|Isn't This Beaver A Dead Ringer For The Gopher In "Caddyshack ?"|
It all stared with humanitarian efforts to end the trapping trade which led to a larger beaver population.
Along with the strong increase in their population over the past 100 years, these furry aquatic rodents have built many more ponds, establishing vital aquatic habitat. In doing so, however, they have created conditions for climate changing methane gas to be generated in this shallow standing water, and the gas is subsequently released into the atmosphere. In fact, 200 times more of this greenhouse gas is released from beaver ponds today than was the case around the year 1900, estimates Colin J. Whitfield of the University of Saskatchewan in Canada. He led a study in Springer's journal AMBIO about the effect that the growth in beaver numbers in Eurasia and the Americas could be having on methane emissions.Isn't it any surprise that the progressive led climate theorists are saying that beavers doing their jobs is responsible for global warming?
The North American beaver has also been introduced to Eurasia and South America (specifically the archipelago of Tierra del Fuego); establishment of these populations has, in effect, created an anthropogenic greenhouse gas source in these landscapes.
Beavers are skilled at building dams in rivers to create standing open-water ponds and neighboring wetlands. Such ponds are generally shallow, with dams seldom being more than 1.5 metres high. Carbon builds up in the oxygen-poor pond bottoms and methane is generated. This climate warming gas cannot adequately dissolve in the shallow water and is released into the atmosphere.
According to Whitfield, it has long been known that release of methane from beaver ponds to the atmosphere is more intense than for other types of wetlands. To quantify methane release, his team estimated the size of the current global beaver population. They also determined the area covered by beaver ponds.
Whitfield's team found that global beaver numbers have grown dramatically, to a population of over 10 million. The Eurasian population could grow by an additional four million. In the process of population recovery, beavers have dammed up in excess of 42,000 square kilometres of aquatic pond areas, which are bordered with over 200,000 kilometres of shoreline habitat.
Parallel to the increase in beaver populations is also a notable increase in methane emissions because of their pond-building efforts. At the end of the 20th century, beaver activities contributed up to 0.80 teragrams (or 800 million kilograms) of methane to the atmosphere each year. This is about 15 percent of what wild cud-chewing animals, such as deer or antelope, contributed.I supposed this means we can keep our SUVs to go beaver hunting (something I did a lot in college) but that will upset Peta. Perhaps it would be better to let the beavers be beavers. After all, as of December 1, the Earth hadn't warmed in 18 years and two months. Droughts have not increased, the Antarctic Sea Ice is at record levels and the Arctic ice cap has seen record growth. Global sea ice area has been averaging above normal for the past two years.