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AN EXTINCTION OF LOGIC?. Dr. Patrick J. Michaels Senior Fellow in Environmental Studies Cato Institute Professor of Environmental Sciences University of Virginia. EXTINCTIONS AND CLIMATE CHANGE . • Counter-Paradigm View Until Global Warming Became Popular

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AN EXTINCTION OF LOGIC?

Dr. Patrick J. Michaels

Senior Fellow in Environmental Studies

Cato Institute

Professor of Environmental Sciences

University of Virginia


EXTINCTIONS AND CLIMATE CHANGE

• Counter-Paradigm View Until Global Warming

Became Popular

• Instead, Extinctions Were Largely Driven by

Population Dynamics and Competitive Exclusion

• Pendulum Will Eventually Swing More to the Middle




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SEVERAL IMPORTANT RECENT PAPERS

• Parmesan, C., 1996. Climate and species’ range. Nature, 382, 765-766.

• Parmesan, C., et al., 1999. Poleward shifts in geographical ranges of butterfly species associated with regional warming. Nature, 399, 579–580.


CONCLUSIONS

•Butterflies going extinct in Northern Mexico because of Climate Change

•Butterflies are expanding in British Columbia because of Climate Change


Parmesan, 1996 Butterfly Census Sites

Red triangle = absence

Blue triangle = presence



UNITED NATIONS’ TEMPERATURE HISTORY

ZONE OF MAXIMUM EXTINCTION

Northern Mexico


UNITED NATIONS’ TEMPERATURE HISTORY

ZONE OF MAXIMUM EXPANSION

Southern British Columbia


TEMPERATURE CHANGE, HIGH-EXTINCTION GRIDCELLS

Southern California minus rural Northern Mexico


FINDINGS FOR

EUROPEAN BUTTERFLIES


NORTHERN END OF RANGE

• 65% of species extended range northward

• 35% exhibited no change

• 2% exhibited no change


SOUTHERN END OF RANGE

• 5% shifted south

• 22% shifted northward

• 72% remained stable


CONCLUSION

Butterfly Diversity Increasing!


WORLD WILDLIFE FUND, 1996

PREDICTION: “Drier weather…could be particularly severe for birds in the Plains States of Canada and the United States [since] half of all North American ducks breed in prairie pothole wetlands that could disappear as a result of global warming.”


FACT:

United Nations Precipitation Data

North Central U.S. and South Central Canada


Gibbs, J. P., and A. R. Breisch. 2001. Climate warming and calling phenology of frogs near Ithaca, New York, 1900-1999. Conservation Biology,15, 1175-1178.

PREDICTION: November-June warming is making frogs around Ithaca, New York croak earlier in the spring. Compared 1900-1912 to the 1990s.


FACT: calling phenology of frogs near Ithaca, New York, 1900-1999.

There’s no significant difference in temperature

in the periods studied


Kiesecker, J. M., A. R. Blaustein, and L. K. Belden. 2001. Complex causes of amphibian population declines. Nature,410, 681-684.

CONCEPT: Ultraviolet radiation is damaging toad eggs in ponds in Oregon’s Cascade Range between 1990 and 1999 because of decreasing water levels caused by lowered precipitation in the winter.


FACTS: Complex causes of amphibian population declines.

There’s no trend in October-March in the Cascades. Five of the last six years in the study period had above-average rainfall. What about the entire period from 1912-45, which was drier than any other?

October-March Precipitation, Oregon Cascades

Source: U.S. National Climatic Data Center


MARQUEE SPECIES Complex causes of amphibian population declines.

Penguins and Polar Bears


WORLD WILDLIFE FUND, 2000: Complex causes of amphibian population declines.

Polar Bears at Risk.


• 20 populations of Polar Bears Complex causes of amphibian population declines.

• 46% stable, 17% in decline,

14% increasing, 23% “unknown”

Strange Math!


ARCTIC TEMPERARTURE TRENDS Complex causes of amphibian population declines.

1950-1995

Przybylak, International Journal of Climatology, 2000.

POLAR BEAR

POPULATION TRENDS

World Wildlife Foundation

Yellow = unknown; green = stable

blue = decreasing; red = increasing

Yellow=no data;green=no significant change

blue=cooling;red= warming


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Antarctic Temperature History (1956-2000)


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Temperature History and Penguin Breeding Success


Root, T.L., et al., 2003. Fingerprints of global warming on wild animals and plants. Nature, 421, 57-60.

Parmesan, C., and G. Yohe, 2003. A globally coherent fingerprint of climate change impacts across natural systems. Nature, 421, 37-42.

CONCEPTS: changes in the distribution of species are consistent with warming. Covered prominently by both New York and Los Angeles Times.


FACTS: wild animals and plants.

No one, author or reporter,

bothered to note the implications of the math.

• Root: Average northward movement is 3.8 miles per decade, or 2,000 feet per year. This would put Washington DC’s biota in Baltimore around 2102.

•Parmesan: At the current rate of change, spring, 2103 in Washington will arrive at the same time it does now in Raleigh, North Carolina.

(Climate models generally predict constant, not increasing rates of warming)


THE MASSIVE EXTINCTION OF LOGIC wild animals and plants.


Thomas, C.D., et al, 2004. Extinction risk from climate change. Nature427, 145-148

QUOTE OF THOMAS IN WASHINGTON POST:

“We’re talking about 1.25 million species. It’s a massive number.”

QUOTE FROM PAPER: “Estimates for minimum expected climate change [‘0.8-1.7˚C’-p.147] are 9-13% extinction with dispersal and 22-31% without dispersal.”


FACT: change.

We’ve already had this change. Where was the mass extinction from climate change? How could the reviewers miss this?



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