Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Volunteer publishes comprehensive study of climate change at Rainier

The Crow's Perspective (an editorial): In June of 2011, volunteer Kevin Ford published a 31-page document called, "The impacts of climate change at Mt. Rainier National Park" (a pdf file). In reviewing material for the volunteer blog, the paper crossed my desk. I was so substantially impressed by his research that I have been working with him to make the document available in the public domain so that it may be read in its entirety by anyone concerned with the undeniable shifts of climate now being experienced globally.

Hoverfly on Rosy Spirea

In this work, the reader will gain a better understanding of how every single species has its ecological niche, and how a seemingly small change here can lead to a greater change there, subsequently impacting yet another aspect of our natural world further up the chain. For example, you will learn how a slight alteration in global temperature allows plant species to intrude into higher elevations where they have not previously been known; forest replacing meadow, one bird species replacing another, habitat shifting to higher elevations or disappearing altogether. On one hand, you will see that species such as the pika, the marmot, the ptarmigan and others are sensitive to the reduction and fragmentation of alpine meadow while on the other, you discover that lower forests are in jeopardy from insect incursions, outburst flooding and increased danger of fire.

This paper is well worth a good, hard read. It moved me, and I hope it will move you as well. I encourage you to share it on Facebook, in your personal blogs, and with your friends. One square foot of lost habitat can make a difference, but so can one person. Be part of a positive change!

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