×
INTELLIGENT WORK FORUMS
FOR ENGINEERING PROFESSIONALS

Contact US

Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

bird disappearance - is climate change only a minor part of the story?
2

bird disappearance - is climate change only a minor part of the story?

bird disappearance - is climate change only a minor part of the story?

(OP)
There is so much media focus nowadays on the global warming issue and the CO2 emissions. But I am wondering if global warming is not the tree hiding the forest. I read some articles that suggest that about 30% of the bird population have disappeared from North America since the last 40 years. I understand things are inter connected. Is bird loss due to migration or just an absolute loss? Is there identical patterns throughout the rest of the world? is 30% figure realistic? I am afraid this may be much more. Are we facing massively accelerated extinction of birds (in which case there will be no birds anymore in 2 or 3 decades from now?).

I grew up as a kid with sounds of birds, among the many birds I am familiar with is the goldfinch, canary, serin, sparrow, redbreast and many others. Last year in both spring and summer seasons, I just noticed these birds sounds were literally muted.

Another thing I noticed, in the past if for some reason my car windshield was not wiped, say for 3 or 4 days in a row, the visibility decreases because insects and bugs would collapse on it, especially when I drive on the high way. Now its kind of not happening anymore, the windshield may stay clean for days.

Any testimonials?

RE: bird disappearance - is climate change only a minor part of the story?

Some migration, but lots of extinction. Climate bands move relatively quickly, but plants and wildlife don't, so if certain birds are evolved to consume certain plants or bugs that are no longer in their habitat because of CC, then it's likely they'll be doomed, while other birds might be less picky or more adaptable.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: bird disappearance - is climate change only a minor part of the story?

In Australia habitat loss is a big part of the changing wildlife. Marshes get drained and scrubby hedgerows replaced by barbed wire, and then all the local insect life gets wiped out (except flies, we're stuck with them). In the peninsula near where I live scrubby marsh is being turned into housing. Big drainage channels (which are going to be great for mosquitoes) and acres of concrete and asphalt replace what used to be fairly attractive horse paddocks and the like. Having said that, where I actually live we haven't seen much change in 10 years, but we are on the edge of state forest and in that time there have been no real backward steps (maybe two houses), and a local architect has taken some old farmland and is turning it back into natural bush, and an arboretum.

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: bird disappearance - is climate change only a minor part of the story?

Bird populations in NA were much larger a century ago, by some estimates more than 10x what they are today. the lows were in the 60-70's, with today's numbers generally a fair amount higher than the lows.
Habitat loss, food loss (insecticides), toxic chemicals (air and water), and a few more play a role. Considering that the 1 yr mortality rate for song birds is 50% it doesn't take much upset to hurt them badly.
But on a grander scale we really don't know much about overall climate fluctuation. Did we happen to begin pumping tons of CO2 into the atmosphere just as a natural warming cycle was starting?
I have never seen a paper on the long term cycles in climate from China, I would presume that they have the oldest records.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
P.E. Metallurgy

RE: bird disappearance - is climate change only a minor part of the story?

For me, the articles about bug population are some of the most frightening, and your observation about not cleaning the windscreen is supported by myself and longitudinal scientific studies in IIRC germany (75% decrease over the study term) and the Puerto Rican rainforest (a decrease of [frightened expletives] over the study term). I can dig up links when I'm not at work.

RE: bird disappearance - is climate change only a minor part of the story?

(OP)
Will dig into this too and will do a thorough review of scientific publications on the matter. Will post back my findings here.

RE: bird disappearance - is climate change only a minor part of the story?

These are incredibly complex issues. To say that climate change is the cause seems pretty simplistic. We have to better understand the precise reasons for it. Some example of potentially precise knowledge that would elucidate the issue better:
1) The effect of DDT on bird eggs of apex birds.
2) The effect of various pesticides on the insect population. Noting that when I was a kid and driving in the rural areas, we got insane amounts of bugs on our windshields when they were spraying nearby fields. Now many of those fields are dry and barren (not specifically due to climate change, but rather to California water policy for the central valley). Therefore, I don't get bugs on my wind shield.
3) The effect of development on marshlands and the draining of swamps. What percentage of birds nested in those areas and where are they having their young now?
4) Does increased temperatures have a negative effect on marshlands in some way? Less water? More algae in the water which is bad for bird health?
5) Decreased fish populations? (may be over fishing, or global warming related) Which could result in fewer birds that rely on those fish populations for food.
6) Have certain birds (seagulls, ducks, geese) stopped migrating or greatly changed their migrating behavior due to reliance on human activities? Easier to get food at garbage dumps or man made ponds and such? Is the food they're getting at these locations less healthy?
7) The crow population has exploded in my area. Why? They're really smart birds and they are great scavengers. Digging through trash and such. But, is their population explosion having a negative effect on other birds in the area, with the crows attacking other birds, their eggs or their chicks?

Note: almost all of my examples are cases where we could still say the effect is caused by man. But, it's harder to directly link them to global warming.

