Global warming is making monster marmots

Well not really, but the headline above is almost as silly as the paper. From the “I can’t stop laughing department”, some “it can’t be anything else but global warming climate change” silliness in Nature. No mention of PDO or other cycles.

They're bigger, meaner, fluffier and growing faster than pre AGW Marmots - keep watch in your backyard

In other news, Former Governor Sarah Palin is blamed for starting all this by making it Marmot Day instead of Groundhog Day in Alaska. As everyone knows, marmots can’t forecast a darn thing, but they can model. /sarc From a KU press release:

Climate change causes larger, more plentiful marmots, study shows

Finding by University of Kansas researchers is likely to have implications for many creatures that hibernate

LAWRENCE — This week, one of the world’s foremost scientific journals will publish results of a decades-long research project founded at the University of Kansas showing that mountain rodents called marmots are growing larger, healthier and more plentiful in response to climate change.

The groundbreaking study, published in Nature, is the first to reveal that changes in seasonal timing can increase body weight and population size simultaneously in a species — findings likely to have implications for a host of other creatures, especially those that hibernate.

Established by Kenneth Armitage, KU professor emeritus of ecology and evolutionary biology, the long-standing investigation tracks yellow-bellied marmots in Colorado.

“We started this research in 1962, and every summer we’d record basic demography such as the age of the animals, gender, body mass, who survived and who reproduced,” Armitage said. “At the time we started, we had no idea that climate change was going to be a problem. But we collected that basic demography to use as a foundation for other kinds of study.”

Largely because of the KU researcher, yellow-bellied marmots have proven to be a valuable model organism for understanding larger questions. Armitage said that he first chose to study the marmot because it lives in easy-to-find burrows and is active in the daytime, so it is readily observable.

“I didn’t intend to spend 40 years studying marmots, but new questions kept coming up — physiological, hibernation, genetics and so on,” Armitage said. “It turned out that long-term studies of our kind are quite rare. Yet, it’s precisely the kind of data that you need to determine what climate change is going to do.”

The climate-change findings result from collaboration between a number of international researchers who used fieldwork by Armitage to underpin their analyses. Both Arpat Ozgul, lead author of the study from Imperial College London, and Dan Blumstein, a co-author from the University of California-Los Angeles, previously have worked with Armitage on the marmot project.

Using data collected between 1976 and 2008, the authors conclude that a longer growing season has boosted marmots’ individual size, overall strength and general population. The average weight of fully grown marmots jumped from 6.82 pounds in the early years of the study to 7.56 pounds in the later half of the study.

Additionally, the population growth of marmots increased from 0.56 marmots per year from 1976 to 2001 to 14.2 marmots per year from 2001 to 2008.

“The warming results in earlier snowmelt, which means that plants appear sooner and the marmots come out of hibernation earlier,” said Armitage. “They have more fat left which provides them energy to start foraging. Then they can start reproducing so their young are born earlier and have time to get fat enough to survive hibernation. Most importantly, the reproductive female can survive better. Being able to wean her young earlier, she has a longer season and survival of adult females has increased over the last years.”

Although Armitage is happy to see the yellow-bellied marmot thrive, the KU researcher cautioned that the boom in marmots is temporary; he expects that warming could harm them in the long run because of changes in snow patterns.

“This benefit to marmots is probably short-lived,” he said. “Snow patterns both benefit and harm marmots. Prolonged snow cover in the spring increases mortality and reduces reproduction. But if there’s less snowmelt to nourish plants that marmots forage in the summer, it will severely affect them. In droughts, we’ve had very high mortality.”

###
Advertisements

134 thoughts on “Global warming is making monster marmots

  1. It couldn’t possibly be due to reductions in pollution levels and improvements in their native habitats over the past 40 years, could it? Or maybe the return of predatory species has allowed those who remain to have a larger food supply and grow larger because there is less competition for available food.
    There could be a bazillion reasons and a half a degree of warming over 100 years probably isn’t it.

  2. Poor marmots. Screwed by their own success. Marmots have been surviving in hostile alpine environment long before we came on the scene here in North America. The same old good news-bad news story from environmentalists. They should stick with polar bears.

  3. And we paid how much to Ken Armitage for 40 years studying a useless rodent? Looks like the climate angle was thrown in to keep the money flowing…

  4. So I guess that could be translated over to our species….
    “Global Warming….is making monster politicians.”
    Enter Waxman, Gore, Markey….

  5. If they are bigger, they dig bigger holes. Could they make a hole big enough to swallow all those stupid scientist and politicians that don’t get it?
    Marmots must be related to bankers… it times of economic crisis, they get fatter.

  6. And they have continuous weather records, from all their field sites, dating back to 1962, right? Right? Bueller? Bueller?

  7. OK, OK, OK…
    This is an obvious NEGATIVE FEEDBACK system.
    Here’s the way it works:
    1. GoreBull warming causes more “Groundhogs” to be born.
    2. Punxsutawney Phil has Punxsutawney Fillipai, Punxsutawney George, Punxsutawney Albert, Punxsutawney Jones and Punxsutawney Mann are surrounding Punxsutawney Phil when he comes out on Groundhog day. He sees no shadow.
    3. Winter is lengthened by 6 weeks.
    4. The Earth cools.
    5. Punxsutawney Albert, Punxsutawney Jones and Punxsutawney Mann die from lack of food.
    6. Punxsutawney Phil SEES his shadow and the winter is shortened.
    7. The climate warms up.
    8. Punxsutawney Albert Jr., Punxsutawney Jones Jr. and Punxsutawney Mann Jr. are born.
    9. Go back to step 2.
    As you can see, this is a perfect “negative feedback” system, and the climate is stable.
    EAT YOUR HEART OUT DR. SPENCER!
    Max

  8. Oh no.. not only will my children live in an ice free world, they will be terrorized by giant flower eating Marmots. BTW if he was studying the Vancouver Island Marmot population he may have had the exact opposite conclusion.

  9. As a Kid my Pop and I hunted Marmots for target practice, used a .22 mag if they get bigger maybe an 3.06! How about a Boone and Crockett record, weight dressed, width
    of front teeth, amount of Urine Smell ( real reason for yellow bellied Marmots).
    “Careful son, they charge when wounded!”
    Somebody got some grant money…

  10. All animal populations cycle. Including marmots and their competition. Their competition includes anything that also eats their forage. I suspect there are fewer sheep grazing the high country.

  11. Has anyone looked at the methane content of marmot flatus – this could be the positive feedback that tips our world beyond redemption 🙂

  12. I don’t know about the Marmots, but the rats and weasels are certainly getting fatter.

  13. We had a Master’s thesis from the Sierra Nevada Field Campus study the robust marmot population in the Sierra Nevada’s Sierra Buttes region in the 70’s. The population soon crashed and virtually disappeared during the 80’s and 90’s. The marmots have just started to approach previous levels these past few years.
    And it doesn’t surprise me that this new study is getting published in Nature. Judging from past biology and global warming papers like the horrendous Parmesan papers, all that is required is the thinnest of connections to global warming. And those connections are often contradicted by other well established research. Parmesan’s Edith Checkerspot paper claimed extinctions due to global warming. But over 20 years of studies and controlled experiments demonstrated the butterflies’ larvae would move to open ground, and sunbathe to raise their body temperatures on average of 10-12 degrees higher than the ambient temperatures. Nature also published most of the crap biology by Pounds blaming the frog deaths on global warming with “99% certainty”, despite abundant proof of introduced Chytrid fungus which is activated at cooler temperatures. Nature’s advocacy science has corrupted good science.

