Merry Christmas! Climate Change Now Being Blamed for ‘Shrinking Reindeer’

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And right at Christmastime, too.

File this one in the “We couldn’t even make this one up if we tried” category.

Climate change scientists are now blaming climate change for causing reindeer to shrink (via Yahoo! News):

Over the past 16 years, the weight of adult reindeer in Svalbard in the Norwegian Arctic has dropped by 12 percent, likely due to global warming, said study findings presented to a meeting at the British Ecological Society (BES) in Liverpool.

By the time they reached adulthood, reindeer born in 2010 weighed just over 48 kilogrammes (106 pounds), compared to 55 kg for those born in 1994. “Twelve percent may not sound very much, but given how important body weight is to reproduction and survival, it’s potentially huge,” study leader Steve Albon of the James Hutton Institute in Scotland, told AFP…

Albon and his fellow researchers blame climate change for the shrinking reindeer.

The claim is that winters are now warmer, leading to fewer snows and more rain. When the rain freezes to ice, it freezes the reindeer’s food, making reindeer starve and give birth to stunted young.

However, the explanation doesn’t really explain why there are now more, not less, reindeer. The scientists said that while the reindeer were smaller, there were more of them. If there really was less food to go around and the reindeer were all coming out stunted in a repeated pattern attributable to climate change, there shouldn’t be more reindeer over time…

Climate change has become a catchall excuse for everything that happens environmentally these days.

But really, what better way to traumatize young children and get them on the man-made climate change guilt bandwagon than to make them feel like they’re personally responsible for hurting Santa’s helpers at Christmastime simply by existing?

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