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Author Topic: The Holocene Extinction  (Read 32789 times)

BornFromTheVoid

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #300 on: July 10, 2019, 12:15:51 PM »
Breaching a 'carbon threshold' could lead to mass extinction

Daniel Rothman, professor of geophysics and co-director of the Lorenz Center in MIT's Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, has found that when the rate at which carbon dioxide enters the oceans pushes past a certain threshold—whether as the result of a sudden burst or a slow, steady influx—the Earth may respond with a runaway cascade of chemical feedbacks, leading to extreme ocean acidification that dramatically amplifies the effects of the original trigger....

...What does this all have to do with our modern-day climate? Today's oceans are absorbing carbon about an order of magnitude faster than the worst case in the geologic record—the end-Permian extinction. But humans have only been pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere for hundreds of years, versus the tens of thousands of years or more that it took for volcanic eruptions or other disturbances to trigger the great environmental disruptions of the past. Might the modern increase of carbon be too brief to excite a major disruption?

According to Rothman, today we are "at the precipice of excitation," and if it occurs, the resulting spike—as evidenced through ocean acidification, species die-offs, and more—is likely to be similar to past global catastrophes.

"Once we're over the threshold, how we got there may not matter," says Rothman, who is publishing his results this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "Once you get over it, you're dealing with how the Earth works, and it goes on its own ride.


https://phys.org/news/2019-07-breaching-carbon-threshold-mass-extinction.html

The Paper itself

Characteristic disruptions of an excitable carbon cycle

The history of the carbon cycle is punctuated by enigmatic transient changes in the ocean’s store of carbon. Mass extinction is always accompanied by such a disruption, but most disruptions are relatively benign. The less calamitous group exhibits a characteristic rate of change whereas greater surges accompany mass extinctions. To better understand these observations, I formulate and analyze a mathematical model that suggests that disruptions are initiated by perturbation of a permanently stable steady state beyond a threshold. The ensuing excitation exhibits the characteristic surge of real disruptions. In this view, the magnitude and timescale of the disruption are properties of the carbon cycle itself rather than its perturbation. Surges associated with mass extinction, however, require additional inputs from external sources such as massive volcanism. Surges are excited when CO2 enters the oceans at a flux that exceeds a threshold. The threshold depends on the duration of the injection. For injections lasting a time ti≳10,000 y in the modern carbon cycle, the threshold flux is constant; for smaller ti, the threshold scales like ti−1. Consequently the unusually strong but geologically brief duration of modern anthropogenic oceanic CO2 uptake is roughly equivalent, in terms of its potential to excite a major disruption, to relatively weak but longer-lived perturbations associated with massive volcanism in the geologic past.

https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2019/07/02/1905164116

Tom_Mazanec

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kassy

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #302 on: July 17, 2019, 12:25:35 PM »
Joshua trees facing extinction

...

 In the best-case scenario, major efforts to reduce heat-trapping gasses in the atmosphere would save 19 percent of the tree habitat after the year 2070. In the worst case, with no reduction in carbon emissions, the park would retain a mere 0.02 percent of its Joshua tree habitat.

The team's findings were published recently in Ecosphere. Project lead Lynn Sweet, a UCR plant ecologist, said she hopes the study inspires people to take protective environmental action. "The fate of these unusual, amazing trees is in all of our hands," she said. "Their numbers will decline, but how much depends on us."

...

They found that Joshua trees have been migrating to higher elevation parts of the park with cooler weather and more moisture in the ground. In hotter, drier areas, the adult trees aren't producing as many younger plants, and the ones they do produce aren't surviving.

Joshua trees as a species have existed since the Pleistocene era, about 2.5 million years ago, and individual trees can live up to 300 years. One of the ways adult trees survive so long is by storing large reserves of water to weather droughts.

Younger trees and seedlings aren't capable of holding reserves in this way though, and the most recent, 376-week-long drought in California left the ground in some places without enough water to support new young plants. As the climate changes, long periods of drought are likely to occur with more frequency, leading to issues with the trees like those already observed.

An additional finding of this study is that in the cooler, wetter parts of the park the biggest threat other than climate change is fire. Fewer than 10 percent of Joshua trees survive wildfires, which have been exacerbated in recent years by smog from car and industrial exhaust. The smog deposits nitrogen on the ground, which in turn feeds non-native grasses that act as kindling for wildfires.

As a partner on this project, the U.S. Park Service is using this information to mitigate fire risk by removing the invasive plants.

...

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/07/190716073719.htm
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Ktb

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #303 on: July 22, 2019, 09:55:22 AM »
After combing through the IUCN redlist, I have a minor update on the Global Amphibian Assessment 2:

Quote
Best estimates of percentage threatened species (with lower and upper estimates) for each group are: amphibians 40% (32-53%).

9 species of amphibians were confirmed to have become extinct, or extinct in the wild, since the 2004 assessment.

According to my own quick maths, since GAA1 in 2004: there has been a 1.6% increase in the number of amphibian species listed as vulnerable (from 628 in 2004 to 638 in 2019); a 29.5% increase in amphibian species listed as endangered (from 729 in 2004 to 944 in 2019); and a 39.2% increase in amphibian species listed as critically endangered (from 413 in 2004 to 575 in 2019).

Additionally, 137 of the critically endangered species are in a subcategory of CR(PE), or critically endangered (possibly extinct).


