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Feb. 05, 2010

The Red Scare

by Neil Wagner

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The red fox moves into his smaller cousin’s territory and acts like he owns the place.

As climate change warms up the Arctic, conditions become less and less favorable to the arctic fox. It’s harder to find their normal diet and they have to compete with the new kid on the block: the red fox. You see, another effect of a warmer arctic is that the red fox is more comfortable making a home up there. Not only does the artic fox have to compete for its ever-scarcer prey with its larger cousin from the south, the adorable little fuzz-ball is even finding itself the prey.

The less-than-friendly details …

"Alaska’s average temperature has increased 4 to 5 degrees in the last 50 years, compared with about 1 degree worldwide in the last century."

"Among the most visible invaders are red foxes, which are displacing Arctic foxes from territories once too cold for red foxes."

"…[the] red fox has already been moving north, and as a superior hunter it is displacing the arctic fox where they come into contact."

"…spotted a red fox chasing an Arctic fox …"

About Neil Wagner

Neil Wagner's What on Earth? comic strip uses humor to discuss global warming.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Science Friday.

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