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back to article Greener Arctic may be down to lemming poo, not climate

Recent satellite observations showing "greening" of some Arctic regions - until now put down to global warming permitting plants to grow more easily in the frozen north - may in fact be explained by large numbers of lemmings defecating on the affected areas, so fertilising green plants. "Our paper confirms that we really need to …

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"higher temperatures in the north could cause soils to release more greenhouse gases, though recent research has cast doubt on such ideas."

Alas, only in your world Lewis. That article, as you're aware, is related to surface drying in peak-bogs - something that, somewhat surprisingly perhaps, cannot be extrapolated to casting doubt on "such ideas", but rather points to a (admittedly rather interesting) effect with a limited type of soil in a very particular condition..

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Coat

Not just poo either...

I bet their hair looks like grass on a satellite photo!

I know, I know, I'm going.

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Speaking of Lemmings

The Amiga version used to have a two-player mode, where you could plug in two mice at the same time. It could turn quite, well, nasty at times...

Do any of the more recent PC versions allow that?

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If this turns out to be a joke by the Yes Men

I will not be surprised. Lemming poop. Please.

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Follow-up on above

There's a lot of "David Johnson"s working for the "University of Texas" (has many campuses; traditionally "UT" means "UT Austin" but it might refer to others). Looks like this guy:

"David Johnson, Ph.D. 2008

Currently: postdoctoral scientist with Dr. Craig Tweedie, UT-El Paso

Dissertation topic: role of mammalian herbivores in determining arctic tundra plant community structure"

So apparently not a hoax by the Yes Men.

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Poor old Man-Made warming priesthood

No sooner does some Man-Made Eco-Warming Enviro-Quango get handed a fistful of Government money to help it keep saying things about Man-Made Warming so it can get more Government money... than some inconvenient scientist pops up with a theory as to why they're Not Entirely Correct...

Again.

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Anonymous Coward

Err...

I think you hit the nail on the head "Not entirely correct"

ie: Basically correct, but like with all things: I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

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FAIL

El Reg run by Murdoch?

This site is getting to be like Fox news with its ridiculous climate change excuses,

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WTF?

Not even Lewis Page and Andrew Orlowski are climate change deniers.

They're both merely pointing out that the mainstream media has a nasty habit of see-sawing from one extreme to another. (And not just on this particular topic either.)

Nobody—I repeat: NOBODY—is denying that the Earth's climate does, indeed, change. (Well, nobody with more than half a brain anyway.)

The problems therefore boil down to:

1. *Exactly* how much influence is *humanity* having on the climate. (And we really do need a "smoking gun" level of evidence for this. The consequences of being wrong are not pleasant. I'll explain why shortly.)

2. If the evidence clearly and unequivocally agrees with the "man-made" hypothesis, what should be done about it?

2.1. We clearly do NOT understand how the Earth's climate actually works in full, comprehensive detail. That we're still seeing a steady drip-drip-drip of "Whoa! Wait a moment guys: have you seen *this*?" research papers like the one linked to in this article. Not too long ago, there was a similar piece pointing out that we really have no f*cking clue exactly what our oceans do to the climate, despite their representing over 70% of the earth's surface.

2.2. Given point (2.1), do we REALLY want to start mucking about with said climate ourselves? We've clearly done a bang-up job of fucking it up with our ignorance; why does everyone assume we won't fuck it up even more? It's not as if we have a spare planet to move to if it all goes wrong.

2.3 And that leads me to another point: surely the best solution is to ensure we have some insurance in place before we start talking about climatic engineering on a planetary scale?

3. If it turns out that humanity *is* the problem, then the best, most logical, solution is to simply get humanity stop procreating so much. Seven billion people is not a sustainable population given the infrastructure and societal problems we face...

3.1 ... which ties in neatly to point 2.2 above: we can't even fix *ourselves*. Why the hell do we think we can fix an entire planetary climate system we clearly don't yet fully understand?

There is, in any case, no need to make rushed decisions in a state of high panic. Our species has survived *ice ages*. The first settlers in the British Isles *walked* there as the English Channel did not yet exist. We've survived far worse than few inches of sea level rises. It may not be a pleasant process, but it's hardly the end of the world as we know it. There are already umpteen submerged settlements dotting the coastlines of the Old World as testament to this.

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Coat

But...

... did anyone detect a squeaky voice saying "Let's go!"

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Joke

Never realized that there were so many Apple Fanbois in the Artic.

Hmmm.

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Joke

Aha!

So lemmings jump off cliffs because of climate change?

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"In any case, future forecasts will now have to factor in the Lemming Effect."

Yea verily.

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MrT
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I call foul on this...

...it wasn't in that Disney film so it can't be true...

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Wait...

What?

Does this mean, as we don't know what the "green" actually is, that no one has actually been there to talk a look?

Are we relying on data modelling and satelitte images to observer the effects of climate change rather than direct observation and controlled experiment?

oh.

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Anonymous Coward

Yeah - Planet saved by sex-mad lemmings

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

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going to need more blockers

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