the hills are alive….

The mountains in Europe are growing taller and melting glaciers are partly responsible, scientists say. Heavy glaciers cause the Earth’s crust to flex inward slightly. When glaciers disappear, the crust springs back and the overlaying mountains are thrust skyward, albeit slowly.

The European Alps have been growing since the end of the last little Ice Age in 1850 when glaciers began shrinking as temperatures warmed, but the rate of uplift has accelerated in recent decades because global warming has sped up the rate of glacier melt, the researchers say.

The conclusion is based on a new computer model that assumes that over timescales of a few years to thousands of years, the surface of the Earth behaves like a very thick fluid.
Live Science, 4/8/06

fish getting bigger but growing slower

Climate change is leading to bigger fish in shallow water, but they are growing slower at greater depths, CSIRO research in Tasmania suggests. These observations suggest that global climate change has enhanced some elements of productivity of shallow-water stocks but at the same time reduced the productivity and possibly the resilience of deep water stocks. The Australian research was published by the US National Academy of Sciences this week.
The Age, 27 Apr 2007

quick change

Scientists have found a mosquito that appears to have evolved and adapted to climatic changes induced by global warming— the first documented case of a genetic change in response to the apparent heating up of the planet. Even more surprising, said evolutionary biologist William Bradshaw, of the University of Oregon, in Eugene, who led the study, is that this evolutionary change can occur in as little as five years.
National Geographic, 5 Nov 2011

the lawyers win again

Australia’s coastal residents could be about to encounter the impact of climate change on their property insurance, a Sydney climate forum has been told.

Climate change business risk analyst Karl Mallon told the conference that the cash value of a home would be cut by up to 80 per cent if it is deemed uninsurable for a severe weather event caused by global warming. He said developers and local councils risk litigation for negligence if they fail to factor climate change into planning. The Age, 10 Apr 2007

that explains it!

Naomi Klein, best selling author and social activist, said the denial of climate science was prevalent in English-speaking countries such as Australia, Canada, the US and the UK because of a “colonial settler mentality”.

“Countries founded on a powerful frontier mentality have this idea of limitless nature than can be endlessly extracted,” she said. “Climate change is threatening to that because there are limits and you have to respect those limits. Where that frontier narrative is strongest is where denialism is strongest.”

“The rest of Europe has a keener sense of boundaries – they’ve lived against the limits of nature for longer.”
The Guardian, 17 Aug 2015

thanks to ddh

Need an explanation? Use climate change.

The wild boar population in Europe is growing. However, the reasons for this growth were not yet clear. Scientists have now found that climate change plays a major role. The number of wild boars grows particularly after mild winters, suggesting that food availability is a decisive factor.

“It is not so easy to determine the number of wild boars in Europe,” says wildlife biologist and first author of the study, Sebastian Vetter. “Therefore we analysed data on hunting bags and road accidents involving wild boar. Doing this we were able to depict the growth of the wild boar population.” Science Daily, 12 Aug 2015

thanks to David Mulberry

hot under the collar

A new research has shown that as the earth’s average temperature rises, so does human ‘heat’ in the form of violent tendencies. A new research has shown that as the earth’s average temperature rises, so does human “heat” in the form of violent tendencies, which links global warming with increased violence in human beings.DNAIndia, 20/3/10

more dam statistics

Climate change is working against Sydney. “There’s only two years supply in Warragamba Dam”, says Professor Tim Flannery, “yet Frank Sartor [NSW Minister for Energy and Utilities] is talking about the situation being stable….If the computer models are right then drought conditions will become permanent in eastern Australia.”Sydney Morning Herald, Running Out Of Water And Time, 25 Apr 2005

(admin note: Warragamba dam was 93% full at 22 Jul 2015)

drawing a long bow

Did Climate Change Contribute To The Minneapolis Bridge Collapse? Melissa Hortman of the Minnesota House of Representatives “speculated that 90-plus-degree heat Wednesday and the above-normal temperatures of the past two summers may have been a contributing factor,” and said “You wonder if this bridge was built to withstand the massive heat we have had this summer.”Newsbusters, 7/8/07

ice hockey threatened

A quintessentially Canadian winter tradition – outdoor ice hockey – could be facing extinction within decades because of climate change, a new study says.

The ice season has shortened noticeably over the last 50 years, especially in southern British Columbia and Alberta and parts of the prairie provinces, the study in the Institute of Physics’ journal, Environmental Research Letters, says.
The Guardian, 5 Mar 2012

urgent warning!

As glacial meltwater floods into oceans and the global sea level rises with climate change, the distribution of weight on the Earth’s crust will shift from land to sea. This shift in weight distribution could cause volcanoes to erupt more often, some studies suggest. Humans in the 21st century probably won’t experience this shift, however, since this effect seems to lag by up to about 2,500 years.
Live Science, 5 Aug 2013

brighter bugs beat polar bears

It turns out Europe’s insects are getting lighter on average in response to increasing temperatures. “For two of the major groups of insects, we have now demonstrated a direct link between climate, insect color and habitat preference,” explained Carsten Rahbek, co-author of the study and the Director of the Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate at the University of Copenhagen and professor at Imperial College London.

The survival of the humble bumble bee or the innocuous ant play a pivotal role in defining our natural world as this Earth’s climate changes. Ultimately, the color change in butterfly wings will have a bigger impact on Earth’s biodiversity than all the polar bears in the world.
Discover, 27 May 2014

lightning might strike twice!

