Class blog for sharing and commenting on current events in biology.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Celebrating Deep Freeze, Insect Experts See a Chance to Kill Off Invasive Species

Foderaro, Lisa W. "Celebrating Deep Freeze, Insect Experts See a Chance to Kill Off Invasive Species." New York Times, 8 Jan. 2014. Web. 9 Jan. 2014.

            The recent temperature drop may have been unpleasant for some of us, but entomologists and naturalists are rejoicing. Scientist are happy because certain harmful pests, such as the wooly adelgid and the pine beetle, cannot survive in cold weather. Pests such as these are responsible for killing an immense amount of plant life each year. The emerald ash borer alone has killed tens of millions of trees since 2002. These pests are unable to survive in sub-zero temperatures. As a result, scientists are eagerly awaiting greater drops in temperature.
Although subzero temperatures will exterminate many of these harmful pests, they will not wipe them out completely. Entomologist John Nyrop said, “The weather will give them a temporary setback, but as soon as the weather warms up, they will take off again.”  Certain areas, such as the pinelands of NJ haven’t seen temperatures this low since 1996. Scientist believe that although this deepfreeze will not kill off the insects completely, it will slow population growth for a bit, saving many trees in the process.
            This article is significant because it brings a new meaning to the extremely cold weather that we have been experiencing. The death of these insects is great for plant life. Some scientists are even hoping that this cold will kill off some ticks, which will lower the risk of lime disease. More plant life is always beneficial. Plants produce more oxygen. Cold weather is a great regulator. Basically this cold weather is preparing us for a better spring.

            This article was very good at explaining the technical information, but there weren’t a lot of statistics as to how much these pests affect the environment and how much their deaths will affect the environment as well. There also was a lot of repeated information, only in different areas. This fact made the article a little tricky to analyze because one main idea was stretched over a 15/16-paragraph article. Over all this was a very interesting article. After reading it I had more of a respect for climate change and more gratitude for the cold weather that we have been having.

1 comment:

  1. This article was very nice to read because of how short and concise it was while still providing a wonderful summary and explanation of the topic. The article was very easy to read which allowed the reader to quickly soak in the knowledge. Another thing I liked about the article is how the author was able to integrate a quote from a direct source. This gave more scientific backing to the main point and added depth to it as well. A third thing I enjoyed about this article was how Lauren was able to connect the article to the reader. Lauren gave New Jersey as an example and was able to explain why the drop in temperature and death of harmful insects affects us in our everyday lives.
    Before reading Lauren’s article I had no idea about either these harmful insects or how the cold weather affected them. I thought it was interesting to hear how the subzero weather actually has a positive effect along side with the negative of it being very cold. I also found it shocking how the bugs have managed to kill tens of millions of trees. This seems like such a great number and it’s astounding that I had no idea about it.
    One thing I would have liked more from the author is if she gave us more of the statistics involving the topic at hand. The author even mentions that there were multiple statistics mentioned in the original article so I would have liked it if she had mentioned some of them.