That’s the logical conclusion, right?
I mean, if a stray bird from warmer parts of the northern hemisphere is found much farther north in traditionally cooler climes, and it is blamed on global warming…
A bird of prey spotted flying over Larne Lough has been confirmed as the first sighting of the rare Montagu’s harrier in Northern Ireland.
And the birdwatcher who caught sight of the harrier believes climate change may have played a part in bringing it to more northerly climes.
The birds may be starting to appear further north because of climate change, he said.
“As the temperature goes up, they are getting pushed further and further north. There are things happening – it’s definitely global warming that is pushing them further north,” he said.
…then the inverse must be true too, right?
It’s quite unusual to observe the animals this far south, said Peter Boveng, leader of the polar ecosystem program with the National Marine Mammal Laboratory, part of the Alaska Fisheries Science Center in Seattle. “There are not many people who see these regularly.”
The ribbon seal, likely a young adult male, appears to be in good shape, though not as fat as expected, said Boveng.
The seal first showed up one morning earlier this month on the dock of a Seattle woman, who lives about a mile up the Duwamish River south of downtown.
Then last Friday, it was spotted on a snow-covered dock in Marysville, about 35 miles north of Seattle. A snow and ice storm had hit the state, leaving snow piled high in many parts of the region.
Ribbon seals inhabit the northern North Pacific Ocean and sub-Arctic and Arctic seas. They are found in the Bering and Chukchi seas off Alaska and the Sea of Okhotsk off Russia. They have distinctive white bands or ribbons that encircle the head, base of the trunk and two front flippers over a dark coat.
Since it is commonplace among the media to blame any finding of species farther north than they normally would be (or south in the Southern Hemisphere) on global warming, is there any speculation by the media that this ribbon seal swam 1500 miles south to escape global cooling? None.
To be sure, I’m not suggesting that this ribbon seal swam to Seattle to escape global cooling. In fact, I have no idea why that ribbon seal showed up in Seattle, or why a Montagu’s harrier would show up in Northern Ireland, but I suspect it has less to do with global warming/cooling, and more to do with their freedom, i.e. animals with no citizenship, no borders, and even more importantly no sense of their own range habitat as pronounced by some wildlife biologist in a text book. They can go where ever their bodies are capable of carrying them to – scientists’ habitat range maps be damned.
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