All data available from: https://www.iucnredlist.org/resources/summary-statistics#Summary%20Tables
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Tom_Mazanec

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« Last Edit: July 26, 2019, 12:41:50 AM by Tom_Mazanec »
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Sebastian Jones

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #306 on: July 30, 2019, 09:54:07 PM »
Pacific salmon pushed towards the brink:
https://insideclimatenews.org/news/29072019/pacific-salmon-climate-change-threat-endangered-columbia-river-california-idaho-oregon-study
While this article is concerned with the American West coast, salmon in Canada and Alaska are also being affected.
Here in the far north, we did not expect salmon to be killed by water conditions similar to those in California.
But they are dying in the rivers before they get to spawn.
Salmon are vital everywhere they exist naturally, but in the nutrient poor north, salmon runs provide a critical flush of nutrients to the interior of Alaska and the Yukon.
It is not only bears, birds, and humans that depend on the salmon. Stream ecology exists on the back of spawned out salmon and the very forests themselves need to be fertilized by carcasses dragged into the woods by bears.
Without salmon we are facing an imminent ecological collapse.
I don't want to sound hyperbolic, but it is really, really bad.
And so, so sad.

vox_mundi

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #307 on: July 31, 2019, 06:23:39 PM »
9 and Counting: Vaquita Porpoise About To Go Extinct
https://phys.org/news/2019-07-vaquita-porpoise-extinct.html

The vaquita porpoise, one of the world's most endangered animals, could become extinct within a year if fishing nets continue being used illegally, a university in Scotland warned on Wednesday.



Numbers of the vaquita, which only lives in the upper Gulf of California in Mexico, may now have dropped to fewer than 10, according to research by the University of St Andrews published in Royal Society Open Science.

The dolphinlike vaquita ("small cow" in Spanish) is the world's smallest cetacean, with females measuring 55 inches (140 centimeters) and males 53 inches (135 centimeters) on average. The vaquitas, which are gray or white, have a tall dorsal fin and long flippers.

The global vaquita population was estimated at 30 in 2016, the University of St Andrews said.

Gillnets—nets that hang vertically and catch fish by their gills—kill vaquitas as a bycatch.

The nets are used by fishermen to capture totoabas, another endangered species. The swim bladder of the totoaba is believed by the Chinese to have medicinal and aphrodisiac properties.

Totoaba fishing is illegal and Mexico has also banned the gillnet, but unlawful fishing has nevertheless continued.


Estimated mean number of clicks per day predicted by the geostatistical model for the 46 numbered sampling sites with data for at least 1 year.

Quote
... Projecting forwards from the estimated population size in 2015 without accounting for the minimum count data, the posterior median estimate of population size in autumn 2018 (i.e. the end of the acoustic monitoring period) was just four animals. However, accounting for the seven animals seen in 2017 and six in 2018, the estimated population size was around nine (posterior mean 9, posterior median 8, 95% CRI 6–19).

... the overall conclusion of a catastrophic long-term decline is unchanged

Open Access: Armando M. Jaramillo-Legorreta et al. Decline towards extinction of Mexico's vaquita porpoise ( Phocoena sinus ), Royal Society Open Science (2019)
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

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Ktb

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #308 on: July 31, 2019, 06:35:39 PM »
Currently putting the finishing touches on an essay regarding the vaquita. Extending trend lines, it has until 2030. But in actuality, 2020-2021 is my bet for extinction.

The IUCN, CIRVA, and CITES have all made their recommendations. Even the IWC weighed in here. The US, Mexican, and Chinese governments have attempted to halt trading of the totoaba to prevent gillnet use. The captive breeding program - VaquitaCPR - has failed.

This cetacean is going to follow the baiji into the stars.
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Tom_Mazanec

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #309 on: August 02, 2019, 01:25:54 AM »
« Last Edit: August 02, 2019, 02:07:45 AM by Tom_Mazanec »
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kassy

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #311 on: August 07, 2019, 04:07:14 PM »
Even fire specialists are threatened by the new normal.

Fire is central in the world of black-backed woodpeckers, to the point that the birds pick cavities in recently burned trees to make their nests. But new research suggests that even these fire enthusiasts aren’t able to handle the inferno climate change is already dishing out.

...

The birds also prefer to raise their babies in snags—the blackened, skeletal remains of scorched trees—which is metal as hell, and a potential source of conflict with humans, since these burned forests are subject to salvage logging. To figure out what kinds of burned areas should be prioritized for the woodpeckers’ conservation, Stillman and his colleagues collaborated with the Institute for Bird Populations and the U.S. Forest Service to study the birds’ breeding habitat needs.

...

The team found that, as expected, the woodpeckers strongly preferred to nest in “high-severity” patches—places were all or nearly all of the trees had perished in the fire. But surprisingly, the birds targeted the edges of these habitats, often quite close to a stand of living trees. The black-backed woodpecker’s whole thing is roasted timber, yet the birds seem to need less crispy areas, too. Stillman and his colleagues think the living trees provide young birds better protection from predators because they can hang out there while their parents deliver them meals.

...

