Thursday, January 13, 2011

Global Warming causes irony

Rick emails with this demonstration of unanticipated consequences:
Some scientists studying penguins may be inadvertently harming them with the metal bands they use to keep track of the tuxedo-clad seabirds, a new study says. The survival rate of King penguins with metal bands on their flippers was 44 percent lower than those without bands and banded birds produced far fewer chicks, according to new research published Wednesday in the journal Nature.

The theory is that the metal bands — either aluminum or stainless steel — increase drag on the penguins when they swim, making them work harder, the study's authors said.

Author Yvon Le Maho of the University of Strasbourg in France, said the banded penguins looked haggard, appearing older than their actual age.
I blame the release of anthropogenic carbon dioxide during the aluminum refining process.

UPDATE 13 January 2011 13:47: Rick emails with a suggested update:
The increased mortality of the penguins (caused by the scientists who put the metal tags on them) was used as evidence of global warming: i.e. based upon their study, penguins were dying at an alarmingly higher rate then they were before.  They concluded that it was due to loss of habitat caused by global warming.  Their data was spot on.  Of course, they did leave one variable out of their equation...

Added to the "Junk Science" category because, well, it was junk science.

1 comment:

Ben C said...

Did the scientists know that fishing lures have little shiny bits on them too?

Sounds like they may have made the penguins extra visible under the water with their tags, and easier for predators to track and munch on.