throughout these disadvantageous situations, organisms show tendencies to adapt and find new ways to be resilient until they can’t do it anymore. That’s when populations start dropping dead. Just check out the case of the mountain pine beetles in North America chomping their way northward due to warm winters and leaving behind dead timber in their wake. The problem is multifactorial as often a biological problem is. Warmer temperatures, in summary, are narrowing habitat overlap, increasing threats of predation, microbes, and parasites, and declining specialist organisms while opportunists struggle to survive. So what are animals and plants doing currently as temperatures increase? They are responding by moving, adapting, evolving, and taking refuge. This constitutes the third part of the book and the most interesting of all. Here’s a statistic to consider. All over the world between 25–85% of all species are in the process of relocating as a result of climate change. Sound familiar? Humans are on the move too. Hanson provides a tiny remark towards the end of the book about how humans responded to the Little Ice Age and it resulted in human migration due to economic adversity. Though it was a long spell of freezing temperatures it was a drastic climate change that had a domino effect on the socio-economic makeup of the 17th-century world. For a delightful study pick up Global Crisis by Geoffrey Parker. A team of scientists in 2017 had an opportunity to study lizard populations in the Caribbean and note their behaviour following Hurricane Irma and Maria. The team used leaf-blowers to test how lizards held onto surfaces at various wind speeds. Ingenious experiment for an ingenious trait evolved on islands prone to hurricanes. The result showed lizards that survived the hurricane had larger sticky toepads and longer forelimbs to hold onto branches than the lizards observed before the hurricane. The traits for holding onto branches firmly were selected. A massively popular scientific finding brought hundreds of viewers online to see the lizards in action. The finding was published in Nature titled Hurricane-induced selection on the morphology of an island lizard. Natural selection at work within a few generations can be reversible too in which case the traits might disappear and reappear according to the needs. The final part of the book discusses the unpredictability of climate change models and how despite that artificial intelligence is helping in predicting habitat and range shifts of particular animals. Hanson writes about ways that paleobotany, paleogeography, and study of ice cores in polar caps provide a glimpse into the mass extinctions that occurred in the past and what can be learned from them. The author presses on a crucial point that past events have shown rapid climate change coupled with environmental stressors amplified in mass extinctions in certain cases and others only modest adaptations by species. The future of climate change science is exciting and full of possibilities. How changing climate patterns cause genetic drifts is yet to be explored on a massive scale so merry things for upcoming undergrads in universities. So where does this leave the reader? Doing every bit you can to be mindful of the changes around you. That is where the book concludes. The book is not at par with the previous books by Hanson but certainly provides compact information about how species react to their changing surroundings and the latest research concerning it. A valuable bibliography section at the end and numerous references are helpful for biologists but might leave the non-specialist reader wanting a bit more.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    Descriptions of climate change for general readers often focus on broad trends and begin with a healthy dose of general chemistry and physics. While this may seem to be “beginning at the beginning” for a specialist, for general readers new to the material, it can be deadly dull. Hanson avoids this by writing more in the voice of an old fashioned naturalist, describing the personal pleasure of observing nature. He organizes the book around basic principles of how climate change affects organisms Descriptions of climate change for general readers often focus on broad trends and begin with a healthy dose of general chemistry and physics. While this may seem to be “beginning at the beginning” for a specialist, for general readers new to the material, it can be deadly dull. Hanson avoids this by writing more in the voice of an old fashioned naturalist, describing the personal pleasure of observing nature. He organizes the book around basic principles of how climate change affects organisms and provides interesting, if brief examples. Not exhaustive by any means but fun to read and a good starting place for someone who is not a specialist in this area. I like the concrete examples that may even inspire readers to attempt their own observations and investigations.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Toni

    A natural history for our planet during this time of climate change showing us how animals are adapting to their changing environments. Possibly using this resilience to give us a sign of hope yet also showing that inhabitants of this planet ,too, we must adapt and change. Those who do not change may no longer exist. Each essay examines a different example of these new adaptations.Written in terms easy enough for the non-scientist yet with enough depth for fellow naturalists.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lily

