Thursday, April 22, 2010

A News Sonnet A Day for April 2010: 22 (Earth Day edition)

I've set myself a goal for National Poetry Month this year: Compose a sonnet based on a science-themed news story each day.

Today's installment takes its cue from "Living world: Why the tropics are hotbeds of evolution" by Emma Young, New Scientist.

Equatorial Engine

Diversity of species on the Earth
Shifts wildly from equator to the pole;
And reasons for their plenitude or dearth
Inhabit many theories. What's the role

Of temperature, humidity, and food
As creatures met extinction or evolved,
Stayed local, spread, left habitat for good?
Those many mysteries are far from solved.

But tropic genera have long remained,
Museums of biota to be mapped,
And more diversity is also gained,
For tropic life is quickest to adapt.

The world relies upon these warm, wet climes,
Sustained by what their bio-engine primes.

Elissa Malcohn's Deviations and Other Journeys
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