Year 3, Month 1, Day 8: There Is Grandeur In This View Of Life

The Columbus, IN Republic prints an article from the Hartford Courier on evolutionary processes triggered by climate change:

HARTFORD, Conn. — Numerous species already have enough to contend with as climate changes drive them out of their natural habitats; a new study shows that they also have to compete with each other in outrunning those changes.

The University of Connecticut study, to be published Wednesday in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, suggests that the effects of climate change on wildlife are a good deal more complicated than previously thought.

Mark Urban, an assistant professor of ecology and environmental biology who led the new research, said many studies conducted on climate change and its potential impact on wildlife feature complex meteorological models to predict changes in climate.

What they don’t feature, he said, are equally complex models of how wildlife will react to those climate changes. Real-world factors — the different rates at which animals migrate, how they prey on each other and how they get in each other’s way — need to be included for a more accurate picture.

Killing two bird-brains with one stone, eh? Sent January 4:

Darwin-deniers are overwhelmingly likely to be climate-change deniers, and vice-versa; both groups can expect significant learning experiences during the coming century, as global warming pushes countless animal species out of their accustomed ecological niches and into intense evolutionary competition with one another.

However, both groups share the habit of ignoring evidence and embracing dogma, so it’s anyone’s guess how long their entrenched ideological positions will hold out in the face of rapid extinctions, extreme weather events, unexpected crossbreeds (like the new species of hybrid shark recently found off the coast of Australia), droughts, floods, and all the other epiphenomena of a runaway greenhouse effect.

Yes, biological evolution makes some people uncomfortable; yes, the notion that a century spent pumping carbon dioxide into Earth’s atmosphere might eventually have some negative effects is disturbing. But “uncomfortable” and “disturbing” won’t even begin to describe the future that awaits us should we continue on our carbon-burning, fact-phobic path.

Warren Senders

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.