  14. The brainwashed masses will ‘deduce’ that man caused these FREAKS OF NATURE because we drive cars, cool our homes and prefer a warm home to a frosty home in the winter.
    The breeding/feeding season is longer. So what? Prove it’s caused by man.

  15. It was probably a good study with 40 years of accurate data. To bad he threw it all away with an absolutely idiotic AGW tie in. Did he every stop to think these guys are getting fatter because of lack of predators? I bet wolves and grizzlies just don’t bother those over grown marmots like they used to giving them ample time to forage for what ever marmots eat. What a waste.

  16. Way more human activity in the mountains = way more backpacker food absconded with by the little bastards.
    And this must be a typo, shouldn’t it be 0.56 to 1.42? Otherwise we in trouble.
    “Additionally, the population growth of marmots increased from 0.56 marmots per year from 1976 to 2001 to 14.2 marmots per year from 2001 to 2008.”

  17. In 1980 I spent several days at a mostly deserted alpine mineral exploration camp at Howard’s Pass in the Selwyn Mountains of the NWT (Canada). The camp was overrun by marmots who lived under the camp buildings and in collapsed stacks of drill core boxes.
    I spent two summers working in the area and saw a lot of marmots, but never in the numbers present in this one place.
    From my own experience I could conclude that proximity to human disturbance (camp buildings, air strip, core boxes, etc.) can positively affect marmot populations. I doubt however that I would get the funding that is likely behind a marmot study that uses climate change in its grant application.

  18. OT – This makes me angry and sad :>(
    BBC – “A delicate, blue-hued insect has re-appeared in the UK after an interval of more than half a century……”The spread northwards across the continent seems to be associated with climate change.”
    So what the hell caused them to be present in the UK over 50 years ago????
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-10718550

  19. This doesn’t have anything to do with the decrease in wolf population, windmill-ground hawks and eagles, or some of those other inconvenient factors does it?

  20. I’m seeing tough duty here. Regular trips to Colorado from Kansas. 40 years worth. Still not sure whether we got the danged varmints figured out yet. Have to strap them damn cumbersome planks to our feet and proceed downhill after ’em. They move pretty fast you know. So you got to be quick on your skis, I mean planks. Poles in your hands help but they are fearsome critters. /sarc off
    This is all about grant-funded ski trips!

  21. And we’ve got Couch’s Kingbird (Tyrannus couchii) in the Dallas area … normally claimed by all the ‘expert’ textbooks to be resident down near the GoM coast into Mexico and inland some, but nothing this far north.
    Video taken just this last month in the county north of Dallas, Texas: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scNmVFNGvek
    I saw a nesting pair back in 2007 (a little further south) but could not at that time make an identification as to the species …
    .

  22. Jimbo-50 years or so,maybe 60, was the start of a PDO and AMO shift.Hmmm…
    We in NE Oregon were worried about planting Barley because that was about all that
    would grow in the Grain category. I wish I could locate an old “Oregon Farmer”
    periodical that talked about “Canadian Prairie” conditions in the in interior NW….

  23. R Shearer says:
    July 21, 2010 at 8:03 pm
    I haven’t seen a marmot in about 2) years. I thought climate change killed them all.
    __________________________________–
    The Mamots are getting bigger because Bret Combs (no relation) is killing all those elk in the Rockies (the Brucellosis Eradication program). There is a major problem with Brucellosis in the wild herds in Canada too.

  24. Well, if the marmots are like people, they froze their a**es off here the last couple of winters and we’re still in that cool trend. I don’t know where this guy got the idea that summer has gotten longer, because we haven’t had much of one the last couple of years, spring or fall either.

  25. Gee, I wonder if the good doctor of marmotology thought about checking out the same critters from Alaska, Yukon, British Columbia and on down to Colorado which corresponds to a profile of warmer temps. He could arrived at the same conclusions all in one year and then used the other 39 years to do something interesting. And why did he need collaboration and co-authors from Imperial College and U of Cal. Couldn’t he weigh animals, turds and measure their girths all by himself? And someone gave all these guys grants for forty yrs! Good Lord save us all. I would have given up before my 3rd wife left me and I found no one inviting me over bbq and good conversation. (Dad? Please don’t come to our class for career day)

  26. Gary Pearse says:
    July 21, 2010 at 8:58 pm
    Gary, I shouldn’t need to tell you this. It was all about the ski trips. And grant-funded at that!

  27. All change is Bad.
    All change is caused by Global Warming.
    All Global Warming is caused by man.
    If it’s hot, it’s Global Warming.
    If it’s cold, it’s global warming.
    If it’s average, it’s global warming.

  28. A quick look at the paper shows no change from 70’s to 2000 then an abrupt change to earlier weaning and greater abundance around 2000. The coordinates suggest Gunnison is the nearest USHCN station and it show a decline/plateau in mean temperature 1980-2000 but with a definite decline since 2000.
    http://cdiac.ornl.gov/cgi-bin/broker?id=053662&_PROGRAM=prog.gplot_meanclim_mon_yr2009.sas&_SERVICE=default&param=TMEAN&minyear=1970&maxyear=2009
    So how do they connect global warming?

  29. Looking at the picture: “That’s the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you ever set eyes on!”.
    But that aside, its not global warming, its called evolution at work, adapation or die, the survival of the fittest. Evolution a term invented by (but not only) Charles Darwin, it did upset (and still does) a lot of believers in the one and only true god.
    Times have changed, but the believers are still here… and very upset

  30. Hey. Wait just a darn minute. Wasn’t this Climate Change (nee AGW) supposed to be forcing animals out of thier habitats and driving them towards certain extinction?
    Another goalpost move, double standard, make it up as they go along song.
    Now we know what the exploding Polar Bear population has been eating.
    Marmot steaks.

  31. So, did I get the gyst of this right? I think it sais that at least one mammal species is growing bigger and stronger and healthier because of global warming.

  32. I hate marmots. They poop all over the top of anything stacked nice and neat in my barn – hay, boards, sheetrock, whatever. Fortunately they froze their little hineys off these past two years and I haven’t shot any since. Cuz there weren’t none. This year, we haven’t been able to use our usual practice targets – ground squirrels – cuz there weren’t none of them either. Had to paste sticky orange targets on the hillside instead. Worked okay but they don’t stick to rocks very well. Marmots and ground squirrels actually stand up and hold real still jes so we kin shoot em.

  33. So warming results in more plant growth and that results in animals growing bigger and healthier. Wow, who would have thought!?!?
    One thing that is commonly ignored is that a little warming is a good thing. The only way global warming becomes a disaster is if it truly spirals out of control. IF that happens it wouldn’t be for a very long time and that means mankind has the time for technology to improve and develop solutions.
    In other words, the slight warming that has taken place is a boon for many plants and animals – including man!
    A little cooling can be a VERY bad thing on the other hand!

  34. What a sad collection of knee-jerk anti-science comments. Phenology researchers have been observing and recording changes in animal and plant behaviour for decades, and are quite familiar with normal variability, just as climate researchers are familiar with normal climate variability. The effects of human activities on the atmosphere, and therefore on climate, are causing concern. See Walther et al, Ecological responses to recent climate change, Nature 2002.

