Our studies showed
We guessed by putting in fudge factors.
Yes, we get paid for this.
Some say the menace of climate change has been overblown: but they couldn't be more wrong, as it has emerged that global warming is set to extirpate - or anyway, seriously annoy - the lovable arctic reindeer. This is because, according to a new climate model, a warming arctic will soon be overrun with bloodlusting mosquitoes …
There are two things:
1) Measurement of CO2 levels and temperature and sea level in the past - going back through several periods of glaciation and of extreme warming - shows a very strong correlation between high CO2 concentration and high temperatures. Nobody disputes this.
2) Modelling the effect _now_ of rising CO2 levels using computers and climate models is not well understood nor are there commonly accepted models (in the sense of, say, Newton's Three Laws, or Gauss's equations, or Special Relativity). So you can tweak the coeffs any way you want.
Number 1 says: if the CO2 levels get too high the temperature will rise a lot, but it does not say when.
Number 2 tries to say when.
Everyone yells about number 2, but they seem to forget about number 1.
Measurement of CO2 levels and inferred temperatures using ice cores with better dating methods has shown that although higher temperatures and higher CO2 levels occur at roughly the same times, the higher temperatures seem to lead the higher CO2 levels.
In other words, higher temperatures cause higher CO2 levels, and not the other way around.
I remember seeing back in the 90s, a documentary on TV about the northern jungles of Australia. At one point they showed clouds of mosquitos, actual banks of cloud formed by the things, preying on a herd of buffalo. One of the buffalo dropped dead after this cloud of mosquitos passed over it - dead from blood loss and the sheer volume of anticoagulant pumped into it by billions of mosquito probosces.
If there's one species this world could well do with the extinction of without wrecking the food chain, it's these bastards. Anything that eats mosquitos can easily survive by eating other flying insects.
In the North of Sweden the mosquitoes are like those miniature combat helicopters DARPA is dreaming about unleashing, but there is of course worse creatures:
"Knot", "micro mosquitoes" which forms little dense swarms like a golf-ball-sized utility fog containing thousands of sub-millimetre sized and evil blood-suckers that will go for your ear-canals, eyes, and anything else you forgot to double-coat with anti-mosquito goo and mosquito mesh. They have them in Scotland too .
You don't get just a few mosquito bite from these, instead you get an entire hand-sized surface of seeping, soon-to-become-infected, insanity inducing itchiness on your skin.
Of course there is also the cattle fly which always leaves an infected crater behind if it manges to bite. The reindeer stay in the heights during summer to avoid that bastard or they run.
No see-ums. We were plagued by these, mozzies and these infernal blackflies (they're like eye seeking missiles) at Meaghers Grant in the upper Musquodabit Valley in Nova Scotia when I was fishing for trout there. Les Stroud Backwoodsman strength DEET out of Canadian Tire the aroma of this stuff lingers to this day, the friend I was staying with called it 'Eau de Canada'.A good spray of this concoction certainly saw the little sods off, unfortunately it took out my Gul Force surfer's watch too :(
Scotland is the same with added cleg but Scottish outfit APS's Smidge doesn't melt plastic and is just as effective at dealing with the little bastrads.
Nuke as these little sods will live through it.
I briefly dated a girl from Finland, she used to visit her grandfather way up north when she was a kid. She said one year the blackflies were so bad when a swarm passed it would block out the sun, and they killed baby reindeer (not sure if it was due to blood loss, shock from all the bites or they were breathing them in and choking)
I took my genetic legacy to the world on a "meet Santa" holiday, one of the excursions was to a reindeer farm where we had a sleigh ride, along with a coachload of other families. All very jolly.
Appreciating some of what other countries and cultures can produce, I did ask if there was a farm shop (in the same way that you sometimes get in the UK), for some reason I got a disapproving look from the tour guide. Clearly humour doesn't always travel.
"Or you could go to "Mister India" in Oslo and enjoy a number 55"
55. MAAN KURMA
Origin: Tamil Nadu, South-India
Marinated and grilled round steak of reindeer, served on an aromatic "kurma"
Ah yes, the renowned South-Indian reindeer, famous as a tourist attraction as it trots through the crowded streets of Chennai, its antlers festooned with vibrant ribbons to celebrate the 'Festival of Colours'.
Ahem. Or maybe not. Lovely idea though...
these remarkable scientific folk had been available when the Wooly Mammoth disappeared. And, they surely could have prevented The Great Flood.