“We might expect that mega-fires could benefit fire-specialists like the black-backed woodpecker,” Stillman said. “However, it seems that the landscapes created by extra large, intense mega-fires are too extreme. Even fire-associated species need variation in habitat and access to both live and dead trees.”

https://earther.gizmodo.com/not-even-a-fire-loving-bird-can-handle-climate-changes-1836904281
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vox_mundi

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #312 on: August 08, 2019, 06:11:26 PM »
Climate Change Could Wipe Out California's Joshua Trees by End of Century
https://phys.org/news/2019-08-climate-california-joshua-trees-century.html

Joshua trees, an iconic species of the arid southwestern United States, may totally disappear by the end of the century because of climate change, according to a new study.

According to the team's modeling, in an optimistic scenario whereby humanity is able to limit greenhouse emissions to a degree, the trees' cover would retreat by about 80 percent by end of the 21st century.

But under a "business as usual" scenario, the modeling indicates the complete elimination of a species that dates to the Pleistocene era.


Lynn Sweet, the study's lead author told the Los Angeles Times that under their pessimistic scenario, the park could see average hot temperatures in summer rise by about five to nine degrees Fahrenheit (2.8 to 5 degrees Celsius) and three to seven inches (7.5 to 18 centimeters) less rainfall.

"If Joshua trees could survive those conditions, they would already be in them," said Sweet.



Open Access: Lynn C. Sweet et al, Congruence between future distribution models and empirical data for an iconic species at Joshua Tree National Park, Ecosphere (2019)
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vox_mundi

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #313 on: August 08, 2019, 09:06:09 PM »
An 88 Percent Decline in Large Freshwater Animals
https://phys.org/news/2019-08-percent-decline-large-freshwater-animals.html

Rivers and lakes cover just about one percent of Earth's surface, but are home to one third of all vertebrate species worldwide. At the same time, freshwater life is highly threatened.

Scientists from the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) and international colleagues have now quantified the global decline of big freshwater animals: From 1970 to 2012, global populations of freshwater megafauna declined by 88 percent—twice the loss of vertebrate populations on land or in the ocean. Large fish species are particularly affected.

"The results are alarming and confirm the fears of scientists involved in studying and protecting freshwater biodiversity," says Sonja Jähnig, senior author of the study and expert for global change effects on river ecosystems at IGB.

From 1970 to 2012, global populations of freshwater megafauna declined by 88 percent, most notably in the Indomalaya (by 99 percent) and Palearctic (by 97 percent) realms—the former covering South and Southeast Asia and southern China, and the latter covering Europe, North Africa and most of Asia. Large fish species such as sturgeons, salmonids and giant catfishes are particularly threatened: with a 94 percent decline, followed by reptiles with 72 percent. ...

Fengzhi He et al, The global decline of freshwater megafauna, Global Change Biology (2019)
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DrTskoul

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #314 on: August 09, 2019, 12:34:20 AM »
We are eating the planet alive....

Ktb

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #315 on: August 09, 2019, 05:21:22 AM »
I would say we have already eaten the planet, and now we are scrounging for any remaining scraps
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kassy

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #316 on: August 10, 2019, 09:49:43 AM »
Giant river animals on verge of extinction, report warns

Populations of great freshwater species, from catfish to stingrays, have plunged by 97% since 1970

Some freshwater megafauna have already been declared extinct, such as the Yangtze dolphin, and many more are now on the brink, from the Mekong giant catfish and stingray to India’s gharial crocodiles to the European sturgeon. Just three Chinese giant softshell turtles are known to survive and all are male. Across Europe, North Africa and Asia, populations have plunged by 97% since 1970.

The killing of the animals for meat, skins and eggs is the cause of the decline, along with humanity’s ever growing thirst for freshwater for crops, its many dams, as well as widespread pollution. The scientists assessed 126 species, covering 72 countries, and found numbers had plunged by an average of 88%.

etc

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/aug/10/giant-river-animals-on-verge-of-extinction-report-warns
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Tom_Mazanec

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #317 on: August 10, 2019, 08:01:07 PM »
California oysters threatened by AGW. More rain drops salinity, warmer water hold less oxygen, dissolved CO2 making sea more acidic:
https://www.kqed.org/science/1946249/study-suggests-new-climate-threats-to-californias-oysters
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kassy

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #318 on: August 17, 2019, 09:23:03 AM »
The water in Alaska is so hot it is kiling salmon

Scientists have observed die-offs of several varieties of Alaskan salmon, including sockeye, chum and pink salmon. ... They looked for signs of lesions, parasites and infections, but came up empty. Nearly all the salmon they found had "beautiful eggs still inside them," she said. Because the die-off coincided with the heat wave, they concluded that heat stress was the cause of the mass deaths.

...

The water temperatures have breaking records at the same time as the air temperatures, according to Sue Mauger, the science director for the Cook Inletkeeper.
Scientists have been tracking stream temperatures around the Cook Inlet, located south of Anchorage, since 2002. They've never recorded a temperature above 76 degrees Fahrenheit. Until now.
On July 7, a major salmon stream on the west side of the Cook Inlet registered 81.7 degrees.
Mauger said she and her team published a study in 2016, creating models outlining moderate and pessimistic projections for how climate change would drive temperatures in Alaska's streams.
"2019 exceeded the value we expected for the worst-case scenario in 2069," she said.

https://us.cnn.com/2019/08/16/us/alaska-salmon-hot-water-trnd/index.html
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nanning

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #319 on: August 17, 2019, 11:48:51 AM »
"2019 exceeded the value we expected for the worst-case scenario in 2069," she said."
 :o
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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #320 on: August 17, 2019, 02:08:09 PM »
The missed the spread of the probability distribution..