    This is a review of the ARC provided by NetGalley. The book focuses on how global warming is affecting nature and wildlife now, compared to documented history. Every chapter is structured as: first, an into from the fascinating life of the author, with beautiful nature descriptions and his amazing experiences. Then a history/biology lesson of a specific area, followed by how rising temperatures has changed this area or species. Warmer climate is affecting how animals eat, breed, migrate and change This is a review of the ARC provided by NetGalley. The book focuses on how global warming is affecting nature and wildlife now, compared to documented history. Every chapter is structured as: first, an into from the fascinating life of the author, with beautiful nature descriptions and his amazing experiences. Then a history/biology lesson of a specific area, followed by how rising temperatures has changed this area or species. Warmer climate is affecting how animals eat, breed, migrate and change shape. An interesting example given of starfish, that the increase of the water temperature causes an epidemic outburst that kills them. Migration of birds, sea animals and even trees(!) causes a change in the new environment they invaded, as it does the one they left behind. Climate change isn't new, we had many ups and downs in history but some vegetation and aminals made it through. This time it is happening too fast. Only in the conclusion the author addresses what we can one person do to help slow it down, simply - everything we can. We must change our habits, and if everyone makes small steps it will add up. Overall it was very interesting to learn about the behavior of different kinds of animals, the book has many pictures, and I learned about the amazing sea butterflies, go look them up! The science was a bit heavy and I didn't understand it all, so I don't think it addresses the wide public. There were no hyperlinks to the studies addressed.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Yanique Gillana

    4 stars I am grateful to Perseus Books for sending me an advanced copy of this book for early review. I have been enjoying reading more climate non-fiction recently, and I'm really glad that I picked this one up. It was short, concise, and well structured. I think the conversational tone in this book made its science heavy content accessible and enjoyable, and I would be interested in reading more from this author. This book presented some interesting concepts and addressed some common misconcep 4 stars I am grateful to Perseus Books for sending me an advanced copy of this book for early review. I have been enjoying reading more climate non-fiction recently, and I'm really glad that I picked this one up. It was short, concise, and well structured. I think the conversational tone in this book made its science heavy content accessible and enjoyable, and I would be interested in reading more from this author. This book presented some interesting concepts and addressed some common misconceptions. Primarily, it discusses the responses various organisms have to climate change; however, it points out the errors in assuming that the response is always detrimental and that these changes happen gradually. Hanson provides us with a good selection of examples from trees to birds, lizards, squid, and even bears. These examples show how things in nature are constantly adjusting and while some of these adjustments aren't sustainable, sometimes creatures are able to accommodate the changes. The overall tone of this book was optimistic. By giving a variety of examples and outcomes, Hanson is able to address a serious and difficult topic like climate change in a way that is not fatalistic and condemning. I enjoyed this and would recommend to anyone who wants a shorter climate non-fiction read that is both informative and enjoyable.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tawney

    Thor Hanson has chosen to illustrate basic survival strategies used by living things when their environment changes. In this case the changes are due to a warming world. He decided to use storytelling as his vehicle because we remember stories. The stories concentrate on what is happening or has happened recently. It explains the varieties and limits of adaptation occurring as the climate changes. I feel this book is a good introduction for those who find the subject interesting, but don't want Thor Hanson has chosen to illustrate basic survival strategies used by living things when their environment changes. In this case the changes are due to a warming world. He decided to use storytelling as his vehicle because we remember stories. The stories concentrate on what is happening or has happened recently. It explains the varieties and limits of adaptation occurring as the climate changes. I feel this book is a good introduction for those who find the subject interesting, but don't want heavy science or controversy. Hanson's style is also suited to younger readers, even some middle school students. Although it is easy reading and seems light on detail there is actually a lot of information about the science within the stories. There is welcome emphasis on the interconnectedness of life and where it exists. Adaptation is ongoing and includes all of us. It doesn't hurt to know some basics about it. A glossary, some interesting notes and a bibliography are included. I received this book compliments of Perseus Books, Basic Books and NetGalley.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Johanna Beachy

