Welcome to the Physical Ecology Group at the University of Lincoln
Although organisms obey the same physical laws as inanimate objects the evolutionary implications of these laws are often neglected. Physical factors influence the fitness value of traits and play an important role in the course of evolution. These are the areas of investigation that interest us.
During winter, the polar skies can ignite with mother-of-pearl-like iridescence. Polar stratospheric clouds – also known as nacreous clouds – are a rare, beautiful, and destructive type of cloud found only in high latitudes at altitudes of 15 - 25 km. They are formed from tiny crystals of ice and nitric acid, and they shine brightest a few hours before sunrise or after sunset, when sunlight shines on them but not the surface. Their destructive side is connected with ozone depletion; they serve as reaction sites for chlorofluorocarbons in the atmosphere to react and produce ozone-destroying molecules. The clouds may have cultural significance as well; at least one study suggests they were part of Munch’s inspiration for “The Scream”. (Image credit: A. Light; via Gizmodo)