pied flycatcher lays an egg!

Many British birds are laying their eggs earlier in the year as a result of climate change, a report by conservation groups claimed yesterday.

The report said birds were being forced to rapidly adapt their behaviour in order to survive, including altering their nesting and migration patterns and travelling further to find food.

Work carried out by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) surveying 30,000 nests showed species such as the chaffinch and robin are laying their eggs about a week earlier than they did during the 1960s.

Matt Murphy, ornithologist for the Countryside Council for Wales, said climate change was affecting the breeding patterns of pied flycatchers living in Welsh oak woodlands.

heraldscotland, 15 Aug 2008

the ups and downs of dengue transmission

Dengue is the world’s most prevalent mosquito-borne disease, with more than 200 million people each year becoming infected. We used a mechanistic virus transmission model to determine whether climate warming would change dengue transmission in Australia….

Using the ECHAM5 model, decreased dengue transmission was predicted under the A2 carbon emission scenario, whereas some increases are likely under the B1 scenario. Dengue epidemic potential may decrease under climate warming due to mosquito breeding sites becoming drier and mosquito survivorship declining.

These results contradict most previous studies that use correlative models to show increased dengue transmission under climate warming….

It is therefore naive to assume a simple relationship between climate and incidence, and incorrect to state that climate warming will uniformly increase dengue transmission, although in general the health impacts of climate change will be negative.

WILLIAMS, C.R., MINCHAM, G., FADDY, H., VIENNET, E., RITCHIE, S.A. and HARLEY, D. (2016) ‘Projections of increased and decreased dengue incidence under climate change’, Epidemiology and Infection, , pp. 1–10.

thanks to ddh

Bittern boom busted!

Rising sea could end the bittern boom. One of Britain’s rarest birds whose numbers climbed back from near extinction a decade ago faces a new threat from the sea.

Speaking at a conference at the Potteric Carr Nature Reserve in South Yorkshire, Dr Mark Avery, RSPB conservation director, said the Bittern population relied on breeding grounds such as the Minsmere Reserve along the Suffolk coast.

A substantial area of new reed bed will urgently need to be created away from the coast, and the threat of climate change-driven, sea level rise, he said. BBC News, 4 Mar 2008

calling all Earthlings!

“We need to radically and intelligently reduce human populations to fewer than one billion. We need to eliminate nationalism and tribalism and become Earthlings.

And as Earthlings, we need to recognize that all the other species that live on this planet are also fellow citizens and also Earthlings.

This is a planet of incredible diversity of life-forms; it is not a planet of one species as many of us believe. We need to stop burning fossil fuels and utilize only wind, water, and solar power with all generation of power coming from individual or small community units like windmills, waterwheels, and solar panels.

Sea transportation should be by sail. The big clippers were the finest ships ever built and sufficient to our needs. Air transportation should be by solar powered blimps when air transportation is necessary.”

seashepherd.org, May 4, 2007, Commentary by Paul Watson,Founder and President of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

green plans in the red!

The cost of efforts to avoid dangerous global warming may be 170 percent higher than 2007 estimates, a report for the UN’s climate agency said on Thursday.

The report comes four days before the UN leads a fresh round of talks in Poland to agree a successor to the Kyoto Protocol in ongoing negotiations marred by squabbles over who should bear the cost of fighting climate change.

The UN report cited research by the International Energy Agency (IEA), energy adviser to 28 countries, and others which showed growing capital costs especially in the energy sector.

The increased investment needed is entirely due to higher capital costs for energy supply facilities, it said.

Heat Is Online – Planetark.org, Nov. 28, 2008

You left out – do you hire Windows users or Apple users?

The New York Times is a leader in covering climate change. Now The Times is ramping up its coverage to make the most important story in the world even more relevant, urgent and accessible to a huge audience around the globe. We are looking for an editor to lead this dynamic new group.

We want someone with an entrepreneurial streak who is obsessed with finding new ways to connect with readers and new ways to tell this vital story.


The New York Times is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of an individual’s sex, age, race, color, creed, national origin, alienage, religion, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation or affectional preference, gender identity and expression, disability, genetic trait or predisposition, carrier status, citizenship, veteran or military status and other personal characteristics protected by law.

