vanishing kelp

They are the mighty rainforests of the ocean, towering up to 25 metres from the seabed.

Like many forests on land, the giant kelp jungles in the waters off south-east Australia are gravely threatened by climate change, scientists say.

Karen Gowlett-Holmes, a marine biologist with the CSIRO and co-owner of Eaglehawk Dive Centre on the east coast of Tasmania, said the destruction of the kelp forests was having ”a huge impact” on marine ecology.

Sydney Morning Herald, 18 Aug 2012

going south for the winter

Tropical fish lured south by currents.

The leader of the CSIRO’s Marine Climate Impacts and Adaptation Stream, Alistair Hobday, used modelling to indicate the likely future occurrences of 14 fish species throughout each month of the year.

In 95 per cent of the 25 scenarios, most species moved south, pointing to a pole-ward shift. Predictions are for more pelagic fish in southerly latitudes.

The evidence is backed by sightings of blue and striped marlin off Tasmania and Gippsland, and marlin, cobia, wahoo and Spanish mackerel in southern NSW.

Sydney Morning Herald, 19 Aug 2012

the last of the cows

Is Global Warming Leading To Cow Infertility?

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.

Scientific Blogging, 5 Sep 2007

rewriting history

Contrary to common beliefs, societal collapses of the past have been caused by sudden climate change, not only by social, political and economic factors, Yale anthropologist Harvey Weiss reports in a new study published in this week’s Science.

We also know where the population growth will be greatest, Weiss adds. “We must use this information to design strategies that minimize the impact of climate change on societies that are at greater risk. This will require substantial international cooperation, without which the 21st century will likely witness unprecedented social disruptions.”

Sci Gogo 27 Jan 2001

more stones

As daily temperatures increase, so does the number of patients seeking treatment for kidney stones.

In a study that may both reflect and foretell a warming planet’s impact on human health, a research team found a link between hot days and kidney stones in 60,000 patients in several U.S. cities with varying climates.

“We found that as daily temperatures rise, there is a rapid increase in the probability of patients presenting over the next 20 days with kidney stones,” said study leader Gregory E. Tasian, MD, MSc, MSCE.

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, 10 Jul 2014

birds punched in gut

Half of all bird species in North America — including the bald eagle — are at risk of severe population decline by 2080 if the swift pace of global warming continues, the National Audubon Society concluded in a study released Monday.

“The scale of the disruption we’re projecting is a real punch in the gut,” said Gary Langham, chief Audubon scientist.

Seattle Times, 8 Sep 2014

bumblebees on the wane

Global warming and evolution are reshaping the bodies of some American bumblebees, a new study finds.

The tongues of two Rocky Mountains species of bumblebees are about one-quarter shorter than they were 40 years ago, evolving that way because climate change altered the buffet of wildflowers they normally feed from, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Science.

Study co-author Candace Galen at the University of Missouri worries that without long-tongued bees, some flowers will falter.

Also, she said shorter tongue bees often “cheat” and bite a hole in the flower’s side, which doesn’t help the plant spread its seeds.

Fox News Science, 25 Sep 2015

big picture, small picture

In a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, Environmental Protection Administrator Gina McCarthy said climate change, if unconfronted, will bring about droughts, food shortages, economic disruption and other consequences.

She also warned that the changing climate could make the morning caffeine rush a thing of the past.

“Climate change puts the world’s coffee-growing regions at risk,” Ms. McCarthy said, adding that governments must consider climate change when making virtually every policy position, even those that on the surface seem to have nothing to do with the environment.

Washington Times, 11 Mar 2015

escaping climate change — at a price

The residence at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island will be available later this year cost at least $50,000 per night. The rate is based on how guests customize the undersea experience, according to hotel representatives.

The two-level suite is named The Muraka, which means “coral” in Dhivehi, the local language of the Maldives.

The undersea bedroom floor sits 16.4 feet below sea level and includes a king-size bedroom, living room, bathroom and a spiral staircase that leads to the upper-level living room.

abcnews, 3 May 2018

thanks to David Mulberry

we’re having a ….

Victoria could soon be hit by heatwaves in three out of every four years, as Australia becomes hotter, drier and increasingly drought ravaged.

Drought will occur twice as often and be twice as severe within 20 to 30 years, a joint report by the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO examining the extent of drought in Australia has warned.

While this is a scientific report, parts of these high-level projections read more like a disaster novel than a scientific report, Federal Agriculture Minister Tony Burke said yesterday.

The Age, 7 Jul 2008

not to be sneezed at

Australia’s hay fever sufferers can expect their torment to last longer and become more intense with climate change, according to researchers at home and abroad.

Global warming is likely to cause an increase in the abundance of tropical and subtropical grasses as they will be able to grow further south, Dr Rimmer wrote.

Additional effects of global warming may include earlier seasons, higher pollen loads and possibly more allergenic pollen.

Janet Rimmer is a respiratory physician and allergist at St Vincent’s Clinic in Sydney.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 3 Oct 2014

early grapes

Researchers in Australia say they have pinpointed key factors in the early ripening of grapes, providing potential answers for wine growers threatened by global warming.

A team led by Leanne Webb at the CSIRO looked at 10 sites in southern Australia where there were highly-detailed records, stretching from 1985 to 2009, for all of these factors.

The most common driver of earlier ripening was higher temperature, deemed a significant factor at seven sites.

Executive style, 28 Feb 2012