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #321 on: August 17, 2019, 04:41:32 PM »
Cold Climate Lizards Face Rapid Extinctions in Next 60 Years
https://phys.org/news/2019-08-lizards-cold-climates-rapid-extinctions.html

Lizards that produce live young are significantly more likely to be driven to extinction through climate change than those that lay eggs, new research suggests.

... Researchers investigated how strategies for reproduction that live-bearing (viviparous) or egg-laying (oviparous) modern lizards evolved in the past can affect their chance to survive ongoing climate change caused by humans.

As part of the work, the team argue they have confirmed the emerging 'cul-de-sac' theory, which suggests that live-bearing reproduction evolved in lizards that colonized cold climates, such as high elevations and latitudes.

This adaptation, however, is dragging them to extinction.

... Reproducing live young is not very effective in hot environments, and once reptiles evolve in this way, they remain 'trapped' in cold areas.

As climate warming rapidly progresses towards higher elevations and latitudes, the 'suitable' cold climates where live birthing species live will be pushed towards mountain tops and continent edges until lizards run out of space and are eventually wiped out.


"This phenomenon would apply to other reptiles, such as snakes, anywhere in the world."

... "Our results highlight the extent of the extinction crisis that modern biodiversity is currently facing. By 2080, more than half of the current 'cold lands' in the area we investigated in South America will have become warm, leading current resident species to extinction.

Open Access: Manuel Jara et al. Alternative reproductive adaptations predict asymmetric responses to climate change in lizards, Scientific Reports (2019)
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

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TerryM

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #322 on: August 17, 2019, 06:18:18 PM »
I wonder how salamanders are doing. When I lived here ~60 years ago you'd find them under about every old cluster of leaves.
Haven't seen a single one in the 15+ years I've been back. Don't know if they moved north with the mayflies, ate too much pesticide or decided it was just too damn hot.


They were great for evoking screams from the little girls we were trying to impress.
Terry

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #323 on: August 17, 2019, 06:51:06 PM »
On a similar topic - that of causing little girls to scream.


Is anyone aware of the carved and varnished rays that Mexican fishermen used to sell at flea markets?


I had one hanging in a rather dark hall near my bedroom at one time. The head looked like some strange alien with sunken eyes, a very long nose, a scowling mouth and a pointed pate. His arms were crossed at his chest, his legs looked a little disjointed, and his sharp whiplike tail was wrapped around to provide a false illusion of modesty.


Stumbling into him after a night on the town would evoke a quick intake of air, followed by a loud GOD DAMN IT!


A few years later after having taken the cure I was assured that it I didn't find my own "Higher Power", I'd be drunk before the sun came up.
I wasn't into religion at all, but took my (newfound) sobriety seriously.
The beasty was still hanging in the hallway, and he rapidly became Goddamnit - best higher power a man could hope for.


Oh -  the few females I could lure through that hall and into my bedroom all reacted much as the little girls had when being chased with a salamander.
A very high pitched squeal, often followed by loudly invoking his name - which I'm sure any higher power would appreciate. None successfully fled my shed. 8)  But their hearts were racing before we reached the bedroom.
Terry

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #324 on: August 17, 2019, 07:43:17 PM »
TerryM:
Is that what is called a Jenny Hanover?
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Bruce Steele

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #325 on: August 17, 2019, 08:06:10 PM »
Terry, It is amazing how much a few miles can mean different lizards or amphibian habitats . Horney toads, newts, skinks, various snakes ,and all things a young boy pays attention to are sign posts for where you live. When just a few miles matters you gotta wonder what parts of your childhood interests are already just memories , if you went back they would already be gone forever. . The little creeks , ponds and ditches were always rare habitats here in the desert Southwest ,the Great Basin, or  in so.Cal.  The large dry parts mean these species will have a difficult time trying to follow a clinal shift north. If the 81 degrees in that Alaskan river is any indication ,better habitats available further north may be another delusion we like to entertain.
 I keep watching to see if the murder of crows returns but as the weeks/months pass I think they are gone . My resident pair of crows showed up again with a couple fledglings. There were between 100-150 crows that flew by twice a day for the twenty years I've lived here , but something went wrong.
 The nearshore reef system has changed as fast or faster than the local terrestrial habitats IMO. The starfish dieoff in the 2013 ocean heatwave resulted in major changes that are still accumulating. A large starfish named " twenty rayed star " may be a candidate for an endangered species designation.
They used to be common and a keystone species.
 Epitaph 



TerryM

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #326 on: August 18, 2019, 04:00:17 AM »
TerryM:
Is that what is called a Jenny Hanover?


GODDAMIT was a girl!


I didn't know he had a name, but that's definitely a mug shot of him.
Can I ask where you ran into such an unlikely creature?


Terry

Tom_Mazanec

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #327 on: August 18, 2019, 04:26:38 AM »
TerryM:
Is that what is called a Jenny Hanover?


GODDAMIT was a girl!


I didn't know he had a name, but that's definitely a mug shot of him.
Can I ask where you ran into such an unlikely creature?


