New PDF release: A Less Green and Pleasant Land: Our Threatened Wildlife

By Professor Norman Maclean, Chris Packham

ISBN-10: 1107673232

ISBN-13: 9781107673236

Disentangling the proof from the hype, this 'Domesday ebook' of the British and Irish geographical region deals a definitive and up to date survey of the kingdom of our flora and fauna at the present time. Norman Maclean, editor of the bestselling Silent summer season, examines the newest findings of england and Ireland's best natural world specialists and translates them for a much broader viewers. each one bankruptcy presents trustworthy estimates of animal populations, displaying which species are thriving and that are in decline. The publication additionally considers the results of weather switch on our flora and fauna and the way human inhabitants development is influencing its improvement. superbly illustrated with color plates and wooden engravings all through, this obtainable and well timed research unearths simply how quickly our geographical region and its flora and fauna are altering, why we should always be troubled, and what we will do approximately it.

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These subsequently died of avian malaria in large numbers, and 11 of the 30 or so Hawaiian honeycreeper species are now extinct, mainly from malaria. A partial solution was provided by some of the native bird species fortuitously living in high-altitude forest, where the mosquitoes could not survive. This happy chance has saved some of the honeycreeper species, but even for these favoured survivors the risk has not gone away. When hurricanes tear through the islands, the high-altitude birds take refuge in the lowland forests, only to fall foul of the avian malaria parasite.

When I was a science undergraduate, life seemed to be inconceivable above temperatures of around 60°C, largely because conventional proteins become denatured at temperatures above 60°C, and most of our food is regarded as sterile (and bacteria-free) provided we boil it at around 100°C. However, things turned out to be much more interesting with the discovery of extremophiles. These are primitive bacteria-like organisms, which preferentially grow and reproduce at temperatures between 80 and 122°C, and they can also tolerate extremely acid conditions.

These date from this time and were collected in what is now the northern Sahara. It should be emphasised that our present north European climate is a warm blip in an interglacial period, and that for as much as 90% of the last two million years the Earth’s ice fields have been more extensive 30 | A LESS GREEN AND PLEASANT LAND than they are at present. There was even a cool period, sometimes referred to as a ‘little ice age’, between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. This was caused, at least in part, by reduced solar activity, since the Sun is subject to cycles of increased or diminished activity.

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A Less Green and Pleasant Land: Our Threatened Wildlife by Professor Norman Maclean, Chris Packham


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