Robert Lalasz

Robert Lalasz is the director of science communications at The Nature Conservancy and blogs on Cool Green Science.

Climate Change

Can Florida's nature and people outrace sea-level rise?

Laura Geselbracht talks about what sea-level rise is doing to Florida's Gulf Coast.

Climate Change

Et tu, pistachios? How climate change will mess with trail mix

Pistachios: What shell remain? Photo: PatternedCross-posted from Cool Green Science. What won’t climate change affect? Well, cross trail mix and cherry pie off that ever-shrinking list. It turns out that crisp apples, chewy almonds, ripe plums, and a host of other nuts and stone fruits might become much more costly to grow — or not grown at all in some spots — because of rising winter temperatures, according to a new study published in the peer-reviewed journal PLoS One. The problem, say researchers: The trees that produce these goodies need a certain number of hours at cold temperatures — or …

Organic Food

Want a better organic garden? Call out the soil-critter army

The helpful Jerusalem cricket.Photo: Franco FoliniCross-posted from Cool Green Science. There are 1 billion bacteria in a single gram of soil. (Give or take a few million.) But how can you get that army — and its insect friends, like the two-inch Jerusalem cricket pictured to the right — to help you grow bigger veggies and prettier flowers? There’s nobody better to ask than Nature Conservancy soil ecologist Sophie Parker, who recently turned Grist on to the fascinating (and sometimes scary) world of soil organisms. I asked Sophie to give us some tips to make our gardens grow even better …