One does wonder why they are so prejudiced against the insect classes over the mammal. Perhaps they sufffer from "Mammal Advantage" and need reeducation and an attitude adjustment. After all, we are all "here" and must "get along".
Recent studies in Animal Psychology reveal that sucking the teat for an extended time is a definite conditioning activity which results in imperious persecution of other non-mammal; species.
Reading the abstract, they did do *some* measurements (in Western Greenland) but the rest of the "results" are from a "parametrized" "demographic model" wot they developed ...
An old RF mate of mine had a nice incite into modeling (RF bods do modeling and simulation all the time), he said "the trouble with simulation is, like m*****bation, if you do it too much you start to believe it's the real thing".
Yes, because all the other models you use were validated outside the 'insert field here' community. It's a little known fact that the Beagle 2 mars probe crashed because the guy who was meant to model the landing was actually busy verifying a model of aspirin's effects on hangovers as part of the international 'all models verified by people who aren't expert' programme.
This isn't a global warming story.
It's a basic bit of biology modelling the effect of rising temperature on mosquito populations. It's not predicting warming. It's not trying to say there will be. It's saying that if warming occurs, then the impact of mosquito populations on reindeer will increase. I'm sure there's another grad student out there right now freezing kestrels on the shores of Loch Ness so he can publish a 5-page paper on how plummeting temperatures would impact on Northern Scotland's bird populations in relation to salmon fishing, and he is also not saying that temperatures will rise or fall. He's just saying what would happen if they do.
I'd be utterly stunned if the 'climate change community' have validated this guy's model, since it's in no way a climate model and so not really anything to do with them. Those in the biologist community probably have, since that's their job.
Climate change is altering environmental temperature, a factor that influences ectothermic organisms by controlling rates of physiological processes.
Still, I guess they had to say that:
Want to study bugs? No much money.
Want to study the effect of Climate Change (TM) on bugs? How much would you like??
Oh Gods, not you as well!
Look, IT IS NOT THE FESTIVE SEASON YET!!
I don't care if the retail trade think it's Christmas already (our local supermarkets all have their XMAS displays up now) there's THREE WHOLE MONTHS to go, a quarter of the year, so please El Reg, shut up about it already.
Arctic mozzies are evil buggers as we found out on a sixth-form expedition to Norway many moons ago, but we also found out that Tescos own-brand gin made an excellent repellent, far better than the proper ones. So, we just need to ship plenty of cheap gin out to the reindeer herders!
There are already so many mosquitoes in Lapland in the summer it is hard to believe adding some makes difference... in any case, mosquitoes are benign compared to blackflies, the real insect terror of Lapland. Whereas normal mosquitoes feed on you with something like tiny hypodermic needles, the blackflies of Lapland bite off pieces of your skin. Tiny pieces, but you will be attacked by hundreds of the tiny devils at a time... Somehow the reindeer survive.
As a young man, my family camped many times in several parks up in Northern Canada and the Adirondack Mountains in New York during our vacations.
The mosquitos and black flies would carry you off and you had to wear netting and bug repellent or you would go mad trying to fight them off. There were literal clouds of insects.
However, they only bothered the moose and deer intermittently. Seems having a thick coat of hair everywhere (unlike most humans) meant that only their softer bits were targeted. However, deer ticks pose a much greater problem for disease and between me and you, I would rather be eaten by mosquitos than ticks.
There other bloodsuckers to consider too. You can't enter a pond or stream in the North Country that is not full of leeches. Better wear tight swim trunks or suffer some embarrassing leech removals. You quickly find out who your friends are at Scout camp (Northern Lights). Everybody went skinny dipping ONCE there, then suddenly found modesty through practicality.
Those deer flies bite like that pinch your mother would give you when you acted up in church. Some of them are as big as an inch long and they sound like a model airplane engine sometimes.
All said and done, there is little difference other than size between deer and reindeer/caribou. The bugs find all mammals tasty and this has been going on since there have been blood sucking insects. I have seen many deer calmly grazing in a field and they are just covered in the little bastards.
Funny how those bloodsuckers presence hasn't resulted in any extinctions regardless of what's being "reported".
