Nature magazine reports this headline: Condemned to single-sex life by climate change.
They are talking about a species of lizards called tuatara that live “on about 30 small islands in New Zealand?s north.” The disgusting, scaly creatures are in exile on those islands because they have everywhere else been “wiped out by predators.” No word on who or what these predators are or why the predators cannot follow the tuatara to the islands and thus continue their campaign of herpetological genocide.
Anyway, the lizards are about to go extinct and it’s all your fault. It seems that when the weather is hot, more male tuatara lizards are born than female lizards. And we all know what happens when there are more boy than girl lizards. It becomes impossible to get a date and procreate.
This “doomsday prediction”, we are told by researchers, is assured because of (what else?) global warming.
How do the researchers know this? Why, a computer told them so.
Previous computers did not tell them so, which forced the researchers to reprogram them, this time incorporating in their models “physics of heat transfer with terrain data.” Well, that is impressive. The researchers then “simulated climate change and then monitored its effect on specific points across the island.”
What they found was shocking: Rampant maleness, which naturally carries with it the consequence of enforced bachelorhood.
For those of you who are not as computer savvy as I, let me summarize. Researchers programmed a computer to show that when the temperature rises, fewer female lizards are born. They then told the computer that temperatures were in fact rising. The computer then said “fewer female lizards are born.”
The researchers pored over this result and came to the conclusion that “warmer temperatures caused by global warming imply fewer female lizards will be born.” They wrote this in a paper which was duly summarized at Nature. Science in action!
All might not be lost because, the researchers suggest, the lizards might be “translocated” ( = moved) to cooler climes. I just hope that those mysterious predators aren’t in the new translocations.