Two pieces of bad news:

  • Mountain pine beetles, whose range is expanding due to warmer winters, are beginning to infest jack pines as well as lodgepole pines. To understand the danger from this transition, one only needs to look at the range maps for each species:

    Lodgepole Pine

    Jack Pine

    A study from Molecular Ecology, published last April, has the details.

  • Arctic sea ice extent was either the lowest on record or the second lowest on record, depending on how you collect and analyze the data. Sea ice volume, a much more important metric for climate change, was the lowest on record:

And one piece of good news:

  • Our abstract was accepted to AGU! I have been wanting to go to this conference for two years, and now I will get to!

9 thoughts on “News

  1. Congrats on the AGU abstract, Kate. John Cook will be at the conference too, and myself and probably a few other SkSers. We’re going to organize a get-together – you should join!

  2. Congratulations! You’ll be an excellent asset to the AGU meeting. You probably posted on this before, but what’s the topic of your abstract? Is it a paper or a poster? Can you link to the abstract, or even better to a pdf?

    • When the AGU schedule is finalized online I will post a link to my session, which should include my abstract (I’m not sure if I’m allowed to republish it here). In the meantime, a summary of my research, including a link to our poster aimed at CS students, can be seen here.

  3. Congrats!

    But there might be some other good news. Currently much of the Jack pine range still gets winters cold enough to kill the pine beetle. It would take a fair amount of warming for this to change.

    • A fair amount of warming is already in the pipeline, with no way for it to be changed.

      An unreasonable amount of warming will probably follow: there is still time for us to change that. But we have to act, now.

      No apology for the off-thread link, Kate (congratulations, by the way): exceptional times call for exceptional measures. I’m doing what little I can: FWIW good for you: you’re clearly doing a heck of a lot more.

  4. Congrats on being accepted for AGU. Its a great meeting. I’ll be there presenting on Eocene precipitation.

    A clarification on your post: yes, NSIDC is reporting a ‘2nd lowest’ for Arctic sea ice, but notes on its website that it is reserving judgement ’til the end of September. “NSIDC scientists will release a full analysis of the melt season in early October, once monthly data are available for September.” Still very worrying trend though.

  5. Congrats! On the beetles, it’s quite common in insects that in massive outbreaks they hop on other host species. That happens just because the internal pressures on their population becomes too much for even them. Luckily most of the time the new species is somewhat more resistant to the attack, though of course one cannot discount a mutation in the beetle population giving them better ability to devour the new host species. I don’t know what the situation is for pine bark beetle though.

  6. Interesting article regarding the Mountain Pine Beetle and how it seems to be leaping across traditional boundaries. This insidious little beast has been destroying trees in greater numbers each year as long as I can remember. I did miss any reference to forest fires as the “great controller” of the Mountain Pine Beetle. I have no citations to offer, but my memory recalls comment from the early “70’s” that the outbreaks would continue to worsen and grow in harmony with the improved fire fighting techniques of that day. A jaunt from Winnipeg, through the Crowsnest Pass, and up to Golden showed the recent damage done by this creature. As I went along, I couldn’t help but think that a few good fires would go a long way to helping in the control of this pest. Just the sames as a few good fires would help eliminate the growth of scrub poplar through the south central parts of Alberta. Gaea has always had ways to control her fleas.

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