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Old 12-28-2008, 11:40 AM   #1
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Default Wildlife and climate change

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.


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
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Old 12-28-2008, 11:53 AM   #2
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Default Algae

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...1216133442.htm
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Old 12-28-2008, 11:58 AM   #3
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Default corn earworm and assorted cuties (and corn)

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...1216131024.htm
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Old 01-03-2009, 07:24 AM   #4
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Default Coral reef growth is slowest ever

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
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Old 01-03-2009, 10:02 AM   #5
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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.
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Old 01-15-2009, 05:36 PM   #6
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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_releas...-urg011309.php
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Old 01-15-2009, 05:36 PM   #7
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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_releas...-urg011309.php
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Old 01-19-2009, 03:44 PM   #8
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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.
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Old 01-19-2009, 04:00 PM   #9
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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.
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Old 01-19-2009, 04:45 PM   #10
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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..,
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Old 01-19-2009, 06:47 PM   #11
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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.
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Old 01-22-2009, 02:59 AM   #12
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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.
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Old 01-22-2009, 04:50 PM   #13
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Default Tree deaths have doubled across the western US


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
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Old 01-22-2009, 06:48 PM   #14
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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 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.
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Old 01-23-2009, 11:59 AM   #15
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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
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Old 01-27-2009, 11:24 AM   #16
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Default Emperor penguins march toward extinction?



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
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Old 02-01-2009, 07:01 AM   #17
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Default Acid oceans 'need urgent action'

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
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Old 02-08-2009, 04:39 AM   #18
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Default Global warming threatens Antarctic sea life

"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
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Old 02-08-2009, 12:48 PM   #19
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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.
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Old 02-09-2009, 02:21 PM   #20
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As far as I know we are just reporting what we find in the media. Blame them, not us please.
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Old 02-09-2009, 02:26 PM   #21
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I have read befor about those changes in Antarctic fauna..,

Pretty dire.
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Old 02-09-2009, 02:38 PM   #22
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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.

Quote:
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???
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Old 02-10-2009, 04:47 PM   #23
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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...rth/index.html
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Old 02-17-2009, 04:06 PM   #24
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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

Quote:
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
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Old 02-24-2009, 09:00 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auburn Boy View Post
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?
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