New York Times

thanks to ddh

did we miss anyone?

Climate change will expose more people – in less likely areas than previous – to wildfires, drought, hurricanes and flooding. The weather ambushes lead to increasing cases of PTSD.

Those at particular risk to mental health damage from the effects of global warming include:

  • – People displaced by extreme weather events
  • – Low income individuals with limited access to care
  • – Limited English proficiency individuals who may not comprehend public service campaigns
  • – Immigrant groups that may have not previously had adequate mental or physical health to withstand environmental damages
  • – Indigenous peoples who may remain on sovereign land whose infrastructures are not up kept by the government
  • – Children
  • – Homeless
  • – Pregnant Women
  • – Elders
  • – Persons with disabilities
  • – Outdoor 0ccupational groups
  • – Persons with pre-existing or chronic medical conditions.
Sovereign Health Group, 7th May 2016, About the author – “Sovereign Health Group staff writer Kristin Currin-Sheehan is a mindful spirit swimming in metaphysical pools with faith as her compass.”

Zebra finches read IPCC reports!

bird_reading
Scientists have long worried whether animals can respond to the planet’s changing climate. Now, a new study reports that at least one species of songbird—and likely many more—already knows how to prep its chicks for a warming world. They do so by emitting special calls to the embryos inside their eggs, which can hear and learn external sounds.

The idea that the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) parents were “talking to their eggs” occurred to Mylene Mariette, a behavioral ecologist at Deakin University in Waurn Ponds, Australia, while recording the birds’ sounds at an outdoor aviary. She noticed that sometimes when a parent was alone, it would make a rapid, high-pitched series of calls while sitting on the eggs.

She found that parents of both sexes uttered these calls only during the end of the incubation period and when the maximum daily temperature rose above 26°C (78.8°F). Mariette thinks the finches’ ability to prepare their offspring for their future environment makes sense because they live in arid habitats and they breed whenever conditions are good—irrespective of the season.

She adds that these finches show that some animals, at least, aren’t just sitting ducks when it comes to climate change—they may be much better able to adapt to a warming world than we thought.

Science mag, 18 Aug 2016

thanks to ddh

they all look the same to me

Climate change is being blamed for a changing of the guard among Sydney’s cockroach population.

Researchers say the most common sub-species in city households was the german cockroach, until it disappeared about seven years ago.

Martyn Robinson from the Australian Museum says the Australian house cockroach, methana marginalus, which likes warmer climates, has begun moving in.

“It’s most likely to be the…warmer climate,” he said.

ABC News (Australia), 14 Mar 2007

democracy in action

Copenhagen’s city council in conjunction with Lord Mayor Ritt Bjerregaard sent postcards out to 160 Copenhagen hotels urging COP15 Climate Change Conference guests and delegates to ‘Be sustainable – don’t buy sex’.

In response SIO (Sexarbejdernes Interesse Organisation; or the Sex workers Interest Organisation) announced on their website that this was a political attempt to criminalize sex work in the city.

They also announced that anyone who had received such a postcard could use it instead of payment:

“If you are a delegate at COP15, Sexworkers in Copenhagen are accepting the postcard as payment for sex.

In other words – we offer free sex for your postcard. We do this as a protest against the unjust and degrading campaign of the City Council. .

Employees and politicians of the Municipality of Copenhagen are exempted from the offer.”

Science Blogs, 15 Dec 2009

Cavendish the top banana – for now!

banana The forgotten death of the ‘Gros Michel’ banana bears a stark warning about how global warming could drive us all to starvation.

In the 1950s, the world happily chomped its way through two different varieties of banana. There was the Cavendish, the banana that we know and love today, and the Gros Michel, a smaller, sweeter variety. The Gros Michel, however, was wiped out in the same decade by a single disease.

The entire world trade in bananas, and many developing economies, are now based on a single variety, the Cavendish. Experts fear that it too may be vulnerable.

The Telegraph, 7 Dec 2015

the competitive world of weeds

Is global warming fueling a new generation of more aggressive weeds? According to recent research, the answer may be yes.

“Weeds are survivors,” said Lee Van Wychen, director of science policy for the Weed Science Society of America. “They can fill various niches and thrive under a wide range of conditions. While we have about 45 major crops in the U.S., there are more than 400 species of different weeds associated with those crops.”