  35. Jim Steele says:
    July 21, 2010 at 9:17 pm
    I guess the peer-review process at Nature is still suspicious (or simply non-existant). As long as the results show that global warming is the cause and that results are somehow bad (scary rodents!), no one felt the need to investigate and check temperature trends with population trends. Oh boy!

  36. From the article:
    “Although Armitage is happy to see the yellow-bellied marmot thrive, the KU researcher cautioned that the boom in marmots is temporary; he expects that warming could harm them in the long run because of changes in snow patterns. ”
    Sounds like they have global warming doom and gloom covered. These guys will say anything. Do they really think al gore is that stupid?

  37. alarmist bells are ringing!
    22 July: Guardian: Amelia Hill: UN in fresh bid to salvage international deal on climate change
    Campaigners welcome plans to amend the way Kyoto protocol resolutions are passed
    Under the plans, countries could be forced to accept decisions made by a majority of members…
    If the UN’s suggestions are adopted, decisions will be forced through if four-fifths of the protocol vote in favour, after all efforts to reach agreement by consensus have been exhausted. The amendments would come into force after six months…
    In a further attempt to galvanise the climate change body into motion, the UN also suggested that countries could be forced to opt out of any amendments, as opposed to the current arrangement whereby they must explicitly agree to any decisions tabled..
    The amendment, which will be presented in Bonn in August, reads: “An amendment would enter into force after a certain period has elapsed following its adoption, except for those parties that have notified the depositary that they cannot accept the amendment.”..
    Ed Miliband, the shadow energy secretary, acknowledged that the current deadlock has to be broken. “We know there needs to be reform of the UN process around tackling climate change,” he said. “We saw at Copenhagen how some countries blocked progress and we can’t allow that to happen again.”
    The amendment was welcomed by Farhana Yamin, research fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex.
    “The stalemate in negotiations has gone on for 15 years,” she said. “This consensus arrangement is an extraordinary and ridiculous anomaly in the make up of Kyoto that exists in few other UN organisations.
    “This is a positive way of forcing laggard countries who hold out and play their veto hand the whole time, to engage in constructive talks,” she added. “Under this new system, they will realise that unless they are constructive, they will lose their voice altogether.”…
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jul/22/un-bid-international-deal-climate-change

  38. nico says:
    July 21, 2010 at 9:41 pm
    Another humorless, warmist troll! How about sequestering some CO2 for the cause. That’d be inhaling without exhaling if you didn’t quite get it.

  39. Don’t mice and rats also grow bigger and multiply faster when living with humans? Think food scraps, warmth, shelter etc. Marmots grow bigger due to human food scraps probably won’t get the same level of funding. :o)

  40. Dr. Burns quoted what I remembered. Colorado hasn’t warmed. Why let some little detail like that get in the way of propaganda.
    Nature used to be about science. That is so unbelievably stupid to assume that warming caused them to get larger. They have no basis whatsoever to make that assumption. They probably got a grant to study it because they included a link to global warming. That would be a classic example of how the government is funding anti-science studies just because they push a particular agenda. I wonder if it even crossed their “minds”, and I use that term lightly, that it might be due to natural selection. People have certainly changed the predators in the region. They don’t have brown bears, a major marmot predator, for one thing and golden eagles, wolves, wolverines have certainly had their populations affected in the last 200 years.
    Are we now funding English majors to go into the field and call themselves scientists as long as they blame it on global warming. That is what it sounds like to me. The complete lack of critical thinking is astonishing. Assuming global warming is causing marmots to grow isn’t science and it is pathetic that Nature would publish such obvious stupidity.

  41. It would be great to have the Megafauna back.
    Giant Ground Sloths, Mammoths, Giant Beavers, Giant Marmots, Saber Tooth Cat, the Irish Elk, (I draw the line at the 8 foot Terror Birds since I don’t know what they taste like).
    Warm could be Cool.

  42. I’m guessing that the real cause is that some wild and crazy marmots have been “cavorting” with wolverines. These larger meaner marmots are hybrids.

  43. I bet they taste like chicken.
    AGW will provide as the economic collapse ensues. So what’s the problem?

  44. “What a sad collection of knee-jerk anti-science comments. Phenology researchers have been observing and recording changes in animal and plant behaviour for decades, and are quite familiar with normal variability, just as climate researchers are familiar with normal climate variability. The effects of human activities on the atmosphere, and therefore on climate, are causing concern. See Walther et al, Ecological responses to recent climate change, Nature 2002.”
    Dr A Burns says:
    July 21, 2010 at 8:40 pm
    Colorado maximum temperatures have been declining, not rising:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/09/colroado-summer-trends/
    Mean temps have changed less that 0.1 dg F
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/11/rocky-mountain-highs/
    Areas of warming in Colorado seem to be UHI related:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/03/11/a-uhi-tale-of-two-cities/
    I think jokes are in order when the scientist makes a great paper, then finishes it off with a nice stinking load of bullshit. “Global warming caused this.” When in effect the temperatures of the area he was studying changed very little and even declined over the last 10 years.
    As for your natural variability, just no. Look at the history of Yellowstone Park and tell me we understand nature. 100 years of failure is documented very well in just our attempt to “preserve” the wild. Lets face it, we still do not completly understand the wild. Admitting we do not know is fine if we do in fact do not know. When Yellowstone Park can be maintained and we understand every animal interaction, then you can come and tell me we are close to understanding the entire global ecoysystem, until then, we do not know everything. We might be learning more every year, but we can not say we know everything with the history of failure we have.
    “The effects of human activities on the atmosphere, and therefore on climate, are causing concern.”
    That sentence means nothing. Anything can cause concern. And for the record, just what effects are we doing to the atmosphere that are really causing concern? Is it land usage? Is it CO2? Is it tap-dancing naked in the moonlight with 2 and a half candles and Mr. Hansen? That sentence is so broad that it means nothing and could mean anything at the same time. Have the guts to at least make a very precise statement.

  45. I have just completed umpteen years of research and proven conclusively that there is a direct correlation between the mention of ‘global warming’ in publications and the size of grant money subsequently obtained by the researcher. I attribute this to climate change caused by carbon dioxide emissions – can I have my megagrant now please?

  46. Marmots are herbivores so if plants they feed on are growing larger, healthier and more plentiful in response to more CO2 then they might too.
    Just s thought to kick around, you understand.

  47. @pat says: July 21, 2010 at 9:46 pm
    “Under the plans, countries could be forced to accept decisions made by a majority of members…”
    That’s sweet!
    Now is that ALL countries, or do they just mean those that speak English and perhaps German?
    They aim to force China? Or Iran? Saudi Arabia? North Korea?
    That should work!
    But I forgot. It is only USA, UK, Canada, OZ etc that caused this runaway thermal doom.
    Actually Chinese and Iranian CO2 is OK! Grows plants and all that stuff! And the heads-up-their-arses Greenies go along with this! (Not least little Ed Millipede)

