worse than we thought – animal life!

Climate change is happening far faster than predicted, and it’s causing a huge decline in animal life, according to a recent report released by Boston-based asset management firm Grantham Mayo van Otterloo (GMO).

The total amount of animal life on Earth has halved in the last 35 years, and bird populations have decreased by 40%, a recent report from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) estimates.

Animal populations plummeted by 52% between 1970 and 2010, according to the WWF’s Living Planet Index, which is calculated using trends in 10,380 populations of over 3,038 vertebrate species (fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals).

Birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals have all seen some of their populations decline over the past few decades.

Business Insider (Australia), 6 Aug 2015

see also new category – the tendency for news stories about climate change to be not only bad news but “worse than we thought”

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

straight from the ……

small_horse

After they first appeared in the fossil record, horses got smaller as a result of a warming planet, says a study just published in Science.

“Horses started out small, about the size of a small dog like a miniature schnauzer,” said co-author Jonathan Bloch, associate curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Florida Museum of Natural History on the UF campus.

“What’s surprising is that after they first appeared, they then became even smaller and then dramatically increased in size, and that exactly corresponds to the global warming event, followed by cooling.”

“It had been known that mammals were small during that time and that it was warm, but we hadn’t understood that temperature specifically was driving the evolution of body size.”

Grist, 23 Feb 2012

a socially isolated cow

cow

CSIRO research shows methane is more than 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide in causing global warming.

Each year, cattle generate about 100 million tonnes of the gas, which is generated by micro-organisms in the cow’s stomach. NSW Agriculture’s research at Tocal Agricultural College showed one cow produced about 100 grams of methane a day, or about 10 to 15 per cent of the energy they digested, and that most was expelled from the cow’s mouth rather than its rear.

“Genetic variations enable some animals to better convert feed to body weight,” Dr Autin said. “More efficient feeding produces less methane.”

Newscastle Herald, 7 Jan 2006 – screen copy held by this website

keep off the grass!

In Australia, where 11 million cattle range in Queensland alone, this call for livestock reform has been a whisper on the edges of the greenhouse debate. I became interested after reading a letter by animal rights activist Geoff Russell to climate-change campaigner Tim Flannery.

In his letter, Russell quotes climate scientist James Hansen, who says meat reduction is the second-most important thing one can do to combat climate change (the most important is to elect a government committed to action). Russell then quotes the CSIRO, who “have tested Australian cattle on grass and grain – those on grass produce about three times more methane”.

Could this be true? Could a fat corn-fed cow be better for the environment than one allowed to range over grass?

Sydney Morning Herald, 17 Feb 2009

mound-building Mallee fowl takes a hit!

For nearly 20 years, Joe Benshemensh has been monitoring the mound-building Mallee fowl, trying to discern what’s killing them off, and whether they have a future.

“If climate change is a reality then the prognosis is dire. On the other hand, they have a geographic range that gives us some hope they won’t be eliminated, just take a severe hit. Our big challenge is to modify the monitoring program, to actively preserve them.”

The Sunday Age (Australia), 1 Jun 2008 – screen copy held by this website

time is up for sheep and cattle!

In his report on climate change released at the beginning of the month, Professor Garnaut said that the price of beef and land would soar to a point where only wealthy households could afford beef.

Citing research, he said kangaroo meat “Could again become important” and that if a way to reduce methane emissions from livestock wasn’t found, 7 million cattle and 36 million sheep could be replaced by 175 million farmed kangaroos.

Kangaroos produce no methane, and the other environmental benefit is that kangaroos have soft feet, which means less damage to the land and less soil erosion compared to sheep and cattle.

Newcastle Herald (Australia), 15 Oct 2008 – screen copy held by this website

sacrilege!

kangarooSkippy could soon be on the menu for the climate change-conscious if they take note of a report showing a switch from beef to kangaroo could help cut greenhouse gases.

A report by the director of the sustainability centre at the University of NSW, Mark Diesendorf, says a 30 per cent reduction in Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 is achievable but would need both energy efficiency and renewable energy measures, and a change of diet.

“Beef consumption is chosen in this measure because it is responsible for the biggest share of livestock-related methane emissions,” the report says. “This measure could be reduced by shifting to kangaroo meat and/or lower-meat diets.”
The Age (Australia), 11 Oct 2007

beware of rampaging mice!

mice_runningTwo researchers have found that mice can detect higher carbon dioxide levels by using specialised neurons in their noses. Collaborative researchers Minmin Luo, from the National Institute of Biological Sciences, Beijing, and Peter Mombaerts, from the Rockefeller University, New York, find that intriguing.

