Spanish plover couples fight climate change


This video says about itself:

5 jun. 2016

Kentish Plover family in a northern Valencia coastal wetland (Spain)

By FECYT – Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology:

Breeding pairs of birds cooperate to resist climate change

June 5, 2017

Summary: Most bird chicks need parental care to survive. In biparental species the chicks have greater chances of success if both parents participate in this task, especially under hostile situations. An international team of scientists has revealed that when temperatures rise, males and females in pairs of plovers shift incubation more frequently.

Climate change causes ecological variation and affects the lives of animals. The ever-earlier springs and later autumns caused by rising temperatures cause changes to animals’ physiology, breeding seasons and even population distributions. However, little is still known about how animals behave in response to these disturbances.

A team of scientists, working in collaboration with the Doñana Biological Station (EBD-CSIC), has studied the influence of climate change on incubation in plovers (Charadrius spp.), a genus of shorebirds spread over six continents, with a total of 33 species.

Many plover species nest on the ground in sites where there is no plant cover to detect more easily approaching predators, but where their nests receive direct sunlight.

“This can represent a significant challenge,” as indicated by Juan A. Amat, a researcher at the EBD and one of the authors of the study, which was published recently in the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography.

The scientist adds that the situation can become complicated for birds in the middle of the day, “when incubating adults may not be able to tolerate the high temperatures.” Typically, the optimum temperature adults provide for embryonic development is 35-39 ºC.

“In many bird species where both mates participate in incubation, one sex, generally the female, incubates by day, while the other (the male) does it by night,” Amat explains. However, under hot conditions greater cooperation would be needed between males and females.

Males participate in daytime incubation

One solution under changing climates would be to shorten the duration of incubation shifts between the sexes. The paper, which was led by the University of Bath (United Kingdom), analysed the behaviour of 36 populations of 12 plover species. Its results reveal that male plovers assist the females during daytime incubation.

“Males’ participation in daytime incubation increases both with ambient temperature and with as the variability of maximum temperatures during the incubation period,” the expert stresses.

The research demonstrates that a rise in temperature changes these bird pairs’ behaviour and their daily routine in terms of nest attendance. “This flexibility of parental cooperation would facilitate responses to the impact of climate change on populations’ reproductive biology,” explains Amat, who considers that the reason behind the male’s increased help is the need to better protect the embryos from extreme conditions.

Previous studies have confirmed that environmental instability has an influence on the early stage of reproduction and the lives of birds, and that unpredictable variations in the environment also affect how bird pairs cooperate in caring for their offspring. The conclusion of this new paper is that climate variations strongly influence parental cooperation.

Highly protected marine reserves can help mitigate against the impacts of climate change, a study by a team of international scientists has concluded: here.

Worldwide protests against Trump’s anti-climate decision


This video says about itself:

2 June 2017

Demonstrations took place in several places around the world after US President Donald Trump announced the country would withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord.

Trumps damages climate, reactions


This video from the USA says about itself:

Some Men Just Want To Watch The World Burn

1 June 2017

Trump has officially announced the US will be backing out of the Paris climate deal. Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian, hosts of The Young Turks, discuss.

“During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump repeatedly threatened that he would exit the landmark 2015 Paris climate accord, an international treaty signed by 195 countries pledging to fight climate change, were he to win the election. Unfortunately for all of us living on this increasingly warm planet, it seems, in this case, he’s decided to stick to his word.

On Thursday, the White House confirmed that Trump had decided to pull out of the Paris climate deal. Minutes before Trump made the announcement, as a Marine jazz band played in the White House rose garden, a White House memo was sent out explaining his decision. “The Paris Accord is a BAD deal for Americans, and the President’s action today is keeping his campaign promise to put American workers first,” it read. The withdrawal comes only days after the president met with global leaders at the G7 summit in Sicily, where he notably refused to sign a pledge promising to significantly reduce carbon emissions, made vague threats toward America’s NATO allies, and provoked German chancellor Angela Merkel to remark over the weekend that “the era in which we could rely completely on others is gone, at least partially.””

Read more here.

From BirdLife:

1 June 2017

Trump pulls US out of Paris Agreement – BirdLife’s reaction

Donald Trump has pulled the United States out of the Paris Agreement – an international treaty adopted by nearly 200 countries to limit the impacts of one of the biggest threats to people and nature of our time – climate change. BirdLife International, along with Audubon (BirdLife in the US), has issued a statement reacting to this shocking news

By Alex Dale

BirdLife International is deeply disappointed by US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. Not only is this decision naïve and isolationist, it is wholly immoral.

The Paris Agreement is critical for the future of our planet. It provides a strong framework for taking ambitious action to mitigate climate change, and to help people and ecosystems across the globe adapt to its impacts.

The Paris Agreement, adopted by almost 200 countries, is too robust to be broken by any one nation. Country after country – both developed and developing – have reaffirmed their commitment to implement the Agreement. Trump’s withdrawal from the Agreement will not stop global action on climate change.

Birds are powerful messengers showing us how our climate is changing”, says Patricia Zurita, CEO, BirdLife International. “A quarter of species studied in detail already show negative responses to recent climate change and 2,300 bird species worldwide are highly vulnerable to further change.”

