Global Warming: Canaries in the Coal Mine Warn That Humans Are In Trouble
Global warming in now broadly accepted as the greatest conservation challenge facing birds and humans. The science is now accepted around the world that the earth is becoming so hot as to threaten wildlife and humans alike in the near future. We are fortunate in Colorado to have one of the highest concentrations of climate scientists in the world associated with the NCAR and NOAA and CU, which means we have available some of the best science in the world for our region. We are unfortunate in that CO and much of the west is heating up more than most of the rest of the country.
Impacts on Birds and Other Animals:
Global warming is not just about longer, hotter summers but will likely include.increased wildfires and drought, decreased snowpack and upwardly-moving treelines, and more invasive plant and animal pests. The International Panel on Climate Change predicts that 50-52% of all avian species will decrease in abundance by at least a quarter of their current population , due to changes in geography, reproduction, migration, and pest outbreaks all precipitated by global warming. According to the IPCC, we will see 1/3 of all animal species disappear over the next few decades from complexities associate with the warming of our earth. As in the historical coal mines, these losses with birds and other wildlife predict problems for our species as well.
Impacts on Humans:
In human terms, we will see 100s of millions of environmental refugees in this century, increased air pollution, the spread of tropical diseases, water shortages and contamination, and increased frequency of famines.
Colorado farmers, ranchers, anglers, and hunters will see the land and habitats they depend on change and perhaps become unusable. Coloradoans who live on or below the poverty line will face problems hotter months when they can’t afford air conditioning.
Humans have caused this and we can reverse it. Whether it is by changing things at home and at work or by becoming involved with local, state and/or federal governments, your actions will make a difference with global warming. Go to our website: www.rockies.audubon.org to find solutions that
you can enact. Also, you can find tips on writing your governmental representatives, and letters to the editor. Lastly, sign up on our e-activist list (http://audubonaction.org/campaign/climateactionpledge) and
we will send you updates on ways to take action we will not send you any solicitations or use your email address for ANY other purpose. We all want to make sure that canaries continue to sing so please help reduce global warming in any way you can.