To the ever-growing list of projected effects from global warming, add a curious entry: a potentially huge jump in lightning strikes in the United States.

David M. Romps, an atmospheric physicist at the University of California, Berkeley, who led the work, said the change would come about from a global temperature increase of roughly 7 degrees fahrenheit. “This increase in lightning is an example of a fairly large change you can get from what sounds like a relatively small global temperature increase,” Romps said.
Sydney Morning Herald, 14 Nov 2014

gasping fish and panting squid

Unless we find a way to rein in our carbon emissions very soon, a low-oxygen ocean may become an inescapable feature of our planet. A team of Danish researchers published a particularly sobering study last year. They wondered how long oxygen levels would drop if we could somehow reduce our carbon dioxide emissions to zero by 2100. They determined that over the next few thousand years oxygen levels would continue to fall, until they declined by 30 percent.

The oxygen would slowly return to the oceans, but even 100,000 years from now they will not have fully recovered. If they’re right, fish will be gasping and squid will be panting for a long time to come.
Resilience, 5/8/10

I feel the Earth move …..

University of Toronto study shows that rainfall-induced erosion affects movements of continental plates.

The erosion caused by rainfall directly affects the movement of continental plates beneath mountain ranges, says a University of Toronto geophysicist — the first time science has raised the possibility that human-induced climate change could affect the deep workings of the planet.

“In geology, we have this idea that erosion’s going to affect merely the surface,” says Russell Pysklywec, a professor of geology. “It goes right down to the mantle thermal engine — the thing that’s actually driving plate tectonics. It’s fairly surprising — it hasn’t been shown before.”
Eureka Alert, 20/4/06

Diego Maradona makes a comeback!

Eskimos and scientists report a strange “lightness at noon” that is turning the usual all-day darkness of the high Canadian Arctic into twilight, apparently in defiance of natural laws. Canadian government officials say it may be the result of an unusual atmospheric phenomenon caused by global warming.

Wayne Davidson, the Canadian government official who runs the station, says he believes it it caused by climate change. For the past five years, Mr Davidson says, there has been a growing light along the horizon in the middle of the day in winter. “The entire horizon is raised like magic, like the hand of God is bringing it up,” he says.
Rense.com, 19 Dec 2004

they’re onto us!

Watching from afar, extraterrestrial beings might view changes in Earth’s atmosphere as symptomatic of a civilisation growing out of control – and take drastic action to keep us from becoming a more serious threat, the researchers explain.

Shawn Domagal-Goldman of Nasa’s Planetary Science Division and his colleagues compiled a list of plausible outcomes that could unfold in the aftermath of a close encounter, to help humanity “prepare for actual contact”.
The Guardian, 19 Aug 2011

see also – Say what?

climate change threat to plain English!

The complex couplings between human and natural systems that must be understood to respond to climate change, demands a robustly multi- and interdisciplinary approach to research.

Furthermore, attention to the differential gendered impacts and opportunities of climate change requires a deeply intersectional approach in which the relevance of factors such as class and race are considered alongside gender.
Monash University Conference (Australia) 15-16 Sept 2011

deluded about climate change?

Australian psychiatrists have described the first case of “climate change delusion”, a previously unreported illness in which a patient refused to drink water because he “felt guilty” about the effect it would have on the environment.

Dr Joshua Wolf & Dr Robert Salo, of the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, treated a 17-year-old patient who believed that “due to climate change, his own water consumption could lead within days to the deaths of millions of people.”

The report, published in the Royal Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, said the case was the first of its kind, directly linking anxiety over climate change to psychosis. Dr Robert Salo said he expected more patients to suffer from the disorder as long as the issue remained on the agenda.
The Telegraph (UK), 11 Jul 2008

the jig is up!

Plotted on a map of Britain, the sightings can be seen to stretch from Liverpool to Dover and from Llanelli to Derby. Whatever the explanation, experts agree that the number of suspected flying saucers has hit unusual highs this summer. Malcolm Robinson, who studies the phenomenon, said: “Something very bizarre is happening in the skies over the UK.”

The founder member of Strange Phenomena Investigations, added: “There has been an unusual number of sightings recently. “Some experts believe it could be linked to global warming and craft from outer space are appearing because they are concerned about what man is doing to this planet.”

The Telegraph, 7 Jul 2008

gingerbread houses continue to crumble

Gingerbread houses latest victim of global warming. Sweet-toothed Swedes who have spent hours constructing edible Christmas gingerbread houses are seeing their creations collapse in the Scandinavian country’s unusually damp winter, suppliers said on Monday.

“The damp weather spells immediate devastation for gingerbread houses. The problem is the mild winter,” spokesman at Sweden’s leading gingerbread wholesaler Anna’s, Aake Mattsson, told Swedish news agency TT.
Terra Daily, 11 Dec 2006

Run!

The deserts of north Africa are threatening to leap the Mediterranean and creep through Spain, according to government figures made public as part of a national campaign to halt desertification. A third of the country is at risk of being turned into desert as climate change and tourism add to the effects of farming.
The Guardian, 18 Jun 2005

thanks to Andrew Mark Harding

fish and chips are off the menu

Warming seas will push traditional fish favourites off the British menu, a study suggests. Fish such as haddock, plaice and lemon sole will decline as the North Sea warms by a predicted 1.8 degrees over 50 years, say scientists.

The classic fish and chips enjoyed by previous generations could be replaced by the likes of sardines and squid, according to a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change.
BBC News, 14/4/15

thanks to BadgerBod

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