I tend to think that, while global warming is something to be seriously concerned about, it seems academically (and journalistically) lazy to tie something to global warming without good, specific reasons. The concerns about the polar bear population was, in my opinion, much more robust. a) Polar Bears rely on sea ice to get a lot of their food. b) Ice floats have been less in recent years. c) ergo the decrease in polar bear population can be tied to global warming.

Note: If the rational basis for the Polar Bear assumption is clearly laid out then we (as a responsible population) can re-examine this year after year. Do these facts continue to hold true? Is there a continuing trend? Or, was this an effect that may not be as valid as we previously thought and was previously reported?

RE: bird disappearance - is climate change only a minor part of the story?

I wonder how much is perceived rather than actual. My thinking is that we're a much more urban society these days, and so less encounters with birds and other animals. I don't doubt that we've negatively affected populations with our expansion into their domains and our impact on the environment.

another day in paradise, or is paradise one day closer ?

RE: bird disappearance - is climate change only a minor part of the story?

Sure glad that so many people have nothing more serious to worry about.... the world must be in really good condition

RE: bird disappearance - is climate change only a minor part of the story?

Just remember, if you can link your study to climate change you get an automatic 500% cash bonus, or something like that. Case in point: frogs. Now, I like frogs. Round here we have funny little ones without webbed feet who live under logs. They are cuter than buttons. In mating season they do amazing call and response choruses.

But, somebody noticed that in many places in Australia frogs were dying out. The usual suspects started wittering about climate change.

No, in fact the reason is some disgusting skin fungus that is native to the Korean peninsula, and when amphibians from Korea were brought here as pets, the fungus escaped into the wild. Yes, we (mankind) were responsible, but nothing in particular to do with climate change.

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: bird disappearance - is climate change only a minor part of the story?

greg, ever the cynic ! … on with the "climate change" gravy train.

watched a "Nature" show here, about salt. gone from "research shows salt bad" to "well actually in the original research (of some 50 groups around the world) there was only one group that showed a linkage between salt and -ve health outcomes (a group of some natives in the Amazon I believe), and normally these outliers are discarded" to "further research shows that the body doesn't work as we thought, it is more complex than we thought, and more research is required".

How soon till we hear that litary of woe repeated for cholesterol, 2nd hand smok, and … climate change ?

another day in paradise, or is paradise one day closer ?

RE: bird disappearance - is climate change only a minor part of the story?

Is the claim "climate change is the primary cause of bird loss" that common?

Where I live (Germany) one hot topic is loss of insects (especially bees) ant that is linked to pesticides (Glyphosate mostly) in headlines etc.

Now when I google "bird loss america" and skim some of the first articles that pop up, climate change is not mentioned as a primary cause (if at all).

Kinda ironic that this discussion starts with the question "if global warming is not the tree hiding the forest."

RE: bird disappearance - is climate change only a minor part of the story?

(OP)
"if global warming is not the tree hiding the forest." was meant as : attracting our focus to the point of overlooking other issues probably more severe (or not) probably strongly connected to global warming (or not strongly at all).

RE: bird disappearance - is climate change only a minor part of the story?

The bees thing is plain weird, speaking as a currently disenfranchised beekeeper. The way I heard it is that bees are essential for Almond pollination. But Californian Almond growers also spray their trees to heck. So they pay professional beekeepers to send hives in (big bucks) to pollinate the trees, whilst also blasting them with insecticides.

But the quality of the stats is very poor, there's a lot of self reporting of problems, rather than industry wide surveys.


Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: bird disappearance - is climate change only a minor part of the story?

"attracting our focus to the point of overlooking other issues" - do you see evidence for this? I'd say the push to ban Glyphosate is evidence against this. Then again, the discussion in the US may be totally different.

I think there's little doubt that land use (=habitat loss) and pesticides are strong, immedate drives of species loss.
I think its pretty much consensus among activists and scientists on the climate change from argue that we should drastically reduce meat (especially beef) in our diets. This would reduce agricultural land use for fodder etc which would *also* free up agricultural land as habitat.

One real discussion is wether it's better to have highly intensive, high yield agriculture with a smaller surface footprint, or organic or bioregenerative agriculture that takes more space but is better at carbon sequestration in soil and also serves as habitat.

There probably *is* a critical discussion to be had about land use for biofuels which is far smaller than agriculture but still.

RE: bird disappearance - is climate change only a minor part of the story?

(OP)
"attracting our focus to the point of overlooking other issues" - do you see evidence for this?
In view of "is it the tree that hides the forest or not?", I could argue you that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
Now to your point, if some (whether its all, I do not know) of these issues (namely insects, birds extinction, etc.) are certainly brought to the public attention somehow, question that remains is, are these matters not overshadowed by the global warming problem and the attention that it gets, though I certainly do not want to diminish the amplitude of the global warming threat per se, definitely not.

RE: bird disappearance - is climate change only a minor part of the story?

(OP)
Glyphosate, is not the only pesticide that has been used and how much harm has it caused before action was taken and it has been banned?

https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/charts/61062/june...

RE: bird disappearance - is climate change only a minor part of the story?

