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Albatrosses breaking up, and 4 other strange impacts of climate change

Amrutha Pagad
Amrutha PagadNov 26, 2021 | 18:17

Albatrosses breaking up, and 4 other strange impacts of climate change

A wise metaphor goes like this: A frog which is dumped in boiling hot water will jump out instantly. But a frog dumped in normal water that is slowly brought to a boil, will not perceive the danger and stay in the pot till it is boiled to death.

What a stupid frog, you might say. But right now, humans are the stupid frog which is about to boil to death.

The point is that it is strange that the frog did not jump despite the danger, just like humans are barely doing anything despite knowing the dangers of climate change. But this behaviour is not the only strange aspect brought on by global warming. Here are 5 strange ways climate change is changing our planet:

1. INCREASING DIVORCE RATE

Divorce rates are increasing due to climate change, one study says. But it's not about humans. It's about albatrosses. These seabirds are known for their loyal monogamous relationships in the animal kingdom. Only 1-3% of albatross couples separate.

However, the warming water temperature has pushed up the separation rate to 8%, says a new Royal Society study. The researchers observed the rate among more than 15,000 albatrosses. 

Researchers say lack of food due to warming waters, working longer hours to find food, logistical difficulties faced by a travelling partner, may cause stress hormones to rise and eventually lead to break-ups.

The scenario seems very familiar to us humans - the struggles of maintaining a long-distance relationship and keeping a work-life balance.

2. CRABS ARE GETTING BIGGER

Crab-lovers may be celebrating at the news that climate change is making crabs bigger. But no, it’s not good news. You see, only crab shells are getting bigger due to carbon polluted waters, not the flesh inside it.

Carbon is also making the crabs a little loopy and confused, researchers in 2011 observed. They are not feeding as much as they should be.

So, the next time you wait for that fat crab in 2050, you may only get a few morsels. Or maybe the crabs might grow to become the size of cars. Then we need to question who will eat whom. 

3. BIRTH OF A NEW HYBRID ANIMAL

If you come across a weird or unique looking animal on the road, you can blame or credit climate change for it. Prizzlies or grolars are becoming a reality in countries like Canada. These animals are hybrids of grizzly or inland bear and polar bears. The grizzlies are moving north in search of cooler climate and the polar bears are moving south as the Arctic Sea ice melts. This is giving birth to their hybrid offsprings.

4. WINE WILL TASTE LIKE CRAP!

This issue is so serious that it was included in the 2015 Paris Agreement discussions. Warmer climate is reducing the wine production and quality of wines in countries like Chile, France, Argentina and South Africa.

Perhaps by 2050, you might be spending a bomb for a bottle of what now we call moderate-quality wine. On the other hand, the warming climate has helped a few grape-growing regions in the world like New Zealand.

5. KEEP YOUR SEATBELT ON, ALWAYS!

In the near future, you will probably have to keep your seatbelt on, always, when on an airplane. That’s because the frequency and intensity of turbulences is increasing due to climate change as air currents are severely disrupted.

You might end up with a bump or two if you’re not taking enough precautions.

Last updated: November 26, 2021 | 18:17
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