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Old 10-01-2017, 03:24 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
4,318 posts, read 1,774,648 times
Reputation: 3277

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryK123 View Post
I'm not saying climate isn't changing. It's always changing. There are changes during every time period you might define. Still, 300 years is a very thin slice out of 4 billion years.

Take last week, for example. Might as well extrapolate that, too, and say based on last week's weather, the front range is no longer a semi-arid desert, but it has transformed into a temperate cloud forest like parts of the South Island of New Zealand.
The difference is your opinion isn't checked and tested by hundreds of people. Science works by peer review and data not just making stuff up liken you just did.
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Old 10-01-2017, 04:15 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
4,760 posts, read 4,875,749 times
Reputation: 16974
Climate change is happening faster than our ability to respond


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1MZ8U8C9c8
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Old 10-02-2017, 10:59 PM
 
Location: Denver
3,160 posts, read 2,610,159 times
Reputation: 2168
Quote:
Originally Posted by Last1Out View Post
I just looked at the property I had built in Loveland, Colorado when I lived there in 1977, and noticed the Aspen trees I planted there 40 years ago are alive and flourishing. The sale price of the house today, though, is really stupid, 10 times more than what it cost me back then and even then I thought that was too much.
The same aspen trees or are they children of the ones you planted? From my experience, aspens are like a lawn, you mow down the big ones and let the little ones come up from the roots. That doesn't do well in a formalised landscape setting though.
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Old 10-16-2017, 02:35 AM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,695 posts, read 4,316,630 times
Reputation: 10257
Exclamation Pikas – canaries in the coal mine!

I posted about the plight of the Colorado pika a couple of years back, and since then, things have only gotten worse for our cute little friends – surely as emblematic of Colorado as the Broncos or a marijuana plant. If you have spent any time up near or above timberline, chances are that you may have encountered a colony of pikas. They are small creatures about 7 inches long which look a little like hamsters. Actually, they are really members of the rabbit family in disguise. They are especially adapted to high elevations and cool temperatures. A pika can die if forced to tolerate temperatures higher than 25.5 C or a brisk 78 F. It’s no wonder they stick to higher elevations. Forget finding any below about 8,200 feet. Here in the San Juans, I haven’t seen pikas as low as 8,000 feet for several years now. This doesn’t surprise me. This summer, I was camped at almost 9,000 feet and the temperature was already close to 80 degrees by 9 AM. Any pikas around would have succumbed to heat stroke...






This high sensitivity to temperature makes the pika a sort of early warning system for temperature increases in Colorado’s high mountains. When it becomes too warm, pikas usually have only one option for survival – climb higher. But in Colorado a pika who is too warm at 14,000 plus feet can only launch itself off into space and hope for the best. Alas for both pikas and the humans who are intrigued by them, this hope is a forlorn one. Researchers at Rocky Mountain National Park predict that at the current rate of temperature change, the pika will be extinct by 2100.

These little guys certainly don’t deserve to go extinct thanks to we humans and our greed for carbon based energy sources. Not only are they cute, they are very courageous when defending their territory. If you chance across a family of pikas, they will all go still for several minutes. However, if you don’t have the courtesy to go on your way, they will start making shrill and very loud calls at you. Like, “Get offa my lawn you ugly big two-legged thing! I mean NOW! You have to hand it to a little rabbit that would mouth off that way at a human.





The pikas want to get back to their summer hay making activities and they don’t appreciate us getting in the way. Pikas gather grass and flowers all summer and leave them in little hay piles to dry. In order to make it through the winter, each pika needs to make enough hay to fill a bathtub. That’s an awful lot of grass and alpine flowers! A pika can live as long as 7 years if they have an adequate habitat. All in all, they are industrious, brave little animals who love the mountains just like any other Coloradan does. It’s too sad to think that they might vanish completely off the face of the earth in such a relatively short time from now.

In response to the threat to the pika, a study on how we might save the pika from extinction has been launched. It’s called Pikas in Peril and it’s a collaborative research program directed by scientists from the National Park Service, Oregon State University, University of Idaho, and University of Colorado-Boulder.

Want to help? Join the Front Range Pika Patrol!





The Front Range Pika Project is a citizen science program that engages the public in conservation research on the American pika. Pika Patrol volunteers follow monitoring protocols to collect data about pikas and their habitat in high altitude field sites, thereby informing efforts to assess whether pikas are impacted by climate change. The project will provide long-term data to aid the conservation of this little-understood alpine species and its associated habitats.

It’s too late to do anything for the rest of 2017, but next year the Front Range Pika Patrol will be at it again – scrambling down talus slopes and hopefully NOT falling off cliffs in order to gather more data on our small friends. Check out their website:

FRPP - Welcome to the Front Range Pika Project!