    Hanson creates an easy to follow exploration of climate change and its effect on various species. This book take a look at how different species of plants and, particularly. animals are evolving before our very eyes in order to deal with the effects of climate change. It also takes in interesting approach to extinction in the animal kingdom, discussing how humanity has created a plague on animals causing some of them to become extinct, but how some other species may have become extinct naturally Hanson creates an easy to follow exploration of climate change and its effect on various species. This book take a look at how different species of plants and, particularly. animals are evolving before our very eyes in order to deal with the effects of climate change. It also takes in interesting approach to extinction in the animal kingdom, discussing how humanity has created a plague on animals causing some of them to become extinct, but how some other species may have become extinct naturally through evolution. While the effects of climate change are undeniable for some species, others are using it as an opportunity to adapt and evolve potentially even creating new species variants in the process. Overall, this book is fascinating. It is exceptional in that it takes a difficult topic set and presents it in an easy to read and follow writing style. My only complaint with this is that the images are in black and white and I wish they were in color, it would have made the book all the more interesting, especially when there is a lot of discussion on color in different species.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ana

    I received a free eARC from the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid was a fascinating dive into the effects of climate change on the natural world. Thor Hanson, a natural historian, explore the ways various species are responding and adapting to climate change. From trees chasing the rain westward across the United States, to birds chasing temperatures further up mountains and further north, Hanson explores why this happens. He als I received a free eARC from the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid was a fascinating dive into the effects of climate change on the natural world. Thor Hanson, a natural historian, explore the ways various species are responding and adapting to climate change. From trees chasing the rain westward across the United States, to birds chasing temperatures further up mountains and further north, Hanson explores why this happens. He also looks at the myriad of other ways species are adapting, or failing to adapt; for example, lizards with larger toe pads and shorter back legs are able to hang on to trees during a hurricane, and those that survive produce offspring with those traits. He looks at plasticity, and shows that in times of rapid change, this ability to adapt quickly enables those species to survive, while species that have evolved to take advantage of a specific niche are more at risk of extinction. Told in an engaging and conversational manner, Hanson relates scientific concepts and observations in an easy-to understand way for a general audience. The pacing is on the slower side, but this is a meandering sort of book that you can pick up and read a chapter at a time. I recommend for readers who enjoy popular science, and those interested in climate change, ecology, and natural history.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sue Fernandez

    Thank you to Perseus Books and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. The cover caught my eye, the title made me realize I had to read this book. this is a different take on climate change than we normally see. We can dig our heads in the sand (figuratively) for only so long, until we see that other species are either dying, or they are adapting. Noting that at least 25% of the animal population is on the move, or changing, is unbelievable, but true. Plants Thank you to Perseus Books and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. The cover caught my eye, the title made me realize I had to read this book. this is a different take on climate change than we normally see. We can dig our heads in the sand (figuratively) for only so long, until we see that other species are either dying, or they are adapting. Noting that at least 25% of the animal population is on the move, or changing, is unbelievable, but true. Plants are not left out, and they too show that we will be seeing new alterations as time goes on. It's happening rapidly enough that our generation might get to witness some of this. Hopefully, we'll learn, and we too will adapt and change.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Angela McCollister

    Advanced Reader Copy provided by NetGalley: I really enjoyed this book on climate change. It took a different tack showing that some animals and plants are adapting to climate change without playing down the severity of the climate change crisis. It was also interesting to read how ancient animals and plants adapted to climate change from studying the paleontological record. While our warming climate is still a dire threat and needs to be taken seriously it was nice reading something that wasn't Advanced Reader Copy provided by NetGalley: I really enjoyed this book on climate change. It took a different tack showing that some animals and plants are adapting to climate change without playing down the severity of the climate change crisis. It was also interesting to read how ancient animals and plants adapted to climate change from studying the paleontological record. While our warming climate is still a dire threat and needs to be taken seriously it was nice reading something that wasn't all doom and gloom. The author's personal anecdotes as well as the ones he related from conversations with other scientists made this a very readable book. Now I want to read the author's other books.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Bizzell

