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Kassy
12-28-2008, 10:40 AM
There are lots of reports of species being influenced by climate change in some way or other. Most aren't important enough to warrant a thread of their own. Not all wildlife is as 'cute' as Polar Bears.

So i'll collect them in one thread.

An overview of the UK situation to start it off. Typically the only species that got a thread of it's own so far is the great tits ~ guess why. :D


Erratic weather 'harms wildlife'

UK wildlife is struggling to cope as erratic and unseasonal weather has taken its toll for a second consecutive year, the National Trust says.

It says birds, mammals and particularly insects have all suffered from a cold, late spring, a wet summer with little sunshine and a long, dry autumn.

The trust says species under threat include puffins, marsh fritillary butterflies and lesser horseshoe bats.

They warned another wet summer in 2009 could be a disaster for insects.

Studies of the past year by the trust's conservation experts show the impact of the weather and how some wildlife has become out-of-step with the usual seasonal patterns:

• Snowdrops and red admiral butterflies were first spotted in January, earlier than normal.

• Bees were hit hard in April by frost and snow

• Rain in late May caused many birds' nests to fail, including those of the blue and great tits, because of the lack of insect food

• It was a poor summer for migrant insects - butterflies, moths, hoverflies, ladybirds and dragonflies - because of the wet and cold June

• In July, puffin numbers on the Farne Islands were down 35% on what they had been five years earlier

• The common autumn cranefly, usually in pest proportions in September, was all but absent

Matthew Oates, a conservation adviser for the National Trust, said: "Many iconic species closely associated with the four seasons are having to cope with higher incidents of poor weather as our climate becomes more unpredictable.

"After two very poor years in a row we desperately need a good summer in 2009 otherwise it's going to look increasingly grim for a wealth of wildlife in the UK.

"Climate change is not some future prediction of what might happen, it's happening now and having a serious impact on our countryside every year."

This year's weather has brought some advantages however.

The cold and wet October made it a bumper year for fungi, with 26 species of waxcap spotted.

Unseasonal weather also led to a spectacular display of red, yellow and orange autumn leaves.

Poor weather in August had its benefits for certain cabbage white butterflies which prospered as their predators were depleted, the trust said.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7800869.stm

Kassy
12-28-2008, 10:53 AM
Ecosystem Changes In Temperate Lakes Linked To Climate Warming

ScienceDaily (Dec. 27, 2008) — Unparalleled warming over the last few decades has triggered widespread ecosystem changes in many temperate North American and Western European lakes, say researchers at Queen's University and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment.

...

The scientists studied changes over the last few decades in the species composition of small, microscopic algae preserved in sediments from more than 200 lake systems in the northern hemisphere. These algae dominate the plankton that float at or near the surface of lakes, and serve as food for other larger organisms.

Striking ecosystem changes were recorded from a large suite of lakes from Arctic, alpine and temperate ecozones in North America and western Europe. Aquatic ecosystem changes across the circumpolar Arctic were found to occur in the late-19th and early 20th centuries. These were similar to shifts in algal communities, indicating decreased ice cover and related changes, over the last few decades in the temperate lakes.

"As expected, these changes occurred earlier – by about 100 years – in highly sensitive Arctic lakes, compared with temperate regions," says Dr. Smol, recipient of the 2004 Herzberg Gold Medal as Canada's top scientist.

In a detailed study from Whitefish Bay, Lake of the Woods, located in northwestern Ontario, strong relationships were found between changes in the lake algae and long-term changes in air temperature and ice-out records. The authors believe that, although the study was focused on algae preserved in lake sediments, changes to other parts of the aquatic ecosystem are also likely (for example algal blooms and deep-water oxygen levels).


http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081216133442.htm

Kassy
12-28-2008, 10:58 AM
Warmer Temperatures Could Lead To A Boom In Corn Pests

ScienceDaily (Dec. 27, 2008) — Climate change could provide the warmer weather pests prefer, leading to an increase in populations that feed on corn and other crops, according to a new study.

Warmer growing season temperatures and milder winters could allow some of these insects to expand their territory and produce an extra generation of offspring each year, said Noah Diffenbaugh, the Purdue University associate professor of earth and atmospheric sciences who led the study.

"Our projections showed all of the species studied spreading into agricultural areas where they currently are not endemic," said Diffenbaugh, who is interim director of the Purdue Climate Change Research Center. "The greatest potential range expansion was seen with the corn earworm, which is known to infest other high-value crops such as sweet corn and tomatoes. Warming could allow populations to survive the winter in the upper Midwest, the key region for corn production, as well as areas of the West where other high-value crops are grown."

*

The research team studied the potential end-of-the-century distributions of the corn earworm, Heliothis zea; the European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis; northern corn rootworm, Diabrotica barberi; and western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera.

The team used the physiological thresholds for each species coupled with models of development to determine how each would respond to projected climate change scenarios.

For example, the pupal stage of the corn earworm overwinters and cannot withstand more than five days at temperatures below 14 degrees Fahrenheit. It also requires six days at a temperature of about 55 degrees Fahrenheit to complete development. By including these parameters in the climate model, the team was able to project future temperature-based distributions for each pest, Diffenbaugh said.

Krupke said the insects in this study should not be adversely affected by temperature increases.

"The limiting factor for these pests is usually cold tolerance, specifically their ability to overwinter and re-infest the crop the next season," he said. "Increases in temperatures, even summer temperatures, generally benefit these pests. An effectively longer season, or more days exceeding their minimum temperature range, provides them with additional time to feed, mate and reproduce."

The corn earworm is of particular concern because it is migratory and pesticide resistant, he said.

"The corn earworm is an established global pest, and particularly in the Southern U.S., where it has proven difficult to manage," Krupke said. "It is resistant to several existing pesticides, and adult moths are capable of being transported long distances in the jet stream to infest new crops."

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081216131024.htm

Kassy
01-03-2009, 06:24 AM
Coral growth in Australia's Great Barrier Reef has slowed to its most sluggish rate in the past 400 years.

The decline endangers the species the reef supports, say researchers from the Australian Institute of Marine Science.

They studied massive porites corals, which are several hundred years old, and found that calcification has declined by 13.3% since 1990.

Global warming and the increasing acidity of seawater are to blame, they write in Science journal.

Coral reefs are central to the formation and function of ecosystems and food webs for tens of thousands of other marine organisms.

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest in the world, composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands.

Dr Glenn De'ath and colleagues investigated 328 colonies of massive Porites corals, from 69 locations.

The largest corals are centuries old - growing at a rate of just 1.5cm per year.

By looking at the coral skeletons, they determined that calcification - or the deposit of calcium carbonate - has declined by 13.3% throughout the Great Barrier Reef since 1990.

Such a decline is unprecedented in at least the past 400 years, they write.

The researchers warn that changes in biodiversity are imminent, both at the Great Barrier Reef and at other reef systems throughout the world's oceans.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7807943.stm

hillsidedigger
01-03-2009, 09:02 AM
I agree that human caused climate change along with wildlife habitat destruction (which is a key element causing climate change) plus market-hunting are decimating the wildlife of the world with very little wildlife or large fishes in the waters to still be present in a few years.

Kassy
01-15-2009, 04:36 PM
Just a background article. ;)

UBC researcher gives first-ever estimate of worldwide fish biomass and impact on climate change

Are there really plenty of fish in the sea? University of British Columbia fisheries researcher Villy Christensen gives the first-ever estimate of total fish biomass in our oceans: Two billion tonnes.

And fish play a previously unrecognized but significant role in mitigating climate change by maintaining the delicate pH balance of the oceans, according to a study published in tomorrow's edition of the journal Science, co-authored by Christensen and a team of international scientists.

"By drinking salt water, fish ingest a lot of calcium, which needs to be removed – or they will get renal stones," says Christensen, an associate professor in the UBC Fisheries Centre.

The team discovered that fish do this by binding the calcium to bicarbonate, and then excreting it as pellets of calcium carbonate, a chalk-like substance also known as "gut rocks," in a process completely separate from food digestion. For an animation of this process, visit www.publicaffairs.ubc.ca/download.

As the calcium carbonate from these pellets dissolves, it turns the seawater more alkaline, which has relevance for ocean acidification, and is impacted by the ocean's exchange of carbon dioxide (CO2) with the atmosphere.

To gauge the global impact of this process, Christensen and Simon Jennings from the UK's Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science took two entirely different approaches to estimate the total biomass of fish in the world's ocean.

Jennings examined global ocean plant production and its efficiency as it moves through the food chain, while Christensen tallied global fish catches since 1950 and calculated how much fish there must have been in the oceans to support fisheries. The two approaches resulted in a close range of numbers: 0.8 to 2 billion tonnes.

