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Ecosystem Shift Accelerating From Changing Climate New Research Says
31 Dec, 2009 10:39 am
Research published last week in the journal Nature estimates the "velocity of climate change," a measurement of how quickly rising temperatures force ecosystems to migrate in order to survive ? and the likelihood that some species within an ecosystem will face extinction.
Using projections from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of greenhouse gas emissions over the next century, scientists from the California Academy of Sciences, Carnegie Institution of Science, Climate Central, and the University of California at Berkeley calculated the speed at which ecosystems must shift based on the IPCC's "A1B" scenario – considered an intermediate level of anthropogenic climate change that projects an average 2.8 degree Celsius rise in global temperatures this century (5.04 degree Fahrenheit), within a range of 1.7-4.4 degree C (3.06-7.2 degree F).
"Expressed as velocities, climate-change projections connect directly to survival prospects for plants and animals," said study co-author Chris Field, director of Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology. "These are the conditions that will set the stage, whether species move or cope in place."Most effected are flora and fauna on flat ground such as deserts, savannas, grasslands, mangroves, and lowland tropics. In these areas, species may need to move as much as one kilometer a year. A "survival of the fittest" scenario will play out where more resilient species and those that can migrate fast enough will survive. Less adaptable and slower moving species – such as plants – face possible extinction.
In these more vulnerable habitats, species will have to move very far, and that means very quickly, in order to track their preferred climate envelope as climate changes," said Healy Hamilton, director of applied biodiversity informatics at the California Academy of Sciences.Mountains and valleys will have the lowest velocity of temperature change, a situation where a small change in altitude can bring a wide fluctuation in temperature. Species therefore won't have to move as far to maintain their comfort zones.
The study focuses on the movement of climate zones, not species, making it difficult to project the fate of an individual plant or animal. Wildlife in areas with low projected climate change velocities are not necessarily "out of the woods" in terms of protection from ecosystem shift. Many habitats, such as broadleaf forests, are often fragmented and relatively small, making species migration more difficult.
The study points out that most protected areas – parks and nature preserves – are generally too small to cope with projected shifts in habitat. Less than 10 percent of these protected areas are expected to maintain their current climate conditions within their boundaries by the end of the century.
Hamilton pointed out the importance of creating "wildlife corridors" that provide a path from increasingly hostile climate zones to more habitable ones. A narrow strip no more than a few hundred meters wide could link one national park to another.
This paper reinforces just how important it is to establish wildlife corridors soon," Hamilton said. "Species are already responding to the climate change of recent decades. And we don't have a corridor policy that has been implemented that's going to accommodate those range shifts."The study says that climate change will cause such a rapid change in temperature and climate that nearly one-third of the globe could experience climate velocities that outpace even the most optimistic speeds for natural plant migration.
"One of the most powerful aspects of this data is that it allows us to evaluate how our current protected area network will perform as we attempt to conserve biodiversity in the face of global climate change."
The research helps illustrate how the world future generations will inhabit will be markedly different – and likely less biologically diverse – than the in which we now live.
Originally published on Global Warming is Real
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By Dr. Tim Ball Monday, December 28, 2009
Climate science is a productive pursuit with Nobel Prizes, an Oscar, billions in research funding, massive tax grabs and wealth for exploiters. Continuation of these activities partly validated the claim the disclosed files from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA) are of small consequence.
As I wrote earlier the scandal at CRU (Climategate) is diverting from the real scandal, which is the claim CO2 is causing warming and climate change. Climategate is the greatest orchestrated fraud in scientific history, but claims about CO2 are the greatest fallacy. Climategate lets those who?ve known what was happening to avoid being ignored as conspiracy theorists.
Everyone incorrectly talks about carbon when they mean CO2, which was the original focus of the claim human industrial activity was causing global warming. Theory assumed CO2 was a greenhouse gas that slowed heat escaping to space. As it increases temperature rises and it would because of increased industrial activity. This became fact immediately and challenging scientists were pushed aside. Mostly by nasty attacks from those who falsified records, rewrote historic records, distorted and misused science and statistics as the leaked CRU emails attest. Now they, their supporters, and all those benefiting, work to perpetuate the massive deception.
Selected Data and False Findings
Some of this article was presented in a 2008 piece, but the CRU revelations make a revisit important. The summary of work the IPCC represents is only that chosen by the IPCC to achieve their goal. Remember the email comments about including or excluding articles that supported their objective.
Claims now proven false include;
an increase in CO2 precedes a temperature increase;
current atmospheric levels of CO2 are the highest on record;
and pre-industrial levels of CO2 were approximately 100 parts ppm lower than the present 385 ppm.
The last claim is basic to the argument that humans are causing warming and climate change by increasing the levels of atmospheric CO2.
In a paper submitted to a US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing Professor Zbigniew Jaworowski explains,?The basis of most of the IPCC conclusions on anthropogenic causes and on projections of climatic change is the assumption of low level of CO2 in the pre-industrial atmosphere. This assumption, based on glaciological studies, is false.? This means more when you know that Tom Wigley, who is the heart of the CRU gang, introduced the 280 ppm number to the climate science community with a 1983 paper titled, ?The pre-industrial carbon dioxide level.? (Climatic Change 5, 315-320). He based his work on studies by G. S. Callendar (1938) of thousands of direct measures of atmospheric CO2 beginning in 1812. Callendar rejected most of the records, including 69% of the 19th century records and only selected records that established 280 ppm as the pre-industrial level. Here?s a plot of the records with Callendar?s selections circled.
