A black and white watercolour image of a white cloud passing in front of a black night sky.

I hear climate change

Climate change sounds like leaves crunching under my boots. Boots that have climbed this sleeping volcano to heights that should be covered in clouds. Clouds, dark and pregnant with hanging mist and driving rain. Clouds blocking the hot Guanacaste sun and cooling the ground to near Canadian lows. Clouds that held these soaking forests stable over millennia. But on that day, and many days since, the sun beats down through intensely blue skies, unencumbered by even the smallest cloud. The leaves resting on the forest floor are not sodden under squelching boots; they crunch, snap, and crack. I hear climate change and I mourn for the species with no higher to climb on these sleeping volcanoes. I hear climate change and my work feels like a wake for these diverse spaces. I hear climate change and I wonder what will be left for my children to hear.

Dr. Alex Smith

M. Alex Smith, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Integrative Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, N1G 2W1.

“I work along the steep slopes of Costa Rican volcanoes to ask who lives here and how that is changing.”

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