Yolanda Barba Gutiérrez's Diary
Mammals of Nova Scotia

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July 1, 2009: Climate change

Freeing_the_voles I want to start my blog today by giving an overview of climate change. It is clear that changing weather patterns are critically important. The first question to answer is, "What influences global temperature?" All the following are important: ocean variability, orbital and rotational Milankovitch variation, plate tectonics and continental positioning, glaciations, greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, water vapour), global photosynthetic uptake, volcanism, hysteresis (climatic inertia), cybernetic feedback loops and anthropogenic potential. However humans can impact the climate by using fossil fuels, sulfate aerosols (fossil fuel combustion), cement manufacture (cooking calcium carbonate), changing land use and deforestation. Also livestock are responsible for 18% of the world´s greenhouse effect. Greenhouse gases trap heat at night and stop temperatures from falling and there is therefore less winter frost. There has been a narrowing of the diurnal temperature range. Climate change is not good news and in this project we are going to research the impact of this effect on mammals, from voles to deer. 

According to my previous posted goal, today I have trapped two voles! My team checked our traps twice and we found one vole in the morning and another in the afternoon. We have also looked for deer droppings and we have identified one important area inside forest. I would like to highlight that in Nova Scotia there exist different perceptions on the environmnt: fear and apathy; but each day many people work hard to conserve this incredible country! Volunteers can make a difference!

Click image to enlarge.

Yolanda Barba Gutiérrez, casthouse process engineer Avilés smelter, Spain