"This study really is the first glimpse of the huge impact fish have on our carbon cycle – and why we need them in the ocean," says Christensen. "We must buck the current trend of clear-cutting of the oceans and foster these unrecognized allies against climate change."

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-01/uobc-urg011309.php

Kassy
01-15-2009, 04:36 PM
Just a background article. ;)

UBC researcher gives first-ever estimate of worldwide fish biomass and impact on climate change

Are there really plenty of fish in the sea? University of British Columbia fisheries researcher Villy Christensen gives the first-ever estimate of total fish biomass in our oceans: Two billion tonnes.

And fish play a previously unrecognized but significant role in mitigating climate change by maintaining the delicate pH balance of the oceans, according to a study published in tomorrow's edition of the journal Science, co-authored by Christensen and a team of international scientists.

"By drinking salt water, fish ingest a lot of calcium, which needs to be removed – or they will get renal stones," says Christensen, an associate professor in the UBC Fisheries Centre.

The team discovered that fish do this by binding the calcium to bicarbonate, and then excreting it as pellets of calcium carbonate, a chalk-like substance also known as "gut rocks," in a process completely separate from food digestion. For an animation of this process, visit www.publicaffairs.ubc.ca/download.

As the calcium carbonate from these pellets dissolves, it turns the seawater more alkaline, which has relevance for ocean acidification, and is impacted by the ocean's exchange of carbon dioxide (CO2) with the atmosphere.

To gauge the global impact of this process, Christensen and Simon Jennings from the UK's Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science took two entirely different approaches to estimate the total biomass of fish in the world's ocean.

Jennings examined global ocean plant production and its efficiency as it moves through the food chain, while Christensen tallied global fish catches since 1950 and calculated how much fish there must have been in the oceans to support fisheries. The two approaches resulted in a close range of numbers: 0.8 to 2 billion tonnes.

"This study really is the first glimpse of the huge impact fish have on our carbon cycle – and why we need them in the ocean," says Christensen. "We must buck the current trend of clear-cutting of the oceans and foster these unrecognized allies against climate change."

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-01/uobc-urg011309.php

rryan
01-19-2009, 02:44 PM
Warming is killing animals?

Winter of 07-08 I had to remove 11 deer that froze to death or starved or a combination of both from my YARD.

I guess they don't count since they did not die of heat exhaustion.

Fiddlerdave
01-19-2009, 03:00 PM
Warming is killing animals?

Winter of 07-08 I had to remove 11 deer that froze to death or starved or a combination of both from my YARD.

I guess they don't count since they did not die of heat exhaustion.Too bad GW is not the simple "its HOT" phenonomon that so many wish it were.

The earth's oceans and atmosphere are a heat engine, the warmer it is the faster it runs. GW = erratic and extreme weather, which includes extreme heat or extreme cold of ever more sudden and frequent course.

The demonstrated change in temperate growing band climates moving northward is affecting habitats. While some plants grow better (which allows them to crowd other plants out), others grow and fruit poorly, depriving animals of food. Other animals have migration. hibernation, and eating patterns thrown off by unusual but long-term weather occurances.

Auburn Boy
01-19-2009, 03:45 PM
The average temperature creeps up relatively slowly.

The instantaneous temperatures cycle with greater volatility.

We might have a summer with 115 here in CA, and then a wet reainy, cold snow winter with some temps at 20 degrees..,

rryan
01-19-2009, 05:47 PM
i realize that but I also beleive that in the history of this planet it has been frozen over as much as it's been hot.

When it was hot life thrived, when it's frozen it doesn't.

Fiddlerdave
01-22-2009, 01:59 AM
i realize that but I also beleive that in the history of this planet it has been frozen over as much as it's been hot.

When it was hot life thrived, when it's frozen it doesn't.There is some truth to this. However, what we are interested in is climated where HUMAN life and the ecosystem that supports it best are in bloom.

The hot historical periods I know of are times when humans definately would not have enjoyed themselves.

Mousehound
01-22-2009, 03:50 PM
http://www.physorg.com/newman/gfx/news/deerridgeroc.jpg
Increasing tree die-offs in the West are illustrated by these gray, needleless limber pine, the likely victims of drought, interspersed with orange, dead limber and ponderosa pine killed by Rocky Mountain pine beetles in Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park in recent years. Image courtesy Jeremy Smith, University of Colorado

(PhysOrg.com) -- A new study led by the U.S. Geological Survey and involving the University of Colorado at Boulder indicates tree deaths in the West's old-growth forests have more than doubled in recent decades, likely from regional warming and related drought conditions.

The study, published in the Jan. 23 issue of Science, documented tree deaths in all tree sizes in the West located at varying elevations, including tree types such as pine, fir and hemlock. Significant die-offs also were documented in the interior West -- including Colorado and Arizona -- as well as Northwest regions like northern California, Oregon, Washington and southern British Columbia.

The researchers speculated higher tree deaths could lead to substantial ecological changes in the West, including cascading effects affecting wildlife populations. The tree deaths also could lead to possible increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels contributing to warming, which could stem from lower CO2 uptake and storage by smaller trees and increased CO2 emissions from more dead trees on the forest floors.

The study shows the establishment of new, replacement trees is not keeping pace with climbing tree mortality in the study plots, said CU-Boulder geography Professor Thomas Veblen, study co-author. The new study is the largest research project based on long-term forest plots ever published on North American forests, said Veblen.

"This regional warming has contributed to widespread hydrologic changes, such as a declining fraction of precipitation falling as snow, declining water snowpack content, earlier spring snowmelt and runoff, and a consequent lengthening of the summer drought," wrote the researchers in Science.

In the Science study, the tree deaths measured in Colorado are all from stands re-measured prior to any stands being attacked in the current bark beetle outbreak, said Veblen. "The previous elevated rates of tree mortality in these forests may have been harbingers of the abrupt increase in tree mortality due to the current bark beetle outbreaks in Colorado."

During the past decade, mountain pine bark beetles have killed roughly 3.5 million acres of lodgepole pine forests in northwestern Colorado, and the outbreak has spread to the study's forest plots on the state's Front Range only within the last year, Veblen said. During the same time period, spruce bark beetles also killed large areas of spruce forest in northern and southwestern Colorado, he said.

"Forest entomologists and ecologists agree that warming temperatures are highly favorable to the population growth and survival of these beetles," said Veblen. "Moisture-stress induced by both warming and reduced snowpack increases tree susceptibility to bark beetle attack."

More here:
http://www.physorg.com/news151856202.html

Sarrah
01-22-2009, 05:48 PM
I'd like to hear from regular folks about this tree die off thing.

Not that trees don't die. Trees die just like dandelions if they get old or diseased. But pine trees also shed needles. Some of the needles turn red and die while other needles on the trees stay green. At a distance the poor old tree looks like it needs cutting down it is diseased and won't make it. It takes a long time for all of those red needles to fall and be replaced. Like a couple of years. Sometimes it takes a tree a couple of years to drop their pine cones too. They are not like the oak for example that drop in the fall and get new leaves in the spring.

Now that said I noticed last fall a swath of trees about 20 or 30 ft wide that had turned red leaves long before they should, like the beginning of Aug I think it was. It looked to me like they had been sprayed and I admit for awhile there I had a :tin: moment. I still have it reserved in my mind because I was able to stand outside and look at the mountain above me and I could see the swath going like a band along it. I couldn't see much past our place at the angle it took. I'd like to of had a plane to have a look but I wasn't up to that sort of trip.

DH put it down to a lot of iron in the soil. I don't know. It wasn't bugs because I looked at the leaves. It seemed to get every kind of leaf in that band. Including some of our orchard and my clematis. So any thing that wasn't in that band was still green. It wasn't drought because we water our flowers and orchard.. Yep, still thinking about that one.

I have lived among the Pines for many seasons now and I know people have told me that tree is dead. I look at it and it sure looks dead with all of those red needles. Then a year or two later it starts to look a little naked. Then you notice it is looking pretty darn good and green. Then a year or so later you notice it has pine cones. Then you notice it seems to keep those pine cones on and on. Not every tree has pine cones every year and not every tree that has pine cones drops them all every year. Just because there are needles dying does not mean the tree is dying. Those are actual on the scene facts. Around here anyway. Pine trees for sure have a season. It just doesn't fit into our calendar the way we like to keep things organized. ;)

I wonder how many years Jeremy who took the photo has been watching one tree? Or as I have a hillside of trees. I don't know everything, but I think I'm beginning to see some things I didn't know. Mankind should stop managing nature.

