In between is everything that is neither at the top or the bottom of the world. It includes the tropics, which has about 50 percent of Earth’s surface and 70 percent of all humans. Most of the planet’s remaining forests and species are there as well. The tropics absorb the lion’s share of Earth’s sunshine, making it the primary source of energy that runs the climate engine, creating storms, winds and precipitation. And yet, the mid-latitudes are relatively poor and relatively poorly studied by science. In Madagascar, for instance, scientists are still trying to catalog forest plots that have never been studied before, many of which contain species that are still unknown to science.
In between also includes Central America and Europe, Asia and North America below the Arctic. Science is better-funded in the more resource rich parts of this region, meaning that many aspects of climate and ecosystems are better studied. For instance a study in the Netherlands is showing the first evidence that global warming is rending the food chain web of an ecosystem.
- Listen to The Penguin Barometer, Dan’s documentary about ecosytem change caused by global warming
- Listen to Noah’s Raft, Dan’s documentary on the forests and wildlife of Madagascar
- View Fantastic Forests, Dan’s website on the people, forests, and wildlife of Madagascar