Now it’s lizards going extinct due to climate change

From a press release from Villanova University, more worry. I don’t know about the researchers experiences, but my property is overrun with the Western Fence Lizard. I can hardly avoid stepping on them there are so many around the house. Personally, I don’t understand the linkage between warmer temperatures and lizard extinction as I’ve yet to see a lizard who didn’t want to warm itself up in direct sunshine or on heat radiating rocks/concrete/asphalt.

Maybe the researchers never saw the story about Iguanas dying and falling out of trees due to cold this past winter. Anyway, I’ll sure miss Godzilla.


Godzilla - just another lizard at risk from climate change

Study documents widespread extinction of lizard populations due to climate change

International team of biologists, including Villanova University’s Dr. Aaron Bauer, find alarming pattern of population extinctions attributable to rising temperatures.

An international team of biologists has found an alarming pattern of population extinctions attributable to rising temperatures. If current trends continue, up to 20 percent of all lizard species are predicted to go extinct by 2080. The study was published in the May 14th issue of Science.

The researchers, led by Barry Sinervo, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, conducted a major survey of lizard populations worldwide, studied the effects of rising temperatures on lizards, and used their findings to develop a predictive model of extinction risk. Their model accurately predicted specific locations on five continents (North and South America, Europe, Africa, and Australia) where previously studied lizard populations have already gone locally extinct. Based on the predicted probabilities of local extinction, the probability of species extinction was estimated to be 6 percent by 2050 and 20 percent by 2080. As the ongoing extinction of populations is directly related to climate change, limiting the carbon dioxide production that is driving global warming is crucial for avoiding the wave of lizard extinction in future.

“We did a lot of work on the ground to validate the model and show that the extinctions are the result of climate change,” Sinervo said. “None of these are due to habitat loss. These sites are not disturbed in any way, and most of them are in national parks or other protected areas.” While recent global extinctions of amphibians are not directly related to climate change, but largely due to the spread of disease, the ongoing extinctions of lizards are due to climate warming from 1975 to the present.

The disappearance of lizard populations was first recognized in France and then in Mexico, where 12 percent of the local populations had gone extinct since the lizards had previously been studied. Although the lizards normally bask in the sun to warm up, higher temperatures exceeding their physiological limits keep them in the shade, restricting their activity and preventing them from foraging for food. The researchers used these findings to develop a model of extinction risk based on maximum air temperatures, the physiologically active body temperature of each species, and the hours in which its activity would be restricted by temperature. The model accurately predicted the disappearance of Mexican lizards and was then extended globally to lizards in 34 different families on five continents and validated by comparing the predicted results with actual local extinctions.

Data for African lizards was provided by Villanova University professor Aaron Bauer, whose research focuses on the evolution of geckos and other reptiles in the Southern Hemisphere. Bauer, who is the Gerald M. Lemole M.D. Endowed Chair of Integrative Biology, has worked in southern Africa for more than 20 years and has described more than 100 new species of lizards from around the world. Although the predicted extinction risk for the African lizards studied was low, neighboring Madagascar can expect to lose many species and extensive local extinctions have already been documented. “In many parts of the world, lizards are almost certainly going extinct due to climate change before their very existence is known to biologists” said Bauer, whose research is funded by the National Science Foundation.

Bauer believes that most Americans, particularly those in the northeast, where there are few – often inconspicuous – lizard species, are unaware of their ecological importance. However, the disappearance of lizard populations is likely to have repercussions up and down the food chain. Lizards are important prey for many birds, snakes, and other animals, and they are important predators of insects.

The climate projections used to model extinction risks assume a continuation of current trends in carbon dioxide emissions from human activities. Many of the extinctions projected for 2080 could be avoided if global efforts to reduce emissions are successful, but it may be too late to avoid the losses predicted for 2050.

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Funding for this study came from grants from the National Geographic Society, National Science Foundation, and a diversity of international funding bodies.

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In fairness, a second press release, from AAAS about the same subject issued minutes after the Villanova release at least has some supporting data imagery. See below.

In fact, there was a group of rapid fire press releases withing minutes that hit Eurekalert:

Lizards overrun Eurekalert - click for source

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As global temperatures rise, the world’s lizards are disappearing

20 percent of all lizard species could be extinct by 2080, researchers say

This press release is available in Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Finnish. Surveying Sceloporus lizard populations in Mexico, an international research team has found that rising temperatures have driven 12 percent of the country’s lizard populations to extinction. An extinction model based on this discovery also forecasts a grim future for these ecologically important critters, predicting that a full 20 percent of all lizard species could be extinct by the year 2080.

The detailed surveys of lizard populations in Mexico, collected from 200 different sites, indicate that the temperatures in those regions have changed too rapidly for the lizards to keep pace. It seems that all types of lizards are far more susceptible to climate-warming extinction than previously thought because many species are already living right at the edge of their thermal limits, especially at low elevation and low latitude range limits.

