Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Could moles really end up toppling Stonehenge? UN report warns furry creatures could destroy ancient site if the earth's temperature keeps rising
The nonsense just keeps coming. Stonehenge has been through two periods hotter than now -- the Roman Warm Period and the Medieval Warm Period -- yet the stones are still there. And if they do topple over, what's to stop pushing them up again?
Stonehenge could be toppled by moles if the earth’s temperature keeps rising, a United Nations report warned yesterday.
The world heritage site is one of many that will be threatened by climate change – with other famous sites under threat including the Statue of Liberty, Venice and the Galapagos Islands.
A report warns that moles, rabbits and badgers will flourish in warmer conditions – and they would be likely to undermine the prehistoric monuments of Stonehenge.
The report was produced by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), the UN Heritage body Unesco and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
It warns that in the UK, warmer winters are likely to boost populations of burrowing animals that could disturb archaeological deposits and destabilise stonework.
The report warns that the huge megaliths, some weighing more than 40 tonnes, are under threat.
It says ‘warmer winters are likely to bring higher populations of burrowing mammals including badgers, moles and rabbits, which may destabilise stonework and disturb buried archaeological deposits.’ Hotter, drier summers could also increase the number of visitors – currently running at around one million a year which would also disturb the site as could more intense rainfall and flash flooding.
Warmer, wetter conditions are ideal breeding conditions for earthworms, a major part of the mole’s diet, which leads to moles and other creatures that eat them, such as badgers, flourishing. Soft, wet soil is also easier to dig than hard, dry ground.
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).