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Climate Change in the Kawarthas November 2014 – Part 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Climate Change in the Kawarthas November 2014 – Part 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Climate Change in the Kawarthas November 2014 – Part 1

2 Climate Change in the news this fall... May, June, Aug., Sept., & Oct were warmest ever planet-wide 35,000 stranded walruses on NW coast of Alaska in late September. Why? Decline of sea ice. Happening since Long term implications? Audubon’s Birds & Climate Change Report: “314 species out of 518 studied will lose more than 50% of their current climatic range by 2080 due to habitat disruption brought on by climate change.” Includes loons. IPCC – Nov. 2, 2014 CO2 emissions must be reduced by almost half by 2030 or global temperatures will eventually rise by between 2C and 5C. Will be clear by 2020 if we can do this. U.S., China agree to cut greenhouse gases – Nov. 12, 2014 May put pressure on Canadian government to be more aggressive in curbing its greenhouse gas emissions

3 Nature in the Kawarthas is changing “Canary in the coal mine” Average annual temp. in Ontario warmed by 1.4 C from 1948 to 2008 by could warm by 2.5 C to 3.7 C Kawarthas are warming: Jan. 2010, 3 months out of 4 warmer than 1971 – 2000 average (75%) Changes in dates of events in nature (e.g., leaf out) Changes in numbers and kinds of some species (e.g., opossum) More extreme events (March 2012) Concern for the future What can we do? SOURCES - Personal records - Anecdotal reports from local naturalists - Climate Change Research Reports (MNR) - Trent University studies - International studies

4 The Kawarthas: Peterborough County & City of Kawartha Lakes West (C) to Balsam L., North to L. Catchacoma (P), East to Kashabog L. (Q), South to Rice L. (R)

5 2010 OMNR Report – : AMT (6- 8C) 2071 – 2100: AMT (10-12C) Temperatures similar to southern Pennsylvania on the way May no longer be suitable for present-day ecosystems Kawarthas

6 Arrival of southern bird species “Southern birds” have increased in number and have expanded their range northwards over recent decades Blue-gray Gnatcatcher Hooded Warbler Northern Cardinal – Bancroft, Minden Hooded Warbler – Ganaraska Forest Red-bellied Woodpecker

7 Birds wintering farther north than 20 years ago Study published Oct. 16 In “Global Change Biology” based on 22 years of data from Project FeederWatch Minimum winter temperature at feeder sites gradually increased Species that used to winter solely in the south started to spend winter farther north Includes Carolina Wrens, Northern Cardinal, Purple Finches, Eastern Bluebirds & Red-bellied Woodpeckers Not just a result of feeding the birds. Number of feeders has remained much the same since Carolina Wren Eastern Bluebird

8 The arrival of the Virginia Opossum Virginia Opossums, a southern species, are extending their range into the Kawarthas Johnston Dr. Ptbo – Feb Gannon Narrows – December 2012

9 Flying squirrel hybridization With warmer winters, Southern Flying Squirrels are moving north into the Kawarthas and some are mating with Northern Flying Squirrels, a different species Hybrid squirrels are becoming increasingly common Being explained as a possible effect of climate change akin to Polar Bears & Grizzlies mating ; also seen with Black- capped & Carolina chickadees (Trent University/MNR study 2009)

10 Butterflies: Southerners on the march northward A number of southern (Carolinian) species have expanded their range northwards over the last two decades (e.g., Delaware Skipper, Little Glassywing Skipper, Black Dash, Wild Indigo Duskywing, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Eastern Tailed Blue, Giant Swallowtail) Giant Swallowtail now common in Kawarthas. Was restricted to extreme SW Ontario Warmer winters may therefore allow some species to expand their range. Warmer summers may also be having an impact. In years with long, hot summers, we are now seeing two broods of some species that were formerly single-brooded (e.g., Peck’s Skipper, Tawny-edged Skipper) Source: James Kamstra, ecologist and environmental consultant, AECOM Giant Swallowtail – Canada’s biggest butterfly Delaware Skipper

11 Some migrants are, on average, returning earlier with warming temperatures Common Merganser Osprey Great Blue HeronCommon Grackle Red-winged Blackbird Common Loon

12 An earlier nesting season Earlier springs are resulting in an earlier start to the nesting season for some resident birds & short-distance migrants One large-scale study showed that birds are laying eggs up at an average rate of 6.6 days earlier per decade. Tree Swallows are nesting up to 9 days earlier than 30 years ago No data specific to the Kawarthas Source: Nature Canada Mourning Dove Tree Swallow

13 An earlier spring frog chorus Spring Peeper Peak calling period of early breeders is now 10 – 20 days earlier than in Spring Peepers, Wood Frogs, Chorus Frogs and Northern Leopard Frogs (MNR study published in Herpetological Conservation and Biology, 2012) Salamanders are mating earlier, too. Chorus Frog

14 Earlier flowering of trees Alberta study: Flower buds on Trembling Aspens now opening 2 weeks earlier Red Maple Carolina Poplar Speckled Alder Silver Maple

15 Earlier spring wildflower bloom In recent years, peak bloom has been two to three weeks earlier than normal Coltsfoot White Trillium Hepatica Wild Columbine

16 An earlier black fly emergence Black flies are now in peak numbers in late April through early May In the 1960s, peak numbers were not until mid- to late May Traditionally, May 24 th Weekend saw the worst black fly conditions


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