Terry


I just like to "collect" weird things. For example, about 25 years ago I was monitoring spy number stations on shortwave. It's a quirk of my mind.
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TerryM

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #328 on: August 18, 2019, 04:46:33 AM »
Terry, It is amazing how much a few miles can mean different lizards or amphibian habitats . Horney toads, newts, skinks, various snakes ,and all things a young boy pays attention to are sign posts for where you live. When just a few miles matters you gotta wonder what parts of your childhood interests are already just memories , if you went back they would already be gone forever. . The little creeks , ponds and ditches were always rare habitats here in the desert Southwest ,the Great Basin, or  in so.Cal.  The large dry parts mean these species will have a difficult time trying to follow a clinal shift north. If the 81 degrees in that Alaskan river is any indication ,better habitats available further north may be another delusion we like to entertain.
 I keep watching to see if the murder of crows returns but as the weeks/months pass I think they are gone . My resident pair of crows showed up again with a couple fledglings. There were between 100-150 crows that flew by twice a day for the twenty years I've lived here , but something went wrong.
 The nearshore reef system has changed as fast or faster than the local terrestrial habitats IMO. The starfish dieoff in the 2013 ocean heatwave resulted in major changes that are still accumulating. A large starfish named " twenty rayed star " may be a candidate for an endangered species designation.
They used to be common and a keystone species.
 Epitaph
Here in Southern Ontario there were lots of changes in the 40+ years I was gone. The river experienced a marvelous cleanup and now supports game fish instead if the suckers and carp that used to be all that could survive it.


Raptors and Canadian Geese have made unimaginable comebacks, so all hasn't been dark here. The salamanders were a surprise. The trees are still standing, the soils still loose and moist, but the little critters seem to have vanished.
We are - or were - the north end of the Carolinian Forest. Magnolias, Tulip trees, lots of things you'd expect to see far to the south. The woods extend north from here and I hope the beasties have migrated rather than died.


Unrelated, but I found that Swift Current Saskatchewan plays host to a small community of kangaroo rats. Your probably familiar with them from the Mojave Desert. Cute little things that look a bit like emaciated hamsters.
Anyway they're acclimated to the driest hottest deserts. They never drink water, it's only recently been discovered that they do pee on special occasions, and here they are in the middle of the Canadian Prairies.
Obviously a rump population long separated from their southern cousins.


In 50 years perhaps these furry critters will find a Saskatchewan that (again?) resembles their Death Valley ancestral home.
Hope your crows have found a place to their liking.
Terry

nanning

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #329 on: August 18, 2019, 07:22:59 AM »
" the little critters seem to have vanished."

This is my observation as well, together with a general observation of disappearing microorganisms. Extremely worrisome. Stuff doesn't seem to rot like it did. Doesn't get 'cleaned up'.

How many of those critters did surreptitiously go extinct?

Crows are having a difficult time in the rural place where I live now (northern Netherlands, Fryslân). In the big city they were/are numerous and I noticed they behave a bit different there. Will those crows be able to adapt once human activity stops in the cities?

As a child I spend many days outside in the fields with my polsstok, leaping over the ditches around the fields and loved the songs and calls of birds, frogs and life in the ditches, the smells, the buzzing of insects, the beautiful well-formed clouds, the quiet of low windvelocity, no ICE noise, flowers in the fields, airplane-free skies. There were also many features in the landscape that have gone. Little ponds and islands and trees. Lot's of small pieces of uncultivated 'wild' land.
40 years later, those fields are now forbidden to enter and many (most) are monoculture ryegrass. All have been sprayed with toxins year-in year-out. All the ditches are routinely dug out and all life and habitat removed, the whole biotope gone! (many flying insects have their larval stage in water) Everywhere! Because most ditches and waterways are connected, the toxins run-off from the fields get everywhere. I can only speculate about what happened to the life in the poisoned soils.

For children today it is Impossible to experience the wondrous healthy outside childhood I've had. They'll think this is normal.
The cattle are inside under fluorescent lamplight, on concrete slabs between thick metal bars, non-grazing. They'll think this is normal.
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Tor Bejnar

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #330 on: August 18, 2019, 11:50:03 PM »
I watched pole vaulting, but never polsstok-ing or for beginners.  How useful in wet-ditch-rich country!
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things.

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #331 on: August 19, 2019, 03:19:45 AM »
^^
Ramen!
Would have been a blast!
Terry

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #332 on: August 19, 2019, 07:46:47 AM »
<snip>
How useful in wet-ditch-rich country!

Great video's you've found, I had a laugh, thanks.
"polsspringen" in Frisian is "Ljeppe" in English "to Leap". The sports competition variant, with fixed pole, is called "fierljeppe".

It can go wrong when your 'pols' breaks in mid-leap:
https://www.destentor.nl/harderwijk/slootje-springen~af5425e5/101533647/

Recent competition (22sec in Frisian):
https://www.omropfryslan.nl/nijs/902134-marrit-van-der-wal-wint-earste-wedstriid-nasjonale-fierljepkompetysje

I got my first pols from my grandfather ('pake') when I was about 6. It was not used in a very long time and when I was leaping, right above the ditch it broke and I got to see the wonderful ditch biotope from close up. I have been In ditches hundreds of times  ;D
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vox_mundi

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #333 on: August 22, 2019, 08:17:15 PM »
Shocking Rate of Plant Extinctions in South Africa
https://phys.org/news/2019-08-extinctions-south-africa.html

Over the past 300 years, 79 plants have been confirmed extinct from three of the world's biodiversity hotspots located in South Africa—the Cape Floristic Region, the Succulent Karoo, and the Maputuland-Pondoland-Albany corridor.

