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March 2, 2011

News Article: WSLS 10

Written By Jarett Henshaw

Dr. Judy Winston is the Curator at the Virginia Museum of Natural History in Martinsville, and says her research helps prove global warming.

"It's warming in Antarctica that's doing it," said Winston.

In her lab, she's been studying a small organism from Antarctica, called a Bryozoan. A Bryozoan is, it's a small microscopic creature that builds its own colony, very similar to coral.

Winston says after looking at more than 20,000 samples of Bryozoans, collected over the last 100 years, she found a strange pattern in their growth.

"It grew at about the same rate right up until 20 years ago. The latest collections from the 1990's to 2008, it's rate of growth doubled," said Winston.

She says her other colleagues in Antarctica have found measurable temperature changes, and she believes it's the reason for the recent Bryozoan boom.

"It indicates that climate change is affecting these animals," said Winston.

Many people are skeptical about global warming, so I asked her if there are any other factors that could cause this kind change.

"There's no evidence that I know of. There's no publications that say there's something else happening," Winston said.

The science journal "Current Biology" is publishing Dr. Winston's findings in this week's issue. So, at least some in the science community agree with her, that global warming is very real.


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