Caption: Global maps of observed local extinctions in 2009, and projections for 2050 and 2080 based on geographic distributions of lizard families of the world.

Although the researchers’ prediction for 2080 could change if humans are able to slow global climate warming, it does appear that lizards have crossed a threshold for extinctions—and that their sharp decline will continue for decades at least.of California in Santa Cruz, along with colleagues from across the globe, reached these conclusions after comparing their field studies of the lizards in Mexico with extensive data from around the world. Their research will be published in the May 14 issue of Science, the peer-reviewed journal published by AAAS, the nonprofit science society.

After compiling the global field data, Sinervo and his colleagues studied the effects of rising temperatures on lizards’ bodies, and created a model of extinction risks for various lizard species around the world. Their model accurately predicted specific locations on five continents where populations of lizards have recently gone extinct, and it might inform researchers on how these patterns of extinction will continue in the future.

“How quickly can Earth’s lizards adapt to the rising global temperatures? That’s the important question,” Sinervo said. “We are actually seeing lowland species moving upward in elevation, slowly driving upland species extinct, and if the upland species can’t evolve fast enough then they’re going to continue to go extinct.”

According to the researchers’ global model, which is derived from today’s trends of carbon dioxide emissions from human activities, about six percent of lizard species are due for extinction by the year 2050. Since carbon dioxide hangs around in the atmosphere for decades, the researchers say that this statistic can no longer be avoided. However, they do say that concentrated global efforts to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could possibly avert the 2080 scenarios, in which 20 percent of lizard species are expected to disappear from the planet.

The detailed study notes specifically that lizards that bear live young are particularly at risk of extinction, compared to those that lay eggs. “Live-bearers experience almost twice the risk of egg-layers largely because live-bearers have evolved lower body temperatures that heighten extinction risk,” Sinervo said. “We are literally watching these species disappear before our eyes.”

Sinervo began focusing his attention on lizard extinctions after he noticed an obvious trend during his field work in France. He identified an unsettling pattern of lizard extinctions with French researchers, Jean Clobert and Benoit Heulin, while they were surveying some of their well-documented populations. Disturbed by their findings, they contacted colleagues around the world—Jack Sites and Donald Miles in the United States, Fausto Méndez-de-la-Cruz in Mexico, and Carlos Frederico Duarte Rocha in Brazil—and a global collaboration ensued.

“This work is a fine example of interdisciplinary science and international collaboration, using methods and data from a range of scientific disciplines to improve confidence in the prediction of the biological effects of contemporary climate change, and in particular showing how long-term records and research are so crucial to the understanding of ecological change,” said Andrew Sugden, the International Managing Editor of Science.

“We would never have been able to do this without certain free, online tools like Google Scholar and Google Earth,” Sinervo said. “It took us awhile to pinpoint the appropriate search terms. But once we did, we locked onto key published studies. I was surprised at how fast researchers began sending us data… That’s what happens though: When scientists see a problem, with global evidence backing it, they come together.”

In order to fine-tune their model with this surprising global outpouring of data, Sinervo and his colleagues used a small electronic device that mimics the body temperature of a lizard basking in the sun. They placed these thermal models in sun-drenched areas for four months at sites in Mexico where lizard populations were still thriving—and at sites where they have already gone extinct.

“There are periods of the day when lizards can’t be out, and essentially have to retreat to cooler places,” Sinervo said. “When they’re not out and about, lizards aren’t foraging for food. So we assessed how many hours of the day lizards would have been driven out of the sun at these different locations. Then, we were able to parameterize our global model.”

For the authors, who claim a deep appreciation for these lizards and the important role the reptiles play in the global food chain, these findings are both “devastating and heart-wrenching.” But, they say, hope does remain for the world’s lizards.

“If the governments of the world can implement a concerted change to limit our carbon dioxide emissions, then we could bend the curve and hold levels of extinction to the 2050 scenarios,” Sinervo concluded. “But it has to be a global push… I don’t want to tell my child that we once had a chance to save these lizards, but we didn’t. I want to do my best to save them while I can.”

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182 Responses to Now it’s lizards going extinct due to climate change

  1. Peter Miller says:

    Lizards dying out because of global warming?

    This is taking alarmist BS to a new height – even Patchi and Gore would be embarrassed by this all too too obvious grant-seeking ploy.

    If AGW was true, then lizards would rank high among the main group of survivors – I have been to some of the hottest places in the world, where the only living creatures appear to be lizards.

  2. dave ward says:

    I’m loosing the will to live…..

  3. H.R. says:

    Inquiring minds want to know: how’d those lizards survive the last glaciation? Where were the French Lizards 30,000 years ago?

