Rutger's English Blogg

Seahorses 2013-04-29

Publicerad 2013-04-29 23:12:50 i Allmänt


Seahorse is a small fish that is fascinating. There are about 35 species of seahorse. the largest can be 30 cm, the smallest four cm long. One seahorse has the record as the world's slowest fish. It swims by 0,016 km/h villket is 16 meterin one hour. Its way to reproduce itself is special. The females have eggs and this is what defines a female. The female lays eggs in the male's belly where they are also fertilized. After a month, the development of the eggs, it's time for the hatched seahorses to "be born".

The lower picture shows five males courting a female who wants to lay eggs.

"Birth" of sea horses

The tapir 2013-04-25

Publicerad 2013-04-26 11:05:43 i Allmänt

In the blog Mongabay I read an interesting article on the Asian tapir. .
Tapir's is an animal that lives in rainforests, a shy animal that is hard to spot. It has said to be endangered but they have not really had good knowledge of how many animals there are today.
It is now estimated that there are about 2000 tapirs in the Malaysian forests after setting up camera traps. With these camera traps they could show that there were more than they thought. It is about 9.5 animals/100 km2 and there are still large areas that remain in Malaysia that can accommodate this animal. In these forests they chops down trees randomely and it does not seem to affect these animals negatively. The tapir can weigh up to 540 kg. The three species found in South America are smaller and have a brownish fur.
Range of the species according to the IUCN red list

The tapirs are protected but are hunted in some places. Muslims in Sumatra usually do not hunt and eat them for they resemble pigs. The biggest threat to them as well as to other animals is that their environment is changing. The forest land becomes the oil palm plantation, for example. Tapirs appear until quite recently also to have been living in Borneo.
How many low lands tapir that are left I have not found out but of the central american species it is estimated that 5-6000 are left. The smallest tapir is the mountain tapir living outside the tropical rainforest, it has a thicker coat and white lips. It is estimated that there are about 2-3000 left of this. If the scientist would set up camera traps in this part of the world, maybe you'd get the same results as for the Asian tapir. Tapirs main enemies are big cats and human hunting. See picture for mountain tapirs.

Area of the American tapirs.

The pups have white lines. See picture


Nature in cycles 2013-04-22

Publicerad 2013-04-23 10:16:08 i Allmänt
The climate is well amongst the best example of the cycles of nature. Heat Periods succeeded by colder periods. There are short-term fluctuations and volatility in the longer time. Saw recently a new chart with snow fluctuations in Antarctica which then is translated to SMB (surface mass balance) How much it snow, how much it sublimates (when the sun shines snow disappearing as water vapor directly, no melt in between). In fact Antarctica is so cold that there are no the formation of meltwater lakes on the ice as in Greenland. Only at the edges and on the West Antarctic Peninsula close to South America does it melt in the usual way. Would it melt elsewhere it freezes almost immediately. Antarctic ice mass can only significantly be reduced by iceberg calvings that flows into the sea, where the ice melts.
Let's look at a graph of suface mass balance reflecting precipitation.

Earlier it had been stated: Climate model projections based on increasing greenhouse gas concentrations predict a warmer atmosphere containing higher levels of water vapour, suggesting that the Antarctic snowfall is expected to increase. Thus, the SMB of the AIS will negatively contribute to sea level rise (AIS= Antarctic Ice Sheet)

It is said that it may contribute to a sinking ocean surface. If it will be so there should not be too many icebergs that calve into the sea.

According to the article: Recent satellite observations indicate an accelerating ice loss in these peripheral areas due to ongoing and past glacier acceleration, implying that the contribution of ice sheets to sea level rise increases over time.

It is proposed that there should be an increased calving of icebergs because that you have seen this recently. The author will not think cyclic.

The chart and calculations can be found in a recent article in the publication Cryosphere

In another article, the total mass balance is now at the Antarctic

 "within 1992–2005 lie in a narrowed range of +27 to -40 Gt/year, which is about 3% of the annual mass input and only 0.2 mm/year SLE. Our preferred estimate for 1992–2001 is -47 Gt/year for West Antarctica, +16 Gt/year for East Antarctica, and -31 Gt/year overall (+0.1 mm/year


So it is totally a negaiv mass balance at -31 gigatons representing a sea level increase of 1 cm in 100 years. But then we have not let go of the cyclic momentat in the calculations.

