Strange or contrasting global warming storiesby Jonathan DuHamel on Nov. 21, 2011, under Climate change
Perhaps in an attempt to get on the global warming bandwagon and secure funding, some researchers have tried all kinds of sometimes tenuous connections to get their research connected to climate change. Here’s a sampling of recent stories.
A Graying Population Reduces Global Warming:
The researchers say old people spend more on health and less on energy intensive stuff and therefore have a lower carbon footprint. Read more.
California birds getting bigger
“Researchers at San Francisco State University have found that the birds on both ends of San Francisco Bay have greater body mass and longer wingspans since Hitchcock made the 1963 horror film, “The Birds,” in which birds went mad and attacked a town on the coast.
Researchers said that the reason for the growth is believed to be climate change, but therein lies a mystery: The birds should be getting smaller as the climate warms, not bigger.”
Pennsylvania birds are getting smaller:
The researchers have a number of hypotheses, all related to climate change.
How Global Warming Could Cause Animals to Shrink:
“The way in which global warming causes many of the world’s organisms to shrink has been revealed by new research from Queen Mary, University of London.”
Perhaps the science isn’t settled.
Climate change causing massive movement of tree species across the West
A huge “migration” of trees has begun across much of the West due to global warming, insect attack, diseases and fire, and many tree species are projected to decline or die out in regions where they have been present for centuries, while others move in and replace them.
In an enormous display of survival of the fittest, the forests of the future are taking a new shape.
In a new report, scientists outline the impact that a changing climate will have on which tree species can survive, and where. The study suggests that many species that were once able to survive and thrive are losing their competitive footholds, and opportunistic newcomers will eventually push them out. Read more.
But in the East:
Forests not keeping pace with climate change
More than half of eastern U.S. tree species examined in a massive new Duke University-led study aren’t adapting to climate change as quickly or consistently as predicted.
“Many models have suggested that trees will migrate rapidly to higher latitudes and elevations in response to warming temperatures, but evidence for a consistent, climate-driven northward migration is essentially absent in this large analysis,” says James S. Clark, H.L. Blomquist Professor of Environment at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment. Read more.
NPR: The advantages of air pollution
Cleaning up the air, while good for our lungs, could make global warming worse. That conclusion is underscored by a new study, which looks at the pollutants that go up smokestacks along with carbon dioxide.
These pollutants are called aerosols and they include soot as well as compounds of nitrogen and sulfur and other stuff into the air. Natalie Mahowald, a climate researcher at Cornell University, says so far, scientists have mostly tried to understand what those aerosols do while they’re actually in the air. Read more.
Lemmings cause Arctic warming
Scientists have found that the ‘greening’ of the Arctic many not be solely caused by global warming, as previously believed, but the environmental impact of lemmings, whose presence causes lichens to be replaced by grasses and sedge.