Reflection Paper on Field Notes from a Catastrophe

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Reflection of Field Notes from a Catastrophe

Elizabeth Kolbert’s Field Notes from a Catastrophe was my first in-depth look into climate change, global warming, and the contribution of humans to these things. Global warming was something I vaguely knew about before reading this book, but it never really caught my attention or seemed like a major issue in the world. After reading Field Notes from a Catastrophe, I realized that it is in fact a major issue that must be addressed by every community. In this essay I will argue that it is our job as the human race to do all that we can to take care of our planet and reduce the amount of global warming that humans are responsible for. This essay is significant because this is our world.
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Scientists found that at least twenty-two species had shifted northwards. This is significant in that throughout history, as temperatures change, the inhabitants of these regions must either adapt to the temperature change, or relocate in order to find the temperatures that suit their living conditions. So essentially, the temperatures in Europe are rising and the Comma is moving northward to find the climate it is best suited for. Another example of global warming affecting a species that Kolbert touches on is the Wyeomyia smithii, which is a type of mosquito. This mosquito reproduces through a process called diapause which is essentially a form of hibernation. Wyeomyia smithii differ from most insect species in that it relies completely on light cues, instead of temperature, food availability, or any other factors while in its larvae state. The larvae stop growing and molting when they perceive that day length has dropped below a certain threshold but pick up where they left off once the day has lengthened enough. The exact timing of diapause is essential to the survival of these mosquitoes. The research that Kolbert used to relay the details of the effects of global warming on these mosquitoes was done by a couple named William Bradshaw and Christina Holzapfel. These evolutionary biologists found that from 1972 to 1996, the insect’s critical photoperiod had dropped nearly an hour in Macon County, North
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