TruthOut: Climate Change Driving “Rapid and Widespread” Decline of Bumblebees

By Daisy Dunne, Carbon Brief Published February 15, 2020

The chances of spotting a bumblebee have dropped by almost half across North America and by 17% in Europe from the mid-20th century to near present day, a study finds.
The chances of spotting a bumblebee have dropped by almost half across North America and by 17% in Europe from the mid-20th century to near present day, a study finds. Dmitry Drigoriev via Flickr

Shifts in temperature and rainfall are pushing bumblebees to their ecological limits across both continents, according to the analysis published in Science. This is driving “rapid and widespread declines” across 66 bumblebee species, the authors warn.

The impact of climate change on bumblebees is greatest in warmer parts of the northern hemisphere, including Mexico and Spain, the research finds.

Bumblebees have also expanded their range in some cooler regions. However, the extent of their range expansion is far smaller than the extent of range lost, the authors say.

This has contributed to population declines that could have “unknown consequences for the provision of ecosystem services,” they add.

Bumblebees also face threats from habitat loss and exposure to pesticides – meaning rapid warming could prove to be “the final straw” for some species, another scientist tells Carbon Brief.

Read more at TruthOut.org …

CTVNews: Scientists find another threat to Greenland’s glaciers lurking beneath the ice

Gisela Crespo CNN Published Tuesday, February 4, 2020 2:31AM EST

glacier
The 79 North Glacier’s ice tongue is in northeast Greenland. (Nat Wilson/Alfred Wegener Institute/CNN)

Scientists have long known that higher air temperatures are contributing to the surface melting on Greenland’s ice sheet.

But a new study has found another threat that has begun attacking the ice from below: Warm ocean water moving underneath the vast glaciers is causing them to melt even more quickly.

The findings were published Monday in the journal Nature Geoscience by researchers who studied one of the many “ice tongues” of the Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden Glacier — also known as the 79° North Glacier — in northeast Greenland.

An ice tongue is a strip of ice that floats on the water without breaking off from the ice on land. The massive one these scientists studied is nearly 50 miles long.

The survey revealed an underwater current more than a mile wide where warm water from the Atlantic Ocean is able to flow directly towards the glacier, bringing large amounts of heat into contact with the ice and accelerating the glacier’s melting.

Read more at CTVNews.ca …