Climate Change and Plant Extinctions

Discussion in 'Plants: In the News' started by Daniel Mosquin, Sep 12, 2006.

  1. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Thousands of species being pushed to disappearing forever; eight extinctions in a decade on Robinson Crusoe Islands – Reuters.

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  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Total species extinction problem apocalyptic at this point.
     
  3. bcgift52

    bcgift52 Active Member

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    Surely this is not the first 'climate change' the world is going through !
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Not the first wave of extinction either. But each time the pot gets significantly smaller. Ane we are the cause of this one, on hand to experience the effects.
     
  5. wrygrass2

    wrygrass2 Active Member 10 Years

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    And some of the previous 'climate changes' took many millenia to recover from. The problem is that so much of the life on this planet can only survive given a very narrow set of living conditions. And further, the interdependence of many species, including homo sapiens will mean that the next few generations will live in 'interesting times'. Apocalyptic is truly a good word to describe what is coming. But the thing is not to get frightened but to get busy.

    Harry
     
  6. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    If trends hold, it will be one of the quickest, which is at least part of the problem. Plants need time to recolonize / reestablish.
     
  7. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    By far the quickest known in geological history - previous changes have been closer to a degree in a thousand years, now, it's over a degree in a hundred years.

    Also with habitat loss, it is far more difficult for plants to change their ranges - they can't cross ploughed and herbicide-sprayed fields, or cities, in the same way they can move through natural habitats. Nearly all our wild plants are now restricted to isolated tiny 'islands' of suitable habitat, and they can't get from one to the next.
     
  8. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Likewise animal species are being trapped and killed off by rising temperatures and their effects.
     
  9. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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  10. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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  11. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Report from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research (University of Manchester) calls for much greater cuts in CO[sub]2[/sub] production

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/5347790.stm

     
  12. wrygrass2

    wrygrass2 Active Member 10 Years

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    Two thoughts and a NPR news cast.

    1. In "Gardeners summoned to aid climate change effort" it mentioned fuel costs to import food. One thing I haven't heard that should be a sign pasted to everyones forehead is that one shouldn't drive anywhere unless absolutely necessary. The amount of fuel wasted on unnecessary driving, (especially in this car dependent society in the US) is staggering. The amount of CO2 reduction would be considerable if that was at least encouraged if not mandated. The same should apply to fuel oil consumption for heat during the winter. Being a little less comfortable now by turning down the thermostat could make things a lot less uncomfortable in the future.

    2. Michael's post about the drastic melting of the Polar ice cap points to the fact that the earlier prediction of a 3'(<1M) rise in sea level in the next century was probably a very rosy prediction. At the rate in Michael's post the cap will be gone in less than a decade.

    The NPR news cast was an interview with a scientist that was proposing injecting dust into the upper atmosphere to reduce the effects of Global Warming. {Link is to an earlier article on dust blocking sunlight in this forum. Tuned in to late to get the particulars on the NPR news blurb.} His proposal was to make a man made Mt. Pinatubo (SP?) each year thereby blocking the suns rays cooling the earth. His thought was to use it as a stopgap to give the world more time to recover. The interviewers first question was "Where did you come up with this crazy idea?" Doesn't seem so crazy to me.

    I think that anything one can do individually, as a group, or on a global scale should not only be looked at but seriously considered and acted upon if found to be in any way feasable. Those things that can be done globally will of course have the greater overall effect, but even a reduction in the amount of driving done if done by enough people world wide, could also have far reaching effects. If nothing else it would get the so-called man on the street (I'm one) thinking about the problem at hand. Harry
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2006
  13. Debra Dunaway

    Debra Dunaway Active Member

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    A grain of salt people....we are but a blink in history
     
  14. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    The collective human endeavour (however it turns out, for good or ill to us as a species) unfortunately affects organisms for which we have no moral right to impose our mistakes or hubris upon.
     
  15. wrygrass2

    wrygrass2 Active Member 10 Years

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    Agreed, but to sit around doing nothing, which seem more the case in this country than in others, will only worsen the problems at hand. Since the situation is already happening, then my personal opinion is that anything people can do, even at the risk of causing more problems must at least be tried. Anything to stem the tide should be attepted. Perhaps some one thing, or a combination of strategies, might at least give time enough to alleviate the consequences that seem to be coming a very fast rate. The alternative is unthinkable. First do all you can do. Then the rest is up to the grace of God, or Providence, or Fate ( or whatever your beliefs allow). Some would consider that hubris. But if that is the case, then so be it. Global Warming might be irreversible. But it should be mankind's first priority.

    And in one sense Debra Dunaway's comment is correct. The time that human beings have been occupying the world is short compared to the existence of the world. But that doesn't mean that we have to go into the void without trying to do all we can to right the problems that man has caused. Harry
     
  16. Debra Dunaway

    Debra Dunaway Active Member

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    Perhaps I should expand my thoughts. My statement is true however please don't get the impression for one second that I don't take seriously my personal felt responsibility to this planet. I am making a sincere commitment to grow organically and treat the environment with respect. Change the things you can...... However,,remember goals need to be realistic and attainable. We are but specks of dust on the beach of space.
     
  17. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Fortunately it isn't quite that fast - the melting curve is a bit zig-zag, worse in some years than others; 2005 was a particularly bad (hot) year in the Arctic. Current estimates are that it will be gone in about 60-70 years, though I'd not be surprised if it were less, quite possibly within the lifetime of most of us here
     
  18. wrygrass2

    wrygrass2 Active Member 10 Years

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    One final comment on my way out here. Even if the zigzag is every 5 years for a warm year in the arctic that will still mean only 3.5 decades until the ice at the pole is gone. That assumes that probably won't be years cold enough in the arctic for the ice to reform. The word is that this is again an El Nino year. When I was looking at ocean temps on the web during and after the last one, the graphics showed where much of the heat in the oceans was funneled into the arctic.

    I think the choice is to wait and see what happens or do something. So far the majority of the world seems to have taken the wait and see approach (or worse) and that can only lead to disaster. The resulting chaos might tend to push things back a bit, but I don't think even that can be counted on to change the outcome. A 70% reduction in CO2 might not be enough and it must be done across the board, in every nation to have any real effect. Harry
     
  19. GreenGoose

    GreenGoose Active Member

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    What I find curious is the broad resistance to international agreement on the management of air pollution. It is obvious that a nation can control the waters and the land surface within its own borders but it is equally obvious that no nation can control the atmosphere within its own borders.
    Given that we are so clearly interdependent upon the legislation of other nations to protect the atmosphere for our own use one would think that international cooperation was a no-brainer. Nonetheless, my country's government has rejected the only broad cooperative effort for atmospheric management in favor of a "home-made" air pollution standard. It is shocking that science and logic plays such a small role in the political life of nations.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2006
  20. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    It shouldn't be. Myriad prior examples have already occurred.
     

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