Figure 1: Plot of 19th century CO2 levels
Source: Jaworowski, NZCPR Research, 20 September 2008 p.20
Selections changed the slope of the trend from declining to increasing. As Jaworowski notes, ?The notion of low pre-industrial CO2 atmospheric level, based on such poor knowledge, became a widely accepted Holy Grail of climate warming models. The modelers ignored the evidence from direct measurements of CO2 in atmospheric air indicating that in 19th century its average concentration was 335 ppmv.?
Ice cores provide the historic record and samples from Mauna Loa provide the recent record. Both are drastically smoothed thus eliminating variability. This was done to tie in with the pre-industrial levels. Ernst Beck confirmed Jaworowski?s research in a September 2008 article in Energy and Environment and validated all the 19th century records. In a devastating conclusion Beck writes,?Modern greenhouse hypothesis is based on the work of G.S. Callendar and C.D. Keeling, following S. Arrhenius, as latterly popularized by the IPCC. Review of available literature raise the question if these authors have systematically discarded a large number of valid technical papers and older atmospheric CO2 determinations because they did not fit their hypothesis? Obviously they use only a few carefully selected values from the older literature, invariably choosing results that are consistent with the hypothesis of an induced rise of CO2 in air caused by the burning of fossil fuel.?
Pre-industrial levels were 50 ppm higher than those used in the IPCC computer models. Models also incorrectly assume uniform atmospheric distribution and virtually no variability from year to year. Beck found, ?Since 1812, the CO2 concentration in northern hemispheric air has fluctuated exhibiting three high level maxima around 1825, 1857 and 1942 the latter showing more than 400 ppm.? Here is a plot from Beck comparing 19th century readings with ice core and Mauna Loa data.
Figure 2: Beck?s blended graph.
Source Energy and Environment, September 2008.
Difference in variability of the 19th century measures, ice core records and Mauna Loa are apparent. Ice core records are subjected to a 70-year smoothing average eliminating a great deal of information. For example, the Mauna Loa record covers 50 years (1958 - 2009), not enough for even a single point. Elimination of high readings prior to the smoothing makes the loss even greater. As with all known records the temperature changes before the CO2, here by approximately 5 years.
Elimination of data occurs with the Mauna Loa readings, which can vary up to 600 ppm in the course of a day. Beck explains how Charles Keeling established the Mauna Loa readings by using the lowest readings of the afternoon. He ignored natural sources, a practice that continues. Beck presumes Keeling decided to avoid these low level natural sources by establishing the station at 4000 meters up the volcano. As Beck notes ?Mauna Loa does not represent the typical atmospheric CO2 on different global locations but is typical only for this volcano at a maritime location in about 4000 m altitude at that latitude.? (Beck, 2008, ?50 Years of Continuous Measurement of CO2 on Mauna Loa? Energy and Environment, Vol 19, No.7.) Keeling?s son continues to operate the Mauna Loa facility and as Beck notes, ?owns the global monopoly of calibration of all CO2 measurements.? Since Keeling is a co-author of the IPCC reports they accept Mauna Loa without question.
The Ice Core record
Jaworowski estimates the ice core readings are at least 20% low, which is reasonable given the CO2 levels for 600 millions years using geologic evidence.
Figure 3: CO2 and Temperature levels for 600 million years
Current level of 385 ppm on the right of the graph (Figure 3) is the lowest in the entire record only equaled by a period between 315 and 270 million years ago (mya).
Further evidence of the effects of statistical smoothing and the artificially low ice core readings are provided by measurements of stomata. Stomata are the small openings on leaves that vary directly with the amount of atmospheric CO2. A comparison of a stomata record with the ice core record for a 2000-year period illustrates the issue.
Figure 4: Ice core CO2 levels compared to Stomata over 2000 years.
Stomata data on the right show higher readings and variability than excessively smoothed ice core record on the left. The stomata record aligns with the 19th century measurements as Jaworowski and Beck assert. A Danish stomata record shows levels of 333 ppm 9400 years ago and 348 ppm 9600 years ago.
EPA declared CO2 a toxic substance and a pollutant. Governments prepare carbon taxes and draconian restrictions crippling economies for a completely non-existent problem. Failed predictions, discredited assumptions, incorrect data did not stop insane policies. Climategate revealed the extent of corruption so more people understand malfeasance and falsities only experts knew or suspected. More important, they are not rejected as conspiracy theorists. Credibility should have collapsed, but political control and insanity persists ? at least for a little while longer.
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?Dr. Tim Ball is a renowned environmental consultant and former climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg. Dr. Ball employs his extensive background in climatology and other fields as an advisor to the International Climate Science Coalition, Friends of Science and the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.?
Dr. Ball can be reached at: Letters@canadafreepress.com
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Despite every effort to appear reasonable and sensible, the self-proclaimed Masters of the Universe among us approach economic and ecologic problems in patently unsustainable ways by adamantly advocating and recklessly pursuing greed-driven schemes based upon the seemingly endless growth of human consumption, production and propagation that will lead humanity to precipitate, however inadvertently and soon, the destruction of life as we know it and the Earth as a fit place for human habitation, I suppose.
If the human community is in a race against time, even at this late hour when pathological arrogance, greed-mongering and elective mutism rule the world, is it ever too late to speak of what is true to you or to do the right thing, as best we can?