    How are animals and plants adapting to climate change? To be honest, I was expecting a more dramatic answer. Mostly, they are moving or adapting. The scientific overviews this presented of various types of research were well done. But after reading pretty extensively on the subject, especially have read quite a bit of paleontology, this wasn't that dramatic. Hanson also doesn't have a distinct call to action other than "do something about carbon emissions ", something the person who picked up th How are animals and plants adapting to climate change? To be honest, I was expecting a more dramatic answer. Mostly, they are moving or adapting. The scientific overviews this presented of various types of research were well done. But after reading pretty extensively on the subject, especially have read quite a bit of paleontology, this wasn't that dramatic. Hanson also doesn't have a distinct call to action other than "do something about carbon emissions ", something the person who picked up this book already cared about, and " think about how the world will be different", presumably the purpose of reading the book. I have not read Hanson's other work, and hoped to love this enough to pick those up right away, but while the writing was very clear and well organized, I think my expectations were too high. If you are interested in the subject and looking for a well done intro, then I would reccomend this.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Marilyn Smith

    An inviting read into scientific research studying climate change impacts on life from smallest plankton to forests, teeny insects to largest animals. Life's on the move. Their research finds interesting correlation on adaptations from changing behavior in Angelfish to survival strategies even on genetic levels on hurricane lizards. Several studies drill down into how plasticity of species is adapting to their rapidly changing worlds. It’s a fantastic book. I was so struck by the incredible scie An inviting read into scientific research studying climate change impacts on life from smallest plankton to forests, teeny insects to largest animals. Life's on the move. Their research finds interesting correlation on adaptations from changing behavior in Angelfish to survival strategies even on genetic levels on hurricane lizards. Several studies drill down into how plasticity of species is adapting to their rapidly changing worlds. It’s a fantastic book. I was so struck by the incredible science in this book, I took tons notes, underlined many, many sections too. and will continue to follow more information as it's published.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Emma Reid

    This book was truly fascinating and taught me so much about nature. How creatures adapt to their environments, CO2 phenomena, and the relationship of fossils to the theory of evolution are all explored in the text, just to name a few of the interesting topics. Personally I found it far more interesting on audio because it felt like I was in a course about ecobiology. This is a great non-fiction read that will have you thinking twice about your impact on the environment and the history of the lan This book was truly fascinating and taught me so much about nature. How creatures adapt to their environments, CO2 phenomena, and the relationship of fossils to the theory of evolution are all explored in the text, just to name a few of the interesting topics. Personally I found it far more interesting on audio because it felt like I was in a course about ecobiology. This is a great non-fiction read that will have you thinking twice about your impact on the environment and the history of the land around you. *Thank you to Hachette Audio for the ALC in exchange for my honest review*

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kent

    I've read many books on climate change and the impacts of it on human society. However, this was the first book that I've come across looking at the consequences for plants and animals and how they are responding to something over which they have no control. Also, this was the first book I've read by Thor Hanson, so I can't say that I've been jaded from reading his earlier works. His introduction and explanations of MAD (move, adapt or die) were completely new to me and has me looking for more i I've read many books on climate change and the impacts of it on human society. However, this was the first book that I've come across looking at the consequences for plants and animals and how they are responding to something over which they have no control. Also, this was the first book I've read by Thor Hanson, so I can't say that I've been jaded from reading his earlier works. His introduction and explanations of MAD (move, adapt or die) were completely new to me and has me looking for more information on the subject. Great read.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

    Conservation biologist Thor Hanson’s eminently readable exposition on climate change is informative and satisfying, ranging around the world and through time. This well-researched book elucidates biological and paleontological research in addition to recent studies of climate change. Highly enjoyable, and very highly recommended.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    This book read like a documentary, and I was really surprised to not be depressed when I finished. Hanson breaks down the ripples and connections in species affected by climate change and how one seemingly small change has a much bigger impact that we may never see.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Justine

    Thanks to NetGalley and Basic Books for providing an ARC!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Shana Yates

    3.5 stars

  28. 4 out of 5

    deanna Bonelli

    Eye Opening and Palatable where most climate change books can be overly scientific, the plot told by anecdote makes the message clear, direct, and an enjoyable read

  29. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    This was really interesting and a good read!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. skimmed

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