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Monday, November 1, 2010

Narwhales tell us that the oceans are warming



According to new research the "waters off of  southern Baffin Bay by West Greenland has continued warming since wintertime ocean temperatures were last effectively measured there in the early 2000s." (source:http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101027170928.htm )

What is unique concerning this new research finding is the manner in which scientists measured  the change in temperature in this region. They did not place thermometers in the air or in the water, instead they attached sensors to narwhales and then used these sensor readings to provide them with data which lead to their conclusion that the these waters were warming. "The animals were tagged with sensors that recorded ocean depths and temperatures during feeding dives from the surface pack ice to the seafloor, going as deep as 1,773 meters, or more than a mile." (same source as above).

"The published study reported that highest winter ocean temperature measurements in 2006 and 2007 from both narwhals and additional sensors deployed using helicopters ranged between 4 and 4.6 degrees Celsius (39.2 and 40.3 degrees Fahrenheit). The study also found that temperatures were on average nearly a degree Celsius warmer than climatology data."

Narwhales are a type of whale  that "lives year-round in the Arctic. One of two species of whale in the Monodontidae family, along with the Beluga whale, the narwhal males are distinguished by a characteristic long, straight, helical tusk extending from their upper left jaw. Found primarily in Canadian Arctic and Greenlandic waters rarely south of 65°N latitude, the narwhal is a uniquely specialized Arctic predator. The only predators of narwhals besides humans are polar bears and orcas. Inuit people are allowed to hunt this whale species legally for subsistence. The northern climate provides little nutrition in the form of vitamins which can only be obtained through the consumption of seal, whale, and walrus."
source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narwhal
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narwhal  
Is it ethical and can scientists morally justify using other animals on the planet in order to gain insight into whether or not the oceans of the planet are warming or not?

Please answer the poll question which you find on the side of page one regarding this question.

Source of image:http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_dPz8IzTW_EE/SYUG3z0s08I/AAAAAAAAAEc/ANAFyOIMTbI/s1600-h/narwhal2+Paul+Nicklen+Natgeo+

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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed



Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia



A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed



Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein



The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi



The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller



Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns



Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama



Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -



Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being



The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.