Summer ‘Bugs’

October 14, 2015

648909_9122271_lzAs we luxuriate here in a sweet summer-like day…

We as humans ain’t ready — via Phys.org this morning and ‘…a paper published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, outlining what they describe as the dangers of living in an “eternal summer.”
By artificially changing the environment we live in, they argue, we may be working against health related bodily systems that have evolved over many years to protect us from dangers unique to each season.

Hand-in-hand (from today’s Grist): ‘A new study published in journal Environmental Research Letters looked at the onset of flower blooms and leaf bursts, and found that by the end of the century, climate change could hasten spring’s arrival by an average of 23 days earlier than normal across the U.S.’

(Illustration above found here).

And add thermals to the wound as this year likely to be the warmest ever — Climate Central, also today: ‘According to NASA’s global temperature archive, this September was the second warmest on record (going back to 1880), second only to September 2014. The year-to-date is the warmest on record, and “with three-quarters of the year already done, the ability to change things in the last three months is limited,” Gavin Schmidt, head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, which keeps the temperature records, said in an email.’

In context of climate change, and how will a warming world effect my local weather — in this area along California’s north coast used to carry a long, fairly-heavy rain season. Now now so much — a way-interesting post can be found at Real Climate, which attempts to explain climate change and the impact on the local level.
Yet like a lot of science, most of the shit in the piece is over-my-head and out the window, except this, fairly obvious:

The local climate can be regarded as the same as weather statistics, providing a picture of expected ranges and occurrences of different atmospheric phenomena.
A climate change then implies a change in the weather statistics, with changes in frequencies and ranges.
Some weather phenomena are dangerous, and hence a change in their occurrence means there will be a change in weather-related risks.

However, seemingly the best overall gist-explanation/example on the influence of global-warming on the home front, came from a reader in the comments section:

As far as people noticing climate change at the local level, biological changes are probably most persuasive.
Especially pests.
I’m in central Vermont, and we’ve just received ticks, and the general opinion that is because it is warmer.
There are public health warnings about Lyme disease.
This is very noticeable because it is a stark change.
Weather, in contrast, is variable and climate changes are very gradual.
It is hard to “feel” that things are different, and climate changes in and of themselves are not distressing in one’s everyday life.
There are many such discrete biological changes in communities.
Poison ivy came here several years ago.
Weeds, like cheatgrass, are moving north.
Because of the tragedy-of-the-commons situation, not much can be done about AGW until innumerable local communities suffer through such changes.

So, in keeping with the comedic view of the future, and a quasi sci-fi scenario of a maybe-future necessity — from Medical Daily last Friday:

Researchers from the University of Oxford pitted insects against main meat sources in America, like chicken, steak, and pork to see which one was actually more nutritious.
Published in Nature, the study used two models to help them arrive at a conclusion: Ofcom and Nutrient Value Scores (NVS).
Ofcom uses a scoring system that takes a 100-gram sample of a particular food and tallies up the amount of energy, sodium, saturated fat, and sugars that are in the sample on a scale of 1 to 100.
The closer the total score is to 100, the more nutritious that food is.
The NVS works similarly, but focuses more on the sample’s amount of protein, energy, and fat levels, as well as its vitamin and calcium levels.
When comparing crickets, honey bees, silkworms, mealworms, mopane caterpillars, and palm weevil larvae against chicken, beef, pork, and their respective offals, the Ofcom scores were all relatively the same.
But when they used the NVS together with Ofcom, every single insect the researchers examined came out on top.

As much as we all love eating livestock, the process of growing and maintaining them is a damaging, costly, and slow process.
Insects, on the other hand, only take a few days to mature, and the cost of maintaining them is relatively small.
That being said, unless we live in a world like the one in Snowpiercer, it’ll be a while before the general public accepts a plate of bugs as their next meal.

Bugs are everywhere, local weather and all…

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