Many people have heard about the plight of polar bears, having to swim farther and farther to find food because of the melting sea ice in the Arctic. Our featured middle grade nonfiction title Hopping Ahead of Climate Change by Sneed B. Collard III, chronicles Professor Scott Mills’s studies on the effects of climate change on a smaller, cuter animal: the snowshoe hare.
Snowshoe hairs turn white in the winter and brown in the summer. How is climate change a threat to them? As with other animals that change color with the seasons, the hares are triggered to molt their hair by changes in day length rather than temperature. That means when the nights start to get longer, the hares change to white, regardless of whether it has started to snow or not. Recently, the snows have been coming later and later in the season where snowshoe hares live. As you might imagine, a stark white hare is probably more vulnerable to predators on bare ground than on snowy ground. Professor Mills and his students test that hypothesis.
Pick up Hopping Ahead of Climate Change for students interested in environmental issues, animals, or science. You will be glad you did.
And while you’re at it, be sure to stop by Growing with Science blog for more information about the book and related science activities.
It’s STEM Friday! (STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)
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