Kassy
01-23-2009, 10:59 AM
Here's a BBC article on the research. The researchers looked at lot's of trees over a long time. Jeremy probably looked for less then 30 seconds if he's any good. ;)


Climate shift 'killing US trees'
By Mark Kinver

Old growth trees in western parts of the US are probably being killed as a result of regional changes to the climate, a study has suggested.

Analysis of undisturbed forests showed that the trees' mortality rate had doubled since 1955, researchers said.

They warned that the loss of old growth trees could have implications for the areas' ecology and for the amount of carbon that the forests could store.

The findings have been published in the journal Science.

"Data from unmanaged old forests in the western US showed that background mortality rates have increased rapidly in recent decades," the team of US and Canadian scientists wrote.

"Because mortality increased in small trees, the overall increase in mortality rates cannot be attributed to ageing of large trees," they added.

"Regional warming and consequent increases in water deficits are likely contributors to the increase in tree mortality rates."

Water woes

After ruling out a variety of other possible factors, including insect attacks and air pollution, the researchers concluded that regional warming was the dominant contributor.

"From the 1970s to 2006, the mean annual temperature of the western US increased at a rate of 0.3C to 0.4C per decade, even approached 0.5C," they observed.

"This regional warming has contributed to widespread hydrological changes, such as declining fraction of precipitation falling as snow, declining snowpack water content, earlier spring snowmelt and a consequent lengthening of summer drought."

The team, led by the US Geological Society (USGS), examined data from 76 temperate forest stands older than 200 years, which contained almost 59,000 trees.

Over the study period, which stretched back to 1955, more than 11,000 trees died.

The researchers reported that the increased mortality rate affected a range of species, different sized trees, and all elevations.

"The same way that in any group of people, a small number will die each year; in any forest, a small number of trees will die," explained co-author Phil van Mantgem, a USGS ecologist.

"But our long-term monitoring shows that tree mortality has been climbing, while the establishment of replacement trees has not."

Carbon store

The change in the forests' dynamics, the team noted, was going to have an impact on the forests' ecology and carbon storage capabilities.

"We may only be talking about an annual tree mortality rate changing from 1% a year to 2%, but over time a lot of small numbers add up," said co-author Professor Mark Harmon from Oregon State University.

He feared that the die-back was the first sign of a "feedback loop" developing.

As regional warming caused an increased number of trees to die, there would be less living trees to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Yet there would be an increased proportion of decaying trees, releasing the carbon that had been locked away inside the trees' wood.

Warmer temperatures might also increase the number and prevalence of insects and diseases that attack trees, the team added.

They used the example of recent outbreaks of tree-killing bark beetles in the US, which have been linked to a rise in temperatures.

Another member of the team, Dr Nate Stephenson, said increasing tree deaths could indicate a forest that was vulnerable to sudden, widespread die-back.

"That may be our biggest concern," he warned.

"Is the trend we're seeing a prelude to bigger, more abrupt changes to our forests."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7841030.stm

Mousehound
01-27-2009, 10:24 AM
http://www.physorg.com/newman/gfx/news/emperorpengu.jpg

Popularized by the 2005 movie "March of the Penguins," emperor penguins could be headed toward extinction in at least part of their range before the end of the century, according to a paper by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) researchers published January 26, 2009, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

The paper, co-authored by five researchers including WHOI biologists Stephanie Jenouvrier and Hal Caswell, uses mathematical models to predict the effect on penguins of climate change and the resulting loss of sea ice.

The research indicates that if climate change continues to melt sea ice at the rates published in the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the median population size of a large emperor penguin colony in Terre Adelie, Antarctica, likely will shrink from its present size of 3,000 to only 400 breeding pairs by the end of the century.

What's more, the researchers calculate that the probability of a drastic decline (by 95 percent or more) is at least 40 percent and perhaps as much as 80 percent.

Such a decline would put the population at serious risk of extinction.

"The key to the analysis was deciding to focus not on average climate conditions, but on fluctuations that occasionally reduce the amount of available sea ice," said Hal Caswell, who is noted for his work in mathematical ecology.

Sea ice plays a critical role in the Antarctic ecosystem - not only as a platform for penguins to breed, feed, and molt, but as a grazing ground for krill, tiny crustaceans that thrive on algae growing on the underside of the ice. Krill, in turn, are a food source for fish, seals, whales, and penguins.

One fluctuation and subsequent sea ice reduction in Terre Adelie during the 1970s led to a population decline in emperor penguins of about 50 percent.

The team led by Caswell and Jenouvrier developed a series of models to incorporate the effect of the fluctuations on the penguin life history and population growth or decline. The models used data collected by French scientists working in Terre Adelie beginning in the 1960s. Then, working with climate scientists, Jenouvrier, Caswell and their colleagues looked at IPCC climate models and found that these fluctuations are likely to become much more frequent as the climate changes over the next 100 years.

Full article here:
http://www.physorg.com/news152272479.html

Kassy
02-01-2009, 06:01 AM
The world's marine ecosystems risk being severely damaged by ocean acidification unless there are dramatic cuts in CO2 emissions, warn scientists.

More than 150 top marine researchers have voiced their concerns through the "Monaco Declaration", which warns that changes in acidity are accelerating.

The declaration, supported by Prince Albert II of Monaco, builds on findings from an earlier international summit.

It says pH levels are changing 100 times faster than natural variability.

Based on the research priorities identified at The Ocean in a High CO2 World symposium, held in October 2008, the declaration states:

"We scientists who met in Monaco to review what is known about ocean acidification declare that we are deeply concerned by recent, rapid changes in ocean chemistry and their potential, within decades, to severely affect marine organisms, food webs, biodiversity and fisheries."

'The other CO2 problem'

It calls on policymakers to stabilise CO2 emissions "at a safe level to avoid not only dangerous climate change but also dangerous ocean acidification".

The researchers warn that ocean acidification, which they refer to as "the other CO2 problem", could make most regions of the ocean inhospitable to coral reefs by 2050, if atmospheric CO2 levels continue to increase.

The also say that it could lead to substantial changes in commercial fish stocks, threatening food security for millions of people.

"The chemistry is so fundamental and changes so rapid and severe that impacts on organisms appear unavoidable," said Dr James Orr, chairman of the symposium.

"The questions are now how bad will it be and how soon will it happen."

Another signatory, Patricio Bernal, executive secretary of the UN Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, outlined how the marine research community intended to respond to the challenge.

"We need to bring together the best scientists to share their latest research results and to set priorities for research to improve our knowledge of the processes and of the impacts of acidification on marine ecosystems."

Prince Albert II used the declaration to voice his concerns, adding that he hoped the world's leaders would take the "necessary action" at a key UN climate summit later this year.

"I strongly support this declaration. I hope that it will be heard by all the political leaders meeting in Copenhagen in December 2009."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7860350.stm

Mousehound
02-08-2009, 03:39 AM
"Nowhere else than in these ecosystems do giant sea spiders and marine pillbugs share the ocean bottom with fish that have antifreeze proteins in their blood," says Rich Aronson, professor of biological sciences at Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Fla. "The shell-cracking crabs, fish, sharks and rays that dominate bottom communities in temperate and tropical zones have been shut out of Antarctica for millions of years because it is simply too cold for them."

But this situation is about to change. "Populations of predatory king crabs are already living in deeper, slightly warmer water," says Aronson. "And increasing ship traffic is introducing exotic crab invaders. When ships dump their ballast water in the Antarctic seas, marine larvae from as far away as the Arctic are injected into the system."

Aronson and his colleagues published their results in the electronic journal PLoS ONE to coincide with the U.S. National Teach-In on Global Warming Solutions on Feb. 5.

Fast-moving, shell-crushing predators, dominant in most places, cannot operate in the icy waters of Antarctica. The only fish there—the ones with the antifreeze proteins—eat small, shrimp-like crustaceans and other soft foods. The main bottom dwelling predators are slow-moving sea stars and giant, floppy ribbon worms.

To understand their history, Aronson and a team of paleontologists collected marine fossils at Seymour Island off the Antarctic Peninsula. Linda Ivany of Syracuse University reconstructed changes in the Antarctic climate from chemical signals preserved in ancient clamshells. As temperatures dropped about 41 million years ago and crabs and fish were frozen out, the slow-moving predators that remained could not keep up with their prey. Snails, once out of danger, gradually lost the spines and other shell armor they had evolved against crushing predators.

Antarctica's coastal waters are warming rapidly. Temperatures at the sea surface off the western Antarctic Peninsula went up 1°C in the last 50 years, making it one of the fastest-warming regions of the World Ocean.