  48. alarmist bells are ringing!
    22 July: Guardian: Amelia Hill: UN in fresh bid to salvage international deal on climate change
    Campaigners welcome plans to amend the way Kyoto protocol resolutions are passed
    Under the plans, countries could be forced to accept decisions made by a majority of members…
    “This is a positive way of forcing laggard countries who hold out and play their veto hand the whole time, to engage in constructive talks,” she added. “Under this new system, they will realise that unless they are constructive, they will lose their voice altogether.”…
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jul/22/un-bid-international-deal-climate-change
    ____________________________________________________
    Sounds like a last ditch – go for broke try to get their “Global Governance” tax through and to completely trash the concept of “national sovereignty”
    There is one tiny fly in the ointment, that is if we can get the US politicians to “honor it”
    The Constitution:
    “A treaty can be nullified by a statute passed by the U.S. Congress (or by a sovereign State or States if Congress refuses to do so), when the State deems the performance of a treaty is self-destructive. The law of self-preservation overrules the law of obligation in others. When you’ve read this thoroughly, hopefully, you will never again sit quietly by when someone — anyone — claims that treaties supercede the Constitution. Help to dispell this myth.
    “This [Supreme] Court has regularly and uniformly recognized the supremacy of the Constitution over a treaty.” – Reid v. Covert, October 1956, 354 U.S. 1, at pg 17.
    This case involved the question: Does the NATO Status of Forces Agreement (treaty) supersede the U.S. Constitution? Keep reading.
    The Reid Court (U.S. Supreme Court) held in their Opinion that,
    “… No agreement with a foreign nation can confer power on the Congress, or any other branch of government, which is free from the restraints of the Constitution. Article VI, the Supremacy clause of the Constitution declares, “This Constitution and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all the Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land…’
    “There is nothing in this language which intimates that treaties and laws enacted pursuant to them do not have to comply with the provisions of the Constitution nor is there anything in the debates which accompanied the drafting and ratification which even suggest such a result…
    “It would be manifestly contrary to the objectives of those who created the Constitution, as well as those who were responsible for the Bill of Rights – let alone alien to our entire constitutional history and tradition – to construe Article VI as permitting the United States to exercise power UNDER an international agreement, without observing constitutional prohibitions. (See: Elliot’s Debates 1836 ed. – pgs 500-519).
    “In effect, such construction would permit amendment of that document in a manner not sanctioned by Article V. The prohibitions of the Constitution were designed to apply to all branches of the National Government and they cannot be nullified by the Executive or by the Executive and Senate combined.”

    Did you understand what the Supreme Court said here? No Executive Order, Presidential Directive, Executive Agreement, no NAFTA, GATT/WTO agreement/treaty, passed by ANYONE, can supersede the Constitution.”

    Source …http://www.sweetliberty.org/issues/staterights/treaties.htm
    Maybe we will get some politicians bold enough to kill some of the destructive treaties like the WTO and NAFTA.

  49. I don’t mean to be a contrarian but I long ago learned that body size increased with colder temperatures. I found one recent reference and I’m sure there are more as I leaned this 30 or 40 years ago. Here is one statement of such:
    http://www.boloji.com/environment/44.htm
    Giants of the Cold
    by V.K. Joshi May 28, 2006
    The idea is that “ in a mammal body, the ratio of heat loss to the heat generated is determined by the ratio of the surface to the volume of the body. In an enlarged body the surface and volume both are increased by the square and the cube factor of the enlargement. Thus the ratio of heat loss to the heat generated is decreased by the enlargement of the body.”

  50. Nah, the marmots are getting bigger because of all the researchers going up to them and going..
    “Ah, look at these nice cuddly little fur balls being effected by Climate Change; I’ll give it a hug to make it feel better”
    Munch Munch…
    Looks like just another example of pinning the climate change tail where it doesn’t belong..

  51. I think wayne’s got it. ‘Global Warming’ causes windmills, which munch bald eagles, which eat marmots. Fewer eagles mean more marmots. Global Warming therefore causes more and larger marmots QED.
    Cognito ergo tutti fruitti…

  52. Let me think about this for a moment.
    Species increases in size because the food source is increased because of global warming. There is enough food to allow them to get fat.
    Fewer young freeze to death because of global warming.
    The abundance of food caused by global warming allows more of the young to survive the cold period (winter).
    Fewer Mothers die and instead live to reproduce for another year.
    This is supposed to be bad? Unless you consider marmots to be a pest.

  53. The reason they think they are getting bigger is because if you have been doing this for 40 years, by then you are getting old and fat and the only ones you can successfully catch are similar. This journaling of these trophies leads to some odd scientific conclusions which will be dutifully “peer reviewed” and become science facts.

  54. The silliness from the MSM is at almost Tsunami levels. Just from this morning’s Telegraph (London,UK);
    The Marmot nonsense,
    ‘World on course for hottest year since 1880’,
    ‘Native birds disappearing from the UK, foreign birds increasing in the UK’ (and I don’t think that means an influx of foreign young ladies arriving here, although in the town in Greater London where we shop, English is very much a minority language and in the primary school where my wife teaches, 54 languages are spoken but most new arrivals have no English!)
    Very little about possible actual scientific reasons for much, instead we are fed environmental hand-wringing about ‘climate change’ and how its all going to Hell in a handbasket according to that particular journal.
    There seems to be a blanket ban on reporting any of the newer disclosures from the three Brit ‘enquiries’ in the Guardian, in fact the same paper seems to be undergoing a change in tone, as little is mentioned on the topic of climate change. It features a very positive piece about how much grain could be grown in the Ukraine due to the wonderfully rich soil there and, with major capital investment in farming, the Ukraine could become ‘the Breadbasket of Europe’. Monbiot is currently silent, thankfully.

  55. Not just the Marmots but now Climate Change is affecting the kids as well.
    The males are a darn sight bigger than my generation and they seem to eat twice as much as well and the girls aren’t far behind.
    It’s gotta be Climate Change and the extra CO2.
    Do you think Nature might accept a paper along these lines?
    Peer reviewed by my wife of course!

  56. I am somewhat surprised at the conclusions here. Surely, they must be suffering from reduced numbers, poor breeding, & loss of habitat, causing them to be smaller? We’ve had all the other crap about shrinking animals before due to CC. What was it, sheep or pigs or long-lost Outer Mongolian Goats????? This would seem to suggest a “benefit” of AGW, not a hazard!
    Jimbo says:
    July 21, 2010 at 8:38 pm
    I hate to spoil their little story, but Damsel flies coloured blue have been inhabiting my brother/sister-in-laws pond in their garden for donkeys years! I didn’t mention it to the wildlifers as I thought this was normal. AND if something has returned, as you rightly say, how the hell did it exist 50-60 years ago? Does anybody think & or read what they write these days?

  57. So marmot numbers grow by 0.56 from 1976-2001, and by 14.2 (1.42?) from 2001-2009. But all the warming in the last 30 year oceanic oscillation half-cycle occured between 1979-1998. Since then temps have been flat. So the conclusion should be the opposite: temperature stasis is better than temperature increase for marmot reproduction.
    And what do researchers do when faced with the inconvenient result (however spurious the corellation and susceptible to confounding factors) of benefit to an organism due to balefully morbid global warming? Easy – pass on swiftly to a confident speculation backed by no data whatsoever that continued global warming will of course somehow reverse this beneficial effect to a harmful effect. So all the believers remain safely in blissful contentment, their faith in the AGW apocalypse untroubled.
    Either the Nature journal or the scientific method will survive this AGW debacle but not both.

  58. I just cannot believe my eyes 0:0 !!!! …….. reckn I just saw a marmot the size of a large boxing kangaroo run across my backyard chasing a dog !!! …… And I’m in Australia !!! ….. b.gg.rs can swim now too !?!

