return of the butterfly

The large blue butterfly went extinct in the UK in 1979 despite a prolonged campaign by conservationists to try and save the species.

Prof Jeremy Thomas, head of ecology at Oxford University, said it is only now that the climate is warming and suitable spots have been discovered in the Cotswolds that the species is able to start spreading across Britain once again.
The Telegraph (UK) 28 Jun 2010 “Climate change brings back endangered butterfly”

how now brown owl?

Tawny owls turn brown to survive in warmer climates, according to scientists in Finland. Feather colour is hereditary, with grey plumage dominant over brown. But the study, published in the journal Nature Communications, found that the number of brown owls was increasing. As winters become milder, the scientists say, grey feathered tawny owls are likely to disappear.

This study indicates that the birds are evolving in response to climate change. Climate-driven selection has led to an evolutionary change in the population. Dr Patrik Karell from the University of Helsinki, who led the study, gathered together data from long-term tawny owl studies carried out across Finland over the last 30 years.
BBC News, 22/2/11

watch out for giant crabs!

Researchers from the University of Southampton have drawn together 200 years’ worth of oceanographic knowledge to investigate the distribution of a notorious deep-sea giant – the king crab.

The results, published this week in the Journal of Biogeography, reveal temperature as a driving force behind the divergence of a major seafloor predator; globally, and over tens of millions of years of Earth’s history.

“Recent range extensions of king crabs into Antarctica, as well as that of the red king crab Paralithodes camtchaticus in the Barents Sea and along the coast off Norway emphasise the responsiveness of this group to rapid climate change,” said research student Sally Hall.
Science Daily, 19/7/09

warning to all black sheep in the family

First scientists discovered that the milder winters were shrinking the sheep in the Outer Hebrides at a rate of 3.5 ounces (100g) a year as smaller, weaker lambs were surviving in the warmer weather. Now they have discovered the same process is turning the dark coats of Soay sheep on Hirta in the St Kilda archipelago lighter.

Dr Shane Maloney, an animal researcher whose findings are published in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters, said: “If environmental effects are the cause of the decline, then we can expect the proportion of dark coloured Soay sheep to decrease further.”
The Telegraph, 22 Jul 2009

thanks to Geir Aaslid

Scottish sheep shrink

Climate change is causing a breed of wild sheep in Scotland to shrink, according to research. Scientists say milder winters help smaller sheep to survive, resulting in this “paradoxical decrease in size”. The lead researcher in the study, Tim Coulson from Imperial College London, said the island provided an ideal opportunity to tease apart the factors driving the sheep’s physical change.
BBC News, 2 Jul 2009

thanks to Geir Aaslid

climate change in the basement

Wet basement last year? Blame climate change. Twin Cities waterproofing contractors say climate change has led to unprecedented demand for their services. “The climate has been changing,” said Peter Snyder, an associate professor of atmospheric science at the University of Minnesota.

“It’s pretty clear that we’re seeing more extremes.” While last year’s wet spring doesn’t mean Minnesotans should expect flooded basements every year, Snyder said, his work indicates that intense weather events are becoming increasingly frequent in the Upper Midwest.
Star Tribune, 3 Apr 2015

thanks to ddh

where do I put this thermometer?

Queenslanders have been urged to set their fridge temperatures to four degrees celsius to help combat climate change.

Premier Anna Bligh, who launched the initiative at Sea World’s polar bear shores on the Gold Coast, said climate change was everyone’s responsibility. If we had every Queenslander change the temperature of their fridge by one degree, it would be the equivalent of taking 11,000 cars off the road.

A television commercial will screen in the coming months and 50,000 free thermometers will be handed out as part of the campaign.
The Age (Australia), 23 Oct 2007

fore!

An environmental expert in St Andrews has warned the year 2050 could see the town’s famous golf course, the Old Course, crumble into the North Sea. Professor Jan Bebbington, director of the St Andrews Sustainability Institute, has visualised the effect of climate change on Scotland in 50 years.
BBC News, 13 Oct 2008

punch drunk butterflies heaven bound

California butterflies are reeling from a one-two punch of climate change and land development, says an unprecedented analysis led by UC Davis butterfly expert Arthur Shapiro. Their most significant findings:

•Butterfly diversity (the number of different species present) is falling fast at all the sites near sea level. It is declining more slowly or holding roughly constant in the mountains, except at tree line.
•At tree line, butterfly diversity is actually going up, as lower-elevation species react to the warming climate by moving upslope to higher, cooler elevations.
•Diversity among high-elevation butterflies is beginning to fall as temperatures become uncomfortably warm for them and, Shapiro says, “There is nowhere to go except heaven.”