If the crab invasion succeeds, it will devastate Antarctica's spectacular fauna and fundamentally alter its ecological relationships. "That would be a tragic loss for biodiversity in one of the last truly wild places on earth," says Aronson. "Unless we can get control of ship traffic and greenhouse-gas emissions, climate change will ruin marine communities in Antarctica and make the world a sadder, duller place."

Source: Florida Institute of Technology
http://www.physorg.com/news153044924.html

southerncross
02-08-2009, 11:48 AM
With each and every one of these report's, What are they comparing against?
Just the Penguins alone would be in more danger if the Ice shelf grew a thousand KM
Why is it doom and gloom all the time with you people? Co2 this and Co2 that, Manmade Co2 output is around 2 percent of the natural output.
All of these new doomsday scenarios are based on new research that has no real relevance to the historical record when compared to actual natural variances over time, time being measured in thousands or millions of years.
Myopic measurement of things is akin to reading in the dark, just hurts your eyes and doesn't make much sense.

Mousehound
02-09-2009, 01:21 PM
As far as I know we are just reporting what we find in the media. Blame them, not us please.

Auburn Boy
02-09-2009, 01:26 PM
I have read befor about those changes in Antarctic fauna..,

Pretty dire.

Auburn Boy
02-09-2009, 01:38 PM
Scientific american (Mar 2009)has a nice sidebar article this month about the uptick in ocean acidity and it's effects on the environment.

The title is "Acid Bath," Charles Q. Choi.

A lesser-known consequence of having a lot of carbon dioxide in the air is the acidification of water. Oceans naturally absorb the greenhouse gas; in fact, they take in roughly on third of the carbon dioxide released into the atmospher by human activities.

Southerncross: How do you know that the global environment is NOT EFFECTED as sensitively as the AGW climate change proponents hypotheseize??? Is there some reason the 2% can't have a serious impact? 2% is what we measure, if the oceans absorb 1/3, then 3% might well be the change we are inducing. Is that enough???

Kassy
02-10-2009, 03:47 PM
Global Warming Pushing Birds Further North

Many birds in North America are moving further north and inland during the winter, providing further evidence of global warming’s affect on natural systems, the Audubon Society said Tuesday.

Nearly 60 percent of the 305 species found in North America have shifted their ranges northward by an average of 35 miles, according to the report.

Audubon scientists analyzed information from 40 years of Christmas Bird Count data to conclude that global warming is having a serious impact on natural systems.

The purple finch was the most noteworthy mover, as it has now shifted its winter range to near the latitude of Milwaukee, Wis., rather than its previous region of Springfield, Mo.

“As temperatures have increased in recent years, however, (purple finches) have not gone as far south during their irruptions - resulting in overall northward movement of over 400 miles in the last 40 years,” said the Audubon.

Although birds can change their migrating patterns for various reasons, researchers say the only explanation for why so many birds over such a broad area are wintering in more northern locales is global warming.

Average temperatures in the US in January have increased by about 5 degrees Fahrenheit - most noticeably in the northern states - over the past 40 years.

More than half of the waterbird species – 52 percent – moved north, including a wide variety of ducks, such as Red-breasted Merganser, American Black Duck, and Green-winged Teal.

"This is as close as science at this scale gets to proof," said Greg Butcher, the lead scientist on the study and the director of bird conservation at the Audubon Society. "It is not what each of these individual birds did. It is the wide diversity of birds that suggests it has something to do with temperature, rather than ecology."

Other studies in Great Britain have come to similar conclusions, but the Audubon study covers a broader area and includes many more species.

For instance, the Carolina wren - the state bird of South Carolina – can now be seen in New England during the winter, according to the report.

"Twenty years ago, I remember people driving hours to see the one Carolina wren in the state," Jeff Wells, an ornithologist based in southern Maine, told the AP. "Now, every year I get two or three just in my area," he said.

"Obviously, things have changed.”

http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1637076/global_warming_pushing_birds_further_north/index.html

Kassy
02-17-2009, 03:06 PM
Mousehound posted thread on malaria & climate change in the Medical News Room. There is a wildlife link - the parasites.


http://thisbluemarble.com/showthread.php?t=9638


Warmer temperatures are at least partly to blame for a surge in malaria in East Africa and the increase in drug-resistant strains of the disease, according to a University of Michigan researcher.

The malaria parasite is highly sensitive to changes in temperature, and even subtle warming can dramatically increase populations of the mosquitoes that transmit the disease, said ecologist Mercedes Pascual.

Some scientists have argued that climate is not involved in the increasing highland epidemics. Instead, they say, adaptations in the parasite that make it resistant to anti-malarial drugs are the key drivers.

But Pascual said that this "either-or" view is misguided and improperly lets global warming off the hook.

...

By making conditions favorable for mosquitoes, "warmer temperatures increase transmission, so you’re going to increase the number of people you treat," she said. And past research has shown a threshold at which treating more cases leads to a higher incidence of drug resistance, making the disease difficult to treat and contain.

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=...stance-climate

Or
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0214162631.htm

southerncross
02-24-2009, 08:00 AM
Scientific american (Mar 2009)has a nice sidebar article this month about the uptick in ocean acidity and it's effects on the environment.

The title is "Acid Bath," Charles Q. Choi.



Southerncross: How do you know that the global environment is NOT EFFECTED as sensitively as the AGW climate change proponents hypotheseize??? Is there some reason the 2% can't have a serious impact? 2% is what we measure, if the oceans absorb 1/3, then 3% might well be the change we are inducing. Is that enough???


Don't know where you come up with 3% on that Auburn Boy, My main gist was that 98% worth of the change is NATURAL, maybe 2% might make a difference but compared to the overwhelming natural occurence the tiny percentage of manmade CO2 is quite minimal wouldn't you agree?

Ross
03-01-2009, 07:05 AM
Mass extinctions very soon .

Yes that is right I am predicting significant species extinctions
during the next five years .

You heard it right here , right now from Ross the oracle .

However it will not be due to climate change it will be caused
by the looming economic crisis .

In poor regions of the world as mass unemployment and mass hunger
extends its grip , wholesale poaching of protected creatures will become a
growth industry . Especially so in those areas where there is a
break down of Government agencies due to civil strife or similar factors.
Expect to see nature reserves and forests stripped of wood , animals ,
birds and anything edible on an unprecedented scale.


So if you have a real interest in species extinctions move past climate
change and focus on the real threat - Hunger .

Fiddlerdave
03-01-2009, 11:22 AM
Mass extinctions very soon .

Yes that is right I am predicting significant species extinctions
during the next five years .

You heard it right here , right now from Ross the oracle .

However it will not be due to climate change it will be caused
by the looming economic crisis .

In poor regions of the world as mass unemployment and mass hunger
extends its grip , wholesale poaching of protected creatures will become a
growth industry . Especially so in those areas where there is a
break down of Government agencies due to civil strife or similar factors.
Expect to see nature reserves and forests stripped of wood , animals ,
birds and anything edible on an unprecedented scale.


So if you have a real interest in species extinctions move past climate
change and focus on the real threat - Hunger .What's fairly funny about the above attitude is that the devastation of the ecosystem forests, etc. will do its part to hasten climate change as well. Its one more factor of population rise that is the basis for the fossil fuel climate change.

Although I disagree abit the government breakdown difference. The wealthy countries, in their desire to maintain their standard of living, who will be stripping nature preserves and forests, building things like refineries without pollution controls and otherwise stopping all their gains in taking care of the world for an extra last few years of comfort for the selfish.

Sorry, kids. We were given a pretty nice world, but you are being given a trash heap.

shalym
03-03-2009, 02:47 PM
Sorry, kids. We were given a pretty nice world, but you are being given a trash heap.
Actually Dave, the world of my childhood WAS a trash heap compared to what it is now. When I was a kid, we couldn't swim in any of the rivers around here because of industrial pollution, and now they are clear and beautiful, with lots of fish and kids playing in them all of the time in the summer.

Shari

Fiddlerdave
03-04-2009, 01:16 PM
Actually Dave, the world of my childhood WAS a trash heap compared to what it is now. When I was a kid, we couldn't swim in any of the rivers around here because of industrial pollution, and now they are clear and beautiful, with lots of fish and kids playing in them all of the time in the summer.

ShariYour evaluation is utterly wrong. Simply because the litter has been picked up at some remaining wealthy of the world park areas (relatively speaking), the world is by no means and no measure in "better shape". The fact that world habitats, such as forests, swamplands, rivers and prairielands, have been vastly reduced, heavy metals pollution (and much other pollution) is touching every corner of the globe inhabited or uninhabited, the oceans and the species living in it are undergoing tremendous depletion by huge factory operations literally raking the life from substantial pieces, and so much more, there is no measure whatsoever that can support your assertion of the "world" being less of a trash heap now. That is aside from the fact that the ecology is being simply paved, plowed, or dug up and simply ceasing to exist as an active organism.

