Natural History

Dr Phil Smith: Wildlife Notes July 2016

Frog (Phil Smith)

Apart from a one-day heatwave on 19th when temperatures reached an oppressive 32oC, the month’s weather was unexceptional. Rainfall seems to have been about average but it was often cooler than expected in the first two and the last weeks. Predictably, the Devil’s Hole slack gradually dried up, though there was still a little surface water in the deepest parts (see below).

Dr Phil Smith: Wildlife Notes June 2016

Dark green fritillary (Phil Smith)

Although June was wetter than normal in most parts of the country, this was not the case here. The first rain did not fall until 10th and we missed most of the thundery downpours that caused flooding further south and east. Nevertheless, a few heavy showers and more unsettled conditions later in the month maintained enough surface-water in sand-dune wetlands for our Natterjack Toads to breed successfully in several places.

Hugh Harris: Mine Waste Cronton SJ471891

Bee Orchid (Hugh Harris)

 

MINE WASTE LWS, CRONTON. KNOWSLEY.      SJ471891 (Sat Nav. WA8 5QN)

Sat 11 June 2016.   Leader: Dave Earl

Weather: 17°C. Mostly cloudy, scattered showers with a warm high of 21° Data from Foreca

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The Role of Lichens

Join the Liverpool World Musesum for a fascinating talk about the importance of lichens in our world, by international expert Professor Mark Seaward. Lichens are a symbiotic relationship between a fungus and an algae. There are around 20,000-30,000 species worldwide. They are sensitive to environmental change, and are used as bioindicators for pollution, climate change, and in habitat management.

Mark has a strong interest in biomonitoring pollution, particularly heavy metals and radionuclides, for which he has been internationally honoured.

Dr Phil Smith: Wildlife Notes May 2016

Dark Tussock (Dr Phil Smith)

 

With small amounts of rain on only nine days during the month, May reinforced a statistically significant trend of lower spring rainfall here since 2000. A recent paper in the International Journal of Climatology confirms this trend for the UK as a whole, linking it to atmospheric pressure changes over Greenland brought about by warming in this part of the Arctic, which then impacts the north Atlantic Jet-stream.

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