Two years in a row of cool wet summers has had a devastating effect on the population of butterflies in Britain.
Two cool and wet summers in a row have left butterfly numbers at their lowest for more than a quarter of a century.Evidently no one has told the butterflies about the computer models predicting global warming.
One species, the high brown fritillary, has almost died out in Britain and several others have suffered dramatic slumps.
For a dozen species, last year was the worst on record and conservationists fear that they could suffer long-term damage if there is a third dire summer this year.
Even butterflies that were once common garden visitors, such as orange-tips and the small tortoiseshell, are among those to have suffered significant declines.
The weather has had such an impact because heavy rain, of which there was plenty in the summers of 2007 and 2008, prevents butterflies from flying to find mates or to reach the flowers that supply them with nectar. Similarly, butterflies need the Sun in order to become fully active.
And what about that Sun? Some one has turnrd off the sunspots.
BOSTON (WBZ) ― "The Sun is the all encompassing energy giver to life on planet Earth," said Dr. Willie Soon, an Astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.So do you suppose the sun has anything to do with the British butterflies? Of course not. The lack of butterflies is caused by bad weather. Bad climate (well, good for butterflies) is caused by CO2. Funny thing is you don't hear the dire predictions about summer climate (excuse me - weather) that you used to hear in previous years. I have yet to see one prediction that the summer of 2009 in the Northern Hemisphere will be the hottest ever. Which makes no sense. If CO2 is still increasing (it is) shouldn't global temperatures continue to rise? That is what the models predict. (what are the actors and actresses predicting?) And what climate model predicted the stagnating of temperatures we have had for the last 7 years? And what climate model predicted no sun spots? I can answer that. None of them. Because solar output over the solar cycle is constant. According to the models. Evidently what we need are cuter models. Or more accurate ones. Perhaps adding a few solar scientist to the IPCC's collection of climate experts might prove beneficial. To science. To the global warming agenda - not so much.
And these days the sun is getting a lot of attention from scientists.
"The Sun is just slightly dimmer and has been for about the last 18 months," said Dr. Soon. "And that is because there are very few sunspots."
Sunspots are giant islands of magnetism on the Sun and the appearance of sunspots runs in 11 year cycles. When sunspots are abundant during the cycle, it is called the "solar maximum" and when there are few sunspots, it is considered to be the "solar minimum."
"Right now we are in the deepest solar minimum of the entire Space Age," stated Dr. Soon. "In fact, this is the quietest (fewest sunspots) Sun we have had in almost a century."