Your little wealthy spot is nicer for the moment. At the price of the destruction of the rest of the world.

hillsidedigger
03-04-2009, 02:09 PM
Just look at the island of Borneo which up until about 10 years ago was one of the wildest places remaining in the world and in just 10 years has been largely converted to palm-oil tree plantations.

shalym
03-04-2009, 07:54 PM
Your evaluation is utterly wrong. Simply because the litter has been picked up at some remaining wealthy of the world park areas (relatively speaking), the world is by no means and no measure in "better shape". The fact that world habitats, such as forests, swamplands, rivers and prairielands, have been vastly reduced, heavy metals pollution (and much other pollution) is touching every corner of the globe inhabited or uninhabited, the oceans and the species living in it are undergoing tremendous depletion by huge factory operations literally raking the life from substantial pieces, and so much more, there is no measure whatsoever that can support your assertion of the "world" being less of a trash heap now. That is aside from the fact that the ecology is being simply paved, plowed, or dug up and simply ceasing to exist as an active organism.

Your little wealthy spot is nicer for the moment. At the price of the destruction of the rest of the world.
Interesting...it sounds like you are saying that the environmental cleanup that's happened in the last 30 years was not only a useless exercise, but that it actually has done more harm than good.

Yes...there are still some polluted rivers and lakes in the world, but the number is far less now than it was 30 years ago. Same with forests. In fact, a quick search on "reforestation vs deforestation" comes up with this article from the NY Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/20/opinion/20mon4.html

Reforestation and Deforestation

Published: November 20, 2006

Almost anyone who lives in the rural Northeast can attest that the forest has expanded its range in the past century. That is why all those stone walls — the edges of cleared fields once upon a time — are now orphaned deep in the woods. A new study published by the National Academy of Sciences and based on a recent international assessment of forests confirms that reforestation has become a widespread pattern in well-off countries and also in a few that are not so well off.

This is obviously good news. Forests provide critical wildlife habitat, and the study’s authors say the forest “withholds carbon dioxide that would add to greenhouse gas in the atmosphere.”

Forest transitions — the shift from net deforestation to reforestation — began long ago in Europe and more recently in the United States. What is surprising is that they are beginning to happen in parts of India and Asia as well. Reforestation is directly linked to prosperity, an indicator that a country has risen well above the level of mere subsistence and has an economy that no longer depends entirely on exploiting natural resources.

But there is also bad news mixed with the good news. In some parts of the world, deforestation is only expanding, with dire consequences for biodiversity and the climate.

And even where forests have recovered, there is the likelihood that they have passed through an ecological point of no return. Some of the most biologically diverse forests are being logged or burned without ceasing, destroying irreplaceable habitat and extinguishing species one by one.

Perhaps someday those tropical forests will come back. But there will be no bringing back all the creatures who lived among them.
The article does talk about the expanding deforestation in some parts of the world, and it's effect on the animals in the area. I agree this is a BAD THING and I have actually contributed to organizations that are devoted to buying land in tropical forest regions to stop this practice. Please note the part of the article that I bolded, though.

Reforestation is directly linked to prosperity, an indicator that a country has risen well above the level of mere subsistence and has an economy that no longer depends entirely on exploiting natural resources.

The best and fastest way to get these countries to stop burning down the forests and polluting their spaces is related to economics, not laws.

The NY Times says it, so it must be true :)

Shari

hillsidedigger
03-04-2009, 09:29 PM
Fiddlerdave is correct, the world is much dirtier and more degraded than 30 or 40 years ago even though in some respects certain places in the United States appear to be not as bad.

Fiddlerdave
03-04-2009, 10:53 PM
Interesting...it sounds like you are saying that the environmental cleanup that's happened in the last 30 years was not only a useless exercise, but that it actually has done more harm than good. It wasn't pointless, but it has given many people your exact feeling of overall improvement in the world's condition, when the opposite is true.

Yes...there are still some polluted rivers and lakes in the world, but the number is far less now than it was 30 years ago. Same with forests. In fact, a quick search on "reforestation vs deforestation" comes up with this article from the NY Times Far from still having just "some polluted lakes and rivers", we have reached the point where the ver y oceans ecosystems are being destroyed. Much of the Pacific coast of the USA has serious microbiological contamination, along with farm and industrial waste, requiring regular warnings and closures. Entire river and water systems are being pumped below viability or to extinction by ever-soaring demand for water, or being polluted by farm runoff so the wells are undrinkable and bad for irrigation both. (this is happening across the country). Fish from streams, lakes and even deep oceans are filled with heavy metals, so much so that even standby fish like tuna have government warnings to avoid too much consumption.

Yet some picturesque, usually stocked with non-native fish, streams and lakes has everyone feeling like the world is A-OK and getting better and cleaner all the time. It is not, by any measure.

Forest increases are actually do to "farm forests", which are monoculture growths of a particular tree for harvest as quickly as possible, which have no viable ecosystem, a minimum of additional species, and basically are just another corn field. While better than bare dirt or weeds (maybe), as a replacement for what was there before they are a poor substitute, but they do process CO2, I guess. Oh yeah, the boreal forests look like they are having some real problems from climate change, they are disappearing at an increasing rate.

http://earthwatch.unep.ch/emergingissues/forests/forestloss.php

Despite the importance of forests, reports continue to indicate huge forests losses (FAO, 1997). Almost half of the planet’s original forest has been destroyed, mostly during the last three decades (WRI/WCMC/WWF, 1997). Between 1990 and 1995, the net forest loss equaled 33 football fields per minute (112 600 square kilometers annually) (FAO, 1999, reported by GFW). During the 1990s, the total loss of existing natural forests was 16.1 million hectares per year, of which 15.2 million hectares occurred in the tropics (FAO, 2001). Expressed in another way, during the 1990s the world lost 4.2 percent of its natural forests, but it gained 1.8 percent through reforestation (with plantations), afforestation, and the natural expansion of forests, resulting in a net reduction of 2.4 percent over the ten-year period. Thus the net global change in forest area between 1990 and 2000 was estimated as -9.4 million hectares per year: the sum of -14.6 million hectares of deforestation and 5.2 million hectares of gain in forest cover. The global change (-0.22 percent per year) represents an area about the size of Portugal. The estimated net loss of forests for the 1990s as a whole was 94 million hectares – an area larger than Venezuela. The total estimated global forest area in 2000 was nearly 3.9 billion hectares, of which 95 percent was natural forest and 5 percent was forest plantations (FAO, 2001). About 47 percent of the world’s forests occur in the tropical zone, 9 percent in the subtropics, 11 percent in the temperate zone and 33 percent in the boreal zone.

Kassy
03-06-2009, 04:29 PM
Climate 'hitting Europe's birds'

Climate change is already having an impact on European bird species, according to British scientists.

Details of the study by an international team of researchers have been published in the journal Plos One.

Some birds are expected to do well as temperatures rise, but these are in the minority, the researchers write.

"Overall, the trend is towards net loss," said a spokesman for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), which contributed to the study.

Strong Link

The researchers found birds that are expected to do well as temperatures rise had indeed increased in number since the 1980s.

But some 75% of species studied by the researchers had declined in the same period.

The study compared the change in population numbers of bird species over the last two decades with the projected change in their ranges and found a strong link.

These shifts in species territory are thought to be associated with climate change.

Of the 122 species included in the study (out of 526 species that nest in Europe), 30 are projected to increase their range, while the remaining 92 species are anticipated to experience a contraction in their territory.

Rising temperatures

The latter group includes the lapwing, currently found throughout the UK as well as much of western Europe. That however, is predicted to change with the Lapwing disappearing from areas of southern Europe as temperatures change.

The scientists developed a measure, which they call the climate change indicator, to describe how changes in temperature are affecting species.

Rising temperatures are likely to have a positive effect on some species, said co-author Dr Stephen Willis, from Durham University. This means some birds are likely to extend their ranges north.

That means some mainland species could colonise the British Isles if they continue to respond to climatic warming in the way the models predict, and in the absence of other barriers such as the ability to disperse and the lack of suitable habitat.

Extinction

The Cirl bunting, for example, already has a small presence in the UK, in the south west but as the map above shows, is projected to spread much further across the country.

These potential colonists include the great reed warbler, the subalpine warbler and the bee-eater.

One UK species, the Scottish crossbill, could face extinction, the RSPB warned. The crossbill's range is already restricted to the Caledonian pine forests of Scotland.

