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(7,712 posts)
Sat Oct 6, 2012, 01:27 PM Oct 2012

Scientists Adopt Tiny Island as a Warming Bellwether


Scientists Adopt Tiny Island as a Warming Bellwether

TATOOSH ISLAND, Wash. — From a stretch of rocky shoreline on this tiny island, one can, on any given morning, watch otters floating on their backs, elephant seals hauling out of the water and a bald eagle flying past murres huddled along a cliff face. The startled birds perform a synchronized dive into the sea, their ovoid black-and-white bodies resembling miniature penguins.

It appears as if the island’s wildlife is thriving at this remote outpost, which is also a former Coast Guard station crowned by a decommissioned lighthouse. It was also once a whaling base for the Makah tribe, who maintain treaty rights to the land.

But for over four decades, with the blessing of Makah leaders, Tatoosh has been the object of intense biological scrutiny, and scientists say they are seeing disturbing declines across species — changes that could prove a bellwether for oceanic change globally.

Cathy Pfister and Timothy Wootton, both biology professors at the University of Chicago, have been trekking to the island since the 1980s, often accompanying their former graduate adviser, Robert T. Paine, a nominally retired zoology professor from the University of Washington. At 79, Dr. Paine still returns to Tatoosh several times a year to continue the ecological research he began in the 1960s. ...

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Scientists Adopt Tiny Island as a Warming Bellwether (Original Post) jsr Oct 2012 OP
When we reach the tipping point when nothing we can do will save the earth... joycejnr Oct 2012 #1
The Earth will survive. Igel Oct 2012 #3
I heard a funny story the other day... joycejnr Oct 2012 #4
K&R flamingdem Oct 2012 #2


(326 posts)
1. When we reach the tipping point when nothing we can do will save the earth...
Sat Oct 6, 2012, 01:31 PM
Oct 2012

...I think I'll start a stampede to run the Conservative leaders down in the streets and then to string them up from the lamp posts a la Mussolini, the ones in Congress that kept us from doing something before it was too late, the ones that sneered at the scientists' warnings.

For anyone with kids and grandkids, the prognosis for Mother Earth must be frightening.


(35,425 posts)
3. The Earth will survive.
Sat Oct 6, 2012, 05:44 PM
Oct 2012

It survived the introduction of oxygen into the atmosphere and the environmental catastrophe that followed.

It survived having plants suddenly increase the erosion of rocks on land while preventing the release of minerals into the oceans.

It survived being a snowball. It survived the breakup of Pangea and other supercontinents. And their creation.

It survived asteroid strikes that produced mass extinction events and mass extinction events that we're still seeking the causes of.

What's at risk is the environmental status quo, keeping the Earth's environment as it has been for the last 100 years or so.

What's at risk is the political and demographic status quo as the result of changing weather patterns.


(326 posts)
4. I heard a funny story the other day...
Sun Oct 7, 2012, 12:59 PM
Oct 2012

...long story short:

Someone asked his Oiuja Board what the common characteristics were of the other dead planets in the solar system. The answer came back, "They all discovered the internal combustion engine."

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