Climate science, perpetual motion and squirrels

We are in an age of amazing science these days, especially when it comes to climate change. Researchers are scrambling to establish even the remotest, and sometimes craziest, politically correct connection to climate change in order to get research grants. Here are some examples.

An article in the print edition of the Arizona Daily Star on December 17 claims that losing weight will increase your carbon footprint. Australian researchers, writing in the British Medical Journal, claim that the chemistry of weight loss will increase the amount of carbon dioxide you exhale.

Maybe those researchers should team up with these people to make a perpetual motion machine:

Danish researchers claim that increased carbon dioxide makes you eat more. (Source)

But Canadian researchers blame beavers:

Beavers are contributing to climate change, adding an estimated 800 million kg of methane to the atmosphere every year, scientists have found.

Over the last century, there has been a worldwide conservation effort to save beavers from extinction. The fur trade between the 16th and 19th century almost led to the annihilation of beavers across the globe.

However, the consequence of this has led to beavers building more ponds, creating conditions for climate changing methane gas to be generated in the shallow standing water. Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada have found this methane release from beaver ponds is now 200 times higher than it was a century ago. (Source)

No, wait. Squirrels Are Behind Global Warming

Dr Sue Natali, from Woods Hole Research Center in Massachusetts, and Nigel Golden, from the University of Wisconsin, spent eight days in the Kolyma River watershed in north-east Siberia, Russia, studying the burrows of arctic ground squirrels.

They found that when squirrels made their burrows in the permafrost they mixed soil layers, increased aeration, moisture and temperature, as well as redistributing soil nutrients – all of which could contribute to an increased thawing of the permafrost and release of organic carbon.

As the climate warms and permafrost thaws, the fate of this large [organic carbon] pool will be driven not only by climatic conditions, but also by ecosystem changes brought about by arctic animal populations. Source

And, global warming is dangerous because:

Climate change could be causing more cougar attacks. Source

But that’s the least of our worries because:

University of Michigan scientists have claimed that global warming causes an increased risk of asteroids striking the Earth, due to expansion of the atmosphere outward into space making the Earth a bigger “target”. Source

But it’s not all bad news because we will have more cute kitties: “Milder weather in cold seasons means cats are outdoors more, doing what comes naturally, say animal workers on the frontlines [in Canada]. The result is a population explosion” of cats. (Source) Or maybe that is bad news because Pima County will have to spend even more money on an even more plush animal shelter.

Yes, it is amazing what passes for climate science these days.