An extreme close-up of the delicate texture of a purple flower petal. Veins branch like rivers and create repeating patterns. The purple shades shift across the frame, at times pale and translucent, at times vibrant and opaque.

Micro-Climate Stories

MICROCLIMATE [mahy-kruh-kalhy-mit]


  1.       Microclimate describes the climate of a very restricted area, particularly if that area possesses a climate that is different or unique in comparison to its surroundings. These can be subtle differences, but they can also be extreme.

Told in 150 words or less, these Micro-Climate stories voice our relationship to the Earth, the climate emergency, and the ways in which we grapple with a changing world on a human or local scale. Imagined by noted writers and scientists, all members of the University of Guelph community, these micro-climates offer charged glimpses into altered and transformative worlds.

Discover tiny stories, poems, and essays from acclaimed writers Catherine Bush, Dr. Karen Houle, Liz Howard, Carrianne Leung, Canisia Lubrin, Kathryn Mockler, Tyler Pennock, Erin Robinsong, Sheung-King, among others, and renowned environmental scientists Dr. Madhur Anand, Dr. Ze’ev Gedalof, Dr. Shoshanah Jacobs, Dr. Jana Levison, Dr. Alex Smith and more. This ongoing series of powerful individual responses to our global crisis expands our understanding of the human connection to our natural world and how imaginative attention can transform us.

You don’t have to be a scientific expert or a famous author, we want to hear from you! Micro-Climate stories are open to the public. Click here to submit your own Micro-Climate story to Imagining Climates.

Read about the inspiration for these Micro-Climate stories from ecologist and visual artist Liane Miedema Brown. She also created the images accompanying these Micro-Climate stories below.

The Gaps

Dr. Madhur Anand

Layers and Layers

Véronique Darwin

How to Measure Microclimate

Dr. Ze’ev Gedalof

A black and white watercolour image of a bowl with two spoons resting on the lip, one spoon lies in front of the bowl.

One Dish, Many Spoons

Dr. Karen Houle

Snow Shovel

Dr. Shoshanah Jacobs


Dan Knauss

It was a velvet of a night

Carrianne Leung


Dr. Jana Levison

A black and white watercolour image of a white skull and crossbones in front of a black cloud.

Let’s Say

Kathryn Mockler

A black and white watercolor painting of a flower


Dan Murphy


Tyler Pennock

Ask the Angiosperms

Erin Robinsong

A black and white watercolour image of two human eyes, closed and dreaming.

Language Learners


Black and white watercolour that shows a dead fish floating in the water.

To Succumb

Emily Skov-Nielsen

I hear climate change

Dr. Alex Smith

Banner photo credit: Alicia Barbieri, Farmer’s Market Petals, 2020.

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