According to a study published in the journal Current Biology this week, this represents a shocking 45.4 percent of all known plant extinctions from 10 of the world's 36 biodiversity hotspots. Biodiversity hotspots are areas that harbor exceptionally high numbers of unique species, but at the same time they are under severe threat from human disturbance.

The main drivers for extinctions in South Africa were found to be agriculture (49.4 percent), urbanization (38 percent) and invasive species (22 percent).[/b]

... The researchers emphasize that biodiversity loss and climate change are the biggest threats confronting humanity: "Along with habitat destruction, the effects of climate change are expected to be particularly severe on those plants not capable of dispersing their seeds over long distances," they conclude.

https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(19)30943-1?_returnURL=https%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS0960982219309431%3Fshowall%3Dtrue
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nanning

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #334 on: August 23, 2019, 05:27:48 AM »
Thanks vox_mundi.
Some words don't do a good job of giving meaning, of describing the true situation. Words too nice and concealing.

I read "human disturbance" but I'm thinking "technological mass destruction" to get a better picture.

I read "agriculture" but I'm thinking "deforestation, pesticides and monoculture GM crops" to get a better picture.
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Tom_Mazanec

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #335 on: August 25, 2019, 02:05:35 PM »
Sea turtles at risk as Trump weakens protections of animals endangered by climate crisis
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/aug/23/groups-sue-trump-weakening-animals-protections-climate-crisis
Quote
So a coalition of environmental groups has launched a federal court lawsuit to halt the Trump administration’s new interpretation of the Endangered Species Act, America’s bedrock conservation law. The changes will, among other things, limit consideration of threats to species to the “foreseeable future” and make it harder to place protections on important habitat.

Conservationists say this new regime is likely to disregard the looming long-term danger posed by climate change to creatures such as the Canada lynx, which is deemed likely to be largely wiped out by 2100, as well as the Florida key deer, a diminutive endangered deer, and the Florida mole skink, a five-inch-long lizard, both of which reside in Florida Keys, an area acutely vulnerable to sea level rise.

I'm sure that Key West deer, Canada lynx and sea turtles are not the only ones endangered by AGW. Why, if it gets bad enough it could also wipe out mongooses!  ;)
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vox_mundi

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #336 on: September 05, 2019, 08:40:40 PM »
Breakdown in Coral Spawning Places Species at Risk of Extinction
https://phys.org/news/2019-09-breakdown-coral-spawning-species-extinction.html

A new Tel Aviv University study finds that the highly synchronized, iconic spawning events of certain reef-building corals in the Gulf of Eilat/Aqaba, Red Sea, have completely changed over time and lost their vital synchrony, dramatically reducing chances of successful fertilization.

Since both the eggs and the sperm of corals can persist only a few hours in the water, the timing of this event is critical."

According to the research, led by Prof. Yossi Loya and Ph.D. candidate Tom Shlesinger of TAU's School of Zoology and published in Science on September 6, the breakdown in coral spawning synchrony has led to a dearth of new recruits and stagnant aging populations, creating circumstances for extinction.


... "Although it appeared that the overall state of the coral reefs at Eilat was quite good and every year we found many new corals recruiting to the reefs, for those species that are suffering from the breakdown in spawning synchrony, there was a clear lack of recruitment of new juvenile generations, meaning that some species that currently appear to be abundant may actually be nearing extinction through reproductive failure," says Shlesinger.

"Several possible mechanisms may be driving the breakdown in spawning synchrony that we found," Prof. Loya concludes. "For example, temperature has a strong influence on coral reproductive cycles. In our study region, temperatures are rising fast, at a rate of 0.31 degrees Celsius per decade, and we suggest that the breakdown in spawning synchrony reported here may reflect a potential sublethal effect of ocean warming. Another plausible mechanism may be related to endocrine (hormonal) disrupting pollutants, which are accumulating in marine environments as a result of ongoing human activities that involve pollution."

T. Shlesinger el al., "Breakdown in spawning synchrony: A silent threat to coral persistence," Science (2019).

N. Fogarty    el al., "Coral spawning, unsynchronized," Science (2019).
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

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Tom_Mazanec

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #337 on: September 07, 2019, 12:51:33 AM »
Another Blow for the Future of Corals
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/09/great-spawning-corals-becoming-undone/597466/
Quote
“It’s definitely the case that the probability of fertilization goes way down if they don’t spawn at the same time, and really at the same time,” says Nancy Knowlton, a coral researcher at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. There’s a huge evolutionary pressure for them to be synchronized, “so to not be synchronized is a really big thing.”

Shlesinger first realized something was wrong when he and Loya tried to rear some well-known coral species in large outdoor aquariums. To their surprise, some didn’t spawn at the expected times—an abnormality that Shlesinger initially blamed on his setup. “It took me two or three years to realize that things are completely off,” he says.
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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #338 on: September 11, 2019, 04:58:45 PM »
  I never thought I'd see the Australian rainforest burning.
  What will it take for us to wake up to the climate crisis?

  by Joëlle Gergis

 Dr Joëlle Gergis is an award-winning climate scientist and writer based at the
 Australian National University. She is a lead author of the United Nation’s
 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment report, and an
 expert advisor to the Climate Council
.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/sep/10/i-never-thought-id-see-the-australian-rainforest-burning-what-will-it-take-for-us-to-wake-up-to-the-climate-crisis


 Quotes:
"The extreme events that our community has been talking about for decades are now becoming part of our lived experience, season after season, year after year across the entire planet. What we are seeing play out now is much faster than many of us ever imagined."