"We need to redouble our efforts," said the RSPB spokesman, "for a G8 nation to lose a species is shameful."

The spokesman said preserving pine forests could be crucial to the survival of the crossbill.

The study was the work of researchers from Durham University, Cambridge University, the RSPB, the European Bird Census Council, the Czech Society for Ornithology, the French National Museum of Natural History and Statistics Netherlands.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/sci/tech/7921936.stm

Kassy
03-07-2009, 05:54 AM
ScienceDaily (Mar. 6, 2009) — University of Montana researcher Scott Mills and his students have noticed an exceptional number of white snowshoe hares on brown earth. He contends that climate change and the color mismatch are causing much more hare mortality.

On an unseasonably warm May afternoon, University of Montana wildlife biology Professor Scott Mills treks into the shadowy forests above the Seeley-Swan Valley in pursuit of his quarry. He skirts the rivulets of water melting from snow patches. In one hand he holds an antenna and in the other a receiver that’s picking up signals from a radio-collared snowshoe hare. The beeps increase in volume as he draws nearer. Mills picks his way over downed branches, steps out from behind a western larch and spots the white hare crouched on the bare brown earth.

“That’s just an embarrassing moment for a snowshoe hare to think that it’s invisible when it’s not,” said Mills with a grin, quickly adding that seeing such mismatched colors is becoming all too common and disturbing.

For the past decade, Mills has directed teams of biologists and students to investigate snowshoe hares on more than 35 study sites in Montana, Wyoming and Washington, including just outside UM’s back door near Seeley Lake. His findings have led to improved forest thinning practices that maintain patches of dense trees for hares. He’s delved into population dynamics and genetics of hares in their southern range. His research has turned directly to lynx, too, as a key predator of snowshoe hares and a threatened species.

Increasingly Mills and his students have noted an exceptional number of white hares on brown earth. Radio telemetry data revealed spring and fall to be the most deadly seasons for hares and a bonanza for predators.

“I’m speculating that the reason they are dying more in the spring and fall is because of the mismatch of colors,” Mills said.

That leads Mills to the “sexiest part” of snowshoe hare research – how they respond to climate change. While a warming planet affects all wildlife, a cute white hare has the makings of the next version of the polar bear as poster animal for global warming.

Will hares continue to shift coat colors on cue regardless of the presence or absence of snow? Will this drive them to extinction? Or will they be able to adjust their seasonal pattern in time to fit new conditions?

“Climate trends for mountainous areas clearly show that while snow levels may vary from year to year, the number of days with snow on the ground is decreasing,” Mills said.

Snowshoe hares evolved with plentiful winter snow in the boreal forests that form a swath across Alaska and Canada and dip down into the lower 48 states. In winter, they grow long white guard hairs to match the snow. In summer, they shed white for mostly rusty brown coats to blend with trees and soil. They depend on their cryptic coloration to hide from predators that include lynx, coyotes, foxes, wolves, pine martens and birds of prey. A hare that’s the wrong color stands out like the emperor in his new clothes.

The signal for a hare to shift coat color comes from the pineal gland in the brain that senses changes in daylight length. Shortening days of autumn trigger the coat color change from brown to white. (People also have pineal glands that produce melatonin, the hormone that affects our waking and sleeping patterns and responses to seasonal day lengths.)

Like most subjects in science, the deeper you delve, the more complexities you find. Mills points out that in the Cascades, some snowshoe hares stay a mottled brown and white year-round. In the Olympic Mountains of Washington, snowshoe hares never turn white. Does this suggest some ability to evolve in response to temperature changes? If so, how quickly?

To find out, Mills will add an intensive genetic component to his fieldwork, teaming with the University of Porto in Portugal, where scientists are sequencing the rabbit genome. Together they will analyze the genetic drivers of coat color change. Mills will start with his core research areas and then expand his studies to compare coat color genetics as well as synchrony of hare cycles in southern versus northern ranges.

Mills isn’t starting from scratch. He and his team have collected genetic samples from thousands of hares and several generations for the past eight years. On a typical field day, they rise before dawn to check the 80 “have-a-heart” live traps that they’ve baited with alfalfa and apple. The traps are placed in prime snowshoe habitat such as moist forests of larch, lodgepole and Douglas fir with dense brush and overhanging branches.

Finding a hare in a trap calls for prompt action. Mills describes the process that has become routine. First, you put a pillowcase over the entrance to the trap, so the hare will run in. You keep the hare in the pillowcase while you weigh it, add an ear tag and take a tiny plug of tissue from the ear. That tissue contains DNA and is placed in a special vial. You also check the sex and assess the hare’s general health. You might add a radio collar as well, depending on the project. The whole procedure takes a matter of minutes.

Snowshoe hares seemed like a natural choice for study soon after Mills arrived at UM from the University of Idaho in 1995. They’re a local species with excellent opportunities for delving into their ecology and introducing students and the public alike to fieldwork. Hares also are known for a classic predator-prey relationship with the lynx. The two species are so closely associated that they even share a key attribute for winter living – thick furry hind feet for bounding atop snow.

Across Canada, snowshoe hares follow a synchronized population cycle of 10-year highs and lows. Hare numbers in the Yukon can peak at 200 to 300 per square kilometer and then drop to about seven. Lynx follow a cycle that’s just slightly behind the hares. When lynx numbers are down, hares start to go up. The more hares, the better the lynx do until finally the lynx drive the hare populations down again. Mills’ work has proven that those cycles are dampened in the southern range because hares don’t have the same vast, dense boreal forest, thus hares never reach the high peak counts. As their numbers rise, they disperse into habitat openings, where they become easy dinners for waiting predators. In Montana and other parts of the southern range, forests tend to be patchier naturally, with added challenges for hares from logging and thinning.

Today, as a result of Mills’ studies comparing survival rates in experimentally thinned forests, Plum Creek Timber Co. now leaves patches of unthinned trees to benefit hares, and in turn lynx.

His research has translated directly into useful management, a result that Mills always aims for and advocates in his widely used 2006 textbook, “Conservation of Wildlife Populations, Demography, Genetics, and Management.”

Until now, the lynx-hare relationship has proved Mills’ most high-profile research. After the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service added lynx as a threatened species in 2000, his phone rang with calls from the National Park Service and timber companies alike on how to manage forests for lynx health. Mills’ subsequent studies led to findings that lynx are highly mobile in their southern range. One cat might travel 1,000 km (620 miles) in a season.

“Conserving where lynx are now is important, but it’s also important to conserve the places in between because lynx may move into those places as well,” Mills said.

Taking the next leap to examine snowshoe hare response to climate change is both a natural progression and an exciting new phase in his long-term research.

“Wildlife will either move, adapt or die in response to climate change,” explains Mills. “The study becomes important because we need to know how much natural selection will help animals deal with climate change that is happening at a very fast rate.”

That knowledge in turn will help managers focus their efforts to save species through such actions as conserving movement corridors from south to north.

“Hares are important because they are prey for almost everything in the forest that eats meat,” Mills said. “Without hares, the ecosystem unravels.”

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090224220347.htm

hillsidedigger
03-07-2009, 09:30 AM
Even if climate change was not human caused

people, thru habitat theft, have already nearly exterminated the vast majority of the world's wildlife.

shalym
03-08-2009, 03:03 AM
This kind of puts it in perspective for me...

There are hidden contradictions in the minds of people who "love Nature" while deploring the "artificialities" with which "Man has spoiled 'Nature'". The obvious contradiction lies in their choice of words, which imply that Man and his artifacts are not part of "Nature" -- but beavers and their dams are. But the contradictions go deeper than this prima-facie absurdity. In declaring his love for a beaver dam (erected by beavers for beavers' purposes) and his hatred for dams erected by men (for the purposes of men) the "Naturist" reveals his hatred for his own race -- i.e., his own self-hatred. In the case of "Naturists" such self-hatred is understandable; they are such a sorry lot. But hatred is too strong an emotion to feel toward them; pity and contempt are the most they rate. As for me, willy-nilly I am a man, not a beaver, and H. sapiens is the only race I have or can have. Fortunately for me, I like being part of a race made up of men and women -- it strikes me as a fine arrangement and perfectly "natural". Believe it or not, there were "Naturists" who opposed the first flight to...Earth's Moon as being "unnatural" and a "despoiling of Nature".
Robert A. Heinlein

Kassy
03-08-2009, 07:11 PM
Growing Acid Problem Thins Shells of Ocean Creatures


Scientists have started to see some of the expected effects of Earth's increasing carbon dioxide burden: The shells of microscopic animals in the ocean are becoming thinner thanks to the ocean's absorption of some of that excess carbon dioxide, a new study shows.

