Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Crocs Endangered by Global Warming - Or Something Else.

This just in from the "Global-Warming-Will-Wipe-Out-All-Life" Department: Due to the planet Earth's warming over the past few decades - a phenomenon apparently unheard-of in geological and biological history - the Family Crocodylidae, known to us herpetological simpletons as crocodiles, who have been around since the dinosaurs, and who have seen more climate change than Suzanne Somers did passing through her 40s, could very well be doomed to extinction in a region of southern Africa.


According to the LiveScience article: "Crocodile gender is determined by temperature during incubation. Nest temperatures of 89.6 to 91.4 degrees Fahrenheit (32-33 Celsius) result in males. Anything warmer or cooler produces females. Temperatures typically vary from the top of a nest to the bottom, producing both genders."

So what?
More: "A difference of 0.5 - 1º [Celsius] in incubation temperature results in markedly different sex ratios," said Alison Leslie, of South Africa’s University of Stellenbosch. "More female hatchlings due to the cooler or hotter incubation temperatures could lead to eventual extirpation of the species from an area."

My God! What could be the cause of this?!
Scientists generally agree that the planet is warming and will continue to do so for decades to come...
"If that increase actually takes place … it's going to increase the temperature of that incubation," Leslie said. "I think global warming is going to have a huge effect."

And so that's why crocodile populations have dwindled?
Well.... "Crocodile populations have dwindled dramatically in Botswana, due to overexploitation by hide hunters and conflicts with nearby communities."

So... what are you saying, Alison?
Leslie: "Even though crocodilians have been around for millions of years, and as important as these creatures may be in the systems they occupy, they are a much understudied species."

But Alison, uh... what's this article about then?

[...busy signal...]

Global warming is a real phenomenon.Whether it will be catastrophic to life on earth is highly questionable. The planet has gone through several severe climate changes in its history without life being extinguished. Species go extinct and are newly-discovered every year. It's called Nature. It's called Evolution. In the case of the African crocs mentioned above, Ms. Leslie herself even admits there are several other causes for their loss in numbers. Global warming may very well be a contributor, but it is by no means the sole culprit. Localized species are always in danger of dying out because of their occasional inability to adapt to local changes. That has been the case since long before humans walked the planet. The issue of global warming is contentious enough without agenda-seeking scientists making premature statements. Let's get the facts on these species before we go around declaring the cause of their endangerment to be our favorite environmental issue.

- Read The Article Here



Post a Comment

<< Home