Newswise — Punxsutawney Phil may be smarter than we've given him credit for. In addition to checking out his shadow to forecast the end of winter, he has been ahead of the curve in predicting global warming.
Dr. Doug Inkley, wildlife biologist with the National Wildlife Federation, has been pondering over Phil's forecasting track record. He found that in the first 75 years of the 20th century, Phil cast no shadow only four times, which according to folklore meant an early end to winter. But in just the last 25 years of the century, Phil cast no shadow fully eight times, alerting us that winter was coming to an early end, a six fold increase!
Although Phil's forecasting can't be considered credible, the real science from many fields of scientific inquiry demonstrates that rapid climate change from global warming pollution is over-whelming. The resulting impacts on wildlife are sobering, from drowning polar bears in the Arctic to imperiled coral reefs in the world's oceans. In fact, the United Nations is releasing a report on Friday in which scientists from around the world concur that global warming is an urgent threat that must be dealt with.
Dr. Inkley says, "Wildlife are often the first to feel the effects of climatic changes." With tongue-in-cheek, he adds, "Phil would probably be the first to agree that our country needs to develop solutions to global warming fast. Otherwise he'll be forced to pull up stakes, move north and change his name to Buffalo Bill."
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