“There is always another weed species ready to become a major competitor with a crop if growing conditions change, such as an increase in carbon dioxide levels.”

Weed Science Society of America, 25 Mar 2012

smarter than the average bear!

bearA historic Texas drought is driving bears into urban areas searching for food and water, the latest in a series of bizarre wildlife stories to come out of the deadly hot and dry weather across the nation.

They’re going to where they need to, said Louis Harveson, a Sul Ross State University professor of wildlife management who directs the school’s Borderlands Research Institute. “They’re scavengers — they’re basically an oversized raccoon.”

On a recent day, Penny Ferguson had returned from her 5:30 a.m. workout and, like any other morning, let her beagle out. The dog began barking wildly, and Ferguson ran outside to keep it from waking the neighbors.

A full-grown black bear on all fours, so big its shoulders reached her hips, was on her front lawn near the bird feeder. The bear ran out from under Ferguson’s front window and casually loped across the street. It wasn’t much bothered, but didn’t like the noise, said Ferguson, whose home in Fort Davis, Texas, is nestled near Davis mountains southeast of El Paso.

“We’re in town, much further into town than I would ever expect bears to be coming.”
Heat Is Online – Planetark.org, 1 Aug 2011

expert advice

It is in this context that Lehman Brothers decided to take a hard look at global warming, starting with the scientific and climatological evidence, then proceedings to the economic consequences and implications for policy; and finally – with significant help from the Firm’s equity analysts – considering potential impacts on major business sectors.

The result is this publication: The Business of Climate Change: Challenges and Opportunities…And, as the title indicates, we consider that climate change poses many challenges but also presents many business opportunities…

This study is far from the last word; indeed, we see it as just a starting point for a dialogue with our investing an corporate clients. As the discussions with our clients and policy experts progress, we will take this work further.

Lehman Brothers, The Business of Climate Change, February 2007

a case for procrastination

Global warming could release radioactive waste stored in an abandoned Cold War-era U.S. military camp deep under Greenland’s ice caps if a thaw continues to spread in coming decades, scientists said on Friday.

Camp Century was built in northwest Greenland in 1959 as part of U.S. research into the feasibility of nuclear missile launch sites in the Arctic, the University of Zurich said in a statement. Staff left gallons of fuel and an unknown amount of low-level radioactive coolant there when the base shut down in 1967 on the assumption it would be entombed forever, according to the university.

It is all currently about 35 metres (114.83 ft) down. But the part of the ice sheet covering the camp could start to melt by the end of the century on current trends, the scientists added.

The study said it would be extremely costly to try to remove any waste now. It recommended waiting “until the ice sheet has melted down to almost expose the wastes before beginning site remediation.”

The Globe and Mail, 5 Aug 2016

thanks to ddh

censure the locavores!

Locavores, those who aim to eat locally grown food, may be doing more harm than good to the environment, writes Simon Webster.

British consumers would be better off buying dairy products from New Zealand than from their own country, a report from Lincoln University, New Zealand, concluded last year.

British dairy produces 35 per cent more greenhouse gas emissions than New Zealand dairy, even including transport from New Zealand to Britain, the report found. This is because New Zealand agriculture uses fewer fertilisers and its dairy cows graze outside on grass, whereas British cows are housed in barns where they eat bought-in, concentrated feed.

More efficient farming methods also make New Zealand lamb and apples better options in Britain than local produce, the researchers found.

Sydney Morning Herald, 12 Nov 2008

a shadow of their former selves

Songbirds in the US are getting smaller, and climate change is suspected as the cause. A study of almost half a million birds, belonging to over 100 species, shows that many are gradually becoming lighter and growing shorter wings.

This shrinkage has occurred within just half a century, with the birds thought to be evolving into a smaller size in response to warmer temperatures.

Dr Josh Van Buskirk of the University of Zurich, Switzerland and colleagues Mr Robert Mulvihill and Mr Robert Leberman of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Rector, Pennsylvania, US decided to evaluate the sizes of hundreds of thousands of birds that pass through the Carnegie Museum’s Powdermill ringing station, also in Pennsylvania.

