red squirrels jump the gun

University of Alberta researchers recently concluded a 10-year study showing that red squirrels in the Yukon are reproducing earlier in the year in response to global warming and thus being genetically affected by it.

The researchers, who studied the mating habits and DNA of more than 5,000 female red squirrels, found that litters were being born an average of three weeks earlier than they historically had been.

We’ve been the first to show that this is a genetic change … and not just behavioral change, professor Stan Boutin, who led the team that conducted the study, told a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reporter. Heat Is Online – originally Discover.com, July 23 2003

global catastrophe!

Climate change over the next 20 years could result in a global catastrophe costing millions of lives in wars and natural disasters.

A secret report, suppressed by US defence chiefs and obtained by The Observer, warns that major European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a ‘Siberian’ climate by 2020. Nuclear conflict, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting will erupt across the world.

The document predicts that abrupt climate change could bring the planet to the edge of anarchy as countries develop a nuclear threat to defend and secure dwindling food, water and energy supplies.

The threat to global stability vastly eclipses that of terrorism, say the few experts privy to its contents. An imminent scenario of catastrophic climate change is ‘plausible and would challenge United States national security in ways that should be considered immediately’, they conclude.

As early as next year widespread flooding by a rise in sea levels will create major upheaval for millions.

The Guardian, 22 Feb 2004

see also – just plain scary

putting the squeeze on Salamanders

Wild salamanders that live in the Appalachian Mountains are shrinking because they must burn more energy as the local climate gets hotter and drier, according to a new study.

Researchers found that the salamanders they collected between 1980 and 2012 were 8 percent smaller than those collected in earlier decades, starting in 1957.

The findings confirm predictions that some species will shrink in response to climate change. The climate where the salamanders live has gotten warmer and drier, researchers said.

We compared the size of the museum specimens to the current animals and we were surprised to see that, in fact, many species has become smaller over just a 50- to 60-year period, said study author Karen Lips, a biologist at the University of Maryland.

Heat Is Online, 11 Apr 2014 – Livescience.com

stay-at-home brants

Scientists have documented that increasing numbers of black brant are skipping that far southern migration and staying in Alaska instead.
Fewer than 3,000 wintered in Alaska before 1977. In recent years, however, more than 40,000 have remained north, with as many as 50,000 staying there last year, during the most ice-free winter that the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge had seen in more than a decade.
The temperatures now in winter are much warmer, said David Ward, a researcher at U.S. Geological Survey’s Alaska Science Center, who conducted the research along with scientists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
“In years past you’d often have ice that would build up in these lagoons, and the eelgrass would be unavailable for the winter period. But now that’s changing.”

Heat Is Online, 30 Oct 2014 – Environmental Health News

cool shades

A proposal to reverse climate change by placing mirrors in the sky to reflect sunlight away from Earth won’t give us back the same climate we had before we started emitting so much carbon dioxide, says a new study.

Researchers at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom applied state-of-the-art global climate models to predict the effect of using reflective sunshades to send a fraction of the sunlight that enters Earth’s atmosphere back into space before it can heat things up.

Although we managed to cancel out warming on a global average, what you end up with is some areas that warm up and some that cool down, said Dan Lunt, who led the study, published in Geophysical Research Letters. Heat Is Online – originally Discovery.com, July 8, 2008

drawing the line

In Sydney’s Elanora Heights, Dick Clarke, 50, a building designer, lives with his wife, Bronwyn, and two of his three sons (Peter, 20, and Tim, 17) in an environmentally friendly house.

Clarke’s upstairs home office, perched among gently swaying melaleucas, is a kind of nest for the sustainable man. “A sustainabe lifestyle guides so much of what I do,” says Clarke. “But it’s a journey with no end point.

You have to come to grips with where you want to draw the line. we have water tanks, solar power, but we don’t grow any food, which is a priority if you want to live sustainably. But I can’t do a vege patch, I work 18 hours a day.”

Clarke seems to have an involuntary reflex that switches off lights and computers a he moves through his house.

“Things seem to magically turn on as the kids walk past,” he says, shaking his head.

“They call me an eco-nazi. Sometimes I lose it and hide the amp lead, take lights away from them. But sometimes you have to turn a blind eye to a 20-minute shower.”

The Sun Herald (Sydney), 29 Jul 2007 – screen copy held by this website

take a train today!

Greenpeace propelled airline travel into the headlines as a climate change issue when it offered airline passengers free train tickets if they would give up their seats in Britain in June.

The lobby group argued that the main problem with flying was the growth in short-haul flights. It predicted that by 2050 emissions from aviation could wipe out emissions savings made by every other industry combined. Sydney Morning Herald, 17 Oct 2007

see also – action plan

not all bad news!

Belgian scientists have identified a hitherto unsuspected benefit of global warming – more time for all of us. They say increasing levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere will slow the Earth’s rotation.

