SCIENCE

Nearly 60 percent of Connecticut is forest. But the state is also one of the most densely-populated in the country. And now, a new report says that provides unique opportunities for animals and people to co-exist.

Climate change will hit the Northeast hard and soon, bringing threats to our health — and to fruit crops, ski resorts and the Atlantic cod.

Those are some conclusions from the fourth National Climate Assessment, which was released on Friday — the day after Thanksgiving — in what some see as an attempt to blunt media coverage. Thirteen federal agencies contributed to the 1,656-page report, which is mandated by law and produced every four years.

Forest trees.
Creative Commons

UMass Amherst biologists who study climate change say they've discovered 16 giant viruses — previously unidentified — in a western Massachusetts forest.

The fungal disease white-nose syndrome has killed off millions of bats across America. Since it was first identified in 2006, it’s appeared on bats in more than 30 states, including all of New England, Quebec, and the Maritimes.

Now, scientists are trying to learn more about the impact of this devastating disease, by listening to the calls of the bats left behind.

The latest population estimate for the endangered North Atlantic right whale indicates the species’ recent decline has quickened — with some 30 fewer animals alive by the end of last year than there were at the end of 2016.

An updated estimate by National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration scientists pegged the number of North Atlantic right whales alive in 2016 in the low 440s. Scientists now say it’s likely that there are not more than 411 left.

Pages