We'll just say that it is very difficult to fully calculate this ice. The above given data was to 2001. According to another publication, it changed to 2003. Similar analysis for Antarctica shows a positive balance of 38 Gt / yr for the period 2003 to 2008.
One of the main writers of those articles is a famous Antarctic Scientists named Zwally a NASA scientist. This then it becomes a sea level decrease of 0.1 mm / year that is 1 cm in 100 years. But we must not forget the cyclic.

Fig. 4. Mean normalised anomalies of the annually resolved SMB time series at continental and regional scales obtained from the time ice core dataset, as described in the text. (A) Number of records from each year in the period from 1200 to 2000 used to calculate the continental (black line, left y-axis), WILKES, DML, and WAIS stacked records (black, blue, green and red lines, respectively, right y-axis). (B) Mean normalised anomalies of the SMB time series at the continental scale. (C) The DML mean normalised anomalies stacked record. (D) The WAIS mean normalised anomalies stacked record. (E) The WAIS mean normalised anomalies stacked record along with the ±1 uncertainty standard deviation (grey-filled contour around each stacked record). The blue- and redfilled rectangles represent periods with negative and positive SMBs at the continental scale, respectively, as described in the text.

In the diagram above you can see the calculations of surface mass balance in the different provinces of Antarctica. (WAIS = West Antarctic Ice Sheet)

ISSI say Antarctica will contribute to a havsytesänkning of 30 cm until the 2300th

In a publication from ISSI (a space research institute where our Swedish Lennart Bengtsson is a board member) in Bern, Switzerland, we find the following diagram where one tries to predict sea level rise and contribution from Greenland and Antarctica. The other glaciers mean so little so it is not included.
According to them, the Antarctic to contribute to sea level decrease, Grönlnad with sea level increase. In totality it will be a rise of 60 cm in 300 years. Then it will be sea level increase because water expands as it gets warmer. What they estimate that it will cause I have not found. If we would say a meter in 300 years, that I must say is a bit contrary to what some climate alarmists say. An increase of between 1-2 meters until 2100.

I told my students today that it's just something that they scare people with with.

Fig 1 Change in sea level. Contribution from Greenland (red), from Antarctica (blue).Total contribution (black). ECHAM5 model, IPCC Scenario A1B, MPI, Hamburg

Fig 2 Annual mass balance for Greenland during 22 years. T319 equivalent to ca 30 km grid. Model driven by SST from a model run at lower resolution (T63). Fig3

We must not forget the cyclic as the last diagram from Greenland shows.







The treeline is moving north 2013-04-19

Publicerad 2013-04-20 18:09:59 i Allmänt

Today, when it becomes warmer the treeline is moving north in Siberia. That it gets warmer is manifested in longer growing season, spring comes earlier, but as in Sweden the height of summer heat does not increase, the average temperature in July does not rise. See chart of July's temperature from the Kola Peninsula. The lower part shows recruitment of pines at the tree line in a couple of periods. The average temperature in July has declined since the 1930s as well as in Sweden. In Sweden, the average temperature in July, about two degrees cooler in the late 1900s, compared with 30, 40 and 50s. But the tree line is moving north because of longer growing season and this causes problems for the nomadic peoples of northern Russia. But still the treeline has not reached areas where there was forest in the Middle Ages and during the Holocene Termal Maximum (HTM).

"However, conifers have not yet recolonized many areas where trees were present during the Medieval Warm period (ca AD 800–1300) or the Holocene Thermal Maximum (HTM; ca 10000–3000 years ago). Reconstruction of tree distributions during the HTM suggests that the future position of the treeline due to global warming may approximate its former Holocene maximum position."


The chart below shows how the tree line has changed since 10,000 years ago from the end of the Ice Age. We see a shift southwards gradually. The reason is climate deterioration. The place is Yamal peninsula.

On the map you can see the circled Yamal peninsula which is known for a number of studies on tree rings and change of the tree line. Scientist has worked extensively with larches along the river beds. Because of this, Holocene has been divided in three parts. Below a comparison with the tree line in the third period, Late Holocene and today. After 1600 BC changes have not been as great as in previous millennia.


