Thursday, June 10, 2010

Ents & The Entities Become Nomadic

If a keyword on this post is biomimicry, why is "Ent" in the title?

Before the answer begins, let's contemplate some statements by scientists from a few years ago.

At that time the study was probably poo pooed by the climate change deniers.

But we can't debate the undebatable, so let's move on and reflect on the words of those scientists:

"Geographers have projected temperature increases due to greenhouse gas emissions to reach a not-so-chilling conclusion: climate zones will shift and some climates will disappear completely by 2100. Tropical highlands and polar regions may be the first to disappear, and large swaths of the tropics and subtropics will reach even hotter temperatures. The study anticipates large climate changes worldwide."

(Completely New Climates). Ok, so how does that tie in to the Ents and Nomads?

For those who do not know what an "Ent" is, let's start off with this:

Ents are an old race ... Shepherds of the Trees to protect the forests from ... perils ... the Ents were sentient beings ...

(Wikipedia - Ent). They are tree-like mythical creatures that could move their locus from place to place, making them totally unlike the real trees.

Right?

Wrong.

New scientific studies, following up on the climate change studies linked to and quoted above, show that in fact the trees are moving out of Dodge:

Vegetation around the world is on the move, and climate change is the culprit, according to a new analysis of global vegetation shifts led by a University of California, Berkeley, ecologist in collaboration with researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

In a paper published June 7 in the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography, researchers present evidence that over the past century, vegetation has been gradually moving toward the poles and up mountain slopes, where temperatures are cooler, as well as toward the equator, where rainfall is greater.

(Major Vegetation Shifts, emphasis added). The Earth's vegetation has enough sense to move when it is in danger.

Biomimicry is what the human species does when it sees some beneficial behavior in the biosphere that helps us.

Could this be a harbinger of things in store for us?

6 comments:

Gail said...

Hi, just found your blog, bookmarked!

I do not think vegetation is so much on the move, as it is dying off.

http://witsendnj.blogspot.com/2010/06/cognitive-dissonance-in-costa-rica.html

Dredd said...

Gail,

The scientific evidence is compelling that "vegetation around the world is on the move ..."

Personal beliefs do not trump that.

That vegetation is dying off is only evidence that it is dying off, which is true, but it does not negate the volume of evidence that vegetation is also moving as global climate change and global warming move in.

Gail said...

I didn't mean to imply that NO vegetation is relocating. My point is that any migration will be eclipsed by die-off, for the simple reason that hundreds of thousands of years of evolution have developed intricate, complex ecosystems where individual species - whether plant or animal - occupy a unique niche in which they are dependent upon the relationships with the environment they inhabit.

It is like a house of cards, the cards being temperature, UV radiation, moisture, precipitation, soil and atmospheric chemistry, pollination, food supply, and on and on. You don't have to be a paleoclimatologist, all you have to do is "believe" in the theory of evolution to understand that climate change always must lead to mass extinctions.

The notion that species will successfully move in the long run in response to a linear, gradual increase in temps or precipitation may be comforting but it ignores the sudden, violent consequences of unprecedentedly rapid global heating.

I have even read of scientists looking for funding to transport butterflies, hoping they will adapt to higher elevations. Just because they are credentialed academics doesn't mean they are immune from magical thinking!

Dredd said...

Gail,

You raise the spectre and question "how fast can species evolve to changing conditions".

We shall see.

That is The Test of ecocosmology after all!

Randy said...

Some move one way, while others move another way. Either way, they are on the move.

Science Daily

Randy said...

A new study agrees with this post. Link