Tonight’s episode of the Perpetual Notion Machine is all about a winter’s treat – snow, or a lack of it this winter. But while we play and make snowmen in the snow, there’s plenty going on by critters and plants underneath the snow cover. In fact, one of our guests tonight, Jonathan Pauli from UW-Madison’s wildlife and ecology, helped define the term subnivium to refer to the thriving ecosystem beneath the surface of the snow. But first, PNM’s Lincoln Tice talks with PhD student Kimberly Thompson, who does research in the Pauli Lab on campus. She describes that snow, like animals and plants, goes through various changes and characteristics through the winter, and how the critters, such as voles, mice, and even amphibians, are insulated from the cold and protected from predators by the snow. But climate change has definitely disrupted the normal snowfall and the snow on the ground. Jon mentions that one of their research goals is to learn how these animals will be able to adapt to such changes.
About Perpetual Notion Machine
Perpetual Notion Machine is a look at contemporary scientific issues and discoveries in a way that is accessible, understandable and entertaining to the non-scientists of the listening community.