NewEnergyNews: JIM MORRISON AND THE DOORS AND CLIMATE CHANGE

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    Thursday, June 06, 2013

    JIM MORRISON AND THE DOORS AND CLIMATE CHANGE

    Giant lizard named for Jim Morrison tells tale of climate change

    Ben Brumfield, June 5, 2013 (CNN)

    “…[When University of Nebraska-Lincoln paleontologist Jason Head happened upon one of the biggest lizards that ever walked on land, he…[named it after Head's favorite 60's rock band frontman, the Doors’] Jim Morrison -- the original Lizard King…The lizard’s fate gives clues] about the effects of climate change…Lizards, like snakes and turtles, are cold-blooded animals…[W]hen the environment warms up, they become more active, get hungrier, eat more and grow…The Bearded King Morrison [-- the proper scientific name is Barbarurex morrisioni -- shows that] …bigger reptiles point to a warmer climate…

    “The lizard's hefty size helped confirm the elevated global temperature during a period known as the Paleocene greenhouse…[when there] was a lot of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere…Man-made global warming in the 21st century is pushing temperatures back up in that direction, [Head] said…Current average temperatures are only about 2.5 degrees Celsius shy of where they were 40 million years ago…”

    “The Bearded King Morrison…was smaller than today's crocodiles and Komodo dragons…But those are carnivorous reptiles. This was an herbivore. It ate plants…It was six feet long and weighed as much as a German shepherd…The evolution of such a large reptile shows what a huge effect a slight warming bump can have, Head said. With the ice caps gone, Earth's climate became warm and muggy, and forest covered the planet…There was plenty of greenery for the chubby lizard to munch through…As man-made climate change progresses, existing reptiles will spread out into new territory, Head predicts.

    “For them to evolve to the size of the Bearded King Morrison, they would require global temperatures to slowly rise a few degrees and then remain stable for a very long time. Today's climate is warming so rapidly that…[it will block their] ability to respond to the temperature increase…Instead of evolution, [Head] said, we'll see extinction…Or, as Morrison sang, ‘This is the end, my only friend.’”

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