changes in weather trends and their effects 2008

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Glimbo
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changes in weather trends and their effects 2008

Post by Glimbo » Wed Jun 11, 2008 5:35 pm

What new or ongoing ecological/environmental changes or threats to native species have been observed so far this year as a reaction to the ongoing changes due to changes in weather trends.

Are there any Native or Naturalised flora or fauna that are benefitting from the above or are any species at imminent risk of being lost?


g
:(

RB
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Post by RB » Wed Jun 11, 2008 6:20 pm

I think it's more of a long term thing which we are unlikely to notice without study of particular species for an extended period.

The threats to our biodiversity take place at a far faster rate than that however, and are all related to direct human intervention.

RB

robcar
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Post by robcar » Tue Jun 17, 2008 5:16 pm

A case in point COULD be the Mediterranean barracuda which was a formerly uncommon fish in Maltese waters but has increased considerably over the last decade or so. It is typically a fish that likes warmer waters, so it is likely that changing climate has at least a partial role in this. However it is probably difficult to establish with certainty.

RB
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Post by RB » Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:01 pm

I think that is more to do with serious disturbances in the marine ecosystem caused primarily by overfishing, especially of top-tier predatory species.

About 15 yrs ago snorkelling one would almost certainly see octopi, and often of a very reasonably decent size.

Nowadays if you see one you are lucky, and more often than not it is just a few inches in size.

Taking out just one species out of its evolutionary niche often has repercussions which would at first seem totally unconnected.

Nat Geo had an article which showed how the re-introduction of wolves led to more riverside bird life (!!).

Deer would no longer graze at the water's edge, with a rearwards escape route blocked by the river. So the riverside vegetation, shrubs and trees flourished... more birds!!

Obversely, the introduction of alien species can have a similar effect. Right now I wonder what effect the relatively new crab species has, all I do know is that the rocky shallows are absolutely covered in them.

RB

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Post by robcar » Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:33 am

Yes you could very well be right. That is why I said that the increase could possibly be connected with climate change and that this could partially explain the phenomenon.

It is reasonable to argue that overfishing of certain predators could possibly create vacant niches which in turn could be exploited by other adaptable species which will take over their role.

Glimbo
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Post by Glimbo » Wed Jun 25, 2008 10:15 am

In the UK we are already experiencing 'abnormal' weather patterns, thought to be due to the movement of the Gulf Stream and changes in the direction of prevailing winds, both due to the increased melting of the Polar Cap.
Our winters are now very mild and there are rapid fluctuations in weather conditions. More 'freak' weather conditions than have been experienced previously, and species such as The Snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis), although a naturalised (rather than 'native') is only one of the many species under threat in 'the wild'.

g :(

RB
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Post by RB » Wed Jun 25, 2008 12:17 pm

We are a tiny rock surrounded by sea, which has a dampening effect IMHO on any extreme weather. I do believe that "weather" per se on a small island like ours will naturally fluctuate, sometimes considerably, and it is difficult to notice changes except by proper study over a long period.

I suppose there are clouds bigger than Malta and if an extra couple come our way, we have a "wet" year, if the contrary, they pass just offshore, a "dry" one!

E.g. some years rain starts around mid Sep and by beginning of Oct Malta is greening. Sometimes it is mid Oct that green starts showing. One year, Malta was completely brown till the beginning of November!

Couple of years back IIRC (was it last year?) we had freak rains (one day) in July (?) with massive flooding. Only takes a couple of rain clouds passing a bit further south than normal...

RB

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