Their study has been published in Science. The more CO2 the mice were exposed to, the more their behaviour changed. When given the choice between high and low CO2 concentrations, the mice avoided anything higher than 0.2 per cent. So as climate change causes atmospheric CO2 levels to rise, will mice go crazy?

Not so fast says Mombaerts. If the CO2 increases are gradual the mice might be able to adapt, but there is a posibility that mice could become more fearful or aggressive because the behavioural effect is still not known.
Newcastle Herald,(Australia), 21 Aug 2007 – screen copy held by this website

ban camels!

camel_in_carAn Australian government report has proposed killing many of the country’s estimated 1.2 million wild camels as a climate change solution.It is considering awarding carbon credits for culling the non-native camels, which are widely considered an ecological and an agricultural pest.

Apparently, a camel produces an estimated 100 pounds of methane a year, which is roughly equivalent to 1.1 tons of carbon dioxide. Methane is twenty times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

Almost half of all global methane emissions come from belching livestock, mainly cows but also pigs, goats, sheep – and camels.
Open Knowledge, 10 Jul 2011

see also – action plan

The wedge-tailed shearwater and the fairy tern wink out!

In a paper he co-wrote, to be published next month, ‘The history of threatened birds in Australia and its offshore islands’, Professor Garnett of Charles Darwin University and chairman of Bird Australia’s threatened species committee, makes a long list of disturbing predictions as to the viability of our bird life because of feral species running amok, human sprawl and climate change.

Already the wedge-tailed shearwater is struggling to feed itself because waters of the Barrier Reef are getting too warm to sustain its diet of fish, squid and crustaceans.

Based on a report from Professor Garnett’s committee, Birds Australia recently recommended the World Conservation Union (IUCN) list the fairy tern as vulnerable on its “red list”, which ranks a species’ risk of winking out forever.
The Age (Australia), 30 Sep 2007

you wascally wabbits!

A huge surge in the number of rabbits is threatening Australian attempts to curb climate change. A study by the Canberra-based Invasive Animals Co-operative Research Centre says tree seedlings planted in a national carbon offset scheme are at risk of being eaten by rabbits.

Dr Brian Cooke from the University of Canberra said that the current rabbit problem was “the worst we’ve seen in 10 years”. As well as causing soil erosion and threatening native vegetation, rabbits eat tree and shrub seedlings, Dr Cooke said.
The Age (Australia), 30 Sep 2007

frogs at the mercy of sex crazed fungus!

group_of_frogsFrogs, threatened by a fungal disease sweeping the globe, may be in far greater peril than first thought, according to research led by an Australian scientist.

Until now it had been assumed the chytrid fungus, which attacks the skin of frogs, only reproduced asexually – through simple cell division – and required a host amphibian to migrate to new areas. But now findings suggest it can reproduce sexually, creating spores that may blow in the wind or be accidentally transported into uncontaminated habitats.

Jess Morgan, a Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries molecular parasite expert, said that if she was right, the fungus could spread far more easily than believed. Environmental variations, including climate change, could trigger a reproductive switch.

“The fastest way to reproduce is clonally, as you don’t have to find a mate,” Dr Morgan said.

When conditions are poor, the advantage of sexual reproduction is that you can produce … a spore, with a shell or resistant coat that lies dormant for years, waiting to ambush a luckless passing host.
Sun Herald Sydney, 26 Aug 2007

blame it all on the Arctic ground squirrel!

A study has found that the Arctic ground squirrel is contributing far more to global warming than previously thought, suggesting that it is a major contributor to climate change.

The study, by the Woods Hole Research Centre in Massachusetts, reveals that Arctic squirrels are hastening the release of the greenhouse gases methane and carbon dioxide by melting the permafrost that has kept dead animals and vegetation preserved underground for years.

“It certainly has a bigger impact than we’ve considered and it’s something we will be considering more and more going into the future,” said Dr Sue Natali, of the Woods Hole Research Centre.
The Independent, 17 Dec 2014

…with few egrets

“I was amazed at the magnificent spectacle; there were egrets nesting in tall trees, birds by the hundreds of thousands,” says George Boland, remembering one of the most famous breeding events in NSW, less than a decade ago, on the farm he managed with his son in the Gwydir Valley near Moree….But the Yarrol station clearing is just one of the litany of disasters to wreak havoc in the Murray-Darling Basin in the past two decades. Massively expanding irrigation, water harvesting by farmers, drought and rising temperatures from climate change are putting the wetlands in the basin under severe stress.
Sydney Morning Herald, 30 Jun 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

their burp is worse than their ….

beef_cattleScientists from NSW’s Department of Primary Industries have been working for the past 15 years to find a way to breed more efficient beef cattle. After a decade of research, the scientists came up with a blood analysis that has been developed into a commercial test for selecting bulls able to breed the most food-efficient cows and steers.