Well, with a title like 'Climate-driven declines in arthropod abundance restructure a rainforest food web' I think the authors are leaning toward climate.

https://www.pnas.org/content/115/44/E10397

Quote (From the abstract)

A number of studies indicate that tropical arthropods should be particularly vulnerable to climate warming. If these predictions are realized, climate warming may have a more profound impact on the functioning and diversity of tropical forests than currently anticipated. Although arthropods comprise over two-thirds of terrestrial species, information on their abundance and extinction rates in tropical habitats is severely limited. Here we analyze data on arthropod and insectivore abundances taken between 1976 and 2012 at two midelevation habitats in Puerto Rico’s Luquillo rainforest. During this time, mean maximum temperatures have risen by 2.0 °C. Using the same study area and methods employed by Lister in the 1970s, we discovered that the dry weight biomass of arthropods captured in sweep samples had declined 4 to 8 times, and 30 to 60 times in sticky traps. Analysis of long-term data on canopy arthropods and walking sticks taken as part of the Luquillo Long-Term Ecological Research program revealed sustained declines in abundance over two decades, as well as negative regressions of abundance on mean maximum temperatures. We also document parallel decreases in Luquillo’s insectivorous lizards, frogs, and birds. While El Niño/Southern Oscillation influences the abundance of forest arthropods, climate warming is the major driver of reductions in arthropod abundance, indirectly precipitating a bottom-up trophic cascade and consequent collapse of the forest food web.

As for 'why care about bugs', read the last sentence carefully.

RE: bird disappearance - is climate change only a minor part of the story?

Do you find their conclusion convincing? Their arguments for excluding pesticides and land use as a cause for arthropod loss appear sound, I don't know what other causes one should investigate. I think they mean that extreme temperature events had a stronger effect than the gradual rise.

The other thing I picked up from the paper is that our understanding of what drives bug loss still has huge holes.

RE: bird disappearance - is climate change only a minor part of the story?

(OP)
Shell carried a research in the 80's on effects of CO2 emissions on climate change.
Shell report was leaked recently to public and it is available here:
http://www.climatefiles.com/shell/1988-shell-repor...

In respect to migration of species here is some quote:

III. Terrestrial ecosystems
1. Increased atmospheric atmospheric CO2
2. Climatic change
Increased water use efficiency. Positive response in seeding stage. Stimulation of NEP. competition induced change in total phytomass, and succesive development to • new climax vegetation. Shift of the biospheric action from CO2 source to CO2 sink.
Alterations of ecosystems especially in regions with strong gradients in evapo-transpiration. Major shifts in the global distributions of species.
References used in this section: 29, 32, 34, 37, 55, 65, 67.

4.1.2. Socio-economic implications
The changes in climate, being considered here, are at an unaccustomed distance in time for future planning, even beyond the lifetime of most of the present decision makers but not beyond intimate (family) association. The changes may be the greatest in recorded history. They could alter the environment in such a way that habitability would become more suitable in the one area and less suitable in the other area. Adaptation, migration and replacement could be called for. All of these actions will be costly and uncertain, but could be made acceptable. Of course, all changes will be slow and gradual and, therefore, adaptation and replacement, even migration, need not to be noticeable against the normal trends. Recognition of any impacts may be early enough for man to be able to anticipate and to adapt in time.
The adaptation of the ecosystems on earth to changes in climate, however, will be slow. It would be unrealistic to expect adaptation to occur within a few decades. Therefore, changes in ecosystem stability, disturbance of ecosystem structure and function and even local disappearance of specific ecosystems or habitat destruction could occur. This will be followed by an almost unpredictable, complex process of adaptation of the ecosystems to the changed conditions to reach a new stable situation....


Interesting educational video here:
https://thecorrespondent.com/6285/shell-made-a-fil...

Actually both Shell and Exxon were aware based on serious research information about climate change consequences and the information was apparently available to them not to the public at that point in time.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-co...

Here is a link to the Exxon study (1982)
http://www.climatefiles.com/exxonmobil/1982-memo-t...

In an American Association for the Advanoement of Science (AAAS) and Department of Energy (DOE) sponsored workshop on the environmental and societal consequences of a possible CO, induced climate change, other factors such as the environmental effects of'CO, concentration on weeds and pests were considered. The general consensus was that these unmanaged species would tend to thrive with increasing average global temperature. The managed biosphere, such as agriculture, would also tend to benefit from atmospheric CO, growth. This is • consequence of CO, benefiting agriculture, provided the other key nutrients, phosphorous and nit?ogen, are present in the right proportions.

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login


Resources

Low-Volume Rapid Injection Molding With 3D Printed Molds
Learn methods and guidelines for using stereolithography (SLA) 3D printed molds in the injection molding process to lower costs and lead time. Discover how this hybrid manufacturing process enables on-demand mold fabrication to quickly produce small batches of thermoplastic parts. Download Now
Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM)
Examine how the principles of DfAM upend many of the long-standing rules around manufacturability - allowing engineers and designers to place a part’s function at the center of their design considerations. Download Now
Taking Control of Engineering Documents
This ebook covers tips for creating and managing workflows, security best practices and protection of intellectual property, Cloud vs. on-premise software solutions, CAD file management, compliance, and more. Download Now

Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close