credit Zeng Shuttlecock
Hint -- it’s the cause of terrorism, Isis, hurricanes, tornadoes, famine, droughts, floods, record snowfalls, a world without snow, earthquakes, pestilence, road rage, wildfires, cellulite, hangnails, and ocean front property in Idaho.
It’s global warming, people. That is the claim of the British Ecological Society in their recent study on Norwegian reindeer titled--
Seems the north pole has gotten all balmy, and the rain on the frozen ground makes it difficult for the reindeer to forage for the lichen (fungus and algi) which comprises the bulk of their winter diet.
As yummy as that sounds, wouldn’t a warmer climate mean a longer growing season which would provide more fresh food?
The dire warning:
"The reindeer starve, aborting their calves or giving birth to much lighter young," said the BES. Source
The same report states that the number of reindeer has risen in the past 20 years.
Reindeer numbers have risen in the past two decades, so greater competition for food likely also contributed to their smaller size. This meant there could be more but smaller reindeer in the decades to come... Source
So what does this actually mean? Instead of “eight tiny reindeer,” will Santa now have to have ten or twelve even tinier reindeer?
This seems similar to the stories of vanishing polar bears and penguins that turned out to have larger populations than ever when someone got around to actually counting them.
As for size, Live Science gives a wide range of sizes. How can anyone determine that reindeer are getting smaller when there is this much variation?
Male reindeer grow to 28 to 53 inches tall from hooves to shoulder, and around 5.9 to 6.8 feet long. Females around 5.5 to 6.2 feet long. Males weigh 143 to 529 lbs. and females weigh 121 to 308 lbs. Source
I’m sure the scientists will work it all out if they can get a taxpayer-funded government grant or several.