But some species are losing more weight. For example, the rose-breasted grosbeak has declined in mass by about 4%, while the Kentucky warbler has dropped 3.3% in weight and the scarlet tanager 2.3%. The headline finding is that the body sizes of many species of North American birds, mostly songbirds, are gradually becoming smaller, says Dr Buskirk.

Heat Is Online – originally BBCNews.com, 13 Mar 2010

climate change causes swelled heads!

Jessica Ash and Gordon Gallup studied 109 fossilized skulls from different lattitudes to determine that “climate may have been an important selective force behind the evollution of human cranial capacity,” according to Gallup, who theorised that changes in global temperature could account for as much as 50 per cent of the variation in headmeat.

“Specifically we found that as the distance from the equator increased, north or south, so did brain size,” he said.

The researchers will publish their study in the spring edition of Human Nature.

Wired, 22 Mar 2007

an optimist speaks!

New research shows penguins will suffer in a warming world. But the important extension of this work is into the future.

The scientists took their current knowledge of penguin health and climate and asked what will happen to these penguins in the future. Since we do not have measurements in the future, the scientists used climate models.

These models are computer calculations of the actual climate that will exist in the future, and the calculations are based on our best understanding of how the climate system works.

Fortunately, climate models have an excellent history in predicting how the future will evolve.

I expect that now with the science of climate change settled (in the sense we know the climate is changing and we know humans are the main cause), scientists will turn their attention to impacts research.

Dr John Abraham, a professor of thermal sciences in The Guardian, 3 Aug 2016 – emphasis and underline by this website

thanks to ddh

a timely warning!

A climate researcher yesterday painted a dark picture of an inundated American coastline and the resulting economic impact should the west Antarctic ice sheet melt because of man-caused global warming within the next century.

“It is surely the most dramatic of the possible carbon-induced effects and its initiation cannot be ruled out as a possibility before the end of this century,” said Dr Stephen Schneider of the National Centre for Atmospheric Research at Boulder, Colo. in a report to a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Schneider and Robert Chen of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology examined the implications of a 15 to 25 foot rise in ocean levels for the United States.

The nation’s coastline would change markedly. A 25-foot rise in sea level would submerge Savannah, Ga, Charleston S.C., four of the eight Virginia cities with populations over 100,000, one fourth of Delaware and portions of Washington, D.C.

The Palm Beach Post, 8 Jan 1979

thanks to Albert

the perils of climate science

From depression to substance abuse to suicide and post-traumatic stress disorder, growing bodies of research in the relatively new field of psychology of global warming suggest that climate change will take a pretty heavy toll on the human psyche as storms become more destructive and droughts more prolonged.

For your everyday environmentalist, the emotional stress suffered by a rapidly changing Earth can result in some pretty substantial anxieties.

Two years ago, Camille Parmesan, a professor at Plymouth University and the University of Texas at Austin, became so “professionally depressed” that she questioned abandoning her research in climate change entirely.

“I don’t know of a single scientist that’s not having an emotional reaction to what is being lost,” Parmesan is quoted saying in the National Wildlife Federation’s 2012 report, “The Psychological Effects of Global Warming on the United States: And Why the U.S. Mental Health Care System is Not Adequately Prepared.”.

Heat Is Online – originally Madeleine Thomas in Grist.org, Oct. 28, 2014

the English and the Swedes to fade out!

Olympic Athletes Challenged by New Opponent: Global Warming.

Marathon runners, swimmers, volleyball players and even soccer referees will succumb to extreme temperatures and lose concentration during the games, in some cases risking their lives to heatstroke, according to a report released Monday by Observatorio do Clima, a Brazilian civil society group.

“Because of warming, sport will never be the same again,” and fewer records than in previous games are likely to fall as a result, the report said.

The heat is likely to be painful for athletes from colder climates, says Brazilian tennis player Fernando Meligeni. He reckons European players won’t be used to the humidity, which will make them sweat more than usual.

“I believe that the English and the Swedish, for example, will fade out,” Meligeni said, according to the report.

Bloomberg, 8 Aug 2016

thanks to ddh

we feel your pain

Can you relate to this grieving process? If so, you might find solace in the fact that you are not alone: Climate science researchers, scientists, journalists and activists have all been struggling with grief around what we are witnessing.

