Another reason to be very afraid of Global Warming - from the team of crack journalists (I'll leave it to you to determine the manner in which I intend the word "crack" to define "journalists.") at Huffington Post, experts tell us that there is a wide-spread trend of shrinking among species in the animal kingdom. This trend, they say, is attributable to Global Warming. They liken it, believe it or not, to "wool sweaters that shrink when washed in hot water."
38 out of 85 species, apparently, have diminished in size over the previous decades, including a variety of "Scottish sheep that is 5 percent smaller than in 1985."
The frightening trend appears to apply also to some plant species, with certain types of cotton, corn, and strawberries growing smaller as well.
Of special interest to Monty Python fans, the weight of the average house sparrow dropped by one seventh, from 1950 to 1990, (The effect on its unladen airspeed is yet to be determined.) and the poster child of Global Warming, the ever-cuddly polar bear, also appears to be growing smaller, which might actually be pretty good news for the Eskimos. (Imagine how much easier life on the ice flows will be when polar bears are all miniaturized. Maybe they can even be domesticated. If they can be housebroken, they would make lovely pets.)
Thankfully, for those who would like to preserve some respect for scientists, there are those who say the claims "seem kind of far-fetched." That's readily apparent to anyone who thinks about the question for a minute. After all, sheep, cotton, corn, and strawberries are all subject to generation upon generation of selective breeding, the goal of which is always directed toward developing the attribute that makes a species marketable. In the case of sheep, this would most likely be the quality and quantity of the wool. In cotton, breeding will likely focus on attempts to increase the density of fibers in each bole. In corn and strawberries, strains might be prized for the quickness with which they ripen, resistance to drought and disease, and so on. Any one of these desired attributes could be developed at the cost of overall size of the plant, which is irrelevant to the ultimate marketability of the end product. To assume that these heavily manipulated species and varieties are fluctuating in size becuase of Global Warming is quite a stretch - and that's assuming that Global Warming even exists, which is proving to be more of an assumption and less of a fact all the time.
Then again, if Global Warming were proven, it would make no sense at all to suggest that a warming environment decreases the size of species. Anyone familiar with Seinfeld knows it's cold that causes shrinkage.