One of the team, Dr Olivier de Viron, told BBC News Online: “When you increase the amount of CO2, you perturb the atmosphere’s dynamics, the winds and so on. We know that globally the wind blowing from West to East will increase, so the Earth’s rotation will decrease. “The days will be longer – and the nights won’t be shorter to compensate.”

“It means 24 hours won’t be 24 hours any more. It will be something a little bit more.”

BBC News, 12 Feb 2002

delving into deep frames

Communicating the climate message to inform, but also engage and influence behaviour has proven intensely difficult. Over a decade of research on this issue has highlighted the need for communication to engage with people’s “deep frames” – beliefs formed over a lifetime, which are mostly subconscious.

My research paper, recently published in WIRES Climate Change draws upon cognitive science, evolutionary psychology and philosophy, among other fields, to explore the emerging idea that global warming exceeds modern humans’ cognitive and sensory abilities. To overcome this impasse, climate communication needs to engage people at a philosophical, sensory and feeling level.

People need to be able to feel and touch the new climate reality; to explore unfamiliar emotional terrain and be helped to conceive their existence differently. How is this to be done? The world must turn to its artists: storytellers, film-makers; musicians; painters and multi-media wizards, to name a few.

Under the global Future Earth initiative, a team of around 60,000 scientists and social scientists has been assembled to understand and report on the physical, tangible dimensions of the problem.

I argue we need 60,000 arts and humanities experts to focus upon the intangibles – the communication, engagement and meaning-making aspects of the problem.

Elizabeth Boulton, PhD Candidate, cross-disciplinary approaches to climate and environmental risk, Australian National University, Conversation, 8 Jun 2016

window closing

The report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, whose wording was agreed in Brussels only yesterday after all-night disputes between scientists and governments and last-minute objections from the US, China and Saudi Arabia over wording and graphics, bluntly says: “Unmitigated climate change would, in the long term, be likely to exceed the capacity of natural, managed and human systems to adapt.”

In a sobering assessment, the report finds this warming would mean “approximately 20 per cent to 30 per cent of plant and animal species assessed so far are likely to be at increased risk of extinction”.

It also warns of malnutrition, water shortages, disease and injury from predicted increases in heatwaves, droughts, storms and other severe weather events. Professor Terry Hughes, of James Cook University, who contributed to the report, said time was running out for coral reefs.

“We have a narrow window of opportunity – no more than 20 years to achieve decisive cuts in greenhouse gases – to protect coral reefs from massive degradation,” he said.

Sydney Morning Herald, 7 Apr 2007

see also – just plain scary

bye, bye…

Populations of the rusty blackbird, a once-abundant North American species, have declined drastically in recent years, and Auburn University researchers say climate change is to blame.
That’s the finding of graduate students Chris McClure, Brian Rolek and Kenneth McDonald published recently in the scientific journal Ecology and Evolution.
Under the direction of ornithology professor Geoffrey Hill, McClure, Rolek and McDonald studied the blackbird decline and wrote the paper “Climate change and the decline of a once common bird.”
“Changing climate is affecting everything,” McClure said. “These birds used to be everywhere and usually when people are talking about climate change, you look at the effects on an isolated species, such as some rare bird on a mountaintop somewhere.”
“But our research proved that it has a much wider effect. These birds literally span an entire continent, living in different climates, and yet they are affected just as much as anything else.”

Phys Org, 20 Feb 2012

invasion – blood sucking moths!

Global warming is bringing more warmer-climate creatures to Finland, including moths that feast on human blood, according to nature researchers.

Insect-watchers are spotting more and more calpe moths in the Nordic country, which used to be considered too cold for the insects from southeast Asia, Finnish nature magazine “Suomen Luonto” reported in its June edition.

The journal published what it said were the first pictures showing the moths — calyptra thalictri — sucking human blood. The species was first sighted in Finland in 2000, but more than 100 of them have been counted since then, the journal said.

Reuters, 4 Jun 2007

see also – invasion!

global warming explained

The current situation – the Poles glaciers’ melting is accelerating. The climate and geological changes will be increased because the planet Eris/ Nibiru hasn’t even been close to Pluto, its nearest point to Earth is supposed to happen between 2010 and 2012.

At present identical phenomena (global warming, volcanoes activation, etc.) also take place on other planets from our solar system because of Eris/ Nibiru.

Few examples: The Neptune’s moon, Triton is warming (BBC Science & Technology News, July 25, 1999), The Neptune’s moon, Triton is warming (BBC Science & Technology News, July 25, 1999), Pluto experiences an extraordinary heating (Massachusetts Institute of Technology News, October 9, 2002), Volcanic eruption on Jupiter’s satellite Io (Icarus Astronomy, November 2002), The warming of Mars (ABC News, December 7, 2002), The warming of Saturn.

Scientists of the UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) – physics and astronomy department and those at the University of Boston have noticed that the temperature of the superior atmosphere of Saturn is higher that estimated.

Thus, professor Alan Aylward at UCLA considers necessary the reexamination of the main hypotheses regarding the planetary atmosphere and establishing the cause of the respective heating.