Science Daily, 12 Jan 2010

cliches not threatened

A study published in the June 10 issue of the journal Nature clearly demonstrates changes in species ranges as butterflies shift north to track a changing climate as the planet warms up.

Camille Parmesan, Ph D., and her co-investigators found that out of 57 species studied in Europe and North Africa, 35 of which there were data for both the northern and southern range boundaries, two thirds had shifted northward. Most of the remaining one third remained stable.

“This puts the nail in the coffin,” said Parmesan of the results. “It’s black and white.”
University of California, Santa Barbara, 10/6/99

no brides for brothers

“That evening I learnt of a most remarkable consequence of the drought. The Samburu circumcise their youths in grand ceremonies, which are held every seven years or so, when enough cattle and other foods have accumulated to support such celebrations. Circumcision represents a transition to manhood, and until a youth has passed it he can’t marry.

“But it’s been 14 years since a circumcision ceremony has been held here. There are now 40,000 uncircumcised young men, some in their late 20s, waiting their turn. All of the eligible young women, tired of waiting, have married older men (multiple wives are allowed), so there are no wives for the new initiates.

“I could never have imagined that climate change would have such an effect on an entire society.”

The Age, 2 Nov 2007, re Professor Tim Flannery, An Explorers Notebook

is our number up?

Would contact with extraterrestrials benefit or harm humanity? … ecosystem-valuing universalist ETI may observe humanity’s ecological destructive tendencies and wipe humanity out in order to preserve the Earth system as a whole.

These scenarios give us reason to limit our growth and reduce our impact on global ecosystems.It would be particularly important for us to limit our emissions of greenhouse gases, since atmospheric composition can be observed from other planets.

Would contact with extraterrestrials benefit or harm humanity? A scenario analysis,, Seth D. Baum, Jacob D. Haqq-Misra, Shawn D. Domagal-Goldman, Acta Astronautica (2011) 68:2114-2129

thanks to Andrew Mark Harding

that seems clear enough

This strange state of affairs may be rooted in human psychology. As the Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert put it in a 2006 op-ed article in The Los Angeles Times, “Global warming is bad, but it doesn’t make us feel nauseated or angry or disgraced, and thus we don’t feel compelled to rail against it as we do against other momentous threats to our species, such as flag burning.”

People tend to have strong emotions about topics like food and sex, and to create their own moral rules around these emotions, he says. “Moral emotions are the brain’s call to action,” he wrote. “If climate change were caused by gay sex, or by the practice of eating kittens, millions of protesters would be massing in the streets.”
New York Times, 20/2/10

lives saved?

In April last year a group of environmentalists shut down E.ON’s coalfired power station in Ratcliffe-on-Soar. The goal: to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and, in their words, “save lives”. Yesterday judge Morris Cooper presented a 20-page judgment accepting there was an “urgent need for drastic action”, but convicted them of aggravated trespass, saying their defence, that their crime was necessary to save lives, could not be substantiated.
The Guardian, 26/2/08

no fragrance in short rice

An experiment by Indian agriculture scientists points to the enormous effect global warming could have on the fragrant basmati rice. Basmati, Sanskrit for the fragrant one, may lose not just its aroma, the famous long grains may get shorter, say scientists.

H Pathak, principal investigator of Indian Agricultural Research Institute’s Climate Change Challenge Programme, told TOI the Tarawari basmati grown in research fields in Delhi did not grow long enough and wasn’t as fragrant as it should have been when cooked.
Times of India, 30/1/11

that explains it!

New computer models that look at ocean temperatures instead of the atmosphere show the clearest signal yet that global warming is well underway, said Tim Barnett of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Speaking at an annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Barnett said climate models based on air temperatures are weak because most of the evidence for global warming is not even there. “The real place to look is in the ocean,” Barnett told a news conference.

