Monday, December 6, 2010

Lemming Tracks: Climate Change is the New Global Warming?

Fashions change: the weirdness that occasionally shows up in Robert Basler's Oddly Enough blog; and the sort of thing that college students must take very seriously, if they expect to pass the course.

The Lemming remembers when we were gonna die in the food riots, face a life expectancy of 42, and it was all futile anyway, because glaciers would soon grind away the pathetic remains of civilization. An ice age was coming, you see. (November 19, 2010, April 20, 2010)

Experts said so.

Now, of course, experts have been telling us that nature's delicate balance1 is threatened by of global warming.

That fashion may be changing, in the Lemming's opinion. Keep an eye out for the new bogey man: climate change.

This new, improved dire threat showed up - again - in today's news. Or, rather, "analysis."

"Climate Change Challenges Circadian Clocks"
Tim Wall, Analysis, Animal News, Discovery News (December 6, 2010)

"In life's race against time, plants and animals may have to reset their circadian clocks to keep up with climate change. Organisms that rely on several cues besides daylight to regulate their behavior will have the advantage. For mammals in the wild, unfortunately, daylight appears to be a stronger regulator than previously thought.

"Day length regulates many behaviors such as breeding and migration. This enables animals' circadian rhythms to match up with the long-term patterns of the earth's ecosystems. Evolutionarily this helped species to survive through erratic weather patterns, as they would avoid deadly mistakes like migrating north during a warm spell in January, only to find no food and die when the weather turns cold again.

"With global climate change rapidly impacting seasonal plant growth, however, now the evolutionary benefits of relying on day-length cycles may backfire...."

The Lemming thinks that "climate change" is a safer bet than either the coming ice age or global warming. "Safer bet?" It's about as close to a sure thing as we ever see. One thing that's remained constant over the last several billion years on this planet is - change.

The Lemming's said this before: it's odd, how America's dominant culture revels in the idea that vast, sweeping changes have altered the very fabric of life over millions and millions of years.

The notion that change happened, on a large scale, is accepted. And, until about a hundred and fifty years or so back, change was natural. Then, starting somewhere in about the 18th century, change was somebody's fault.

The "climate change" that analysis warns of? The Lemming thinks it's probably happening. It would be a disturbing alteration in nature, if Earth's climate wasn't changing.

Sort-of-related posts:More:
1 The Lemming thinks that pandas are cute, and thinks that it's a good idea to not dump raw sewage in one's drinking water. But - nature's 'delicate' balance? I've written about that before:

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