Last year I wrote about the work of Joanna Macy, a scholar of Buddhism, eco-philosophy, general systems theory and deep ecology, and author of more than a dozen books.

Her initiative, The Work That Reconnects, helps people essentially do nothing more mysterious than telling the truth about what we see, know and feel is happening to our world.

In order to remain able to continue in our work, we first must feel the full pain of what is being done to the world, according to Macy.

“Refusing to feel pain, and becoming incapable of feeling the pain, which is actually the root meaning of apathy, refusal to suffer – that makes us stupid, and half alive,” she told me. “It causes us to become blind to see what is really out there.”

Heat Is Online – originally Dahr Jamail, Truthout.org. Jan 25, 2015

lemming numbers are falling off a cliff!

Climate change is bringing wetter winters to southern Norway, a bleak prospect for the region’s lemmings.

Scientists found that numbers of the animals no longer vary over a regular cycle, as they did until a decade ago; there are no more bumper years.

The snow is not stable enough, they think, to provide winter shelter. Writing in the journal Nature, the researchers suggest the lack of Norwegian lemmings is affecting other animals such as foxes and owls.

Heat Is Online – originally BBCNews, 6 Nov 2008

Batman, Superman, etc, not needed!

In a recent study published in The Journal of Industrial Ecology, researchers at the Center for Environmental Strategy at the University of Surrey in England estimated the annual carbon footprint of crime in England and Wales, and found that reducing crime could actually cause society’s overall carbon footprint of society to increase.

While there is an energy cost to operating prisons, the study notes, inmates generally consume less than an average citizen in the country, so fewer prisoners might mean higher overall energy consumption.

Additionally, the money saved from reducing crime would go into the government’s budget and people’s pockets. All that money could be spent in other ways — infrastructure, buildings or goods — that may require more energy to produce or operate, possibly adding more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

New York Times, 3 Aug 2016

thanks to ddh

climate change causes increase in bad writing!

The language of ice in Antarctica gains clarity at about 500 feet up. It’s from here, glimpsed through the just open tailgate of a low-flying aircraft, that the nuance of its vocabulary, baffling in the scientific reports, may be heard.

The soft fragility of the floes, a translucent crust over the bays. The booming magificence of a glacier, its echo extending to an ice shelf that calves icebergs into the sea. Isolated islands of ice, their ballast glowing emerald green under the water, pushing loudly into the subdued scatter of pack ice.

Screaming cravasses fracturing the ice sheet, revealing unfathomable blue in its depths. The dynamics of the forces creating all this continues to confound scientists, who are now scrambling to translate and explain the language of ice even as it seems to find new and troubling expressions.

Jo Chandler, the Age (Australia), 21 Jan 2008 – screen copy held by this website

don’t tread on a sheep!

Sheep living on a remote island off the coast of Scotland have been shrinking for 20 years. Now it seems shorter winters caused by climate change are responsible.

Soay sheep are a primitive breed of domestic sheep, which live on the island of Hirta, in the St Kilda archipelago, without human interference. From 1955 onwards, the population has been closely studied.

Over the last 20 years, the average size of the sheep has been getting smaller, but it has been unclear why – particularly as natural selection would tend to drive the development of bigger bodies.

Kaustuv Roy, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California San Diego, who was not involved in the study, is impressed. “Their results are really useful, because they tease apart the different processes. It’s a really nice study,” he says.

New Scientist, 2 Jul 2009

the golden-winged warbler saves the day!

Birds appear to be able to sense a coming storm and fly away before it hits, according to research on golden-winged warblers in the United States.

”It’s the first time we’ve documented this type of storm avoidence behaviour in birds during breeding season,” said ecologist Henry Streby at the University of California.

“There’s growing research that shows that tornadoes are becoming more common and severe with climate change, so evasive actions like the one the warbler took might become more than necessary.” said Streby.

Illawarra Mercury, 20 Dec 2014 – screen copy held by this website

we’re going to need more psychologists!

Climate change will have significant negative impacts on Americans’ health and psychological well-being, due to an increase in the frequency and severity of climate-related natural disasters and other climate-related changes in the environment and weather.

