Take an amusing quiz to learn about unexpected effects of Climate Change. After each multiple choice question, you see if you were right (and the right answer if you weren't).
Alligators are moving north.
As average annual temperatures have increased in recent years, the zone in which alligators could plausibly both survive and reproduce has moved north. With the northernmost known population of gators so close to Virginia in the first place, it wouldn’t take much to get them established in a completely new state. Some locals already report sightings in the vicinity of Back Bay, southwest of Virginia Beach. Officially, there are no alligators in Virginia. But in practice, I don’t think the alligators have paid attention.
Last year, I put the word out that I was interested in alligator sightings within Virginia, and I was showered with emails reporting gators seen and in some cases even killed. Even the official, fully documented cases have been marching steadily north.
Odds are that the species is now here in my home state. The question is how many of them have arrived and whether the spring temperatures are high enough to allow them to breed.
The American alligator, the venomous cottonmouth snake, and the Carolina anole each find the northern limit of their range right around the Virginia/North Carolina border. All can now expand their ranges.
Yet odds are that alligators will be denied for as long as possible. Every government agency involved in monitoring or regulating wildlife in Virginia has a strong incentive to claim that alligators aren’t here. For what is to gain? As Mantay put it: “Once any (or each) agency acknowledges that the species exists in the state, then broad actions have to be taken to assess it.”
“Real plans, with real biologists, would have to be put in place, per state and federal laws. That will cost lots and lots of money.” It’s much easier to claim that every wild alligator spotted in Virginia is either a figment of someone’s imagination or an escaped pet. It is impossible to precisely predict how far north the American alligator could spread. That will depend in part on how out of control global warming becomes.
Gators and their ancestors have moved up and down what is now the mid-Atlantic coast many times over millions of years as the climate has warmed and cooled. So far, the current shift is modest by historical standards. But if the trend keeps going, then New York City had better keep an eye on its sewers.
Brain-eating amoebas are moving north in the US as fresh water warms.
I only got 16 out of 30 correct. Great Quiz. Loren, take a look at Question #8.
Deadly Chinese hornets are on the rise, because Winter temperatures are milder.
Over the last few weeks, giant, deadly hornets have killed more than two dozen people in China, the result of bizarre weather patterns there that have allowed the bugs to proliferate.
Attacks by giant hornets, most likely the 5-centimeter (2-inch) Vespa mandarinia, have left hundreds injured and 28 people dead, mostly in the Shaanxi region of northwest China. Some victims reported being chased for hundreds of meters and stung — some up to 200 times — by swarms of the insects traveling 40 km/h (25 mph).
The venom contains an enzyme that can dissolve human tissue, and too much of it can also bring renal failure or death.
A local fire department has removed over 300 hornet nests since July. This year, fatalities from hornet attacks are twice the normal average. The hornets have attacked people in the region in previous years, but Zhou Yuanhong, a Shaanxi health official, said that this year was “unusually severe, possibly because of weather changes.” Experts say that the hornets breed more successfully in warmer temperatures.
... the warmer winter temperatures allow more of the insects to survive through the season:
The average winter temperature in Ankang rose 1.10 ℃ in the span of a few years alone, allowing more hornets to survive the winter. And it’s not just China; rising temperatures are behind the spread of another deadly Chinese hornets species, vespa velutina, in South Korea and Europe.
Climate models suggest that vespa velutina is more likely to invade areas of Europe where there are higher densities of beehives, as well as large areas of the Unites States this century.
The hornets are not just a danger to humans — their primary prey is honeybees. Thirty hornets can easily take out a 30,000-strong bee colony in a few hours. [emphasis mine]
Thanks for your interest, Joan. Hornet attacks have now killed 42 people in China and injured over 1,500.
Climate Destabilization causing Parkinson's Disease? Here's the connection: Climate Destabilization increases hurricane strength, hurricanes flood buildings, flooded buildings grow mold, which releases mushroom alcohol, that attacks the dopamine system.
Hurricanes flood houses, resulting in mold. Mold releases mushroom alcohol, which attacks the dopamine system.
Scientists at Rutgers and Emory universities have discovered that a compound often emitted by mold may be linked to symptoms of Parkinson's disease.
Arati Inamdar and Joan Bennett, researchers in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers, used fruit flies to establish the connection between the compound -- popularly known as mushroom alcohol -- and the malfunction of two genes involved in the packaging and transport of dopamine, the chemical released by nerve cells to send messages to other nerve cells in the brain. [emphasis mine]
Thanks for the site Ruth. Very important information. Bulldozing the Philippine flooded area, with heavy breathing equipment for the cleanup crews seems in order.
I will take the quiz Ruth and see how I do. Reading back on all your posts here
The levels of CO2 expected incoming decades make Roundup less effective. We can expect farmers to dump much more of it on our food.
...glyphosate, the widely used herbicide marketed by Monsanto as Roundup, "loses its efficacy on weeds grown at CO2 levels projected to occur in the coming decades." And that means "higher concentrations of the chemical and more frequent sprayings thus will be needed, increasing economic and environmental costs associated with chemical use."
Our family is preparing to grow more of our own food. Homegrown not only tastes better, it provides training and experience to my great-grandchildren. I'm reposting.
Four foot tropical jelly invades British river.
A monster barrel jellyfish has been spotted for the first time floating along - a British river.
The giant creature measuring around 4ft from head to tentacle was seen drifting along Cornwall's Helford River.
Several of the massive creatures have been found washed up on UK beaches in recent weeks but the latest invader was seen half a mile inland.
Barrel jellyfish are usually found in more tropical areas such as the Mediterranean sea.