Although it has been developed to cut farming costs, the scientists now believe the burp-reduced cattle will also help fight global warming, because methane is also a greenhouse gas, many times more powerful than carbon dioxide.

The leader of the department’s methane research effort, Roger Hegarty, said it may be possible to develop other methane-efficient animals, including sheep. Dr Hegarty estimated 95 per cent of methane from beef cattle was belched. The rest, he said, was “flatulence”.
Sydney Morning Herald, 22 Jun 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

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

like cats on a hot tin roof

When Kristina Vesk started working at the Cat Protection Society of NSW in 2006, she rarely saw kittens in winter. Now warmer weather means cats are breeding all year round, increasing the numbers of unwanted kittens and the threat to native wildlife from strays and feral cats.

Ms Vesk, the society’s chief executive, said there used to be weeks from June to September when the shelter saw very few, if any, kittens. But with the climate changing and temperatures rising, it seems cats are increasingly on heat.

“For the past three years, I don’t think we’ve experienced a full week at any time of year where we don’t have at least a couple of kittens in our care,” Ms Vesk said. “Kitten ‘season’ has grown longer and longer as we keep having … enough warm and sunny days in winter that make cats think it’s a good time to start breeding.”
Sydney Morning Herald, 8 Feb 2016

thanks to ddh

dog day afternoons

Leading pet behaviourists told The Independent that the number of depressed and unsettled dogs they have seen in recent months is unprecedented. And they suggested that the spate of wet winters could be at the root of the problem, as owners cut down on the daily walks that are crucial to keeping dogs’ spirits up.

“I’ve been working with dogs for more than 20 years and I can’t remember a time when they’ve been this bored. I tend to see boredom in bursts but I’m seeing it chronically this winter,” said Carolyn Menteith, a dog behaviourist who was named Britain’s Instructor of the Year in 2015.

She – like many scientists and meteorologists – puts this down to climate change and expects to see more bored dogs in the future as global warming unleashes increasingly frequent and intense bouts of winter rainfall.
The Independent, 5 Feb 2016

thanks to ddh

koalas the new canary in the coalmine?

The koala could soon be even more endangered than at present, if it turns out that climate change alters the nutritional value of the only food it can eat—Eucalypt leaves.

Assistant Professor Elizabeth Neilson from the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences from University of Copenhagen has received a $5 million grant from the Villum Young Investigator Program for the search of how the chemical structure of the leaves is disrupted.

“We are going to investigate how two distinct results of climate change, drought and elevated CO2 levels, affect the balance between nutrient and toxicant content of the Eucalypt leaves and how this affects the Koala. Eucalypt leaves are highly toxic and the koala needs to sleep or rest for 20 hours a day to efficiently detoxify the poisonous components and gain sufficient energy from their diet.”

“Therefore, the huge amount of energy spent on detoxification is only just about made up by the nutritional value. Any shift in the eucalypt chemistry caused by climate changes may alter the balance of nutritional value and toxicity, and impact koala survival”, says Assistant Professor Elizabeth Neilson.

Phys.org, 3 Feb 2016

thanks to ddh

teenage mutant female ninja turtles?

Led by Mariana Fuentes, a James Cook University team working up in the northern end of the Great Barrier Reef has been evaluating the various climatic threats facing the green turtles..

Under the worst-case scenarios for climate change – which is pretty much the trajectory we are on – sea-level rise, and the consequent impact on nesting sites, shapes up as the biggest threat for the turtles from now until 2030. But by 2070, the models anticipate sands will have reached a temperature which would bring about a near-complete feminisation of hatchlings.

A few male enclaves are likely to survive where conditions provide some respite from the heat. But the overall picture is grim.
Sydney Morning Herald, 30 Apr 2011

where have all the ……..

“We now understand that the majority of life on Earth has never been – and will never be – known to us. In a staggering forecast, Wilson predicts that our present course will lead to the extinction of half of all plant and animal species by 2100. But the eminent Harvard biologist Edward O Wilson, and other scientists, estimate that the true rate is more like 1,000 to 10,000 times the background rate.”