Likely effects, which will increase as climate change’s physical impacts accelerate, include stress, anxiety, depression and a loss of community identity, says a new report from the American Psychological Association and ecoAmerica.

Climate change is also likely to result in an increase in post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health conditions because of the rise in the number and severity of natural disasters, according to the report. Climate change could also lead to increased feelings of loss and helplessness if individuals and communities are forced to relocate.

“The striking thing is how these effects will permeate so many aspects of our daily lives,” said Norman B. Anderson, PhD, CEO of the American Psychological Association.

news-medical, 10 Jun 2014

sounds more like the description of a tax collector

As we worry about the ability of some species to run from climate change and escape extinction, ticks, mosquitoes, kissing bugs, and the parasites they carry may thrive under climate change.

Where will these crawling and flying disease carriers move? And who will be at risk for what were once called tropical diseases?

A forest nymph brushing against a hiker doesn’t begin to drink blood immediately. She crawls across the skin, searching for a comfortable dinner spot.

She grips her prey with spindly legs and uses knife-like mouthparts to slice into human skin. She secretes cement around the wound, binding herself to her host, and then begins to imbibe.

Once attached, this offspring of a changing climate can’t be simply brushed off.

statnews.com, 1 Jul 2016

thanks to ddh

funding needed!

Reproductive efficiency has suffered a dramatic decrease since the mid-1980s despite rapid worldwide progress in genetics and management of high producing dairy herds.

Researchers from the University of Barcelona propose that summer heat stress is likely to be a major factor related to low fertility in high producing dairy herds, especially in countries with warm weather.

Further studies should try to establish the effect of global warming at the farm level. This problem is reflected with warm summers and even with peaks of temperatures in winter.

Science 2.0, 5 Sep 2007

movie potential!

The world’s oldest mummies are at risk of disappearing because of man-made climate change, according to a group of Harvard University scientists.

Bodies mummified about 7,000 years ago in Chile are starting to rapidly degrade, the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences said Monday in an e-mailed statement. Tests by Harvard’s Alice DeAraujo and Ralph Mitchell show that microbes that flourish in an increasingly humid climate are turning the preserved remains of Chinchorro hunter-gatherers into “black ooze.”
Bloomberg, 10 Mar 2015<?a>

Your Earth needs you!

“My audit of my family’s contribution to global warming: maintain our lease on the hybrid fuel car (uses significantly less petrol); follow David Suzuki’s maxim of walking or cycling whenever a journey is needed, or use the train; plant more vegies so we can consume where we produce; recycle our clothing needs by visiting the op-shop; install water tanks; put solar panels on our roof.”
Susan Ackroyd, Sydney Morning Herald, 9 Nov 2006

why didn’t someone tell us this before?

For more than 30 years, Dr Joseph Reser, of the Australian Psychological Society, has been studying how people respond to environmental and natural disasters.

Over the past year, he has been in charge of studies relating to the psychological impact of climate change. Reser says research has found that saturation coverage of the issue in the media is causing some people to suffer a range of negative emotions, such as distress, frustration and anger.

“Many psychological and social science studies have been written about media overload. there’s so much discrepant information that people find it very difficult to make sense of it all,” he says.

The Australian Psychological Society says there are strategies people can use to overcome feelings of anxiety about the future. Perhaps the most useful advice it gives is to simply take a “news break”.

Switch off the radio and TV and avoid reading the newspaper for a few days. A tip that’s so obvious yet many of us forget that we have the power to do so.

The Age, 14 Jul 2007 – screen copy held by this website

stating the obvious

Global warming will force more animals onto the threatened species list, and some endangered animals will probably become extinct.

The mouse sized pygmy possum, which lives only in frosty alpine regions of NSW and Victoria, is one of the species most at risk as the temperature rises.

National Parks and Wildlife Service spokesman John Dengate said: “If the climate warms up the mountain pygmy possum will have to go further up the mountains. But they are already at the top and can’t go any further.”

Sun Herald, 26 Aug 2007 – screen copy held by this website

turtles need to speed up!

speeding_turtleSea turtles are among the earth’s oldest creatures. They have been around in various forms for 110 million years, since the age of the dinosaurs. During this time they have, of course, dealt with several changes in climate.