  59. 40 years no ones heard of him, stick ‘Global Warming’ onto the end of this years paper and your noticed?? sunical maybe but i’d like to see his grant record as i have a feeling he may of been losing it this year.
    When I read these stories I come to realise that it’s the rest of the science community that must take the blame for AGW, for the last centaury you’v laughed hard at Enviro’mentlist’s’ and pointed at there tree hugging ways but i’m sorry to say there having the last laugh taking all your grants, problem is that it was so good taking all the money away from better causes that the politicos wanted to get in on the act.

  60. Bravozulu says:
    July 21, 2010 at 10:20 pm
    […]“They probably got a grant to study it because they included a link to global warming. That would be a classic example of how the government is funding anti-science studies just because they push a particular agenda. I wonder if it even crossed their “minds”, and I use that term lightly, that it might be due to natural selection. People have certainly changed the predators in the region. They don’t have brown bears, a major marmot predator, for one thing and golden eagles, wolves, wolverines have certainly had their populations affected in the last 200 years.” […]
    I think Kenneth Armitage knows all of this. The obligatory AGW-tie-in-or-you-won’t-get-funded is a sad state of affairs for science.

  61. Actually I think quite an interesting study. I can see a couple of alternative theories they should discount first:
    John F. Hultquist says:
    July 21, 2010 at 10:55 pm
    I don’t mean to be a contrarian but I long ago learned that body size increased with colder temperatures
    also
    Observer effect-increase in food, decrease in predators, due to human presence.
    As an aside, do AGWs still look at things like troposphere temp, upper atmosphere cloud formation etc. (ie. science) or is it entirely media driven now?

  62. Idiotic belief aside, in the real world less marmots are being killed by people and predators thus they can thrive better.

  63. Richard Black BBC is on the CAGW media blitz as well
    A Stephen Schnieder piece, which ends up linking scepticism to an extreme group..
    That was a choice.
    He could have equally linked a postive story, with Anthony Watts, Steve Mcintyre, Bishop Hill, etc, respectful stories regarding Schneiders death, and written a positive story, following many MAINSTREAM sceptical/pro people meeting at the Climategate (Guardain) debate and having drinks together afterwards.
    Yet, chooses some group, I’d never heard of, with some extreme commemnts in it’s forums.. As if the extreme /left eco type groups, don’t have some nutters, in their forums as well..
    And I being too sensitive, about the BBC? I expect better from them.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/07/i_didnt_know_stephen_schneider.html#comments

  64. Being as it were an Australian I have never been confronted by one of these fearsome looking beasts. I see mention in this blog of people carrying fire arms when in the vicinity of these terrifying animals.
    If the growth and expanding dimensions is in a linear fashion they will be grizzly bear sized within fifty years, and going armed into their territory will be mandatory for self protection. Within 100 years they will be tearing the roof’s off houses to raid the larder. Only now I am beginning to understand the peoples concern about AGW.

  65. No marmots in Oz but lots of kangaroos. As properties (ranches) adopt reticulated water and pasture management (been going on for 50-60 years) the roos have more to eat, less travel to reliable water and few predators. The biggest killers are semi trailer bull bars. Most of our global warming is done by the Bureau of Meteorology adjusting and extrapollating data however the roos have flourished. Drought seems the only control agent that works but the cattle and sheep die first.
    Dry and hot seems to suit our resident camel population as well. We now have the biggest and fastest in the world, verified by the fact that the Saudi princes buy their racing camels here. We now have at least a million of them roaming happily across the outback.
    It seems that most animals including humans flourish in warmth and perish in cold. So this professor was paid to do what?

  66. “Although Armitage is happy to see the yellow-bellied marmot thrive, the KU researcher cautioned that the boom in marmots is temporary; he expects that warming could harm them in the long run because of changes in snow patterns.
    “This benefit to marmots is probably short-lived,” he said. “Snow patterns both benefit and harm marmots. Prolonged snow cover in the spring increases mortality and reduces reproduction. But if there’s less snowmelt to nourish plants that marmots forage in the summer, it will severely affect them. In droughts, we’ve had very high mortality.””
    So, the astute grant-grubbers’ researchers’ conclusion is that more snow cover in Spring is “bad” for the rodents, but less snow is also “bad”. See how that works? Any change is bad, and of course, it is our C02 that is responsible. So, clearly the marmots, while OK now, are probably actually in grave danger, along with the polar bears, due to ManBearPig manmade climate change. This will, of course, require much more dough to study.
    Hey “nico”, it is science that is in the service of an ideology, and which is grant-driven that is the anti-science.

  67. Sounds like another case of, “I don’t think this means what you think this means.”
    If they’re right, that warmer temperatures have increased marmot population parameters, it would mean that warmer global temperatures are NOT going to destroy the earth.

  68. Alan the Brit says @ July 22, 2010 at 1:54 am:
    ‘Does anybody think & or read what they write these days?’
    Nope.
    If you’re employed in the meejah, it is an actual requirement not to think, nor to read what they (and others) write. Above all, never ever use your common sense to question anything anybody in authority says or writes, especially not when they’re pseudo-scientists.

  69. “LAWRENCE — This week, one of the world’s foremost scientific journals…”
    Shouldn’t that read “on of the world’s formerly scientific journal”?

  70. Re Jimbo says: July 21, 2010 at 8:38 pm
    “OT – This makes me angry and sad :>(
    BBC – “A delicate, blue-hued insect has re-appeared in the UK after an interval of more than half a century……”The spread northwards across the continent seems to be associated with climate change.””
    US gets Marmots, we get larger rats and urban fox populations thanks to abundance of food and lack of predation. And bugs. The BBC story puzzled me a bit as I think I took some photos of these in the UK a couple of years ago, but didn’t know they were anything special. Not sure it’s the same type, but sent a pic off to the dragonfly society to check. Marmots and bugs may just be another example of what happens when you get a limited population of researchers making assumptions based on a limted set of data. The ‘net + people with cameras and some education may add value.

  71. NS: July 22, 2010 at 2:49 am
    Actually I think quite an interesting study. I can see a couple of alternative theories they should discount first:
    Can I have my theory discounted first — “It’s the CO2. Marmots are just furry, very active plants”…?

  72. Nice marmot… the preferred pet of German Nihilists everywhere! 😉 I couldn’t resist a Big Lebowski reference.

  73. I, for one, have just about had it.
    I’m fed up.
    Etc.
    When we had the Third Coast Super Bowl here in Houston, the elite media, looking for local color, dredged up and interviewed every local yokel they could find, with but one requirement. They had to have a toof missin’. Not that there aren’t local yokels in NYC or DC with missing incisors, probably more than the whole state of Texas has, but they don’t make it onto the tube.
    This blatant effort by the MSM to portray the actually-productive portions of America as unsophisticated hicks is at best an effort of self-delusion by the ruling elite, always in need of assurance that they are really needed.
    I hardly expected WUWT to go the effort to find a snaggle-tooth marmot to place atop a post. Mark me down as disappointed. </sarc>
    Over the last decades, I’ve noticed that I, too, have grown larger and more plentiful. Little did I suspect it was due to global warming.

  74. I am puzzled that most of the comments are negative. Professor Armitage has demonstrated that climate change (warming) is good: more food, bigger and healthier animals, and increased survival rates. Isn’t this what most of the posters on this site believe?
    Now, when he crosses into speculating about the future impact of warming, we get the usual AGW BS — some warming may be good, but disaster awaits if the globe continues to warm. In that regard, his conclusions are no different than what has been said about polar bears: their populations are growing, but “models” suggest they would not survive more warming.
    I am surprised that no one has noted the most obvious “danger” identified by this study. Global warming causes OBESITY in animals. Now that is something we all need to worry about. More and bigger animals waiting to munch on human beings.