The shells of those creatures studies are about one-third lighter.

As carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels has accumulated in the atmosphere, some of it has been absorbed by the ocean. As the gas dissolves in the water, it forms a week acid (the same kind that's in bubbly soft drinks), causing the ocean itself to become gradually more acidic.

As ocean water becomes more acidic, it also lowers the amount of calcium carbonate available to aquatic animals that use the mineral to build shells or skeletons, such as corals. These organisms can be important links in the marine food chain.

Scientists have predicted that the increase in ocean acidification could significantly reduce the ability of these creatures to build their casings, potentially devastating them and causing rippling effects through the ecosystem. But "until now the potential impact on ocean chemistry and marine life has been based on projections and models" and laboratory experiments, said leader of the new study, Will Howard of the Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre in Australia.

With funding from the Australian Government Department of Climate Change, Howard and his colleagues collected microscopic marine animals - called planktonic foraminifera, or forams - from the South Tasman Rise region of the Southern Ocean. They compared the weights of the shells of these modern forams to those trapped in ocean sediments before the industrial revolution and the build-up of carbon dioxide.

They found that the modern shell weights were 30 to 35 percent lower than those of the older forams.

The researchers also found a link between higher atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and lowr shell weights in a 50,000-year-long record from a marine sediment core (a long column drilled out from the ocean floor that shows layers of sediments as they were laid down over time).

"Today's results publish the first evidence from nature, rather than a laboratory, that the two are linked," Howard said.

The findings are detailed in the March 8 issue of the journal Nature Geoscience.

If the results are applicable to the rest of the ocean, they could lead to large ecosystem shifts.

"The potential knock-on effects pose significant implications for the oceanic food chain and the findings are a worrying signal of what we can expect to see elsewhere in the future," Howard said. "The Southern Ocean is giving us a strong indication of an acidification process that will spread throughout the global ocean."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20090308/sc_livescience/growingacidproblemthinsshellsofoceancreatures

Auburn Boy
03-12-2009, 04:09 PM
This kind of puts it in perspective for me...

Good post!!

I don't think man has exterminated "the vast majority of species."

Kassy
03-16-2009, 05:58 PM
Climate-related changes on the Antarctic peninsula

Being driven from the top and the bottom of the ecosystem

Scientists have long established that the Antarctic Peninsula is one of the most rapidly warming spots on Earth. Now, new research using detailed satellite data indicates that the changing climate is affecting not just the penguins at the apex of the food chain, but simultaneously the microscopic life that is the base of the ecosystem.

The research was published in the March 13 edition of Science magazine by researchers with the National Science Foundation's (NSF) LTER (Long Term Ecological Research) program. The LTER, which has 26 sites around the globe, including two in Antarctica, enables tracking of ecological variables over time, so that the mechanisms of climate change impact on ecosystems can be revealed. The specific findings were made by researchers with the Palmer LTER, using data collected near Palmer Station and from the research vessel Laurence M. Gould. Both Palmer Station and the Laurence M. Gould are operated by NSF's Office of Polar Programs.

Hugh Ducklow, of the Marie Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole, the principal investigator for the Palmer LTER project, said that the new findings are scientifically significant, but they also are consistent with the climate trends on the Peninsula and other observed changes.

However, it took new scientific tools and analytical work by post-doctoral fellow Martin Montes Hugo to verify scientifically what scientists had been inferring from other changes for some time.

"I have to say the findings weren't a surprise; I think with the weight of all the other observations that we had on changes happening to organisms higher up in the food chain, we thought that phytoplankton weren't going to escape this level of climate change," Ducklow said. "But it took Martin to have all the right tools and the abilities to go in and do the analysis and prove what we suspected."

Those data, gathered over years, were essential to tracking patterns that supported the new findings.

"That's the beauty of the LTER program," he added.

Over the past 50 years, winter temperatures on the Peninsula have risen five times faster than the global average and the duration of sea-ice coverage has decreased. A warm, moist maritime climate has moved into the northern Peninsula region, pushing the continental, polar conditions southward.

As a result, the prevalence of species that depend on sea ice, such as Adelie penguins, Antarctic silverfish and krill, has decreased in the Peninsula's northern region, and new species that typically avoid ice, such as Gentoo and Chinstrap penguins, and lanternfish are moving into the habitat.

The LTER researchers show that satellite data on ocean color, temperature, sea ice and winds, indicate that phytoplankton at the base of the food chain are also responding to changes in sea-ice cover and winds driven by climate change. However, there are contrasting changes in northern and southern regions, and the satellite and ground-based data provide insights into the forcing mechanisms for each region.

The researchers weren't surprised that primary productivity in the waters of the Peninsula has changed dramatically over the last 20 years. But the contrasting changes in the north and south were a surprise.

In the north, where ice-dependent species are disappearing, sea ice cover has declined and wind stress has increased. The wind intensity and reduced sea ice causes greater mixing of the surface ocean waters. The result--a deepening of the surface mixed layer that lowers primary productivity rates and causes changes in phytoplankton species, because phytoplankton cells are exposed to less light.

Conversely, in the southern Peninsula waters, where ice-dependent species continue to thrive, the situation is reversed. There, sea ice loss has been in areas where it formerly covered most of the ocean surface for most of the year. Now, ice is less prevalent, exposing more water to sunlight and stimulating phytoplankton growth. The ice loss in the South, combined with less wind stress, promotes the formation of a shallower mixed layer, with increased light and the development of large phytoplankton cells, such as diatoms. Diatoms, single-celled creatures, form the base of the rich Antarctic food web that includes krill, penguins and whales.


http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-03/nsf-cco031609.php

Fiddlerdave
03-25-2009, 12:54 AM
"The Earth is just too small and fragile a basket for the human race to keep all its eggs in."
Robert Heinlein, speech

Its too bad this part of Heinlein's philosophy, the corollary to mankind utterly dominating and eliminating the ecosystem, looks to be a millenia away, even if we ever really start working on finding a replacement for this "fragile basket", since we know no habitable planet is closer than many light years away.

In the meantime, a planet completely covered in beaver dams is not going to feed 10 or 20 billion beavers, much less have a functional ecology on land or sea.

I don't think man has exterminated "the vast majority of species."
Well, they are gone anyway, regardless of what we think.

http://news.softpedia.com/news/The-Rate-of-Extinction-3-Species-per-Hour-55411.shtml
The Rate of Extinction: 3 Species per HourMan made By Stefan Anitei, Science Editor

23rd of May 2007, 10:53 GMT

About 6 waves of massive extinction are known in the history of the Earth. The last one wiped out the dinosaur world 65 million years ago and was probably due to a meteorite collision.

But the recent one has no natural causes. It is man made and rampant, eliminating three animal or plant species every hour.

Scientists and environmentalists issued reports about threats to creatures and plants including right whales, Iberian lynxes, wild potatoes and even wild peanuts.

Experts gathered on May 22, at the International Day for Biological Diversity, a report on the threatened species from whales and Iberian lynxes to wild potatoes and wild peanuts. "Biodiversity is being lost at an unprecedented rate," said U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

The threats to the wildlife diversity vary from habitat loss due to land clearance for farms or cities, poaching, pollution and rising human populations to global warming. "The global response to these challenges needs to move much more rapidly, and with more determination at all levels - global, national and local," he said.

It is obvious that the goal set by world leaders at an Earth Summit in 2002, namely a "significant reduction" by 2010 in the rate of species losses, will not be achieved. "We are indeed experiencing the greatest wave of extinctions since the disappearance of the dinosaurs," said Ahmed Djoghlaf, head of the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity. "Extinction rates are rising by a factor of up to 1,000 above natural rates. Every hour, three species disappear. Every day, up to 150 species are lost. Every year, between 18,000 and 55,000 species become extinct. The cause: human activities.", he said.

Bu the "Red List" of endangered species lists just 784 species exterminated since 1500, from the dodo bird of Mauritius to the golden toad of Costa Rica; but this because mainly the vertebrate species have been monitored. "The hugely varying figures might both be right, in their way. The U.N. figures are based on loss of habitats, estimates of how many species lived there and so will have been lost. Ours are more empirical - those species we knew were there but cannot find." told Reuters Craig Hilton-Taylor, manager of the list presented by the World Conservation Union grouping 83 governments, researchers and environmental organizations.

Global warming, triggered by the carbon dioxide generated through human burning of the fossil fuels, will wipe out habitats by drying out rainforest or by melting polar ice. "The results of the report highlight the challenge we currently face to halt the loss of biodiversity by 2010," said European Commissioner Stavros Dimas.

