By Paul Homewood
h/t Chris Lynch/Patsy Lacey
The latest nonsense from Sarah Knapton, who is supposed to be “Science Editor” at the Telegraph!
White-furred animals are in danger of dying out because climate change is causing a fall in snow cover, leaving them exposed and vulnerable, a new study suggests.
Scientists in Poland have been following the worrying case of the white-coated weasel, which sheds its tawny covering in the winter for a milky coat allowing it to blend effortlessly into its icy environment.
But researchers have discovered that between 1997 and 2007 the number of days with permanent snow cover in Białowieża Forest, Poland, halved, from 80 to 40.
It means that the little creatures are being caught out in a completely unsuitable environment, where they are easy prey for predators like foxes and crows.
The team at the Polish Academy of Sciences found that on days when there was little winter snow cover, the number of white-coated weasels they managed to capture fell to as low as 20 per cent of the total, suggesting the rest had been killed.
We should not underestimate the power of natural selectionDr Karol Zub
Previously they would have been dominant, because their coats would have given them a survival advantage.
The problem is likely to affect other white-furred mammals and birds living in areas vulnerable to climate change such as the Arctic fox as the snow cover increasingly gives way to a landscape of greens and browns.
Weasels have been around an awful long time, and have certainly thrived throughout vastly different climate regimes to now.
They are also prevalent throughout most of the Northern Hemisphere, and are extremely adaptable to most environments, from snow to desert.
The idea that a bit less snow in winter will make the slightest difference shows a total lack of understanding.
Of course, natural selection is always with us, and maybe there will be less white weasels and more brown ones in Poland in years to come. To which the response is – SO WHAT?
But before we get too carried away about less snow, we should take note that winter snow extent in Eurasia is actually on an increasing trend:
As usual, the comments are scathing. This one takes first prize:
I sometimes wonder whether the DT “journalists” have a quota of climate change articles they have to write each week. And the sillier, the better.
via NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT
May 25, 2018 at 01:28PM