Posted on July 18, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Imported leaf-eating beetles slowly adapting to local ecosystems
Tamarisk along the Colorado River near Moab. Photo courtesy Tom Dudley.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Efforts to control invasive tamarisk plants along the Arkansas River are looking up, thanks to a boost from some unexpected evolutionary adaptations. A small imported but that eats and kills the water-sucking plants has been expanding its range and reproducing more efficiently after adapting to regional cycles of darkness and light.
“This is one of the clearest cases of rapid evolution,” said Tom Dudley, who has been involved in the tamarisk control efforts at UC Santa Barbara’s Marine Science Institute Riparian Invasive Research Laboratory.
The tamarisk leaf beetle has managed to delay its entry into hibernation to adapt to the shorter days of the southern region of the United States. That adaptation enables the beetle to survive until spring and prolongs the time it has to reproduce. (more…)
Filed under: agriculture, biodiversity, Colorado, Environment, rivers, water | Tagged: Arkansas River, biocontrol, Eurasia, tamarisk, tamarisk leaf beetle, University of California Santa Barbara | Leave a Comment »
Posted on January 30, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Decline of reflective snow cover likely to speed overall warming
Soot is contributing to a steady decline in spring snow cover.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Heat-trapping greenhouse gases aren’t the only reason the spring snow cover across the northern hemisphere has been declining steeply the past few decades.
By tweaking a sophisticated set of climate models, researchers found that black carbon and dust — both generated by human activities — are at least part of the reason that spring snow cover in Eurasia is declining faster than across North America.
Declining spring snow cover has a feedback effect of intensifying warming because snow-covered ground reflects incoming radiation. Once the snow is melted, the heat is absorbed. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming, Snow and weather, Summit County news | Tagged: Black carbon, climate, climate change, Environment, Eurasia, global warming, Northern Hemisphere | 5 Comments »