“Scrapping the Paris climate agreement is an abdication of American leadership in the fight against the biggest threat facing people and birds,” says David Yarnold, President & CEO, Audubon (BirdLife’s Partner in the US).

“Our kids and grandkids are the losers in this misguided decision. So are 314 species of birds that Audubon already knows are at risk because of climate change. We don’t believe that’s what Americans voted for in November.”

While the US abdicates their leadership, other countries are stepping forward. BirdLife congratulates the EU and China on their commitment to forge a new alliance and provide global leadership on climate change.

BirdLife International will continue to work tirelessly with our 122 national Partners across the globe to deliver climate solutions for nature and people…with or without Trump.

For more information about the impacts of climate change, and the solutions that the BirdLife Partnership is pioneering, please read our global synthesis report, The Messengers.

THE PARIS AGREEMENT – quick facts

  • Agreement adopted in 2015 in Paris
  • Ratified by 147 Parties to date
  • Entered into force on 4 November 2016 (record time and much before expected)
  • The adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015 was a major success in multilateralism. One hundred and ninety-five governments committed: to hold average global temperature “well below 2°C” and pursue efforts to hold it within 1.5°C above preindustrial levels; to increase the ability to adapt to climate change and deliver climate-resilient, low-carbon development; and to make finance flows sufficient to achieve these objectives.

  • For the first time in history we have a global climate change agreement that recognises the critical role of forests, oceans and other ecosystems in combatting climate change and helping communities to adapt. The Agreement also stresses the need to ensure the integrity of ecosystems and the protection of biodiversity when taking action to address climate change. This is critical for safeguarding ecosystems and ensuring that climate change actions are truly sustainable.

  • Cities, regions and businesses have all made commitments to address climate change and have endorsed the Agreement.

Trump administration announces US withdrawal from Paris climate agreement. The move, which repudiates even the most modest targets for greenhouse gas emissions reductions, takes place amidst growing conflicts between the major powers and a raging political crisis within the US. By Daniel de Vries, 2 June 2017: here.

Beavers save salmon from climate change


This video from the USA says about itself:

26 March 2013

Presenter Dr. Jimmy Taylor shares information about Oregon‘s state animal – the beaver – and how we benefit from their activity. Taylor is a supervisory research wildlife biologist and field station leader for the National Wildlife Research Center in Corvallis, Oregon. His research project focuses on understanding human-wildlife conflicts and improving management strategies to reduce damage by forest and aquatic mammals, with an emphasis on non-lethal tools and techniques.

North America’s largest rodent, the beaver, was once the most widely distributed mammal but virtually trapped to extinction in the early 1800’s for its pelt. A decline in demand for its fur and proper wildlife management helped beaver to become reestablished in much of their former range. While beaver foraging and building activities can cause flooding, damaging private property; beaver ponds and dams are also good for Oregon’s native fish and other wildlife. Beaver activities can also benefit private landowners by controlling downstream flooding and creating wetlands which improve water quality and facilitate ground water recharge. If managed correctly, conflict with beaver can be minimized.

From PLOS ONE:

Alteration of stream temperature by natural and artificial beaver dams

May 17, 2017

Abstract

Beavers are an integral component of hydrologic, geomorphic, and biotic processes within North American stream systems, and their propensity to build dams alters stream and riparian structure and function[s] to the benefit of many aquatic and terrestrial species.

Recognizing this, beaver relocation efforts and/or application of structures designed to mimic the function of beaver dams are increasingly being utilized as effective and cost-efficient stream and riparian restoration approaches. Despite these verities, the notion that beaver dams negatively impact stream habitat remains common, specifically the assumption that beaver dams increase stream temperatures during summer to the detriment of sensitive biota such as salmonids.

In this study, we tracked beaver dam distributions and monitored water temperature throughout 34 km of stream for an eight-year period between 2007 and 2014. During this time the number of natural beaver dams within the study area increased by an order of magnitude, and an additional 4 km of stream were subject to a restoration manipulation that included installing a high-density of Beaver Dam Analog (BDA) structures designed to mimic the function of natural beaver dams.

Our observations reveal several mechanisms by which beaver dam development may influence stream temperature regimes; including longitudinal buffering of diel summer temperature extrema at the reach scale due to increased surface water storage, and creation of cool—water channel scale temperature refugia through enhanced groundwater—surface water connectivity. Our results suggest that creation of natural and/or artificial beaver dams could be used to mitigate the impact of human induced thermal degradation that may threaten sensitive species.

In this way, beavers save sensitive species like salmon, which cannot live in warm water.

Interviewed by Dutch daily De Volkskrant on this today, Belgian Antwerp University beaver expert Kristijn Swinnen thinks that the European relatives of American beavers may in similar ways benefit European relatives of American salmon and other species threatened by climate change. European beavers came back in the Netherlands only recently after having been exterminated there in the nineteenth century.

Trump administration, climate denialism and the Arctic


This video from the USA says about itself:

Tillerson Agrees Climate Change Is Hurting The Arctic, Contradicting Trump Admin Policies

13 May 2017

The Secretary of State stopped short of linking climate change to human activity, when he signed the Fairbanks Document this week in Alaska. But Janet Redmond of Oil Change International says the Trump administration is still denying the urgency of the warming planet.