The difference with today’s climate change is its speed. “Compared to the past,” says Booth, “this change is happening lightning fast.” This is bad news for sea turtles, which are slow-growing and long-living (between 50 and 70 years), meaning they pass on adaptive traits only gradually.

“Basically, if the turtles can’t adapt fast enough, if they can’t move rookeries or change breeding seasons, then they’re doomed.”
Sydney Morning Herald, 29 Mar 2014

foragers making slow progress

Foragers looking for sloes this year are facing a poor harvest because of the weather, according to gardeners. Sloes are the last fresh fruit you can pick in Britain before the winter sets in and is traditionally picked in Autumn to make sloe gin for Christmas.

Graeme Proctor, from Crown Nursery in Suffolk, said the weather had not been good for sloes for the last two summers. He said: “Because last year’s summer was very bad, it meant the fruit bud initiation on which this year’s crop would grow was very poor. This led to fewer flower buds this spring. He blamed climate change for the bad weather.”

He added: “For that reason [climate change], it’s been a bad year for all stone fruit including plums. It’s all down to global warming.”
The Telegraph (UK), 14 Oct 2008

the sky isn’t falling – it’s shrinking!

Scientists have discovered yet another enigma about our planet: the thermosphere has undergone serious shrinkage. The thermosphere is the largest portion of the Earth’s atmosphere and is the next-to-last region before you reach the vacuum of outer space.

While we are coming out of one of the longer periods of low solar activity in a century, scientists have found that the thermosphere has shrunk some 28 percent. That’s the largest drop in recorded history, and they cannot explain why.
ars technica, 22 Jul 2012

cart before horse

The Centre for Psycho-Social Studies at the University of the West of England is organising a major interdisciplinary event Facing Climate Change on this topic at UWE on 7 March 2009.

Professor Paul Hoggett is helping to organise the conference. “We will examine denial from a variety of different perspectives – as the product of addiction to consumption, as the outcome of diffusion of responsibility and the idea that someone else will sort it out and as the consequence of living in a perverse culture which encourages collusion, complacency, irresponsibility,” he said.
The Telegraph (UK) September 17th, 2010

thanks to Andrew Mark Harding

I’ve told you a hundred million times, don’t exaggerate!

The day will soon come when we shall be roused from our beds, not by the ringing of the alarm clock, but by the rising sea levels slapping us on our slumbering faces. That is how serious global warming is. What makes it worse is that we shall all be so morbidly obese by then we won’t be able to rise from our beds to save ourselves.

There is absolutely, positively no question whatsoever that we are in the midst of a climate change crisis. It is also categorically and undeniably beyond any dispute that it is man-made. Maybe.
The Age (Australia), 13 Nov 2006

stating the obvious

turtle

The male sea turtle is a rather promiscuous creature, so it suits him to be naturally outnumbered by the female of the species. But the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority is wondering if male turtles will be so outnumbered in future the species will fail to breed.

The authority is concerned that global warming will push up the temperature of turtle eggs as they incubate in sand. The warmer the egg, the more likely the hatchling will be female.

“While the natural population can be female-skewed,” says the authority’s species conservation unit manager Dr Kirstin Dobbs, “males obviously play a key role.”

The Age (Australia), 17 Nov 2005

pity the poor immigrant

A California anti-immigration group has created a multimedia ad campaign blaming immigrants for climate change and environmental degradation in California.

Californians for Population Stabilization, or CAP, argues that immigrants, legal and illegal, increase their carbon footprint four-fold when they move to the US and “Americanize” their consumption habits, thus exacerbating climate problems.

According to CAP President Diane Hull, “Californians [have] made significant progress in energy conservation over the last couple of decades. However, the progress has been mitigated by massive population growth over the same period, driven by immigration and births to immigrants.”
Triple Pundit, 10 Nov 2009

one swallow doesn’t make…

In what experts say is the first documented evidence of the species “overwintering” here, a solitary swallow has been monitored from November to the end of February in a village near Truro, Cornwall.

Paul Stancliffe, a spokesman for the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), called the discovery “incredible”. As further evidence of climate change, volunteers have also recorded “early returns” by many migrants this year, as well as unseasonably early nesting by birds that ordinarily remain here.
The Telegraph (UK), 16 Mar 2008

beware of lurking frog finders

Melbourne Water has encouraged volunteers to record frog calls in their local areas. Armed with digital recorders, a small army of dedicated “frog finders” will lurk at local waterholes to seek out vociferous amphibians.

