A fascinating insight into climate change biology around the globe, as well as in our own backyards.
Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid is the first major book by a biologist to focus on the fascinating story of how the natural world is adjusting, adapting, and sometimes measurably evolving in response to climate change. Lyrical and thought-provoking, this book broadens the climate focus from humans to the wider lattice of life.
Bestselling nature writer Thor Hanson – author of Buzz (a Radio 4 'Book of the Week') – shows us how Caribbean lizards have grown larger toe pads to grip trees more tightly during frequent hurricanes; and how the 'plasticity' of squid has allowed them to change their body size and breeding habits to cope with altered sea temperatures.
Plants and animals have a great deal to teach us about the nature of what comes next, because for many of them, and also for many of us, that world is already here.
Thor Hanson is a biologist whose previous books include The Impenetrable Forest, Feathers (longlisted for the Samuel Johnson prize), The Triumph of Seeds, and Buzz. He lives on an island in the Pacific Northwest, USA.
"An original, wide-ranging and carefully researched book [...] contains important lessons for humanity."
– Mark Cocker, The Spectator
"[A] fascinating exploration of climate change, exploring the adaptation of species in different habitats. Hanson is a biologist whose passion and expertise are writ large here, as he combines personal observations [...] with the latest scientific research in a lively, engaging and optimistic assessment of the planet's future."
– Hannah Beckerman, The Observer
"Hanson supplies abundant reason to marvel at nature's ingenuity, but also to fear for it in the face of the drastic changes we are generating."
– Philip Ball, The Guardian, 'Book of the Day'
"While humans wrestle with net zero targets and greenwashing, other species have had to adapt to the impacts of climate change, as American biologist, Thor Hanson, reveals in this carefully researched book. His accounts of how squid have responded to warmer waters, and lizards to fierce storms, are both poignant and sobering."
– Financial Times, Environment Summer Books of 2022
"Nature-lovers [...] will marvel at the incredible ingenuity of creatures across the globe."
– Publishers Weekly
"This compelling read will spark the interest of everyone who cares about what is happening to the natural world."
– Library Journal (starred review)
"A masterful storyteller, Hanson interweaves his own formative experiences into the narrative [...] The book's forward-looking approach seems intended to encourage readers' curiosity about climate change, with the notion that, once suitably informed, they will feel compelled to take action."
"Hanson is an affable guide and storyteller, with a knack for analogy, a sense of humor and the natural curiosity of a scientist."
– New York Times
"[Hanson is] an ideal guide to a topic that might otherwise send readers down a well of despair. [...] The challenge feels overwhelming, and as a single concerned citizen, much feels out of my hands. Yet Hanson's words did inspire me to take a cue from the rest of the species on this warming world to do what I can."
– Science News
"Close study of how animals are living with climate change reveals that humans are at the center of more things than we realize [...] [Hanson makes] glaringly clear that we are not in command of what we have set in motion. The biodiversity and versatility on display in the animal kingdom of which we are part have lots to teach us. To remain at home in the world, we too will need to change."
– The Atlantic
"From the author of the much-loved Buzz comes a fascinating look at the transformations that are already underway all round the world [...] Hanson combines an in-depth understanding of climate change biology with lyrical writing and philosophical insight."
– The Bath Magazine
"Interesting and thought-provoking [...] This book is well worth reading, to embrace and take on the wider perspective that nature is more adaptable and able to change than we might realise."
– Irish Tech News
"An enjoyable, thought provoking book."
– Brian Clegg, Popular Science
"[A] whirlwind tour of the biological impacts of climate change [...] easy and enjoyable to read."
– Tegan Armarego-Marriott, Nature Climate Change
"This isn't a doomsday look at the future of the Earth, but encourages the reader to think critically about the impact we have on the planet, offering valuable lessons for humankind to learn [...] [An] excellent read."
– How it Works