Global Warming In One State

Like clockwork, whenever there is any kind of change in the natural landscape here in Minnesota, our local paper, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, will attribute it to global warming. They did it again today, writing about the apparently dwindling population of moose in northern Minnesota: What’s Killing Minnesota’s Moose?

The population of the iconic animal in northeastern Minnesota has declined again, based on the latest aerial survey this winter by the Department of Natural Resources.
Wildlife researchers estimate that there are 5,500 moose in that region of the state. With a 23 percent margin of error, the estimate is not statistically different from last year’s estimate of 7,600, but it supports other evidence that the moose population is declining. …
Reasons for the decline are uncertain, but researchers continue to believe a warming climate is responsible. Minnesota, already at the southern fringe of the moose range, apparently is becoming inhospitable for the large animals. Moose are extremely heat-sensitive, and temperature readings in Ely show over the past 48 years, average summer and winter temperatures have increased substantially.

Really? The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency says mean temperatures have increased in the state by a whopping one-half of one degree Fahrenheit in the last 50 years. Those moose must be sensitive creatures. The only evidence the Strib supplies to connect the moose population to global warming is repetition:

“There’s more and more evidence suggesting it’s related to climate,” Lenarz said. Higher temperatures can stress moose, making them susceptible to diseases and parasites. …
A new study is being launched involving placing radio collars and GPS devices on some northeastern Minnesota moose to determine how they respond to higher temperatures.

Here’s what puzzles me, though: isn’t global warming supposed to be–you know–global? That being the case, why are moose populations “burgeoning” in Massachusetts, returning to Wisconsin, “growing” in Michigan, moving into Connecticut, where historically they did not live, “booming” in Oregon, “resurging” in Vermont, “increasing” in Washington, “growing exponentially” in New York, “significantly increas[ing]” in Colorado, and “growing” in Utah?
I have no idea whether Minnesota’s moose population is declining, or if so, why. Moose are subject to a variety of diseases, and wildlife populations constantly fluctuate for reasons that are often unclear. I’m pretty sure, though, that if the culprit were global warming the syndrome wouldn’t stop at the state’s boundaries.
We’ve all gotten used to inept news coverage, but I don’t believe we’ve seen anything as brainless as the liberal press’s devotion to global warming.

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