UE's goal is to stop biodiversity loss by 2010, not just to slow down the process. One in six land mammals in Europe are threatened, from the Iberian lynx (the rarest cat in the world) to the Arctic fox.

The loss of wild varieties of crop plants like potatoes and peanuts due to global warming translates into the loss of genes that could help cultivated varieties stand pests or disease.

hillsidedigger
03-25-2009, 08:22 AM
Quote:
"I don't think man has exterminated "the vast majority of species."

Not yet although the populations of most of the species of large wild animals, large fish and large birds in the world have been decimated (meaning more than 90% reduced) by human activity and encroachment.

Kassy
04-19-2009, 04:46 PM
Increasing carbon dioxide and decreasing oxygen make it harder for deep-sea animals to "breathe"

MOSS LANDING, CA — New calculations made by marine chemists from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) suggest that low-oxygen "dead zones" in the ocean could expand significantly over the next century. These predictions are based on the fact that, as more and more carbon dioxide dissolves from the atmosphere into the ocean, marine animals will need more oxygen to survive.

Concentrations of carbon dioxide are increasing rapidly in the Earth's atmosphere, primarily because of human activities. About one third of the carbon dioxide that humans produce by burning fossil fuels is being absorbed by the world's oceans, gradually causing seawater to become more acidic.

However, such "ocean acidification" is not the only way that carbon dioxide can harm marine animals. In a "Perspective" published today in the journal Science, Peter Brewer and Edward Peltzer combine published data on rising levels of carbon dioxide and declining levels of oxygen in the ocean in a set of new and thermodynamically rigorous calculations. They show that increases in carbon dioxide can make marine animals more susceptible to low concentrations of oxygen, and thus exacerbate the effects of low-oxygen "dead zones" in the ocean.

Brewer and Peltzer's calculations also show that the partial pressure of dissolved carbon dioxide gas (pCO2) in low-oxygen zones will rise much higher than previously thought. This could have significant consequences for marine life in these zones.

For over a decade, Brewer and Peltzer have been working with marine biologists to study the effects of carbon dioxide on marine organisms. High concentrations of carbon dioxide make it harder for marine animals to respire (to extract oxygen from seawater). This, in turn, makes it harder for these animals to find food, avoid predators, and reproduce. Low concentrations of oxygen can have similar effects.

Currently, deep-sea life is threatened by a combination of increasing carbon dioxide and decreasing oxygen concentrations. The amount of dissolved carbon dioxide is increasing because the oceans are taking up more and more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. At the same time, ocean surface waters are warming and becoming more stable, which allows less oxygen to be carried from the surface down into the depths.

In trying to quantify the impacts of this "double whammy" on marine organisms, Brewer and Peltzer came up with the concept of a "respiration index." This index is based on the ratio of oxygen and carbon dioxide gas in a given sample of seawater. The lower the respiration index, the harder it is for marine animals to respire.

Brewer provides the following analogy, "Animals facing declining oxygen levels and rising CO2 levels will suffer in much the same way that humans in a damaged submarine would suffer, once the concentrations of these gasses reach critical levels. Our work helps define those critical levels for marine animals, and will enable the emerging risk to be quantified and mapped."

In the past, marine biologists have defined "dead zones" based solely on low concentrations of dissolved oxygen. Brewer and Peltzer hope that their respiration index will provide a more precise and quantitative way for oceanographers to identify such areas. Tracking changes in the respiration index could also help marine biologists understand and predict which ocean waters are at risk of becoming dead zones in the future.

To estimate such effects in the open ocean, the MBARI researchers calculated the respiration index at various ocean depths, for several different forecasted concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide. They found that the most severe effects would take place in what are known as "oxygen minimum zones." These are depths, typically 300 to 1,000 meters below the surface, where oxygen concentrations are already quite low in many parts of the world's oceans.

Previously, marine biologists have assumed that the effects of increasing carbon dioxide in the oceans would be greatest at the sea surface, where most of the gas enters the ocean. Such studies have predicted a doubling of pCO2 (from about 280 to 560 micro-atmospheres) at the sea surface over the next 100 years. Brewer and Peltzer's calculations suggest that the partial pressure of carbon dioxide will increase even faster in the deep oxygen minimum zones, with pCO2 increasing by 2.5 times, from 1,000 to about 2,500 micro-atmospheres.

Previous studies have indicated that such oxygen minimum zones may expand over the next century. Brewer and Peltzer's research suggests that the effects of this expansion will be even more severe than previously forecast.

According to coauthor Peltzer, "The bottom line is that we think it's important to look at both oxygen and carbon dioxide in the oceans, rather than just one or the other." The impact of these chemical changes may be minimal in well-oxygenated ocean areas, but as the authors point out in their paper, "We may anticipate a very large expansion of the oceanic dead zones."

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-04/mbar-icd041709.php

Or see:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090417161506.htm

Kassy
07-04-2009, 09:07 AM
Climate Change And The Mystery Of The Shrinking Sheep

ScienceDaily (July 4, 2009) — Milder winters are causing Scotland's wild breed of Soay sheep to get smaller, despite the evolutionary benefits of possessing a large body, according to new research

The new study provides evidence for climate change as the cause of the mysterious decrease in the size of wild sheep on the Scottish island of Hirta, first reported by scientists in 2007. The researchers believe that, due to climate change, survival conditions on Hirta are becoming less challenging, which means slower-growing, smaller sheep are more likely to survive the winters than they once were. This, together with newly-discovered so-called 'young mum effect' whereby young ewes produce smaller offspring, explains why the average size of sheep on the island is decreasing.

Classical evolutionary theory suggests that over time the average size of wild sheep increases, because larger animals tend to be more likely to survive and reproduce than smaller ones, and offspring tend to resemble their parents. However, among the Soay sheep of Hirta, a remote Scottish island in the St Kilda archipelago, average body size has decreased by approximately 5% over the last 24 years.

continues on:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090702140845.htm

Kassy
11-05-2009, 04:05 PM
North Atlantic Fish Populations Shifting As Ocean Temperatures Warm

ScienceDaily (Nov. 4, 2009) — About half of 36 fish stocks in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean, many of them commercially valuable species, have been shifting northward over the last four decades, with some stocks nearly disappearing from U.S. waters as they move farther offshore, according to a new study by NOAA researchers.

....

"During the last 40 years, many familiar species have been shifting to the north where ocean waters are cooler, or staying in the same general area but moving into deeper waters than where they traditionally have been found," Nye said. "They all seem to be adapting to changing temperatures and finding places where their chances of survival as a population are greater."

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091102172247.htm

Ought Six
11-05-2009, 04:41 PM
K:""They all seem to be adapting to changing temperatures and finding places where their chances of survival as a population are greater."".... as species have done for millions, if not billions of years. Habitat loss is definitely a big problem, especially for larger animals and those in small niche habitats. The biggest destruction of species is happening in the developing world, where slash and burn agriculture, commercial hunting, unrestricted logging, strip mining and massive pollution not only continue unabated, but are accelerating.

BuilderBob
09-20-2013, 10:40 AM
A few weeks back my wife mentioned she'd seen no ladybirds in the garden this year. About 30 minutes ago I happened to see a ladybird outside the bedroom window. I stepped out to capture it to show my wife but it was too fast for me. But I did notice it only had only TWO spots! I remember reading long ago there was something special about this but can't find anything yet so decided to search here.
This was the only thread with the word 'ladybirds' and that was back in 2008.
Well, I've been reading the thread. What a depressing read! I hope you are all feeling a bit better now you know global warming is not going to destroy the world.

If anyone knows anything interesting about a 2 spotted ladybird, do say.

Thymeless
09-20-2013, 11:31 AM
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adalia_bipunctata

Excerpt:
Adalia bipunctata, commonly known as the two-spot ladybird, two-spotted ladybug or two-spotted lady beetle, is a carnivorous[1] beetle of the family Coccinellidae that is found throughout the holarctic region. It is very common in western and central Europe and North America. It is used as a biological control agent.

BuilderBob
09-20-2013, 12:23 PM
That's the feller! Should I stomp him if I see him again? Sounds nasty.

Mama Alanna
09-21-2013, 09:50 AM
No, no, don't stomp on him! "Carnivorous" means that he eats bad bugs like aphids, Mexican bean beetles, etc.

BuilderBob
09-21-2013, 10:34 AM
Thanks Mama. I won't stomp him. I just found this:

Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Department of Entomology - Biological Control (http://www.biocontrol.entomology.cornell.edu/index.php)

Just click on the ladybug picture and away you go. Watch out for the Multi-coloured Asian Lady Beetle. Not so popular.