Lutra 57(2)_Verboom_Editorial_2014

Mammals and a changing climate

We have just witnessed the warmest year on record, not only in the Netherlands, Belgium and Europe, but worldwide. Average global temperatures have now been increasing year on year for more than thirty years. But how should we react to this phenomenon? With concern or by enjoying it? Few people complain about spring temperatures in winter, or a walk on the beach in a t-shirt and shorts in early November. True, in the Netherlands, there were complaints about the month of August last year, the only month that was cooler, and wetter, than average; and about the absence of snow and ice in winter, frustrating (yet again) the dream of many an ice skater to participate in the Elfstedentocht. But generally, people seem to feel more than comfortable with the conditions they know from their holiday destinations further south and with lower gas bills....