The Moscow Times says climate change may be playing a greater role in killing Russia’s honeybees than officials care to admit.
The newspaper says that from the Moscow suburbs to the Altai republic 2,500 miles to the east in Siberia, millions of bees have died this summer.
Mass bee deaths were cited in 24 of Russia’s 85 regions, and 300,000 bee colonies died off over June and July – peak months for honey harvesting.
Dave Goulsen, a bee specialist at the University of Sussex in Britain, says scientists haven’t found what killed the bees.
“These big die-offs are an unfortunate combination of a variety of factors,” he tells the newspaper.
“It’s common sense that if we start getting big fluctuations in weather – droughts, floods, frosts – these things are going to be challenging, particularly if bee populations are already stressed,” Goulsen says. “If bees are already hungry and poisoned, they are going to have a tough time dealing with these things.”
Higher temperatures saw 4.9 million acres of fire raging across Siberia and the Far East this year.
“In parts of the Far East snow didn’t fall at all this year,” said Grigory Kuksin of Greenpeace Russia. “We link this directly with climate change. The Russian government hasn’t fully understood how quickly the climate is changing and how serious this problem is becoming
French beekeepers are also concerned.
“We’ve been alarmed for a while now about the impact of climate change,” National Union of French Beekeepers secretary-general Henri Clément says.
“It’s the biggest concern for beekeepers. Earlier this year we had late frosts and winds from the north that dried out flowers, preventing them from producing any nectar.”
The timing of plant flowering and bee hatching must coincide and German researchers say climate change is disrupting this relationship.
University of Würzburg studies show higher mean temperatures can have a severe impact on plants and animals by disrupting their mutually beneficial relationship,
The pasque flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris), is extremely sensitive to rising temperatures by flowering earlier each year, whereas one of its major pollinators, a solitary bee species, does not quite keep pace by hatching earlier.
This may cause the plant’s seed production to decrease and impair reproduction while requiring the bee to switch to other plants for its food supply.
The timely onset of flowering is essential for plant species that flower at the beginning of the growing season and rely on solitary pollinators.
“A lack of pollinators can have serious consequences for the plants and their reproductive success,” researcher Sandra Kehrberger says.
“Our research shows climate change also threatens domestic plants and solitary bee species which are already under great pressure from habitat loss and intensive agriculture.”
The USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) warns climate change could lead to higher federal crop insurance program premiums for corn, soybeans and winter wheat.
The ERS scenarios show a 3% to 22% increase based on moderate to extreme greenhouse gas emissions. The scenarios model the difference between the future with the climate of the recent past.
The ERS says all scenarios suggested the warming effects of climate change will lower domestic production of corn, soybeans and winter wheat. This will cause commodity prices to rise, dragging premiums and subsidies up with them.
Evolutionary ecologist Viktoriia Radchuk of Germany’s Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research says many birds are adapting to climate change – but probably not fast enough.
“Which means, on average, these species are at risk of extinction,” she says.
Radchuk and colleagues focused on common and abundant bird species, such as tits, song sparrows and magpies .
They found some bird populations are breeding, laying eggs and migrating earlier, which makes them better prepared for earlier onsets of spring – a significant effect of climate change.
Radchuk says when temperatures warm, plants flower earlier, and insects also develop earlier.
“For many birds, insects are their food source, which means birds time their egg laying to correspond to the peak of prey abundance,” she says.
Some birds have been shifting to earlier dates.
“The temperature is changing so fast that evolution isn’t able to keep up,” she says.
Increasing temperatures due to climate change will result in worsening air quality by raising the number of days with high concentrations of ozone, the University of Delaware reports.
Cristina Archer led the team that analyzed nearly 50 years of data and found rising temperatures will increase the days in a year where ozone levels in Earth’s lower atmosphere become dangerous.
“Ozone has large negative impacts on health, especially affecting the cardiopulmonary and respiratory systems,” Archer says.
More high-ozone days could also occur during the fall and spring, since increasing global temperatures will make those seasons warmer on average.
A study by U.S. Agricultural Research Service scientists finds monsoon rains in the southwestern U.S. – highly localized bursts of intense rain – have become stronger since the 1970s.
The same amount of rain falls in a shorter time by 6% to 11%. The number of rainfall events a year increased on average 15% between 1961 and 2017.
Hydrologist/meteorologist Eleonora Demaria attributes this to climate change in the southwest, which the General Circulation Models predicted would happen if the atmosphere becomes warmer.
Temperatures in the Southwest have increased by 0.22° C on average each decade.
Demaria says the changes can have important impacts on the ecology and are more likely to cause problems such as flash floods.
“These results also mean rangeland producers will also need more robust soil conservation plans to protect soils from erosion,” she says.”
Using YouTube to learn about climate-change exposes viewers to video content that mostly opposes worldwide scientific consensus on the global phenomenon.
Joachim Allgaier, senior researcher at the RWTH Aachen University in Germany, says searching YouTube for climate-science and climate-engineering-related terms finds fewer than half the videos represent mainstream scientific views.
“It’s alarming to find the majority of videos propagate conspiracy theories about climate science and technology,” he says.
Using 10 climate change-related search terms, Allgaier analyzed 200 videos and found the majority opposed the scientific consensus of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Allgaier says scientists could counteract this by forming alliances with influential YouTubers, politicians and those in popular culture to ensure scientifically accurate video content reaches the widest-possible audience.
The average global temperature in June was 1.71° F above the 20th-century average of 59.9° F, making it the hottest June in the 140-year record.
Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says nine of the 10 hottest Junes have occurred since 2010. Last month also was the 43rd consecutive June and 414th consecutive month with above-average global temperatures.
The period from January through June produced a global temperature 1.71° F above the 20th-century average of 56.3° F, tying with 2017, as the second-hottest year to date.
It was the hottest first half of the year for South America, parts of the southern portion of Africa, Madagascar, New Zealand, Alaska, western Canada, Mexico, eastern Asia, the Atlantic and Indian oceans, and the Bering Sea.
Average Antarctic sea-ice coverage was 8.5% below the 1981-2010 average – the smallest yet for June. Average Arctic sea ice coverage was 10.5% below average – the second-smallest for June.
The contiguous U.S. and southern Canada had year-to-date temperatures at least 1.8° F cooler than average.
Welcome to CLIMATE CHANGE CACHETS, the only news source in the beekeeping industry dedicated exclusively to the effects that global climate change is having and will have on beekeeping, beekeepers and honey bees and other pollinators.
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