Monday, July 20, 2009

Global warming causes sheep in Scotland to shrink

Dear W.A. - I read in my local newspaper that sheep in Scotland are shrinking because of global warming. I now feel very worried about my pets. I have several. Signed: Worried

Dear Worried - I wouldn’t worry too much. I understand that it is the offspring of animals that are getting smaller because of global warming. You should therefore only worry when you are a pet breeder. Scientists who did the research, published in Science (therefore peer-reviewed!), found this out by using a sophisticated mathematical model.

However, it seems that not only sheep are shrinking because of global warming, other animals as well. Some reports, not yet peer-reviewed, have reported that unicorns are also shrinking. Medieval records put the average length of their horns at 95 centimetres. This is based on the many medieval illustrations of unicorns. I have attached a picture of a unicorn in one of the famous medieval tapestries in the Cluny museum in Paris, titled La Dame à la Licorne (the Lady and the Unicorn). Statistics show that at present the average size of their horns has shrunk to 80 centimetres. These scientists predict that, if we don’t stop global warming, their horns may have disappeared altogether by the end of this century.

More research has to be carried out to find out how serious this global warming threat is. If it is true, people may also start shrinking. The human race could end up as pygmies. But personally I am not too worried. After all, this research was based on computer models, and, as we know from many global-warming-related computer models, the saying “rubbish in, gospel out” is true for most of them.