"Barely a week after sweltering through an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) lead author meeting discussing the UN group’s sixth global climate assessment report during an unseasonable European heatwave, it’s been surreal to return home to find much of Australia’s eastern seaboard engulfed in unprecedented bushfires crisis. In spring."

"What we expect to see in our future climate is playing out right now, not decades in the future. As we begin to drift away from the safe shores of historical variability, the only certainty is that life in the “new normal” will be outside the range of human experience."
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Tom_Mazanec

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #339 on: September 11, 2019, 08:57:48 PM »
Loss of Madagascar’s biodiversity is a loss for Earth, Pope says
https://news.mongabay.com/2019/09/loss-of-madagascars-biodiversity-is-a-loss-for-earth-pope-says/
Quote
On a visit to Madagascar this weekend, Pope Francis denounced the “excessive” forest loss in the country.
He was speaking at the presidential palace, during a courtesy call to President Andry Rajoelina.
The pope also visited Mozambique before arriving in Madagascar, where he addressed the ecological disaster faced by the African nation after it was hit by two back-to-back cyclones this year.
His seven-day tour which includes a day trip to Mauritius on Monday comes to a close on Tuesday.
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vox_mundi

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #340 on: September 12, 2019, 08:50:07 PM »
Controversial Insecticides Shown to Threaten Survival of Wild Birds
https://phys.org/news/2019-09-controversial-insecticides-shown-threaten-survival.html

New research at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) shows how the world's most widely used insecticides could be partly responsible for a dramatic decline in songbird populations.

A study published in the journal Science on Sept. 13 is the first experiment to track the effects of a neonicotinoid pesticide on birds in the wild.

The study found that white-crowned sparrows who consumed small doses of an insecticide called imidacloprid suffered weight loss and delays to their migration—effects that could severely harm the birds' chances of surviving and reproducing.

"We saw these effects using doses well within the range of what a bird could realistically consume in the wild—equivalent to eating just a few treated seeds," said Margaret Eng, a post-doctoral fellow in the USask Toxicology Centre and lead author on the study.

Although the toxic effects of neonicotinoids were once thought to affect only insects, most notably pollinators such as bees, there is growing evidence that birds are routinely exposed to the pesticides with significant negative consequences.

"Our study shows that this is bigger than the bees—birds can also be harmed by modern neonicotinoid pesticides which should worry us all," said Stutchbury.



... results seem to be associated with the appetite suppression effect of imidacloprid. The dosed birds ate less food, and it's likely that they delayed their flight because they needed more time to recover and regain their fuel stores,"

Because the researchers used controlled dosing, they were able to confirm a cause and effect between neonicotinoid exposures and delayed migration, not just a correlation that is more typical of field studies.

... In North America, three-quarters of bird species that rely on agricultural habitat have significantly declined in population since 1966. The results of the new study show a mechanism by which pesticides could be directly contributing to this drop-off.


M.L. Eng el al., "A neonicotinoid insecticide reduces fueling and delays migration in songbirds," Science (2019)
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kassy

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #341 on: September 17, 2019, 01:01:39 PM »
Bogong moth tracker launched in face of 'unprecedented' collapse in numbers

Every spring, 4.4 billion bogong moths migrate up to 1,000km to the alpine regions of Victoria and New South Wales ahead of the summer heat.

But for the past two years, the number of moths that have made the journey to those areas from breeding grounds in Queensland, NSW and western Victoria has crashed to almost undetectable levels and scientists are turning to the community for help.

...

Last year, scientists monitoring the mountain pygmy possum late in the breeding season in Victoria found that between 50% and 95% of the animals had lost their full litters of young. Analysis found the animals had starved to death without their main food source. (Only 2000 of them are alive)

...

They (possible causes) are the ongoing drought in south-eastern Australia, changes in agricultural practices such as spraying of crops or flooding of areas for cotton and rice production, and light pollution in urban areas that diverts the moths away from their migration path.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/sep/17/bogong-moth-tracker-launched-in-face-of-unprecedented-collapse-in-numbers
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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #342 on: September 18, 2019, 07:31:05 PM »
What we lose when animals go extinct
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2019/09/vanishing-what-we-lose-when-an-animal-goes-extinct-feature/
Quote
One way to think of a species, be it of ape or of ant, is as an answer to a puzzle: how to live on planet Earth. A species’ genome is a sort of manual; when the species perishes, that manual is lost. We are, in this sense, plundering a library—the library of life. Instead of the Anthropocene, Wilson has dubbed the era we are entering the Eremozoic—the age of loneliness.
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kassy

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #343 on: September 20, 2019, 02:25:07 PM »
Nearly 3 Billion Birds Have Vanished In The Last 50 Years In The United States And Canada

The number of birds in the United States and Canada has fallen by 2.9 billion since 1970. In a mere half-century, 29 percent of avian populations have vanished from our skies, including birds in every ecosystem – from backyard birds and meadowlarks to songsters and swallows. The study was conducted by researchers from seven institutions and published in Science.

