Reports out of Spain over the holidays indicate that Siberian bears aren’t the only ones losing sleep this winter. In the Cantabarian mountains of northern Spain, mother bears are postponing hibernation to gather food that isn’t usually available.
Experts predict that 2006 will go down as Spain’s warmest year on record. The warmer winter is causing nuts and berries to last further into the season, thus proving it “energetically worthwhile” for the bears not to hibernate and collect food instead.
In an article starring the bears, Mark Wright from the World Wide Fund for Nature commented:
I think it’s an indication of what’s to come. It shows climate change is not a natural phenomenon but something that is affecting not only on the weather, but impacting on the natural world in ways we’re only now beginning to understand.
His statement draws particular attention to the anthropogenic, or human, causes of climate change. In other words, this case and the “other seasonal freaks” mentioned in the article should have pivotal policy implications for the 110th Congress.