Extreme Weather 2013-04-16

Publicerad 2013-04-17 10:42:00 i Allmänt
Now that the temperature is at a plateau since 1998 people have begun to talk increasingly about extreme weather. See graph of satellite measured temperature.
We read about it in newspapers and it´s repeated in blogs. See an example here.

This blog writing in January "Take note that there are warning headlines for tomorrow - there's an extreme weather with of strong winds 25m / s combined with rain and snow. Currently this part of the climate change effects that it becomes more often and stronger extreme weather is a sign of the times ., it becomes more or less snow, extreme precipitation or extreme drought, storms, cold and heat ... (the writer thinks not only in Sweden)
How do we equip the country and local communities to extreme weather?
One way is to allocate capital to take once it applies, in Västervik the issue has NOT been recognized by the budget. But the Green Party in Oskarshamn came away with the council on a small but symbolic deposition on climate account, better. "
Yes, the Green Party is working and of course it is good to have some reserves. It may  be similar weather as that from 1958 to 1959. About this, we know nothing in advance but we shouild not say too much.

But remember that it was always even and good weather earlier according to some!

SMHI writes "On March 12, 2012 blew storm WNW 26 m / s at Bjuröklubb. Since then there has not been a storm in Swedish coastal waters., So when we passed on April 12 come up in 396 storm-free days., It is a new record! ".

But certainly there have been storms, it is enough just to name Gudrun and Katrina.

How was it before? A mans memory is so short.
See the following link for examples:

1958: End-of-Winter Snowstorm Blasts East Coast With Hurricane-Like Conditions

1958: Baltimore Crippled By 16-Inch Snowfall

1958: 182 Die In 26-State Cold Wave, Eastern U.S. Hit With Record Lows

1958: Florida Shivers From Record Cold Winter

1958: Devastating Snow Blizzard Burys New England - 45 Dead

1958: "Record Breaking Storm Rakes Western Prairies" - Blizzard & Tornado

1958: Britain Suffers Worst Arctic Blizzard In Decade

1958: "Huge Ice Gorge Threatens To Cause Floods"

1958: Canada's Prairie Drought Called Disaster

1958: "Severe Drought In China" - Worst In 20 Years

1958: Violent Hailstorm Causes Havoc In Australia - Hailed For 15 Minutes

1958: Northwest U.S. Suffers With Bad Heat Wave

1958: Iowa Torrential Rainfall - 13 Inches, 5 Dead, 12 Missing

1958: "Forest Fires Plague Pacific Northwest" - Tinder-Dry Environment

1958: B.C. Heat Wave Disastrous, 280 Forest Fires Burning

1958: "250 Fighting Glacier Park Forest Fire"

1958: "Giant Iceberg Spotted In The Atlantic"

The link above has a continuation. It was too long to include everything here.

Luckily, we are not troubled by this extreme weather that we call tornadoes. USA got everything. But is it increasing?

We can also look at the energy of tropical storms. According to Dr. Ryan Maue article

"Recent historically low global tropical cyclone activity" in Geophysical research Letters

Abstract: Tropical cyclone accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) has exhibited strikingly large global interannual variability during the past 40-years. In the pentad since 2006, Northern Hemisphere and global tropical cyclone ACE has decreased dramatically to the lowest levels since the late 1970s. Additionally, the global frequency of tropical cyclones has reached a historical low. Here evidence is presented demonstrating that considerable variability in tropical cyclone ACE is associated with the evolution of the character of observed large-scale climate mechanisms including the El Niño Southern Oscillation and Pacific Decadal Oscillation. In contrast to record quiet North Pacific tropical cyclone activity in 2010, the North Atlantic basin remained very active by contributing almost one-third of the overall calendar year global ACE.

Check also Ryan's charts with storm frequency.

Tip Storm 1979 is the severest storm ever recorded. See  . With wind speeds of over 300 km / h
A very big storm. See the comparison with America's land area.

In the center of a storm is the low pressure. Tip is also here in first place with a pressure of 870 hPa (hecto pascal), which is 870 millibars or 652 mmHg. The lowest pressure ever measured.
List of other major storms:

For a more complete list over all ocean see:

Also read about Bhola cyclone that struck Bangladesh in 1970. Up to 500 000 deaths. I remember when it was on the news, awful. Read on:

The wolf is increasing in Sweden 2013-04-15

Publicerad 2013-04-15 10:28:54 i Allmänt

Wolf territories are increasing and the area smaller. From 15 a few years ago to 27 in last wintwr in Värmland. Now the territories are so close that scientists must take DNA to help keep the territories apart. But it is not only in Värmland wolves reproduce. Up north there are the more place.