  75. EJ says: July 21, 2010 at 11:02 pm
    bigger rodents, huh? *sigh* does this mean I’m going to have to upgrade from .22 lr to .22 WMR?

    Pointless. Even if you could find ammo these days, WWF will have Congress put them on the endangered list along with the flourishing polar bears.

  76. The yellow bellied marmot normally lives at altitudes above 6500ft.
    Kenneth Armitage has been studying the yellow bellied marmot in Colorado since 1962.
    What has been the recorded temperatures in this part of this world at elevations above 6500ft?
    You can find an answer to this question here.
    http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/RS_Colorado.htm
    The answer to the question, is that there has been no statistical warming in Colorado since 1960 at elevations in which the yellow bellied marmot is known to be distributed.
    So whatever the reasons behind the growth in size of the yellow bellied marmot it cannot be due to local changes in temperatures.

  77. Sure, start the series when warming starts. They had data for a decade and a half earlier. And sure warming, and sure CO2 fertilization of their food; what is the cause of the warming?
    Only on the cover of Nature because it is agenda journalism. And this in a day of improved communications. There’s another irony for my museum.
    =========================

  78. I can’t help but remember this scene:
    Buttercup: Westley, what about the R.O.U.S.’s?
    Westley: Rodents Of Unusual Size? I don’t think they exist.
    [Immediately, an R.O.U.S. attacks him]
    -From Princess Bride

  79. So, what about the worst species of all: The Yellow-bellied Politician? They seem to have been growing fatter in recent years too.
    Love the sarcasm in many of the posts.
    “But if there’s less snowmelt to nourish plants that marmots forage in the summer, it will severely affect them. In droughts, we’ve had very high mortality.” — so basically it’ll work out in the wash the various pluses and minuses to their population? Presumably their predators would be increasing in population somewhat too.
    Maybe we should get Mann to study the history of marmot rings? Is there a factor to account for the Urban Marmot Island effect? Do their formulas use “fuzzy logic”? Does this signal the beginning of Marmotgate? Would a FOIA request to the marmots for all their communications with regard to this issue be honored? Do I really need more caffeine this morning? 😉

  80. nico says:
    July 21, 2010 at 9:41 pm
    “What a sad collection of knee-jerk anti-science comments. Phenology researchers have been observing and recording changes in animal and plant behaviour for decades, and are quite familiar with normal variability, just as climate researchers are familiar with normal climate variability. The effects of human activities on the atmosphere, and therefore on climate, are causing concern. See Walther et al, Ecological responses to recent climate change, Nature 2002.”
    Sonny, you need to spend more time reading journal articles. Or just be a lot older and live through more than one oceanic oscillation. Elk and deer populations follow the PDO long term oscillation. Has nothing whatsoever to do with AGW. Marmot populations wax and wane in similar fashion. So do crop destroying insects. Even nightcrawlers follow this pattern.

  81. Mike McMillan: July 22, 2010 at 6:29 am
    I hardly expected WUWT to go the effort to find a snaggle-tooth marmot to place atop a post.
    It’s not atop a post — it’s atop a rock.
    Ummmmm — what?

  82. It all seemed like good news for the marmot, but I was waiting for the punch line and here it is:
    “Although Armitage is happy to see the yellow-bellied marmot thrive, the KU researcher cautioned that the boom in marmots is temporary; he expects that warming could harm them in the long run because of changes in snow patterns…
    Snow patterns both benefit and harm marmots.”
    We skeptics just need to understand climate change will always have negative consequences, never good. When a species is thriving and populations are increasing there will inevitably be a change for the worse.
    Climate change simultaneously means more snow with drought, coupled with earlier springs and later snowmelt. It has the potential to both benefit and harm humanity, in equal extremes, on any given day, but it will ultimately destroy the planet. Be afraid.

  83. I can’t believe you skeptics are not taking this seriously. If we keep changing the climate we could end up with this. See, the authors say climate change caused something. Our modern lifestyle is going to come back and bite us on the arse. All it takes is a single degree of warmth, and we’re toast. Do it for the children.
    Bull-Size Rodent Discovered — Biggest YetJames Owen
    for National Geographic News January 16, 2008
    A one-ton “fossil rat” has been discovered in South America, scientists announced today.
    The prehistoric, bull-size creature—the world’s largest recorded rodent—has been identified from a well-preserved skull. The megarodent lived in lowland rain forests between two and four million years ago, perhaps using its massive teeth to fend off saber-toothed cats and giant, flightless, meat-eating birds, researchers say. The newfound species, called Josephoartigasia monesi, is reported today in a study led by Andrés Rinderknecht of the National Museum of Natural History and Anthropology in Montevideo, Uruguay.
    The rodent weighed about 2,200 pounds (1,000 kilograms), based on an analysis of its 21-inch-long (53-centimeter-long) skull, according to the study, published in the new issue of the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society: B.
    “The future can bring big surprises. But at present J. monesi is the largest recorded rodent,” he said. The new discovery should provide important new clues to the growth processes that produced such massive rodents, he said. Climate change likely also contributed to the demise of massive rodents, the paleontologist said.

    Then what’s next, this?
    RELATED
    Fossil Mammal Resembling Dog-Hare Hybrid Found in Bolivia (September 19, 2006)
    /sarc

  84. The following is a fairly complete synopsis of oceanic oscillations on marine and animal populations. The food chain has learned to adjust to these oscillations either by fertility control, predation patterns, and/or dietary changes.
    While I still hate marmots and shoot any and all that enter my barn, their population numbers, size, and habits have nothing to do with me or AGW.
    http://www.iphc.washington.edu/Staff/hare/html/papers/pcworkshop/pcworkshop.pdf

  85. “”” In other news, Former Governor Sarah Palin is blamed for starting all this by making it Marmot Day instead of Groundhog Day in Alaska. As everyone knows, marmots can’t forecast a darn thing, but they can model. /sarc From a KU press release: “””
    Well that simply is not true; Marmots are great forecasters ! Back in the dark ages; round about the time when the Chinese invaded Mongolia; those northern nomadic tribes were great hunters and trappers; and traded in furs, including Marmots.
    Once in a while; every few years or so, a Trapper would come back into town from his trap rounds; and tell the villagers that he had observed some Marmots up on a mountain that were all acting silly as if they were drunk on something.
    At that news; the villagers would collect up all the recently collected pelts, in the town center, and burn the whole lot up; then they would burn the entire village to the ground; and move off into some adjacent valley, and start all over again.
    Nobody knew why; it was just part of the tribal lore that they had learned from their ancestors; the Gods would be angry if they didn’t follow the ritual.
    So when the Chinese invaded, and took over the place, and confiscated all the furs for themselves to send back to China; nobody thought to mention the ancient traditions that must be followed; and so when the Marmots started acting silly again; nobody dared to tell their Chinese masters, that they had to burn the town down.
    The furs went back to China; along with the Bubonic Plague that the Marmots were the vector for; and those furs subsequently made it to Europe; and the great Plagues took off in Europe.
    So Marmots are great predictors; if you know how to read them.
    Every now and then the ground squirrels in the Kings Canyon National Park, all come down with Bubonic Plague and they have to close regions of the Park to campers. Plague needs a burrowing rodent like vector that hibernates through the winter; so the fleas that carry the virus don’t all die during the winter cold.