No, but in northern Finland, Sweden and Norway. It's all about the northern latitude really. Nasty buggers and you do cover yourself well. Nice fishing though. Those buggers have probably been there since the Ice Age ended and animals started to move that way. But I would like to point out that new buggers like the "Lipoptena cervi". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lipoptena_cervi have started to move north just recently. Also birds never seen in the north find their way there now.
One could of course claim they have just become more industrious and decided to expand their "lebensraum", but the simple fact is that it has become warmer, man made or not. An animal with some "cervi" in their nostrils are very unhappy about it, (this a bit outside the topic of mosquitoes)
Stop being passive, and use that new chemical printer to generate some skeeter blasting DDT! DDT has a tried a true history of wiping out entire skeeter ecologies... which would you rather be surrounded by, withered husks of (formerly) cuddly reindeer under a blanket of buzzing blood suckers, or silent piles of dead bugs?
Each year I get my first mosquito bite while there is still a decent amount of snow on the ground. If it's warm enough for grazing stuff to grow, it's plenty warm enough for the Biting Bastards to breed by the billion and chow down. You cannot flee, you can only endure.
Knott/Midge/Blackfly/No-see-um. Death by a billion cuts. Small enough to crawl through a jumper or netting. Ridiculously disproportionate pain/size ratio.Love to gnaw on ear passages, nostrils, edges of eyelids. To small to swat on a practical basis. Found by the millions. Not really bothered much by DEET or other repellents in my experience.
Mygg/Mosquito. Death by exsanguination. Simply poke their proboscis through normal clothing and netting to feast on contents. Fragile, but swat the first thousand, the next lot will thank you for clearing the way. Found by the hundred thousands. Can be repelled, thank god.
Broms/Kleg/Cleg/Deerfly. You'll wish for death as a reprieve from the terror induced by the perpetual droning followed by stabbing pain. Elegantly simple feeding method - biting loose a chunk of meat so they can drink blood from the crater. Can bite through the hide of moose or cow, also through jeans+human skin. Swatting generally only stuns them for a second unless you use extreme force i.e. punching yourself in self-defense. Normally only found by the hundred. Probably drink shots of DEET while relaxing at the end of a hard day.
Yup.. seen them all..
In my experience those Bromses come in 2 varieties: the really big, slow, black & white ones, that cut you open and then your arm swells up like your're wearing a yellow childrens' swimming armband for several weeks, and the fast narrow black ones that seem to have only one wing and kamikaze-attack you like a Dune hunter-seeker (after which it takes *ages* for the centimetre-large bump to go away even if you don't scratch it).
Luckily the winters will always be cold and long enough to keep their populations under control. Right? Right?
I got acquainted(sp?) with the midges in County Donegal, Ireland. That was an adventure I'll never forget. We wondered what that brown cloud was that suddenly came towards us out of the lake after sunset..
Somehow, these critters survive further south where the mosquitos already flourish My experience is with Alaska rather than Fennoscandia, but I doubt that there is much difference. The warmer climate will mean more vegetation for them to feed on. It seems to me that only real downside to warming for them is that farmers will be able to plant in areas that are now too cold. You can displace the caribou only so far before they have nothing but Arctic Ocean left.
The largest outbreak of malaria in modern times occurred in the 1920s and 1930s in northern Siberia, a territory not noted for its tropical climate. During the epidemic, some 13 million people were infected and 600,000 died; 30,000 of them as far north as the port of Arkhangelsk on the Arctic Circle. Anthropogenic Global Warming is so powerful it can even cause events 80 years or more in the past without changing the temperature!
The Wiki-bloody-pedia has a map of the world's climate zones sourced from the University of Melbourne:
So, can anyone identify which of these climate zones have changed over the last 100 years? For example, where I live (Tasmania) is a maritime temperate climate and would appear to have been so back in the early 19th C never mind the 20th. If we have just experienced a century of "unprecedented global climate change", why hasn't this happened in Tasmania? Or is Tasmania not part of "global"?
Twelve years ago when given a similar question to mine in a university exam, I gave the following:
Six thousand years ago, during the Holocene Optimum/Hypsithermal/Altithermal, what is now the Sahara Desert was a savannah with lakes, rivers, hippopotami, gazelles, giraffes, humans and all manner of beasts and vegetation.
I take it that in my place, you would have asked the invigilator to excuse you while you flew to New Zealand for a quick heart-to-heart with the grandchildren. I was given a Credit in that course. What marks would you have been awarded do you think?
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