Wired.com, 18 Feb 2005

work opportunities for climate scientists

So worried are some fashion houses about the impact climate change is having on the way we dress and shop they are calling in the climate experts. The Wall Street Journal reported last month that American retail giant Liz Claibourne Inc enlisted a New York climatologist to speak to 30 of its executives on topics ranging from the types of fabrics they should be using to the timing of retail deliveries and seasonal markdowns.
The Age, 6 Oct 2006

where’s my haggis?

Global warming could pose a threat to a key ingredient used in one of Scotland’s most famous dishes. An increase in lungworm infections in sheep has been identified by the Scottish Agricultural College Veterinary Investigation Centre. The parasite renders sheep lung – used to make haggis – unfit for consumption.
BBC News, 2 Oct 2008

plain leaves

Every fall, Marilyn Krom tries to make a trip to Vermont to see its famously beautiful fall foliage. This year, she noticed something different about the autumn leaves. “They’re duller, not as sparkly, if you know what I mean,” Krom, 62, a registered nurse from Eastford, Conn., said during a recent visit. “They’re less vivid.” Other “leaf peepers” are noticing, too, and some believe climate change could be the reason.
Fox News, 22 Oct 2007

fifty shades of turtles

Even though sea turtles tend to live in warmer waters, the climate changes do affect their natural habitat. The climate is also believed to affect the sex of the younglings.

So if they temperatures continue to significantly increase it is believed that there will be many more females than males in the world. Yet these males likely won’t be able to keep up with the need of the females when it comes to reproduction.
Sea Turtle World, undated

everybody lean this way

Warming oceans could cause Earth’s axis to tilt in the coming century, a new study suggests. It calculates that oceans warmed by the rise in greenhouse gases can also cause the Earth to tilt – a conclusion that runs counter to older models, which suggested that ocean expansion would not create a large shift in the distribution of the Earth’s mass, according to Felix Landerer of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
New Scientist, 20 Aug 2009

feeling under the weather?

Patients who came to him with depression or anxiety were increasingly citing climate change news as something they were having trouble coping with.

“These people tend to have a low threshold to taking on worries. When they pick up the paper and see a small part of Antarctica disintegrating, they take it on board,” said Dr Blashki, a senior research fellow in the University of Melbourne’s Primary Care Research Unit. “They pick up on the negative things going on in the world.”

“It comes down to maintaining hope, to get people motivated, not despairing. Action is a great stress reliever,” he said.

The Age, 6 Apr 2008

is your crabgrass watching you?

Crabgrass will get a strong assist from global warming in its campaign to take over your lawn.

That’s the unexpected finding of a study investigating a very different aspect of lawn biology: Neeta S. Bijoor, her graduate advisor Diane E. Pataki of the University of California, Irvine, and two colleagues set out to determine how warming affects lawns’ emission of nitrous oxide (N2O), a greenhouse gas 300 times more powerful than carbon dioxide.

In contrast to fescue and most other crop plants, crabgrass and many other weeds photosynthesize with greater efficiency the warmer it gets, so they have been predicted to proliferate as temperatures rise.

Live Science, 3 Dec 2008

reptiles head for the hills

Global warming is forcing 30 species of reptiles and amphibians to move uphill as habitats shift upward, but they may soon run out of room to run.

Among 30 species of geckos, skinks, chameleons and frogs, an average shift uphill of 62 to 167 feet (19 to 51 meters) was observed over the decade.

When these results were compared with meteorological records and climate change simulations, the movement of animals could be linked to temperature increases of 0.18°F to 0.67°F (0.1°C to 0.37°C) over the same decade, which corresponds to an expected upslope movement of 59 to 243 feet (17 to 74 meters).

Livescience.com 12 Jun 2008

bury that chocolate

“One of climate change’s potential victims is chocolate. Will the prospect of losing their favorite dessert finally get people to wake up? Some experts are predicting that in a matter of decades a drop in production due to changing weather and agriculture incentives may make chocolate ‘as expensive as gold’. In 20 years chocolate will be like caviar.”
Alternet.org, 12 Nov 2010, “Global Warming could lead to vast chocolate shortage”

work opportunities for psychologists

For people who feel an acute unease about the future of the planet, a small but growing number of psychotherapists now offer a treatment designed to reduce worries as well as carbon footprints: ecopsychology. “Global warming has added an extra layer of anxiety to what people are already feeling,” said Sandy Shulmire of Portland, Ore., a psychologist and practitioner of ecopsychology.

