Saturday, June 27, 2009

26th June,2009.

A day necessarily sacrificed to admin work, which, nowadays means long periods in front of a computer screen. It's amazing to reflect that one can be surveying birds during the day in a fairly out of the way place and , on that very evening, the results can be residing within a national database, available and ready for summary and analysis too.

I received some information today which compounds the value of such facilities. It showed the progression northwards in range of several moth species over the last three decades. One of these, Blair's Shoulder-knot has advanced around 226 miles northwards in this period. Other species ( Orange Footman, Pine Hawk-moth, Shuttle -shaped Dart, Red Underwing and Lime Hawk-moth ) have shown similar dramatic changes to their ranges , which are thought to be a result of climate change. All such was brought about by the ability to analyse an amazing 5.5 million moth records stored in a computer system and to produce the necessary distribution maps depicting the results. As an innovation that has largely come about during the latter part of my life , and seems likely to grow in complexity and capability, I find it both fascinating and awe inspiring. That one of the celebrated early space craft could have gone about its business with little more than the computing capabilty of a modern day mobile phone is also worth pondering about!!! I guess it will only be the peopple who have seen it all happen that are utterly impressed by it all. Successive generations are already taking such for granted as an integral part of modern day life with amazement only being reserved for the additional "mega" improvements which keep arising. We've come a long way since the abacus!!!!

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