“The actual annual sum is only an educated guess, because no scientist believes that the tally of life ends at the 1.5 million species already discovered; estimates range as high as 100 million species on earth, with 10 million as the median guess. Bracketed between best- and worst-case scenarios, then, somewhere between 2.7 and 270 species are erased from existence every day.”

“Including today.”
The Independent, 30 Apr 2007

make love not war!

animalsClimate change is pushing Arctic mammals to mate with cousin species, in a trend that could be pushing the polar bear and other animals towards extinction, biologists said. Rapidly melting Arctic sea ice imperils species through interbreeding as well as through habitat loss, they said in a commentary in the British science journal Nature.

As more isolated populations and species come into contact, they will mate, hybrids will form, and rare species are likely to go extinct. The Times of Malta, 16 Dec 2010

Bambi dumped!

Bambi
Secretary of State John F. Kerry said Tuesday he will integrate climate change analysis and its national security implications into all future foreign policy planning.

“We have to prepare ourselves for the potential social and political consequences that stem from crop failures, water shortages, famine and outbreaks of epidemic disease,” he said.

“And we have to heighten our national security readiness to deal with the possible destruction of vital infrastructure and the mass movement of refugees — particularly in parts of the world that already provide fertile ground for violent extremism and terror.”

“Long story short, climate change isn’t just about Bambi. It’s about us.”
Washington Post, 10 Nov 2015

thanks to ddh

India’s incredible shrinking cow!

cow2
Worsening heat, fodder shortages and the threat of drought are forcing many hard-hit dairy farmers in the Anantapur area of India’s southern Kerala state to reduce their herds, experts say. But the solution to the problem is simple and small, livestock experts argue: heat-tolerant dwarf cows.

“It is a fact that the characteristics of the seasons have been altered by the disastrous impacts of climate change, so our lifestyle needs to adapt to using our indigenous flora and fauna,” said K. Ramankutty, a dairy farmer in Palakkad. The dwarf cow is a great weapon against climate change, he said.
Reuters, 29 Jun 2015

(c) Can Stock Photo

less tigers

………………………………….
The Sundarban tigers, with a fearsome reputation for human attacks, protect the world’s largest mangrove forest from deforestation. The 4,000 square miles of mangrove, which spans India and Bangladesh, acts as a vital carbon sink and natural buffer against increasingly intense cyclones and storm surges. But the Sundarbans are also home to poor landless communities who struggle to make a living in this unforgiving environment.

This means they are encroaching on tiger territory. Their impact on the forest is limited, however, by the presence of the man eaters. Without the tigers, say local conservationists, the mangroves would soon disappear at the hands of humans, leaving Kolkata and South Bengal exposed to major floods from cyclone-related storm surges.
Christian Aid, 22 Apr 2015

more tigers – maybe

The Indian government had trumpeted the rise in tigers from 1,706 in 2011 to 2,226 in 2014 as a sign that state-led conservation programmes were working. “This is a proof of India’s biodiversity and how we care for mitigating climate change. This is India’s steps in the right direction, which the world will applaud,” environment minister, Prakash Javadekar, said at the time.

But the new University of Oxford paper concluded that the statistical model used by India is a poor way to accurately predict tiger numbers.

Dr Ullas Karanth, co-author and a member of India’s National Tiger Conservation Authority, said: “This study exposes fundamental statistical weaknesses in the sampling, calibration and extrapolations that are at the core of methodology used by the government to estimate India’s numbers, thus undermining their reliability.”
The Guardian, 25 Feb 2015
………………………………….

The incredible shrinking butterfly!

It has often been demonstrated that the ongoing rapid climate change in the Arctic region is causing substantial change to Arctic ecosystems. Now Danish researchers demonstrate that a warmer Greenland could be bad for its butterflies, becoming smaller under warmer summers.

“Our studies show that males and females follow the same pattern and it is similar in two different species, which suggests that climate plays an important role in determining the body size of butterflies in Northeast Greenland,” says senior scientist Toke T. Hoye, Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies, Aarhus University.
Science Daily, 7 Oct 2015

thanks to David Mulberry

too many black sheep in the family

Scientists have discovered milder winters are turning the dark coats of Soay sheep on Hirta in the St Kilda archipelago lighter. Dr Maloney, of the University of Western Australia, said: “Our finding that the proportion of dark-coloured Soay sheep decreased over the past 20 years as ambient temperature increased could be interpreted in several ways, the most parsimonious being that dark colouration has provided an energetic advantage in winter that is being attenuated in a warming climate.
The Telegraph, 22/7/09

monkeys on the move

The white-bearded De Brazza’s monkeys were found in the Great Rift Valley, a place they had never been spotted before, Richard Leakey, a prominent white Kenyan credited with ending the slaughter of the nation’s elephants, told Reuters in Nairobi. “That is telling us a lot about the climate change scenarios we are looking at now,” he said. “It puts climate change as the most critical consideration as we plan for the future.”Planet Ark, 1 Nov 2007

an outsized carbon paw print

Enlightened animal lovers across the United States face a quandary: how to pamper beloved pets without adding to global warming or creating an outsized carbon paw print?