He also noticed a similar process on Mars, concluding: “Studying the aspects within other planetary atmospheres will help us to find out clues of the Terra’s future.”

UFO Digest, 30 May 2007

beavers blamed!

Beavers are contributing to climate change, adding an estimated 800 million kg of methane to the atmosphere every year, scientists have found.

In their work published in the Springer journal AMBIO, experts note that carbon builds up in oxygen-poor pond bottoms like those created by beavers, and methane is generated. The gas cannot be dissolved and is released into the atmosphere.

Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada have found this methane release from beaver ponds is now 200 times higher than it was a century ago.

Lead author Colin J Whitfield and his team estimated the size of the current global beaver population and the area covered by their ponds to work out the methane release.

Whitfield said: “The dynamic nature of beaver-mediated methane emissions in recent years may portend the potential for future changes in this component of the global methane budget. Continued range expansion, coupled with changes in population and pond densities, may dramatically increase the amount of water impounded by the beaver.”

“This, in combination with anticipated increases in surface water temperatures, and likely effects on rates of methanogenesis, suggests that the contribution of beaver activity to global methane emissions may continue to grow.” International Business Times, 17 Dec 2014

rainbow faces cut-throat competition

Montana’s Flathead Basin has long been a spawning haven for the westslope cutthroat trout. But as waters in the region warm, rainbow trout have swum up from the western lakes where they were introduced decades ago to cutthroat native grounds.

As rainbow trout meet and interbreed with dwindling cutthroat trout populations, the survival of cutthroat trout is at risk. Instead, a hybrid species is taking its place.

“It’s a major cause of species extinction—lots of species are now disappearing because they are being genetically swamped by other, commoner ones,” said Stuart Pimm, a professor of conservation ecology at Duke University.

In some cases, hybridization can lead to reduced genetic diversity in animals, according to David Tallmon, an associate professor of biology at the University of Alaska. “Rather than growing a new branch on the [genetic] tree, you have two branches growing together,” he said.

In the case of cutthroat-rainbow trout hybrids, the hybrids are less genetically fit, with offspring of the hybrids struggling to survive, a study led by researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey found.

Scientific American, 1 Jun 2015

glass for a day

Given that Australia produces the second highest greenhouse gas emissions per person in the world after the US, will the average urban Australian come on board? Giselle Wilkinson, 53, admits it’s sometimes a struggle.

As we talk, Wilkinson, who lives in Heidelberg Heights in Melbourne, with her daughters, Mereki, 20, and Hannah, 19, stirs a neat bunch of garden fresh lemon balm in the teapot.

Stuck on a cabinet above her is a note – “Choose your glass for the day” – to save on washing up. The Sun Herald (Sydney), 29 Jul 2007 – screen copy held by this website

escape corridor

Australia will create a wildlife corridor spanning the continent to allow animals and plants to flee the effects of global warming, scientists say.

The 2,800-kilometre climate “spine”, approved by state and national governments, will link the country’s entire east coast, from the snow-capped Australian alps in the south to the tropical north – the distance from London to Romania.

The corridor, under discussion since the 1990s as the argument in support of climate change strengthened, will link national parks, state forests and government land. It will help preserve scores of endangered species.

The Age (Australia), 9 Jul 2007

see also – action plan

new culprit identified!

In the charge against global warming, carbon dioxide has long held sway as public enemy number one. But now, less-recognized molecules are entering the fray as significant agents of global warming.
Aerosols emitted from smokestacks, exhaust pipes and domestic cooking fires consist of substances such as sulphates and nitrates that scatter light and have a local cooling effect; they also contain black carbon — or soot — a byproduct of incomplete combustion, which absorbs light.
In a study published recently in Nature2, Veerabhadran Ramanathan, an atmospheric scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California, and colleagues, report that aerosols locked up in brown clouds over Asia are significant contributors to regional warming.
“Brown clouds from the United States cover the Atlantic, the European brown cloud goes over central Asia, and China’s brown cloud crosses the Pacific over to us,” says Ramanathan. “We are each a back yard to someone else, and we’re polluting every other person’s back yard.”

Nature Reports, 9 Jul 2007

industrial civilisaton to collapse!

New scientific models supported by the British government’s Foreign Office show that if we don’t change course, in less than three decades industrial civilisation will essentially collapse due to catastrophic food shortages, triggered by a combination of climate change, water scarcity, energy crisis, and political instability.
The new models are being developed at Anglia Ruskin University’s Global Sustainability Institute (GSI), through a project called the ‘Global Resource Observatory’ (GRO).
Last year, Dr. Graham Turner updated his CSIRO research at the University of Melbourne, concluding that:
“… the general onset of collapse first appears at about 2015 when per capita industrial output begins a sharp decline. Given this imminent timing, a further issue this paper raises is whether the current economic difficulties of the global financial crisis are potentially related to mechanisms of breakdown in the Limits to Growth BAU [business-as-usual] scenario.”

Clean Technica, 25 Jun 2015

see also – just plain scary