Climate alarmists keep claiming that global warming will cause massive species extinctions. The latest claim of that type appeared in the Arizona Daily Star, May 1, 2015. This study, from the University of Connecticut used, you guessed it, computer modeling to come to the conclusion that “Global warming will eventually push 1 out of every 13 species on Earth into extinction.” This study (see full paper) was a synthesis, or study of studies, with no real-world original data.
Authors of these papers should get out of the office and look at actual habitat. In a previous ADI article: Habitat niche modeling, predictions of extinction, and a dose of reality scientists compared predictions of where several species should live according to habitat niche models to where they actually lived, based on fossil evidence. The results: ““It’s almost as though [they are] living in all of the places that the model says it shouldn’t be living in and not in any of the places that the model says it should be living in,.”
An extensive study: “The Specter of Species Extinction” (60 pages) based on real world investigation concludes “To summarize, both theory and observation paint the same picture. A goodly portion of earth’s plants and animals should actually expand their ranges and gain a stronger foothold on the planet as the atmosphere’s temperature and CO2 concentration continue to rise. If the air’s CO2 content were suddenly to stop increasing, however, the biosphere could find itself facing a significant challenge, as the world’s plants would cease acquiring the extra physiological protection against heat stress that is afforded them by rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Consequently, the end result of curtailing anthropogenic CO2 emissions might well be just the opposite of what many people are hoping to accomplish by encouraging that policy, i.e., many species might actually be driven to extinction, rather than being saved from such a fate.”
Most past major extinctions are associated with extreme cold: ice ages, comet impacts that put much dust in the atmosphere which cooled the planet, and the still unexplained sudden cooling of the Younger Dryas period about 13,000 years ago which caused the demise of mammoths and other mega-fauna. The geologic record also shows that after each extinction event, life rebounded, became more diverse and more robust.
With the foregoing as a preface, I am always amused when some animal, thought to be extinct, is rediscovered. Some recent examples:
March 20, 2015: Hummingbird thought to be extinct spotted in Colombia. [link]
Sep. 8, 2014: Seychelles snail, believed extinct due to climate change, found ‘alive and well,’ says group. [link]
July 9, 2013: ‘Extinct’ corpse-eating fly back from the dead. [link]
July 6, 2013: The northern Mexican garter snake was once thought to be extinct in New Mexico. But several have now been found near the Gila River. [link]
June 4, 2013: An ‘extinct’ frog makes a comeback in Israel. [link]
Sep. 18, 2011: NEW DELHI – Years of combing tropical mountain forests, shining flashlights under rocks and listening for croaks in the night have paid off for Indian scientists who have discovered 12 new frog species plus three others thought to have been extinct. [link]
May 19, 2011: Scientists thought a mysterious guinea pig-sized rodent species (red-crested tree rat, ) that hadn’t been seen in 113 years was long extinct. Until one of them ambled up to two volunteer naturalists at a nature reserve in Colombia two weeks ago. [link]
Sep. 28, 2010: The Guadalupe fur seal was declared extinct in 1892, but thousands of Guadalupe fur seals are now swimming off the coast of Mexico. [link]
Those computer modelers ought to get out in the field once in a while to experience reality.