News Stories

Northern Climates Warming Fast

Birds react by moving north - There is a colossal ice shelf collapse going on in our close neighbor Canada. Farther away, Greenland's glaciers are not doing well. That's not the only thing that's happening in the North: Bird habitats are moving that way, as the weather gets warmer.

The ice shelves in Canada have lost a huge amount of ice this year?ice which had been in place for thousands of years. Now almost one-fourth of it is gone. BBC News quotes researcher Derek Mueller as saying, "These changes are irreversible under the present climate."

Northern Greenland was so far north in the Arctic that scientists thought it might not experience global warming, but now satellites show a giant crack?7 miles long and half a mile wide in a glacier there that seems to be spreading. Also, an 11-square-mile chunk has fallen off another large glacier in the area. This could raise the sea level, drowning the country. It could also be dangerous in other ways.

In Yahoo News, Seth Borenstein quotes researcher Waleed Abdalati as saying, "[The crack] could go back for miles and miles and there's no real mechanism to stop it."

As the weather changes, birds are moving north. A variety of bird species are extending their breeding ranges to the north, a pattern that adds to concerns about climate change. We may soon not hear the birdsongs we're so familiar with.

When researchers studied 83 species of birds that have traditionally bred in New York State and compared their data with data collected in the early 1980s, they discovered that many species have moved North?some by almost 40 miles.

Researcher Benjamin Zuckerberg says, "What you begin to see is a systematic pattern of these species moving northward as we would predict with regional warming."

Ecologist William Porter says, "There are a wide spectrum of changes that are occurring and those changes are occurring in a relatively short amount of time. We're not talking centuries, we're talking decades?Whether [these changes] are good or bad, whether they should be addressed, whether we should adapt to them, whether we should try to mitigate some of this, those are questions that really, rightfully, belong in the political arena."

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