"The reindeer is on the road to collapse"

"We are quite distressed." Professor Birgitta Åhman at SLU would actually researching reindeer productivity and fitness. But pretty soon she began instead examining the ongoing collapse of the herd as Njaarke Sami right now living through. This according Jamtland News.

Furthermore, says Prof Åhman "From 2007 onwards, she has collected data on a village with reindeer herders. And statistics show that the number of reindeer drops drastically. Among the marked females as she followed through the years, there are not many left. In the group that has its winter foddarea left to mountain terrain was only 26 percent of the tagged females also left summer 2012. Within five years, then 74 percent of the tagged females also disappeared., mainly due to predators, says Birgitta Åhman. Meanwhile no time for the group to reproduce itself. "

- We are quite distressed, says Dana Fjällberg, president of the Sami village.
Wolf meetings in Västra Götaland has also become numerous.
We read: "Hunting dog attacked by wolves outside Stenungsund, April 3, 2013
A wolf took at 15 o'clock on Tuesday afternoon, a dog, ten feet from the dog owner Janne Andersson's front door in Ucklum, outside Stenungsund in Västra Götaland. Janne Andersson chased after the wolf 20 yards into the woods, where it stopped and let the dog just meters from him. "

Janne Andersson had his two huntings dogs on the lawn while he was working behind the house. Suddenly, he heard one of the dogs screamed and he ran around the house.
- When I come around the house, I see a wolf lumbering off into the woods with the female in the jaw. The puppy went behind and barking and I run after. After 20 meters I have time to catch up and then stopped the wolf and turned against me. I thought it would take me so I pulled my knife and screamed, when I was standing one meter away from it. It just looked at me, dropped the dog and lumbered away. It was not in a hurry, says Janne Andersson.

Recent meetings with the wolf in Borås, Bollebygd, Kungälv, Stenungsund, Uddevalla, Tidaholm. All in Västra Götaland
Read more at the site Wolf Facts

How many wolves are there in Sweden? Maybe 500, twice as much as the parliamentary decision, max 210 wolves. wolves-in-2012
Others believe that there are not that many.
But the link contains a good discussion of the inbreeding issue. Wolves do well in Sweden, normal groups of puppies and some scientists worry still very much at an inbreeding depression.
It is always the starting point that is important. How healthy were the original animals? That's the important question.

Compare with Przewalski's horse where the original group were 12 horses at the turn of the century and during World War II, one mare plus a number of stallions and now there are about 1,500 horses around the world and of these 300 in freedom in Mongolia. This breed has genetic problems much larger than the Swedish wolves.

Other animals in Sweden has increased a lot from a small number of origin are:
The beaver was reintroduced in 1922 in a small number of specimens from Norway. Today the population of more than 100,000 animals and inbreeding is not spoken of as a problem. Finland has a similar history on the beaver. 

Canada Goose was introduced from North America in the 1930s, with a few animals. The population is about 30,000 and no inbreeding problems.
The current Swedish wolf population is mainly based on three individuals who have immigrated since 1980. Now there are over 200 animals that are essentially the offspring of three individuals. It is considered inbreeding as extremely problematic.
The common deer comes from 50 deers that were in Skåne in 1850. Today there are between 600 000 and 800 000.

All animal species are not sensitive to inbreeding.



Strength in the wings 2013-04-12

Publicerad 2013-04-11 17:37:19 i Allmänt
This video shows a test of the strength in a wing of a jumbo jet. Start from the tip and imagine that the tip is bent eight feet in the air. So much can be bent without breaking. Raise more wing broken. It might be good to know when you fly and the plane goes through an air pocket.

In the following video you can see how the wings move a little bit and people are scared but there is nothing to worry about.

It would be interesting to fly with the big Airbus 380.  Also lifts easy.

In the video you can see first a landing before take off.