Answers for the ecologically-aware pet owner were on offer at the Going Green With Pets conference at Manhattan’s tony Metropolitan Dog Club, with pointers on everything from whipping up biodegradable cat litter to choosing the best organic shampoo for one’s Lhasa Apso.

The must-read primer for the environmentally aware pet owner is Eco-Dog, published in March and already in its second printing. The book is a how-to on making Fido a meal consisting of just rice and beans or how to convert a faded pair of blue jeans into a dog bed.The Age (Australia), 26 Jun 2008

first victim – Yellowstone grizzlies

Global Warming’s First Victims are the animals of course. Here, grizzly expert Doug Peacock makes the case for the Yellowstone grizzlies, whose food source, the whitebark pine has succumbed to beetle kill in a vast way, due to warm winters for just seven years. It’s a typical house of cards, with one piece falling and others in a textbook domino event. Environment II by Mark Andrew York, 23 May 2009

first victims – Adelie penguins (who don’t see well in the dark)

The Adelie penguin is regarded as an “indicator” species, an animal so delicately attuned to its environment that its survival is threatened as soon as something goes wrong. So as temperatures rise, Adelies are among the first to feel the effects, early victims of the devastating worldwide changes that scientists expect if the warming persists and intensifies.

But the die-offs scientists are seeing in the warmest areas of Antarctica are expected to spread as temperatures continue to rise. If the warming continues,Adelie researcher David Ainley said, the Adelies ultimately will go extinct — though it might take hundreds of years. The reason is simple, he said: “Penguins don’t see well in the dark.”
Chicago Tribune, 1 Jul 2007

see also – first victim

invasion – vampire bats

The increase in global climate temperatures has raised concerns about the vampire bat species travelling from Mexico and South and Central America into the southern and central regions of Texas.

Carin Peterson, training and outreach coordinator of the Office of Environmental Health and Safety, said even if vampire bats are not making their appearance, Austin’s surrounding caves and popular bat attraction, Congress Avenue Bridge, already have their annual bat species.
Climate Progress, 27/3/12

more bats in the belfry

Thousands of fruit bats have flown down from the tropics to make Melbourne their home. A Deakin University researcher has found out why. Dr Parris figured climate change had to be the answer.

She had completed her PhD (on frogs) in Canberra with Dr Donna Hazell at the Australian National University’s centre for resource and environmental studies.

“The construction and continued expansion of our city, and the huge amount of water we use on our gardens, has made Melbourne warm enough and wet enough for the bats to live here year-round, while the watering also means trees flower and fruit for a longer period,” Dr Parris says.
Sydney Morning Herald 6 Jun 2005

see also – Say what?

as bald as a chicken

May was Earth’s hottest month on record — and as the planet gets warmer, chickens are struggling to adapt.

Their body temperatures rise, which leads to higher mortality rates and an increased risk of disease that may threaten global poultry supply in the next decades. Enter geneticist Carl Schmidt and his team from the University of Delaware, who believe that reducing a chicken’s feather count — making it look bald, basically — will cool it down and reduce health risks.
Time, 27 Jun 2014

blind as a …

A changing climate could hamper the ability of some bat species to hunt effectively using sound, according to a new study. Bats calling at low frequencies will hear echoes from an object further away than bats calling at high frequencies, says study co-author Holger Goerlitz, a biologist at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Germany.

One thing is clear: global warming will impact the pure physics of sound that bats use to echolocate.
National Geographic, 10 Dec 2012

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

you left something out – what about the cows?

“Many conscientious people are trying to help reduce global warming by driving more fuel-efficient cars and using energy-saving light bulbs. Although these measures help, science shows that going vegan is one of the most effective ways to fight global warming.

A staggering 51 percent or more of global greenhouse-gas emissions are caused by animal agriculture, according to a report published by the Worldwatch Institute.

The most powerful step that we can take as individuals to avert global warming is to stop eating meat, eggs, and dairy products.”
PETA website

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

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