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March 12, 2009

Overnight Open Thread: “Climate Researchers to Seek Citizen Scientists” (genghis)

Subheadline: “A national program is hoping to recruit a new corps of 100,000 citizen scientists to monitor climate impacts on the living world.”

No, I can’t see anything possibly going wrong with this method of data collection. Here’s the article. Some excerpts:

”Valerie Hilt's yard brims with hollyhocks, hellebores and hyacinths. But it's her lilac bush that landed the Port Angeles great-grandmother in the annals of science.”

“Hilt, 70, is one of the last remaining lilac watchers in a network that once included 2,500 volunteers across the Western U.S. Their handwritten postcards grew into a powerful database that researchers have used to document how rising temperatures are hastening the onset of spring.”

“Now, a national program is hoping to recruit a new corps of 100,000 citizen scientists to monitor climate impacts on the living world. This time, volunteers can gather data on a wide range of plant species, from dandelions to Douglas fir. Next year, the network will expand to include birds, bugs and other animals.”

Eventually she’ll take her place in the pantheon of science alongside Newton, Einstein and the guy who first came up with this magical elixir.
”"You don't have to be a scientist to make these kinds of observations ... and it's amazing what can emerge from them." (like incredibly flawed and unreliable data sets you mean? –ed)

“Participants in the National Phenology Network will enter observations online, and the data will be freely available.”

“Phenology is the study of life-cycle timing, from bird migrations and tadpole metamorphosis to the explosion of wildflowers in mountain meadows. Researchers are discovering that even tiny changes in temperature can disrupt that timing, pushing some species toward extinction and favoring others.”

"Temperature governs every single biological reaction," said Lisa Crozier, a research ecologist at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle.”

Ain’t that the truth, as everyone here packing junk knows. It’s always shrinkage in the winter and droopiness in the summer. But that’s how Gaia intended things to be. Cold weather does bring other delights though, particularly if there’s a tight sweater involved.

Phenology, by the way, is not the same as Phrenology, though you can draw your own conclusions about the validity of either.

With the planet about to turn into a burned-out cinder, I’d like to announce a new charity effort in the overnight thread. I’m pleased to announce the launch of the “Adopt a Snowflake” program. Isn’t it about time we stepped up and took some action to try to save this endangered species? Before its too late? I’ll be setting up a special PayPal account tomorrow so you can help do your part.

Please help us save these innocent and lovable creatures.Time is running out.

Notice: Posted by permission of AceCorp LLC. Please e-mail overnight open thread tips to xgenghisx@gmail.com. Otherwise send tips to Ace.

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posted by xgenghisx at 12:09 AM

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