Rhinos 2013-04-05

Publicerad 2013-04-07 10:11:39 i Allmänt
The first rhinos lived about 50 million years ago. During the Miocene, around 20 million years ago, there were maybe 30 different species of rhinos. In the period before, Oligocene, several predecessors died out. At the time, rhinoceros animals were much more common than today. Today, the hunt for their horns are the biggest problem and to read about the hunt for Rhinos for horns sake is a depressing story. Around the year 1900 there were only about 20 individuals left of the so-called white rhino in South Africa. They were protected in a national park in South Africa. The southern white rhino was considered for a while extinct until a number was found in 1895, Thanks to 100 years of efforts to preserve them, there are now over 20 000 in South Africa, a success story.
These white rhinos have been reintrodused in Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Zambia and Cote d'Ivoire. Recently a calf was born even in Uganda but the hunt for horns is problematic. The coveted horns are used in Chinese and Vietnamese medicine and to handle daggers in Oman and Yemen. The use of daggers has been reduced but the use in Chinese medicine seem to increase.
Below is a diagram of rhinos killed in South Africa. South Africa has about 95% of all African rhinos. Lately they have started introducing them in the Okavango Delta which have very good control over some areas. At one time, these rhinos were prevalent in the area.

Increasing biodiversity in our mountains 2013-04-04

Publicerad 2013-04-05 10:56:22 i Allmänt
"The local species richness has increased throughout the country. The clearest trend is in the mountains and inland areas of Norrland as many southern species expanded their ranges northward. But it is also noticeable in the south where many species that previously had little or incoherent propagation now filled out the poorer areas, says Åke Lindström, zooekolog at the university. "
"The big winners are generalists, that is, species that thrive in many different natural environments. These include wrens, cranes, nuthatch, cuckoo, Mistle Thrush, Blackbird, Fieldfare, garden warbler and great spotted woodpecker.
- The cuckoo increase is interesting, given that the former was in sharp decline. Now the trend has reversed in the other direction, says Lindstrom. "
"Though completely regimented it is not yet. Happily, all northern species is still  there, despite the increase in temperature., It seems as though most still holds its own." Although some decreases as bluethroat, willow sparrow and maybe patch tit.

The same positive messages is coming from botanically knowledgeable inventory in the mountains. See what Leif Kullman writes:


"Plant "mountain hiking" means that the species richness of some high mountain peaks increased by 60-170% over the last 50-60 years, This without a single native species disappeared. Changes to cut through the ecosystem, all levels implied by the standard yellow chanterelles found high up in the mountains (c. 1400 m above sea level), far higher than previously known.
Even around the new and higher timberline flora has added more and more pronounced heat-demanding species, most of which are not normally associated with mountains. Occasional seedlings of oak and elm trees now growing quite near birch tree limit in Jämtland and Härjedalen. Although alder, maple and birch have begun to appear in the upper forest belt. There are at least 8000 years ago "deciduous trees" growing on the corresponding levels in the mountain regions.
The enclosure of the new small birch groves established in the mountains are several representatives of a newly arrived southern forrest flora.Anemone, golden saxifrage milkwort and bracken are some examples. "
"All of the progressive changes of the mountain vegetation described here has occurred despite reideer feading increased significantly over the last 50 years."
"The general impression is that the mountains become greener and plant cover everything lusher and more high grown. Alpine plants flowering has intensified, which attracts several large butterflies, previously rarely seen flying high up in the mountains. Possibly, the growth dynamic in the mountains stimulated not only by higher temperatures . Atmospheric increased levels of carbon dioxide cause in principle a "fertilization effect," which could explain some extreme growth phenomenon. "
Warmer climate entails increased biodiversity, maybe not so strange.




Tortoises 2013-04-03

Publicerad 2013-04-02 21:21:00 i Allmänt

This smuggling was unveiled in Bangkok. Thailand has become something of a center for smuggling of wild animals according to the blog "Tree Hugger".  

This turtle reaches sexual maturity at the age of 15. That´s why it can´t reproduce so quickly. Distribution area is minimal. See map


Its main enemy is wild pigs imported from South Africa, pigs called Bush Pigs

When pigs are booking into the ground they find the tortoise eggs but they also eat adult individuals, although adult turtles can grow to over 40 cm long.
Pigs introduced in various locations are causing problems. They eat their way through the countryside and a plant and animal world that are not adapted to these snouts have problems and species become extinct.




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