For more tech oriented (but still readable) scientific papers on the pika’s plight check the links below:

https://science.nature.nps.gov/im/un...s_in_peril.cfm

https://irma.nps.gov/DataStore/Reference/Profile/664550
Attached Thumbnails
Colorado’s Climate is going South – in more ways than one!-pika_hay_344x344.jpg   Colorado’s Climate is going South – in more ways than one!-pika-warning.jpg   Colorado’s Climate is going South – in more ways than one!-pika-yum.jpg  
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Old 10-16-2017, 10:19 AM
 
5,285 posts, read 2,733,498 times
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Oh, one of my favorite critters! (As you might guess from the username.)

I want to make it clear that pikas DO have one option when temps rise too high--for a short time. They have burrows, and temps below ground stay cooler. However, long-term heat means they cannot run around gathering food for the winter. Can't make hay when they are confined to the tunnels.

Anybody who has watched them for hours on a late-summer day knows these little bundles of energy go, go, go all day working to store enough food to last the very long alpine winters. They are paragons of planning ahead for tough times.

My spirit soared on a day in early June after an especially rough winter, when one extremely raggedy/scruffy/scrawny pika scampered on top of a rock and screamed defiantly: I AM ALIVE!!!! These little guys are all lung and fur. Just before they call, you can see their body swell up with air and then lurch forward as they call out, "deflating" themselves. Truly an amazing sight and sound. To me, it signals that spring has finally arrived above timberline.

Years ago I read about a monitoring project in the Sierras. For that one, grad students and volunteers had to backpack to remote sites and stay put for extended periods.

I am glad to see a study has FINALLY begun in the Front Range. Plenty of volunteers, and easier access.

Though I no longer live in the Front Range, next summer a couple of trips there are likely. Maybe they would accept a volunteer who can only do a couple of field visits.

Thanks for the beautiful post!

Last edited by Mike from back east; 10-16-2017 at 10:33 AM.. Reason: Merged 2:1
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Old 10-22-2017, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Sector 001
7,233 posts, read 6,406,304 times
Reputation: 8271
Forests are supposed to burn every 100-150 years or so. There's nothing heartbreaking about watching a natural process at work. When people choose to build a McMansion in the middle of a forest which is known by scientists to burn to the ground every 100 years or so, you take your chances.

Hiking in some of the forests in the Black Hills.. the number of dead tree trunks and rotting vegetation on the forest floor makes it a very unappealing hike at times. You walk around and it's clear that forests are designed and evolved to go through burn cycles and when a fire finally does start it's intense because of all the efforts to keep them contained over the years causes even more vegetation to dry out and make for good tinder.
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Old 10-22-2017, 08:56 AM
 
5,314 posts, read 7,149,157 times
Reputation: 5044
Yes, forests are supposed to burn periodically. When we suppress it the burns when they do come are much hotter and kill trees that normally would have survived, at least in certain kinds of forests. However, having dead trees and rotting vegetation in a forest is also normal - it is not supposed to be tidy and clean - and many of the wildlife in forests depend on that decaying matter for habitat, food, shelter, etc., and we go around and clean it all up we effectively sterilize the area from natural wildlife. We would do better to just leave things alone a lot more often than we do. When it comes to global warming, however, leaving it alone i.e. doing nothing is not actually leaving it alone because it lets the alterations we have already created and caused to continue to their worst extremes, allowing for change faster than living things can typically adapt via natural processes.
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Old 10-22-2017, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,764 posts, read 16,821,260 times
Reputation: 9316
Quote:
Originally Posted by otowi View Post
Yes, forests are supposed to burn periodically. When we suppress it the burns when they do come are much hotter and kill trees that normally would have survived, at least in certain kinds of forests. However, having dead trees and rotting vegetation in a forest is also normal - it is not supposed to be tidy and clean - and many of the wildlife in forests depend on that decaying matter for habitat, food, shelter, etc., and we go around and clean it all up we effectively sterilize the area from natural wildlife. We would do better to just leave things alone a lot more often than we do. When it comes to global warming, however, leaving it alone i.e. doing nothing is not actually leaving it alone because it lets the alterations we have already created and caused to continue to their worst extremes, allowing for change faster than living things can typically adapt via natural processes.
The arrogance of the human animal, believing itself to be the superior being of all creation!
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Old 10-22-2017, 09:54 AM
 
5,285 posts, read 2,733,498 times
Reputation: 9791
Quote:
Originally Posted by otowi View Post
Yes, forests are supposed to burn periodically. When we suppress it the burns when they do come are much hotter and kill trees that normally would have survived, at least in certain kinds of forests. However, having dead trees and rotting vegetation in a forest is also normal - it is not supposed to be tidy and clean - and many of the wildlife in forests depend on that decaying matter for habitat, food, shelter, etc., and we go around and clean it all up we effectively sterilize the area from natural wildlife. We would do better to just leave things alone a lot more often than we do. When it comes to global warming, however, leaving it alone i.e. doing nothing is not actually leaving it alone because it lets the alterations we have already created and caused to continue to their worst extremes, allowing for change faster than living things can typically adapt via natural processes.
Beautifully stated.
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Old 10-22-2017, 01:19 PM
 
1,553 posts, read 2,811,135 times
Reputation: 1989
Finally some sensible posts in this thread.
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