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Global Warming Causing Plants and Animals to Move

 
 
sumac
 
Reply Sat 18 Jan, 2003 03:49 pm
A very interesting article, based on a couple of recent studies, suggest rather clearly that as global warming continues, species are shifting their range of habitat. What will be the consequences of this? Will nature and evolution adapt by changing other concomitant aspects of species behavior, such as what is eaten, when reproduction takes place, how one species interacts with others?

The article appeared in the NYTimes, the link is given below, and there is also a quote from the article. Well worth the read.


Global Warming Found to Displace Species

Quote:
Plants and animals have always had to adjust to shifting
climates. But climate is changing faster now than in recent
millenniums, and many scientists attribute the pace to
rising concentrations of heat-trapping greenhouse gases.

In some cases, species' ranges have shifted 60 miles or
more in recent decades, mainly toward the poles, according
to the new analyses. In others, the timing of egg laying,
migrations and the like has shifted weeks earlier in the
year, creating the potential to separate species, in both
time and place, from their needed sources of food.


The studies were recently published in Nature.
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trespassers will
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jan, 2003 12:27 pm
I was immediately struck by the disparity between the title and the text:

Title:
Global Warming Found to Displace Species
Article Text:
Quote:
Plants and animals have always had to adjust to shifting
climates. But climate is changing faster now than in recent
millenniums, and many scientists attribute the pace to
rising concentrations of heat-trapping greenhouse gases
.

To me there's a big difference between writing that "many scientists attribute" such-and-such to X and writing that X has been "found" to cause such-and-such.

The title suggests the statement is an accepted fact, while the text belies that claim.
0 Replies
 
Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jan, 2003 12:32 pm
My brother recently attended a conference of meteorologists in Portland, Ore. One said that in 50 years, the climate there will be like that in LA right now. Could put the tanning salons right out of business...
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trespassers will
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jan, 2003 12:45 pm
D'artagnan wrote:
My brother recently attended a conference of meteorologists in Portland, Ore. One said that in 50 years, the climate there will be like that in LA right now. Could put the tanning salons right out of business...

In the 70's we were being told that the planet was heading into another ice age with all the certainty some now attach to claims of global warming.
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Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jan, 2003 12:52 pm
So, trespassers will, your advice is to do nothing, that scientists all over the world are wrong, the evidence is false, and everything will be fine? Why am I not reassured by this?
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sumac
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jan, 2003 02:29 pm
As to your first comment, trespassers, my guess would be that an editor-type individual added or changed the title without a careful reading of the text.
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trespassers will
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jan, 2003 04:57 pm
D'artagnan wrote:
So, trespassers will, your advice is to do nothing, that scientists all over the world are wrong, the evidence is false, and everything will be fine? Why am I not reassured by this?

I assume you are not reassured by this because it is a ridiculous set of statements that you fabricated precisely to be ridiculous.

I don't recall offering any advice at all. Nor did I comment on whether any scientists are right or wrong, the validity of any evidence, or the outlook for the future. Each of these you created out of whole cloth.

I do recall pointing out a glaring disparity between the title and the text of the article. You are free to do with that whatever you wish, but please don't attribute statements to me that I did not make. If you'd like to discuss what I did write, just let me know. Thanks.
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Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jan, 2003 05:18 pm
Trepassers, if your issue is simply that the headline differs from the text, fine. You're right. It happens all the time, because different people write the headlines and the articles.

If you weren't implying that there's nothing to the stated concern about global warming, then I apologize for misconstruing your objection.
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timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jan, 2003 05:42 pm
Climatic change is an ongoing, natural process. Humans may or may not have an influence, or may have either more or less influence than some contend. Evidence is not only inconclusive, but widely contradictory. A few millenia ago, much which is currently Muddle Eastern and North African Desert was veldt, savannah, and swamp. A major cause of "The Fall of Rome" was a climatic "Hiccup" of a couple centuries duration which negatively impacted agricultural growing cycles. A thriving civilization vanished in The American Southwest as did the rains which had supported it. The old saying "Everybody talks about the weather but nobody can do anything about it" may still be true. Not that I advocate abandoning progress and initiative toward ecologic responsibilty; it has simply not been proven to my, and many other's, satisfaction that humans are the reason we appear to be in a period of climatic change. As much science, and some of the same scientists, were behind the imminent glaciers of the 1970s as today freak out about global warming. The questions "Is it real", "Have we caused it", and "Can we change it" have different, and often contradictory, answers.



timber
0 Replies
 
trespassers will
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jan, 2003 06:09 pm
Timber - BINGO.
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jan, 2003 06:30 pm
The degree to which humans affect climatic change is debatable but do you really consider it probable that we have no effect whatsoever on the climate?
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timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jan, 2003 06:56 pm
CDK, I just don't know ... and despite claims on both sides, no one else does either. The matter is in need of much more study before valid conclusions may be drawn. I don't have a link, but I recall having read, in either Discover or National Geo, that Mt. Pinatubo put more tonnage of particulate matter and noxious gasses into the atmosphere over a few weeks than humans have been able to do in some 8000 years.


timber
0 Replies
 
trespassers will
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jan, 2003 07:24 pm
Craven de Kere wrote:
The degree to which humans affect climatic change is debatable but do you really consider it probable that we have no effect whatsoever on the climate?

I do not consider it probable that we do or that we don't. I consider it an unanswered question with much data supporting each conclusion. Unlike a lot of people, I have an open mind on the subject. :wink:
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Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Jan, 2003 10:08 am
Seems to me that if there's evidence that using fossil fuels may cause global warming, and if the U.S. relies too much for its fuel on other countries, it might be worth looking at more fuel-efficient vehicles. Instead, Detroit builds--and the gov't supports, through tax breaks--bigger vehicles that use more gas.

Should we devote more time to studying why this may not be in our national interest? Not to mention our responsibility--dare I say it--as citizens of the world?
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trespassers will
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Jan, 2003 12:08 pm
D'artagnan wrote:
Seems to me that if there's evidence that using fossil fuels may cause global warming, and if the U.S. relies too much for its fuel on other countries, it might be worth looking at more fuel-efficient vehicles. Instead, Detroit builds--and the gov't supports, through tax breaks--bigger vehicles that use more gas.

One big reason we (the US) are so dependent on fossil fuels is that we have been prevented from developing the level of nuclear power many nations in Europe have developed, and we have been blocked from doing so by the very same environmentalists who now whine that we use (guess what?) too much fossil fuel.

If we generated 90% of our electricity from nuclear plants it would make far more of a difference in our dependence on fossil fuels--with all of the associated environmental and political consequences--than any marginal change in automobile fuel economy.
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