New York Times, 16 Feb 2008

English country garden

The quintessential English garden and lawn are “under threat” from climate change, a government minister warned today. In a speech at Kew Gardens in west London, the environment minister, Ian Pearson, said in future gardeners would need to use water sparingly and choose Mediterranean plant species that could survive heatwaves and drought.
The Guardian, 12 Sep 2006

thanks to a

Iceland will rise again!

Sea levels aren’t the only things rising due to climate change — swaths of land are too, including the nation of Iceland. That’s according to a new study published by a team of geologists from the University of Arizona. According to their research, the melting of Iceland’s glaciers has reduced pressure on the ground beneath them, causing the land to “rebound” from the Earth’s crust.
The Washington Post, 2 Feb 2015

thanks to David Mulberry

witches

In rural Tanzania, murders of elderly women accused of witchcraft are a very common form of homicide. And when Tanzania suffers unusual rainfall — either drought or flooding — witch-killings double, according to research by Edward Miguel, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley.

“In bad years, the killings explode,” Professor Miguel said. He believes that if climate change causes more drought years in Tanzania, the result will be more elderly women executed there and in other poor countries that still commonly attack supposed witches.
New York Times, 13 Apr 2008

vanishing redheads

Scientists believe the gene that causes red hair is an evolutionary response to cloudy skies and allows inhabitants to get as much Vitamin D as possible. But if predictions of rising temperatures and blazing sunshine across the British Isles turn out to be correct, flaming red heads could cease to exist within centuries.

Dr Alistair Moffat, managing director of Galashiels-based ScotlandsDNA, said: “We think red hair in Scotland, Ireland and in the North of England is adaption to the climate.”
The Mirror(UK), 6 Jul 2014

thanks to Andrew Mark Harding

march of the super intelligent lizards

“Just when it seemed like we knew all the dangers of climate change, science has to go and throw us this curveball. Warmer temperatures make lizards’ brains develop differently. Last thing we need is some newly super-intelligent lizards judging us.

That’s the finding of researchers at the University of Sydney in Australia, who tested how rising temperatures affected the intelligence of the tiny lizard species known as the three-lined skinks.”
io9.com, 21 Jan 2012

avoid bumping into blind cheetahs

“Namibia is under invasion by multiplying armies of thorny trees and bushes, which are spreading across its landscape and smothering its grasslands. Conservationists have found starving cheetahs that lost their sight after streaking through bush encroached habitats in pursuit of fleet footed food

….an emerging body of science indicates that rapidly increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide may be boosting the onrushing waves of woody vegetation. Are blind, starving cheetahs useful symbols of climate change? You decide.”
The Guardian, 21 Jun 2013

thanks to Andrew Mark Harding

chaos as ocean fills with dizzy fish

Young coral reef fish with misshapen ear bones are more likely to get lost and die, and exposure to warmer waters makes the problem worse, according to a study of fish living around Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

Monica Gagliano at the Australian Institute of Marine Science in Townsville, Queensland. Gagliano says that as-yet-unpublished work shows that exposing adult reef fish to higher water temperatures and increasingly acid water – both of which are associated with global warming – increases the percentage of offspring born with asymmetrical otoliths.

New Scientist, 6 Mar 2006, ‘Global warming poses deaf threat to tropical fish’

thanks to Andrew Mark Harding

PANIC!!

The price of beer is likely to rise in coming decades because climate change will hamper the production of a key grain needed for the brew – especially in Australia, a scientist warned Tuesday.

Jim Salinger, a climate scientist at New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, said climate change likely will cause a decline in the production of malting barley in parts of New Zealand and Australia. Malting barley is a key ingredient of beer.
ABC News (US), 8 Apr 2008

thanks to Kat Phiche

cannibalistic lobsters

First, rising sea temperatures brought on by global warming are encouraging the crustaceans to grow quicker and reproduce more often, says Noah Oppenheim, a marine biology graduate student at the University of Maine.

