OT: Where have the bugs gone?

Started by Steve Wilson June 8, 2018
Years ago, I could not drive anywhere without the front of my car getting 
splattered with bugs. Now there are none.

At sunrise, there used to be a beautiful chorus of birds welcoming the day. 
Now there are none.

At dusk, there used to be clouds of birds somehow twisting and turning in 
synchronization without hitting each other. Now there are none.

This appears to be a widespread problem. No bugs, no birds. What comes 
next?

Where have all the insects gone?
http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/05/where-have-all-insects-gone

What's Causing the Sharp Decline in Insects, and Why It Matters
https://e360.yale.edu/features/insect_numbers_declining_why_it_matters

Editorial: Where have all the bugs gone?
http://www.concordmonitor.com/The-decline-of-bugs-17832249

'The windscreen phenomenon' - why your car is no longer covered in dead 
insects
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/08/26/windscreen-phenomenon-car-
no-longer-covered-dead-insects/

Where Have All the Flying Insects Gone?
http://blogs.plos.org/ecology/2017/10/25/where-have-all-the-flying-insects-
gone/

Where Have All the Bugs Gone?
http://selwynduke.typepad.com/selwyndukecom/where-have-all-the-bugs-g.html
On 06/08/2018 06:49 PM, Steve Wilson wrote:
> Years ago, I could not drive anywhere without the front of my car getting > splattered with bugs. Now there are none. > > At sunrise, there used to be a beautiful chorus of birds welcoming the day. > Now there are none. > > At dusk, there used to be clouds of birds somehow twisting and turning in > synchronization without hitting each other. Now there are none. > > This appears to be a widespread problem. No bugs, no birds. What comes > next? > > Where have all the insects gone? > http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/05/where-have-all-insects-gone > > What's Causing the Sharp Decline in Insects, and Why It Matters > https://e360.yale.edu/features/insect_numbers_declining_why_it_matters > > Editorial: Where have all the bugs gone? > http://www.concordmonitor.com/The-decline-of-bugs-17832249 > > 'The windscreen phenomenon' - why your car is no longer covered in dead > insects > https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/08/26/windscreen-phenomenon-car- > no-longer-covered-dead-insects/ > > Where Have All the Flying Insects Gone? > http://blogs.plos.org/ecology/2017/10/25/where-have-all-the-flying-insects- > gone/ > > Where Have All the Bugs Gone? > http://selwynduke.typepad.com/selwyndukecom/where-have-all-the-bugs-g.html >
I don't recall my car windshield ever being covered in a thick insect-goo after a long drive in New England in the summer like some of the pictures in those articles, at least not in the ~25 years or so I've had a driver's license. Looks like something out of a horror film, yech. Here in suburbia I know one of the reasons there are less "pest insects" like mosquitos, horseflies and gypsy moths in the summer is, well, they actively spray for them by truck and helicopter during the springtime and the municipalities are better about draining standing water and keeping them under control than they were years ago, I do remember there being huge swarms of gypsy moths around every bright lamp years ago that's not a great thing for the environment they're srsly destructive and gobble through forests. Also to address the problem of West Nile virus and EEE which are more serious issues than they were several decades ago. Those "bug zapper" lamps I remember from summer evenings as a kid probably got few mosquito and were mostly just grinding through hundreds of gypsy moths, not really accomplishing very much. Fireflies do seem more uncommon than they used to be, I remember one summer about 20 years ago I was spending at my college girlfriend's home on the Ohio river near the Ohio/WV border. We were walking at dusk one evening by the river and in a grassy dell by the river there were huge clouds of fireflies, swarms of maybe thousands of them, with large groups of dozens or hundreds all flashing in synchronization. One of the more remarkable natural displays I've ever seen - never seen anything like it before or since.
In article <zPESC.385397$nq5.147988@fx36.iad>,
bitrex  <user@example.net> wrote:

>I don't recall my car windshield ever being covered in a thick >insect-goo after a long drive in New England in the summer like some of >the pictures in those articles, at least not in the ~25 years or so I've >had a driver's license. Looks like something out of a horror film, yech.
My car got bugged up pretty badly when I drove up into Oregon to see last year's total eclipse. Between Klamath Falls and Chiloquin, the highway goes alongside Upper Klamath Lake, and some species of small fly was in copious and enthusiastic presence along the lake-shore. By the time I got to my chosen viewing site in Mitchell around lunchtime, the sun had baked the residue into something like a cross between textured-ceiling "popcorn", and enamel. As luck would have it, I saw a sign saying "Parking. Carwash $5", followed it to a homestead where I struck a deal for overnight parking/camping, and the kids did a fine job of washing the bugs off of my car (I tipped 'em an extra $5).
l&oslash;rdag den 9. juni 2018 kl. 00.49.31 UTC+2 skrev Steve Wilson:
> Years ago, I could not drive anywhere without the front of my car getting > splattered with bugs. Now there are none. > > At sunrise, there used to be a beautiful chorus of birds welcoming the day. > Now there are none. > > At dusk, there used to be clouds of birds somehow twisting and turning in > synchronization without hitting each other. Now there are none.
tell that to the concert of noisy birds around here that start at 4 am and never stop
On 6/8/2018 5:49 PM, Steve Wilson wrote:
> Years ago, I could not drive anywhere without the front of my car getting > splattered with bugs. Now there are none. > > At sunrise, there used to be a beautiful chorus of birds welcoming the day. > Now there are none. > > At dusk, there used to be clouds of birds somehow twisting and turning in > synchronization without hitting each other. Now there are none. > > This appears to be a widespread problem. No bugs, no birds. What comes > next? > > Where have all the insects gone? > http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/05/where-have-all-insects-gone > > What's Causing the Sharp Decline in Insects, and Why It Matters > https://e360.yale.edu/features/insect_numbers_declining_why_it_matters > > Editorial: Where have all the bugs gone? > http://www.concordmonitor.com/The-decline-of-bugs-17832249 > > 'The windscreen phenomenon' - why your car is no longer covered in dead > insects > https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/08/26/windscreen-phenomenon-car- > no-longer-covered-dead-insects/ > > Where Have All the Flying Insects Gone? > http://blogs.plos.org/ecology/2017/10/25/where-have-all-the-flying-insects- > gone/ > > Where Have All the Bugs Gone? > http://selwynduke.typepad.com/selwyndukecom/where-have-all-the-bugs-g.html >
Now that you mention it, we didn't have a love bug invasion this spring!
> https://tinyurl.com/yarbxxgj
Lasse Langwadt Christensen <langwadt@fonz.dk> wrote:

> l&oslash;rdag den 9. juni 2018 kl. 00.49.31 UTC+2 skrev Steve Wilson: >> Years ago, I could not drive anywhere without the front of my car getting
>> splattered with bugs. Now there are none.
>> At sunrise, there used to be a beautiful chorus of birds welcoming the da >> y. Now there are none.
>> At dusk, there used to be clouds of birds somehow twisting and turning in
>> synchronization without hitting each other. Now there are none.
> tell that to the concert of noisy birds around here that start at 4 am and > never stop
interesting. where is here?
l&oslash;rdag den 9. juni 2018 kl. 03.38.07 UTC+2 skrev Steve Wilson:
> Lasse Langwadt Christensen <langwadt@fonz.dk> wrote: > > > l&oslash;rdag den 9. juni 2018 kl. 00.49.31 UTC+2 skrev Steve Wilson: > >> Years ago, I could not drive anywhere without the front of my car getting > > >> splattered with bugs. Now there are none. > > >> At sunrise, there used to be a beautiful chorus of birds welcoming the da > >> y. Now there are none. > > >> At dusk, there used to be clouds of birds somehow twisting and turning in > > >> synchronization without hitting each other. Now there are none. > > > tell that to the concert of noisy birds around here that start at 4 am and > > never stop > > interesting. where is here?
in the middle of a city in denmark
On 9/06/2018 8:49 AM, Steve Wilson wrote:
> Years ago, I could not drive anywhere without the front of my car getting > splattered with bugs. Now there are none. > > At sunrise, there used to be a beautiful chorus of birds welcoming the day. > Now there are none. > > At dusk, there used to be clouds of birds somehow twisting and turning in > synchronization without hitting each other. Now there are none. > > This appears to be a widespread problem. No bugs, no birds. What comes > next? > > Where have all the insects gone? > http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/05/where-have-all-insects-gone > > What's Causing the Sharp Decline in Insects, and Why It Matters > https://e360.yale.edu/features/insect_numbers_declining_why_it_matters > > Editorial: Where have all the bugs gone? > http://www.concordmonitor.com/The-decline-of-bugs-17832249 > > 'The windscreen phenomenon' - why your car is no longer covered in dead > insects > https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/08/26/windscreen-phenomenon-car- > no-longer-covered-dead-insects/ > > Where Have All the Flying Insects Gone? > http://blogs.plos.org/ecology/2017/10/25/where-have-all-the-flying-insects- > gone/ > > Where Have All the Bugs Gone? > http://selwynduke.typepad.com/selwyndukecom/where-have-all-the-bugs-g.html >
This may just reflect the better aerodyamics of cars. Bugs get splattered when the air changes direction abruptly; the air goes upwards and the bug stays where it is until it impacts the windscreen. With smother aerodynamics the bug has a better chance of getting pushed out the way with the air. Whether the bug survives is another matter. Sylvia.
On Saturday, June 9, 2018 at 8:49:31 AM UTC+10, Steve Wilson wrote:
> Years ago, I could not drive anywhere without the front of my car getting > splattered with bugs. Now there are none. > > At sunrise, there used to be a beautiful chorus of birds welcoming the day. > Now there are none. > > At dusk, there used to be clouds of birds somehow twisting and turning in > synchronization without hitting each other. Now there are none. > > This appears to be a widespread problem. No bugs, no birds. What comes > next? > > Where have all the insects gone? > http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/05/where-have-all-insects-gone > > What's Causing the Sharp Decline in Insects, and Why It Matters > https://e360.yale.edu/features/insect_numbers_declining_why_it_matters > > Editorial: Where have all the bugs gone? > http://www.concordmonitor.com/The-decline-of-bugs-17832249 > > 'The windscreen phenomenon' - why your car is no longer covered in dead > insects > https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/08/26/windscreen-phenomenon-car- > no-longer-covered-dead-insects/ > > Where Have All the Flying Insects Gone? > http://blogs.plos.org/ecology/2017/10/25/where-have-all-the-flying-insects- > gone/ > > Where Have All the Bugs Gone? > http://selwynduke.typepad.com/selwyndukecom/where-have-all-the-bugs-g.html
You left out Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silent_Spring It was published in 1962, which may be before your time, but it discusses exactly what you are seeing. -- Bill Sloman, Sydney
On 06/08/2018 10:35 PM, Sylvia Else wrote:
> On 9/06/2018 8:49 AM, Steve Wilson wrote: >> Years ago, I could not drive anywhere without the front of my car getting >> splattered with bugs. Now there are none. >> >> At sunrise, there used to be a beautiful chorus of birds welcoming the >> day. >> Now there are none. >> >> At dusk, there used to be clouds of birds somehow twisting and turning in >> synchronization without hitting each other. Now there are none. >> >> This appears to be a widespread problem. No bugs, no birds. What comes >> next? >> >> Where have all the insects gone? >> http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/05/where-have-all-insects-gone >> >> What's Causing the Sharp Decline in Insects, and Why It Matters >> https://e360.yale.edu/features/insect_numbers_declining_why_it_matters >> >> Editorial: Where have all the bugs gone? >> http://www.concordmonitor.com/The-decline-of-bugs-17832249 >> >> 'The windscreen phenomenon' - why your car is no longer covered in dead >> insects >> https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/08/26/windscreen-phenomenon-car- >> no-longer-covered-dead-insects/ >> >> Where Have All the Flying Insects Gone? >> http://blogs.plos.org/ecology/2017/10/25/where-have-all-the-flying-insects- >> >> gone/ >> >> Where Have All the Bugs Gone? >> http://selwynduke.typepad.com/selwyndukecom/where-have-all-the-bugs-g.html >> >> > > This may just reflect the better aerodyamics of cars. Bugs get > splattered when the air changes direction abruptly; the air goes upwards > &nbsp;and the bug stays where it is until it impacts the windscreen. With > smother aerodynamics the bug has a better chance of getting pushed out > the way with the air. Whether the bug survives is another matter. > > Sylvia.
Sounds plausible, as one of the "younger" members of the group (i.e. 30s) the earliest production car I've ever owned was a 1990 model year, 1996 after that and then sedans from the 2000s so mostly from when auto manufacturers really started working to improve drag coefficients. I've never seen anything like some of those photos on cars I've owned, looks terrible. A more aerodynamic windshield has a less abrupt transition from laminar flow to the turbulent flow around and up and over the windscreen; there's probably a larger volume of more gradually increasing pressure that extends further out from the aerodynamic windshield as opposed to a small region of ram pressure right in front of a speeding flat plane. The small region is too narrow to overcome inertia and prevent them from hitting but the larger region gives enough time to nudge them to the side or up and over. Something like that :)