The annual frog census, now in its ninth year, was launched at Werribee Zoo yesterday as part of World Animal Day. Melbourne Water’s manager of waterways, Chris Chesterfield, said frogs were a key barometer of environmental health but climate change was taking its toll.
Sydney Morning Herald, 5 Oct 2009

ban cities!

In the concrete jungle at the core of a city, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are dominated by the fossil fuels burned by the dense concentrations of cars and buildings.

Boston University researchers now have shown, however, that in metropolitan areas surrounding the city core, plant roots and decomposing organic material in soil give off enough CO2, in a process termed “soil respiration,” to make an unexpectedly great contribution to total emissions.

“When people mulch their landscaped areas or fertilize their lawns, they’re putting out yummy fresh highly decomposable carbon that soil microbes can use,” says Pamela Templer, Associate Professor of Biology. “And that’s stimulating microbial growth and loss of CO2 out of these urban soils.”

Science Daily, 23 Feb 2016

thanks to ddh

anyone remember when the word science meant science?

The Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003 (UK) prohibit discrimination in the workplace by reason of any religion or belief. The regulations were amended in 2007, so that “belief” now means “any religious or philosophical belief”.

Tim Nicholson claimed that he was dismissed from his position because of his extremely strongly held belief that it is necessary to significantly reduce carbon emissions in order to avoid a global catastrophe.

In today’s ruling, Mr Justice Michael Burton decided that: “A belief in man-made climate change, and the alleged resulting moral imperatives, is capable if genuinely held, of being a philosophical belief for the purpose of the 2003 Religion and Belief Regulations.”

“Under those regulations it is unlawful to discriminate against a person on the grounds of their religious or philosophical beliefs.”

Personnel Today, 27 May 2009

scientific proof!

“Anzac Day, April 25, is a temperature marker for me because for many years I’ve risen at much the same time, for more than a decade as a reporter to cover the dawn services and later because I have become, since my misspent 20s, an early riser.”

“It is beyond doubt that Anzac Days these days are not as cold as they used to be. As a young reporter out and about at six on Anzac Day morning I’d be wearing every piece of warm clothing I could find and long costs were common, but the change has been such that these days the most that’s required is a light jacket and if coats are worn it’s for formal reasons.”
Jeff Corbett, reporter, Newcaste Herald (Australia), 5 Jun 2007 – screen copy held by this website

climate change is like a wet blanket

According to a new working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research, warmer weather means less “coital frequency.” “Extreme heat leads to a sizable fall in births,” the study says.

“Temperature extremes could affect coital frequency. It could affect hormone levels and sex drives. Alternatively, high temperatures may adversely affect reproductive health or semen quality on the male side or ovulation on the female side,” say the three economists from Tulane University, University of California and University of Central Florida who wrote the paper.

In the paper, Maybe Next Month? Temperature Shocks, Climate Change and Dynamic Adjustments in Birth Rates, the researchers predict that “increased temperatures due to climate change may reduce population growth rates in the coming century.”

Looking at 80 years of U.S. fertility and temperature data, they found that “additional days above 80 degrees Fahrenheit cause a large decline in birth rates approximately eight to 10 months later.” And these would-be parents often do not “make up for lost time in subsequent, cooler months,” reports Bloomberg.
EcoWatch, 4 Nov 2015

thanks to Peter

life not a box of….

chocolateAll signs point to a pretty terrifying future for the world if scientists’ warnings about climate change continue to fall on deaf ears. But now, it looks like our inability to address climate change adequately might cost us one of the world’s most pure, innocent, and wonderful pleasures: chocolate.

According to Barry Callebaut Group, the world’s largest chocolate manufacturing company, our growing love for chocolate might mean “a potential cocoa shortage by 2020.” But the shortage isn’t just about the world going crazy for chocolate — it also has a lot to do with climate change…. Higher temperatures mean that more water evaporates into the air from leaves and earth, leaving less behind for cocoa trees — a process called “evapotranspiration.”
Salon, 20 Nov 2014

thanks to Peter