Second, Oppenheim tells Mother Jones, over-fishing has rid the ocean of the lobster’s natural enemies, which include cod, herring, and other fish.The result is a lot of lobsters that have nothing eat — which is why, as footage taken by Oppenheim shows, they have resorted to cannibalism.
TheWeek.com, 24 Jul 2013

thanks to Russell Cook

speak for yourself, thank you

Australia’s Climate Commissioner, Professor Tim Flannery, believes we must move towards a global ant’s nest, regulated by a global intelligence, and sharing all resources equally. In this world there will be no room for individual choice, individuals will have their specialised roles defined and limited and world population will be massively reduced.
interview 2011- link – – see also BBC News article

thanks to mervyn

leaving on a jet plane?

A federally sponsored inquiry into the effects of possible climate changes caused by heavy supersonic traffic in the stratosphere has concluded that even a slight cooling could cost the world from $200 billion to 500 times that much in damage done to agriculture, public health and other effects.
New York Times, 21 Dec 1975

thanks to mervyn

Fresh warning issued to taxpayers

After Britain’s record-cold December of 2010 that the Met Office failed to predict, Julia Slingo, chief scientist at the UK Meteorological Office, was asked how the Met Office could improve its forecasts. She replied: “Access to supercomputers . The science is well ahead of our ability to implement it.

It’s quite clear that if we could run our models at a higher resolution we could do a much better job— tomorrow— in terms of our seasonal and decadal predictions. It’s so frustrating.

We keep saying we need four times the computing power. We’re talking just 10 or 20 million a year— dollars or pounds— which is tiny compared to the damage done by disasters. Yet it’s a difficult argument to win.” source
The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism, Steve Goreham, New Lenox Books, Il, USA, 2012, Chapter 10, note 11.

Is nothing safe?

Venice’s gondoliers are being forced by ever-higher tides to “amputate” the tail end of their boats in order to squeeze under the city’s bridges. The boatmen blame the more frequent high tides bedevilling the city on global warming and one of the rainiest seasons in years.
The Telegraph (UK) 17 May 2004, Stormy days on canals of Venice as boatmen cut off gondolas’ tails

disappearing toys

The effects of snow-free winter in Britain are already becoming apparent. This year, for the first time ever, Hamleys, Britain’s biggest toyshop, had no sledges on display in its Regent Street store. “It was a bit of a first,” a spokesperson said.
The Independent 20 Mar 2000, “Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past”

see also Say what?

thanks to RickA

Beer today, gone tomorrow

Climatologist Martin Mozny of the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute and colleagues say that the quality of Saaz hops – the delicate variety used to make pilsner lager – has been decreasing in recent years. They say the culprit is climate change in the form of increased air temperature.
New Scientist, 13/9/09

taxpayers beware

Scientists wanting to discourage people from making unnecessary trips to the airport to cut greenhouse gases were yesterday awarded £500,000 of taxpayers’ money.

Dr Tim Ryley, of Loughborough University, who will carry out the study alongside researchers at Cranfield and Leeds universities, said: ‘ Travelling to airports has a big impact on carbon emissions, but no one has yet identified how to reduce it. This study will address that gap in our understanding.’
Daily Mail, UK, 23 Jan 2010

see also – Say what?

danger to dogs!

Global warming has been blamed for everything from an increase in hurricanes to rising sea levels and polar glacial activity. Could it also be affecting the health and well-being of your dog?

The calamity of canine heartworm disease continues to prove deadly to dogs across the United States. What might be worse is that the warming of our planet may be contributing to the spread of this disease.
insidebayarea.com/animals 16 Mar 2009

what could be clearer?

Meanwhile an 84-year-old betting contest held annually on a frozen Alaskan river is providing the latest evidence of a global thaw. The Nenana Ice Classic has been held since 1917 on the Tenana River.

Contestants bet for a jackpot, that this year hit $300,000, on the exact moment when a wooden tripod erected on the frozen river falls through the breaking ice each spring. When they checked the records they found that the breakthrough occurs today an average of five days earlier than at the start of the contest.
indiaresource.org 15 Mar 2002

Coffee time!

The temperature is rising a little too quickly in Uganda — and coffee farmers are getting worried. Growers say that global warming is damaging production of coffee, Uganda’s biggest export.

“Everyone is talking about global warming; coffee is our business,” says Mariam Sekisanda, 27, as she pauses from picking ripe coffee beans on her expansive farm to sit under the shade of a thicket of lush banana trees.
TerraDaily 8 Feb 2008