The Research Project, Week Seventeen, Kentucky Climate Change

The Research Project entries for the states of California and Georgia both dealt with climate change. This week we add a third state to that list. Kelly Spratte-Lennington, a researcher at Transylvania University in Lexington Kentucky, is studying migration patterns of plants and animals caused by warming of the earth’s atmosphere. Her paper explaining the research is entitled: The Consequences of Climate-induced Range Expansions.

As scientists have told us for years, species have to adapt to changes in their environment or face extinction. Migration is one way that species can assure their survival. The goal is to find out which species are going to be able to migrate successfully to maintain their survival as the climate changes.

Human beings are probably the ultimate migrators. When conditions at home change and we need a new place to live we move. This has happened countless times over the centuries and still happens regularly today. It is one of the reasons humans continue to thrive on this planet even though so many changes have happened.

The average worldwide air temperature has risen between 0.4 and 0.8 degrees Celcius since the Nineteenth Century and is projected to increase by another 1.4 to 5.8 degrees Celcius by the end of this century. This may not seem like much but keep in mind that scientists tell us that just the slightest change in the basic laws of nature like gravity and electromagnetism could wipe out life on earth instantly.

The fact that even the slightest changes in climate and the basic laws that govern our universe can mean life or death for our planet argues for the existence of a designer who created the universe as it is with all its laws already in place. The laws of nature did not evolve thus the entire universe, which is governed by the laws of nature, did not evolve.

The name Transylvania comes from Latin and means “across the woods” — a good description of the vast, heavily forested area where the university was founded by the legislature of Virginia in 1780, making it the 16th oldest university in the nation. Since the university’s name reminds some of Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula, members of the Transylvania community often have fun with the parallel — especially during the week of Halloween.

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