I have read some propaganda dressed as science many times, but when this story figured prominently on the main ITV news (Thursday 18th August), I simply could not believe that such weak evidence was presented as though it was undisputable fact. Of course, as usual, there was no opportunity for anyone to make any challenge. Here is the link to the story:  

Bees getting stressed by climate change, London research suggests | ITV News London

Just look at the reasoning. First they look at museum specimens of bumblebees and notice that their wings exhibit high asymmetry – very differently shaped right and left wings and conclude that this must be due to the creatures having experienced stress during development which affected their normal growth. 

This could have been due to any number of factors, but amazingly (and I think you may be ahead of me here!) they decide to look at climate change as a possible cause. And yes, they find a connection!! They found that in hotter and wetter years bees showed higher wing asymmetry. (They don’t seem to have decided whether it was the heat or the rain. Was it always hotter and wetter in the same years?

Just in case this reasoning was flawed they also did a second study, published in Methods in Ecology & Evolution, in which they sequenced the genomes of more than a hundred bumblebee museum specimens dating back more than 130 years in the hope of finding a link between genetic changes and climate change.

via climate science


August 18, 2022 at 04:18PM

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