Time for Change; What Strange Creatures Will Rise from Our Ponds If Global Warming Continues? the Answer Could Come from Scientists at Botanical Gardens in Wirral. Pottering about Practical Collectables Telling Tales Telling Tales Athenaeum Competition Winner's Moving Story

Daily Post (Liverpool, England), February 17, 2007 | Go to article overview

Time for Change; What Strange Creatures Will Rise from Our Ponds If Global Warming Continues? the Answer Could Come from Scientists at Botanical Gardens in Wirral. Pottering about Practical Collectables Telling Tales Telling Tales Athenaeum Competition Winner's Moving Story


Byline: David Charters reports

THE teasing question of whether global warming was likely to increase sightings of the Loch Ness monster did not for a moment dam the flow of thoughts from the good professor standing in his wellies down-wind from a parade of water tanks.

The tanks are providing crucial information for Europe's largest experiment into how climate change will affect our ponds, lakes and gardens, where plants and simple creatures are being confused by the seasons.

"Are you suggesting that we might have hippopotami in the Mersey?" he asked, as a slight breeze whispered through the white of his beard.

"Of course, hippopotami were there once," he said, nodding with a quizzical smile, while his words soaked home. Recently?

"No, not for 30,000 years," he replied, instantly crushing hopes of a tourist attraction to match the fabled Nessie.

But Professor Brian Moss, 62, is a chap who knows that temperature is the great governing force. When it changes, so does life on earth.

That is why the work being done by Liverpool University scientists at Ness Botanical Gardens, south Wirral, Cheshire, is of crucial importance to our understanding of what is happening to the planet and how best to control it in the future.

MONSTERS are not expected to burst into view on our lakes, but we can anticipate strange happenings that will in some ways move us closer to the imaginative predictions of science fiction.

In collaboration with colleagues in Belgium, Germany, Norway, Iceland and Denmark, scientists here are investigating the possibility of toxicity in algae rising with the temperature. The effects of warmer water on creatures from unicellular life forms to hardy fish are also being observed.

Prof Moss, a senior lecturer at the University's school of biological sciences, is standing on a squelching, lushly-grassed brow of these splendid gardens overlooking the wildfowl marshes. Across the Dee estuary, you can see the belching industrial belt of docklands beneath the Clwydian hills. Here, nature is haunted by the ambition of man - together making a strangely beautiful picture.

The wind is keen, but surprisingly mild to those of who can remember the bitter and unyielding grip of winters gone by.

With him is Keith Hatton, 49, senior research technician with the School of Biological Sciences. By them is a white object with louvred sides containing instruments which record the weather. It is called a Stephenson Screen and it enables them to measure temperatures passing through the box untouched by sun rays. It is a standardised measurement which can be compared to that at any other weather station in the world with a similar box. It has a weather vane and another device fitted with three cups on a spindle which measure the wind's speed.

Its records go back 40 years and it is part of the Meteorological Office's network of some 650 stations in Great Britain. Most are automatic. This is the only manned one left on Merseyside.

"Over that time, the average overall temperatures have risen between 1.5 and two degrees centigrade," says Keith.

"We were just processing the figures for January and the initial finding is that they are three degrees above the average. It is the warmest January we have had in the 40 years. This pattern of temperature change seems quite rapid and quite marked."

"It is the local manifestation of a global trend," says Prof Moss. "The rate at which the temperature is rising is about 100 times higher than anything we know happened in the past due to natural processes.

The world's scientists are pretty well unanimous in determining that is caused by human activity - burning oil, burning coal, burning fossil fuels."

In the short term and in line with our typically selfish approach to events, people are actually enjoying their gardens more, with flowers blooming for longer periods. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Time for Change; What Strange Creatures Will Rise from Our Ponds If Global Warming Continues? the Answer Could Come from Scientists at Botanical Gardens in Wirral. Pottering about Practical Collectables Telling Tales Telling Tales Athenaeum Competition Winner's Moving Story
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.