...

"The results even stunned those of us who were doing the research. We knew some bird species populations were declining – some drastically – but we thought that increases in other species would balance everything out overall. That’s not the case at all," lead author Ken Rosenberg, from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and American Bird Conservancy, told IFLScience.

...
https://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/nearly-3-billion-birds-have-vanished-in-the-last-50-years-in-the-united-states-and-canada/

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #344 on: September 21, 2019, 04:17:58 AM »
Kassy, I have been seeing problems with local bird populations, I am not sure what to do. Many local problems , competition with non-natives like Asian doves that both carry new diseases and are fierce
competitors, swallows abandoning nests two years now. Zero hatched in my eaves this year but again lots of competition with english sparrows but there has been competition for a long time so why are the swallows giving in and letting ( or losing ) their nests to competitors? We humans must be dull asses because we just don ‘t even know what’s going wrong. There are so many things wrong that we can’t pick through the stressors and triage what we can save. That’s where we are but again we are just dumb asses and most people don’t even pay enough attention to notice . I am watching the birds, the insects, the amphibians and there are plenty of problems in our oceans too.
 When you posted the bird numbers this morning I thought I should cry but I am getting hard although a good cry would be a good thing I think.
 It’s strange sometimes being a farmer , a fisherman, on a science blog. I don’t keep a log and whatever I say can be written off as anecdote but watching and watching closely are all I have. But when you have put Year’s in and something disappears the loses are close to the heart , it hurts, it’s not numbers, it is the living things I share my world with , some birds  ( the crows and I am sure others are with me for decades ) and as they go I am diminished. It isn’t numbers... and yes it is hard to write and not cry a little too.
   

nanning

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #345 on: September 21, 2019, 06:19:38 AM »
Thank you very much for your heartfelt experiences Bruce. During the summer our local woods were eerily quiet. Unsettling. Recently there are songbirds returning from migration that make me shout WELCOME BACK and almost bring tears to my eyes. Most people notice nothing. Without daily observations outside, everything still looks normal I guess.
I share your cry.
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kassy

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #346 on: September 21, 2019, 01:26:41 PM »
At least it is a rather big number and thus abstract which helps. A vivid description of a colony of arctic seabirds failing to breed is worse in that respect for me.  :-\

I think long sets of local observations are important. The world is changing so quickly that a generation later gets a new normal which for them is the baseline.

I am not sure there is anything you can do Bruce. Don´t know if you know anyone local who is a birdwatcher. They might or might not know a little more about the situation or if anyone is looking into it whom you could support with limited data gathering.

I think that is about it.

The whole problem needs to be solved on the grand scale. People need to wake up to the fact that we actually depend on the planet and that we are running out of all kinds of resources (including beautiful creatures) but that is hard if you are in consumer paradise or just surviving paycheck to paycheck hell.

PS: Nanning any specific birds missing? Not sure if you know. I like just listening but i usually
don´t know which birds belong to the songs because i am not a birdwatcher.

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nanning

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #347 on: September 21, 2019, 05:05:48 PM »
Thanks for your personal post and your question kassy..

Upfront I want to say that I am by no means an expert in this.
I live on an elevated sandy soil ground. The ground-water level here is very low right now. I hardly any see beetles. Only flying insects if there is warm direct sunshine. The ponds and ditches are dead because of fertilizer/biocide run-off I think.

I also can't recognize all birds by their verbal communication yet, but I'll find out :) . And I know and understand far too little of living nature. About all living nature and interactions, down to the micro-organisms. Alas.
I have accepted that I have to do with just my observations in a less informed context. Maybe I'll find new things :) .

Some blackbirds have returned but are not singing yet.  :(

I miss packs of crows here, they seem to be stressed from what I pick up.

kassy, are you living on elevated grounds? Do you live in the Veluwe-area perchance? Anything to add in missing birds?
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kassy

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #348 on: September 22, 2019, 09:42:13 PM »
Thanks. That is consistent with other reports about the higher areas in the north and east.

And no, i live in the city so i don´t have much direct reports myself (just that the ducks are having new chicks in september which is a little later then usual).
Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

Tom_Mazanec

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #349 on: September 24, 2019, 07:56:30 PM »
Study: Bird populations plummeting in US and Canada
https://www.cnn.com/videos/world/2019/09/20/us-canada-bird-population-decrease-weir-intv-ebof-vpx.cnn
Quote
Bird populations in the United States and Canada have dropped by almost three billion since 1970, according to a new study. CNN's Bill Weir reports.Source: CNN

Hawaii coral show signs of stress amid record-setting heat
https://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/hawaii-coral-show-signs-stress-amid-record-setting-65808774
Quote
Just four years after a major marine heat wave killed nearly half of this coastline's coral, federal researchers are predicting another round of hot water will cause some of the worst coral bleaching the region has ever experienced.

"In 2015, we hit temperatures that we've never recorded ever in Hawaii," said Jamison Gove, an oceanographer with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "What is really important — or alarming, probably more appropriately — about this event is that we've been tracking above where we were at this time in 2015."
« Last Edit: September 24, 2019, 10:03:33 PM by Tom_Mazanec »
SHARKS (CROSSED OUT) MONGEESE (SIC) WITH FRICKIN LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS