- Education and Science
Global Warming: Is There Any Hope?
The Big Picture
There has been so much controversy over the years about global warming, it has made many people’s heads spin. Some consider it a conspiracy theory, others think that experiments are being done in the weather arena, and others are firm believers in what they see.
When many of us were being raised in the northeast, I recall snowstorms that were so heavy and lasted so long that you could build snow tunnels and have tracks for your sleds under them. Now decades later, the opposite is happening. There are good snow years and other years where very little is received. What is the anomaly?
Carbon Footprint? What?
The present days global warming is attributed via the carbon footprint. It is being blamed on drilling for oil, gas, and even the breach of the ozone layer. Then we must take into the account the burning of these carbon based fuels and what is happening in the atmosphere after years of this activity. But what about a century prior, when we weren’t relying so heavily on fossil fuels? Woodburning also releases detrimental carbon-based gases into the air. Compound this with modern day heating fuels and bet that it has caused more than we bargained for. Has the process for global warming increased in the past fifty years? You bet it has!
What Does This Mean to Me?
Now let me expound a bit on life surrounding us. Just as an example, the winter of 2012-2013 appeared to be a remarkable winter. For some, snow had increased, due to high moisture content in the air, which also showed an increase in rain for others that weren’t experiencing snow. Spring of 2013 in Oklahoma was very warm, save for one two week period where there was a cold snap, and that caused a marked decrease in how fast vegetation was growing.
How This Affects Birds
Birds also experienced a hiatus in their spring migration. On average, according to various sources all over the country and around the world, spring migrants arrived about two weeks late. Canada Geese were laying eggs roughly two weeks to seventeen days later, and there were not as many of them in the plains states.
Is global warming a threat to birds and their populations? Unquestionably. Both spring and fall migrations times have been changing a day or two over the past ten years, which is all that this writer is able to account for at present.
This year alone, our southern birds coming north were about two weeks late, and the northern birds coming south right now are two weeks early. Climate changes affect what birds eat, and migration cycles are clearly based on this evidence. If a bird has no food to sustain itself, it will simply move on, and some of these birds are travelling thousands of miles, and there is no room in their cycle for any error on their part. So many birds die due to starvation during migration, so their lives hang in a critical balance. Thankfully, many people enjoy feeding birds, and many birds are known to arrive as rarities at many feeders, especially this year. Insectivores must also rely on their food sources, and again, it is critical that they arrive when insects are on the scene. Planning is the key to survival, which is due to nature’s balanced inner clock. But does that clock continue to keep the correct time now and will it in the future? Some birds are adaptable, but some are not, and eventually it could cause extinction. Life could well be hanging on a very thin piece of spider silk for some.
What Does Moisture Have to Do with It?
To cite an example in Oklahoma, we had plenty of rain in the late spring, as well as in mid-summer. This will likely bring more ducks to this area in the winter of 2013-2014, and we had a fairly good population of Canvasbacks and Redheads during the winter, as well as a few Cackling Geese, Ross’s Geese, and Dark Morph Snow Geese. I was out and about on January 16 in the fog when a half dozen Snow Geese passed overhead at Boomer Lake in Stillwater. There were some days in late January where we experienced days in the 70’s, the 50’s and 30 mph winds, all within a one week period. Talk about confusion for the birds.
Traditionally, Washington state gets a lot of rain, but not this year. Sea levels will make a big difference in what birds arrive in that state during fall migration. Will it be the same birds, as usual? We’ll have to determine that, won’t we? But I’ll bet you that Washington’s birds might well be visiting land-locked Oklahoma for the rain that we have had and are having now.
And Then What?
Also, as the air warms, more water is held within, hence high humidity. Temperatures have been rising for more than a century. Rains have already been heavier than normal all over the world, and dry spells will be hotter worldwide that normally have experienced good rains.
What do you suppose the prediction is for birds and butterflies over the long haul? Let’s face it, it doesn’t help matters any when we have been involved in deforestation. Many species of birds are at an all-time low as it is. If we lose many more, it certainly won’t be telling us, as humanity, that we won’t be suffering any grave consequences from the effects of global warming.
What Do You Think?
Is Global Warming a Real Concern?
What Can We Do?
Now is the time to act, but is it too late? There are many schools of thought on this matter, and quite honestly, we don’t have time to debate these issues. Please begin positive action, if not for yourselves, do it for future generations. Do you want to be telling your grandchildren that there used to be beautiful birds on this earth like the American Goldfinch?
Species of least concern today could well be endangered species of tomorrow. I don’t want to close my eyes and “remember” what butterflies used to look like.
There are things that we can do to preserve what we have right now. Think about getting in your car to go to work. Perhaps if you are in an urban area, you could walk or bicycle to work. Consider public transportation. We might not be able to reverse the effects of global warming, but it would be a wonderful thing to slow it down. Future generations might thank you for that forethought, for the children of today just might be able to save the world of tomorrow.
Discovery Channel - Global Warming, What You Need to Know
- Discovery Channel - Global Warming, What You Need To Know, with Tom Brokaw - YouTube
Follow ClimateState on facebook for more climate research https://www.facebook.com/ClimateState Global warming is the rise in the average temperature of Eart...
A Quote from My Friend and Fellow Hubber, Suhail
I am sure you are already aware of the following, but for your readers, here are some links:
David Suzuki's website describes reasons for global warming here:
He advises who are the global warming skeptics and deniers and what are their ploys here:
Excerpt from Wikipedia on David Suzuki:
"David Takayoshi Suzuki, CC OBC (born March 24, 1936) is a Canadian academic, science broadcaster and environmental activist. Suzuki earned a Ph.D in zoology from the University of Chicago in 1961, and was a professor in the genetics department at the University of British Columbia from 1963 until his retirement in 2001. Since the mid-1970s, Suzuki has been known for his TV and radio series and books about nature and the environment. He is best known as host of the popular and long-running CBC Television science magazine, The Nature of Things, seen in over forty nations. He is also well known for criticizing governments for their lack of action to protect the environment."
© 2013 Deb Hirt