Cool Green Morning: Wednesday, August 5

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Published on August 5th, 2009  |  Discuss This Article  

No worries about climate change, says one of our hot green links of the morning — evolution will just speed up and help us all adapt! Except if you’re a frog, or a polar bear, or a person who lives on a coast or an island or who depends on snowmelt for your water supply or…

  1. Is the International Panel on Climate Change losing its relevance? (It just won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 with one Mr. Al Gore.) Andy Revkin reports in The New York Times that, while some criticize the IPCC for stressing best-case scenarios, governments seem to be ignoring its findings in practice.
  2. A Google map of greenhouse gas emissions? Treehugger says it’s a reality — and really helps you understand the totality of GHGs.
  3. The wetter the Arctic tundra gets from melting due to warmer temperatures, the more carbon dioxide it gives off, says a new study reported in NatureNews — a finding one coauthor calls “a big deal.” (Hat tip: The Great Beyond.)
  4. The black plague has been the scourge of the prairie dog and the black-footed ferret — which eats prairie dogs and is one of the most endangered mammals in North America. Now a new vaccine could save both, reports Wired Science.
  5. Will evolution speed up in reaction to climate change? Yale Environment 360 reviews the literature and says…maybe?
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Comments: Cool Green Morning: Wednesday, August 5

  •  Comment from Anonymous

    Your heading is a gross misrepresentation of what the Yale360 article actually says. I suspect you did not even read the article because nowhere did it mention all will be well due to evolution. In fact, there was this warning.

    –Yet Hendry doesn’t consider evolution an ecological Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free card. While some species may be able to evolve quickly, some will evolve slowly — if, for example, they take many years to mature. “They may not evolve quickly enough to forestall extinction,” says Hendry.
    Hendry also points out that natural selection can hit biological walls. “There are just some limitations that organisms can’t overcome. We’re never going to be able to walk around at -273 degrees Celsius,” says Hendry. Likewise, some species may not be able to adapt to the new climate.–

    Before posting another article, I suggest next time you read it.

  •  Comment from Robert Lalasz

    Nice try, Anonymous, but a throw-away brace of quotes at the end of a remarkably sanguine article don’t equal balance and perspective.

    I did read the article (twice), and here’s what I learned: while research might be pointing towards a heretofore unknown plasticity on the part of nature in the face of climate change, an article about adaptation so narrowly written that it doesn’t deal with what climate change will do to many niche ecological ranges — or, more importantly, the vast majority of human populations that depend on their local ecosystems staying intact — is always going to seem myopic if not downright blithe. Yale Environment 360 is a great site, but this article wasn’t one of their more distinguished efforts.

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