  86. Joke
    A local elderly man and his wife Edith went to Yellow Stone. While there they attended a briefing on the local animals. They learned about bears, eagles, and the yellow bellied Marmot. After coming home the man was in the local tavern sharing his adventures.
    “We went on a day long hike and saw lots of animals. We came upon a barely visible little hump of fur that had a golden brown color to it. I crept through the brush to get a closer look at the furry little creature when I kind of stumbled into the clearing. Up stood a big old grizzly bear that I thought was the yellow bellied marmot! He reared up to his full height and bellowed “ROOAAARRR” at me. I sh** my pants!”
    The locals all chimed in, “Man we would have too if a grizzly had confronted us!”
    To which he replied, “No, not back then. Just now when I stood up and said ‘roar'”!

  87. What if it’s the other way around? What if the Marmots are causing global warming? I mean, if they’re getting bigger, and eating more plants, isn’t that reducing the number of plants on earth? If there are less plants to remove the CO2 from the atmosphere……..hmmmm……..
    This guy definitely needs more funding!

  88. “”” Gail Combs says:
    July 21, 2010 at 10:42 pm
    alarmist bells are ringing! “””
    Gail; I don’t know how you find this Legal Treaty and Constitution stuff; but I sure do appreciate that you know how to do that.
    Well I do keep a copy of the Constitution and the Declaration in my pocket; and am very familiar with those; but it’s not so easy to find how the Court has addressed some of these issues. Your post pretty much nails it; now if we can just get the Congress, and the Administration to abide by their oath’s of office and uphold the Constitution !
    George

  89. Gail Combs says:
    July 21, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    Gail you are under the mistaken impression that there is still the rule of law in this country.
    no one pays any attention the Constitution, and no one has for a very long time.

  90. George E. Smith July 22, 2010 at 9:51 am says:
    Gail; I don’t know how you find this Legal Treaty and Constitution stuff; but I sure do appreciate that you know how to do that.

    The JBS has been around for a loooooooong time serving as the repository for a lot of her stuff. That, coupled with ‘populism’ enjoying a modern-day resurgence …
    .

  91. George E. Smith says:
    July 22, 2010 at 9:51 am
    Gail; I don’t know how you find this Legal Treaty and Constitution stuff; but I sure do appreciate that you know how to do that….
    ____________________________________________________
    As I said in another post I am part of a group of farmers who have been at this type of research for about a decade. That combined research is why I have a pretty good handle on the larger picture.
    By the way I love the story about the Bubonic Plague that the Marmots were the vector for. Sometimes that “old folk wisdom” isn’t as stupid as people think.
    Some one mentioned that England has been going for 1000 years or more. One wonders if the “House of Lords” everyone hates may have something to do with it. A “sitting lord” used to be someone who was older, hopefully with accumulated wisdom, and since he did not have to be elected could veto dumb ideas. I think the US Supreme Court was sort of a take off on that concept.
    The House of Commons of course is supposed to be a check on the power of the lords.

  92. George E. Smith says:
    July 22, 2010 at 9:36 am
    George that is the first I have heard of the Marmot bubonic plague connection. I love the story. Do you have a link or reference to it?
    There was a similar ritual with the Navajo and Hanta virus, which basically said slovenly greedy ways would bring death and the mouse was the messenger, meaning having excess food around increased mice populations. Death by the gods or Hanta virus, either way, it was an unseeable mysterious connection, and their only reliable control was a prescribed behavior with correlated results. I think much insight can be gained from those rituals.

  93. “”” Gail Combs says:
    July 22, 2010 at 10:20 am
    George E. Smith says:
    July 22, 2010 at 9:51 am
    Gail; I don’t know how you find this Legal Treaty and Constitution stuff; but I sure do appreciate that you know how to do that….
    ____________________________________________________
    As I said in another post I am part of a group of farmers who have been at this type of research for about a decade. That combined research is why I have a pretty good handle on the larger picture.
    By the way I love the story about the Bubonic Plague that the Marmots were the vector for. Sometimes that “old folk wisdom” isn’t as stupid as people think.
    Some one mentioned that England has been going for 1000 years or more. One wonders if the “House of Lords” everyone hates may have something to do with it. A “sitting lord” used to be someone who was older, hopefully with accumulated wisdom, and since he did not have to be elected could veto dumb ideas. I think the US Supreme Court was sort of a take off on that concept.
    The House of Commons of course is supposed to be a check on the power of the lords.
    Jim Steele says:
    July 22, 2010 at 10:40 am
    George E. Smith says:
    July 22, 2010 at 9:36 am
    George that is the first I have heard of the Marmot bubonic plague connection. I love the story. Do you have a link or reference to it?
    There was a similar ritual with the Navajo and Hanta virus, which basically said slovenly greedy ways would bring death and the mouse was the messenger, meaning having excess food around increased mice populations. Death by the gods or Hanta virus, either way, it was an unseeable mysterious connection, and their only reliable control was a prescribed behavior with correlated results. I think much insight can be gained from those rituals. “””
    I’m far too dumb to be able to make this stuff up. There was a very famous book about the history of the world as it was influenced by major diseases and pestilences. Among the few things I have not remebered is either the name of the book or its author; but it is a modern book not something from my precambrian school days. I don’t have the book; but somebody loaned it to me and it is a gret read; so the story is quite real.
    In Europe of course it was the Norwegian Grey rat or somesuch that carried the fleas with the Bubonic plague; but it originated in some remote Mongolian valley surviving through the winter freeze on the wrm tummies of hibernating Marmots.
    The message of the story of course is how much of our social behavioral mores actually derive from some primitive tribal custom; that nobody understsood; but nobody transgressed, for fear of angering the gods. So the folk lore passed all this stuff down to us; so we don’t go marrying our sisters or brothers; because somehow so far back nobody knows when; inbreeding brought genetic catastrophies. A lot fo what we regard as ancient custom, can be traced to survival discoveries.
    Well aren’t we facing that today ? I’m sure we are befouling the oceans; and raping the productivity of the seas; and the climate issue is of the same nature; except I am quite confident that we are not, and cannot alter that in any destructive way.
    You know how Leif Svalgaard is constantly cautioning us about assigning cause to the sun. We can calculate the 0.072 deg c fluctuation that would accompany the normal solar cycle TSI variation if everything behaved BB radiation equlibrated. And maybe solar magnetic effects via some sort of cosmic ray variation affect cloud cover.
    I think Leif is quite right; although those small effects are certainly operating; but I believe that the water evap/cloud/precip cycle is such a powerful feedback control of earth’s mean Temperature range; that it is quite capable of taking care of even quite large changes in solar behavior.
    I don’t think anybody has claimed to be able to detect the 0.072 Black Body Temeprature adjustment that could conceivably accompany TSI cycling; we can simply calculate that assuming some equilibrium situation which of course we never have.
    So I believe that we could have some sizeable change in solar TSI; and it would create a climate blip; up or down as the case may be; but after time has allowed the ocean and ground heat content to readjust; to the new supply rate; the cloud feedback would take over control and we would be right back at almost exactly the same temperature range we now have; but with just a change in the amount of global cloud cover; either up or down, depending on which way the sun went.
    We might now be seeing the blip from a quiet sun; but if that condition persisted; I’m confident that eventually the clouds would get it under control

  94. What, no hat tip?
    REPLY: Sorry, no offense intended. I found it on Eurekalert and followed to the KU website, I didn’t see your tip (until you pointed it out) – Anthony

  95. Global warming alarmists do not want you to know this: Just look up 20 year and 60 year cycles on Scholar Google and the peer-reviewed scientific papers come rolling in by the tidal wave. These 20/60 cycles are totally driven by the Sun, not CO2. These cycles effect all flora and fauna, on land and in the sea, hurricanes, fishing, foresting, harvesting, breeding, monsoons, droughts, you name it. And these intellectually starved “scientists” at Nature, instead of attaching the obvious natural cycles of the Sun, stretch the limits of imagination to attach Marmot growth to a trace gas that, according to ice core data, incrementally increases about 800 years after incremental temperature increases. What a bunch of boobs!
    Meanwhile, the Sun is relentlessly grinding into a Grand Solar Minimum and the next Little Ice Age, or worse. When are these “scientists” going to pull the cushy Federal Grant morphine drips from their arms, sober up and dry out, and set out to discover the impending cooling that will kill off our argriculture and send the world into a famine, and get off this myth about Mann-made climate change. It’s the Sun, stupid, driven by planetary mechanics. Live with it!

  96. “In other news, Former Governor Sarah Palin is blamed for starting all this by making it Marmot Day instead of Groundhog Day in Alaska. As everyone knows, marmots can’t forecast a darn thing, but they can model.”
    Someone needs to call Sarah and tell her that Groundhogs are marmots.
    J.C.

  97. Anthony, no worries. I just get a little excited when I spot something first. Which is pretty rare with your readers scouring the press all day.

  98. Well, I think this is interesting. More CO2, from warmer oceans gives more trees.
    More food, warmer (better) climate. Bigger animals, bigger trees and so on. Before you know it, they will conclude that warmer is better……

  99. Re: George E. Smith says:
    July 22, 2010 at 9:36 am
    George, I have have hunted and trapped 30+ years. When a trapped or hunted animal is killed, the fleas soon leave the cooling carcass seeking a new warm host. That’s why we left the carcasses outside the fur shed overnight, so we wouldn’t have to deal with the fleas when skinning.
    There are no fleas on skinned pelts.

  100. Mac says:
    July 22, 2010 at 7:11 am
    The yellow bellied marmot normally lives at altitudes above 6500ft.
    Kenneth Armitage has been studying the yellow bellied marmot in Colorado since 1962.
    What has been the recorded temperatures in this part of this world at elevations above 6500ft?
    You can find an answer to this question here.
    http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/RS_Colorado.htm
    The answer to the question, is that there has been no statistical warming in Colorado since 1960 at elevations in which the yellow bellied marmot is known to be distributed.
    So whatever the reasons behind the growth in size of the yellow bellied marmot it cannot be due to local changes in temperatures.

    Could Prof. Armitage perhaps be induced to address this and other comments in this thread?
    You’ll all be thrilled to know that said Professor made “All Things Considered” on NPR this evening. He was invited by the host to blame the fat marmots on “climate change,” which he obliged by doing. The connection with climate was, shall we say, fatuous.
    /Mr Lynn

  101. From 2001 through 2009 the atmospheric CO2 increased by 18% of the total increase from 1800 to 2001 while the average global temperature has not changed significantly and the trend of yearly averages through 2009 is down. The El Nino that made early 2010 look a bit warmer than the trend, peaked in March, 2010 and average global temperature is now dropping rapidly.
    Research, with latest findings regarding projected temperature trends is reported at http://climaterealists.com/index.php?tid=145&linkbox=true. It presents a rational equation that accurately calculates the average global temperatures since 1895 with a coefficient of determination of 0.88. That means that it explains 88% of the measured temperatures for 114 years and counting. The best that GCMs have done is substantially worse than this. The equation predicts that the trend of average global temperatures will decline. The above link and sub links, including links to the temperature data reported by the five reporting agencies, track the data back to the published credible sources.
    As the atmospheric CO2 continues to increase and the average global temperature does not, perhaps the comments of ill-informed people will subside.

  102. I think this guy is on to something! Has anyone else noticed that for the past 12K years there has been a feeeeenominal increase in the physical size and population of H.Sapiens (it’s a filthy little species that tends to live in dumps and smells like a wolverine, terrible temper too)? And Dinosaurs! How many remember those days? It was hot and muggy and… well for those of you who weren’t there, take my word for it.. those things were BIG. Yhep! I think he’s on to something. The hotter it is the bigger they get and the more hanky-panky too. Did I ever tell you about my Uncle Al or my cousin Dan? These guys were BIG!

  103. I read an article in the Sydney Morning Herald the other day that Women’s Breast sizes have been increasing since the 1960s. The data is based on the change in the types of undergarments purchased by women over that time horizon?
    Is there a correlation to AGW? Is more research required? Can I get a grant to further study this anomaly?

  104. I don’t get it.
    If the hypothesis is that global warming is bad for everything, and the finding is that global warming is causing marmots to thrive (bigger size and number), wouldn’t that cause one to reject the hypothesis?
    I don’t get how thriving animal and plant populations are seen as a bad thing.

  105. I’m embarrassed to be a KU student. But then, the temperature sensor on campus is not up to snuff either, tucked in between three large stone buildings. Maybe this researcher looked at the KU temp records. What an embarrassment.

  106. It’s true! Just this past season at Tahoe, I was boarding along the treeline, when out of nowhere, this giant rat runs right out in front of me, I thought I was going to do a Sonny Bono (yes, they actually call it that now).
    I asked the lift operator. He said I had probably seen a marmot, and yes, they are getting bigger because they are raiding garbage cans. They are worse than bears, cause they come in a pack. Mean too, especially in the dark. You find one of them “varmits” on top of your can at 4 am, you go back in the house, come out later and clean up the mess.
    hope all is well with you – we noticed, it is about 15 degrees cooler in the hills these days!

  107. Farmers provided an abundant amount of food for these animals as I am pretty sure you can not just kill them. Secondly where are the
    predators that would normally hunt this animal. Mountain lions, wolfs, coyotes, etc have been wiped out in this area.
    so, to say global warming is the cause is nonsense. What happened here would be true for any animal on the planet, an abundant
    amount of food and no predation equals a fatter animal and lots of them. Just look at humans as for an example. No predation and
    plenty of food for most of us. The environmenalist prevents the third world nations from achieving what the west has.
    But they still eat better than the generation before them.
    You don’t need to spend tax payer money on these nonsense experiments, history tells us what happens when the temperature
    increases. During the medieval warming period civilizations grew. As with the marmots the population grew as the food supply
    increased, mostly from farmers not global warming and there was no predation to speak of.
    During the little ice age this trend was reversed. Death and disease was wide spread during this time period and many perished.

  108. 2 Points regarding marmot pelts:
    1. My gut tells me that the demand for marmot pelts has decreased over the last 25-30 years with all of the PETA no-fur political correctness mumbo jumbo. Wouldn’t decreased pressure from a highly effective predator with a huge appetite for part of the animal (umm… that’s us) tend to increase the population and let individuals get live longer / grow larger until the population runs up against some other resource/environmental factor that limits it?
    2. RE: Brego says: July 22, 2010 at 4:04 pm
    There are no fleas on skinned pelts.
    Right, but if the pelts were plague infested when they were still animals, then their untrapped cousins would provide a vector to spread the disease in the area. Burning the pelts was probably overkill, but moving away probably wasn’t. Plus fleas leaving their recently dead host could have found the trapper as their new home.

Comments are closed.