    Yeah, but… “[...] Their model accurately predicted specific locations on five continents where populations of lizards have recently gone extinct, [...],” so that’s nothing to sneeze at. However, they assume that the warmer temperatures in the predicted locations were due to the increase in CO2, and I’m not ready to buy that assumption.

  4. hunter says:

    Not habitat loss, not introduction of invasive non-native competitors and predators and diseases, not pollutants and toxins, but CO2.
    Got it.

  5. Richard says:

    I dont see the connection between Global Warming and lizard extinction either. I thought that warmth was good for those slimy reptilian creatures.

    However this is a finding that has been arrived at after much funding for this crucially important information.

    20% of them will be extinct by 2080? Yikes! Now thats serious. We must do something about it. Just like AGW we cant wait around till 2080 to find out if they are correct, or even for the next five years.

    We must act now! How much money do they require to stop this?

  6. Al Gore's Holy Hologram says:

    hahaha makes me laugh. Some poxy fraction of a degree made lizards disappear even though they have been around for millions of years and experienced very hot and very cold periods.

  7. Greg Cavanagh says:

    Since this is a peer reviewed document, I’m sure they also carefuly documented the actual rise in temperatures for each of the regions studied over the decade or so.

  8. Justthinkin says:

    “Now it’s lizards going extinct due to climate change”

    I’m just praying for the day when Anthony posts ” Now it’s [climate scientists] going extinct due to lack of AGW/Climate Change. Faster,please.

  9. R. de Haan says:

    We all know where the money for all this crappy science is coming from:
    http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com/2010/05/us-government-is-pushing-climafe-change.html

  10. Fred from Canuckistan says:

    They’ll make any claim of linkage so they can try and hop on the AGW Research Funding Gravy Train.

    They’d claim it was due to Maple Syrup if funds were being shoveled off the truck into pancake research.

  11. P Walker says:

    Something about this just doesn’t smell right . I find it hard to believe that a slight increase in temps could trigger a mass extincton of lizards , if that is indeed happening . From my (albeit) limited experience , the hotter it gets , the more lizards I see – believe me , there are tons of lizards here in Coastal Georgia . Nor have I ever seen a lizard in southern Idaho on a cold day . Of course , it’s gotten easy to blame mysterious occurance on GW . Especially if you’re lazy and know you can get away with it .

  12. Veronica says:

    The weasel words here are “If current trends continue”. That phrase is used everywhere to justify huge and unjustifiable extrapolation of a small data set in a linear fashion all the way to the end of time – or the end of lizards in his case. When I was eight years old my parents worked out that if current trends continued for ten years I would grow up to be about 9ft tall. That didn’t happen either.

  13. Enneagram says:

    This is a ROBUST argument for your congress to approve Cap&Tarde, Version 2.3
    It will be approved so your representatives to Cancun’s global warming jamboree can have something to show and to be followed by other countries.
    The world can not withstand more dead lizards!

  14. George E. Smith says:

    Well Climate change got to those big lizards; the dunnosirs; so why not the Western Fence Lizard.

    Can you just hang on long enough for them to go extinct Anthony.

    Sometimes when I read one of those extinction stories; my first reaction is;- “Is that a promise ?”

  15. Garry says:

    From the story: “In many parts of the world, lizards are almost certainly going extinct due to climate change before their very existence is known to biologists” said Bauer, whose research is funded by the National Science Foundation.

    So, even the lizard species that we don’t know about are going extinct?

    Is this Monty Python science?

  16. Enneagram says:

    The researchers, led by Barry Sinervo, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, conducted a major survey of lizard populations worldwide

    May I ask how wide is HIS world?, five hundred square feet perhaps?

  17. oldseadog says:

    I am curious about how the computers can “accurately predict” (3 times) anything.
    (I assume they mean predict accurately….. . Nitpick key now off.)
    They must be able to see into the future, or maybe they have bought a Tardis from the Dr. Who department of the BBC.
    Or do the researchers really mean that decades ago they predicted that these lizards would vanish and that now they have indeed done so?
    If so, where are the links to the prediction papers?

  18. Enneagram says:

    Gotto ask our friend Vuk if those changes in GMF have not affected some sensible brains…as north magnetic pole is bipolar now…just guessing about some bipolarities..

  19. kcom says:

    It seems that all types of lizards are far more susceptible to climate-warming extinction than previously thought…

    Oh, no, it’s worse than we thought. At least, it’s one more example of that genre.

    You do wonder at some of this breathless analysis. What did the lizards do in the 1930s when it was very hot? Did they survive or did a bunch go extinct back then? What did they do during the medieval warm period?

    Also, there’s this:
    “species are already living right at the edge of their thermal limits, especially at low elevation and low latitude range limits.”

    Doesn’t this just show nature behaving as usual? Any population at the edge of its range limit is always going to be at higher risk. That’s how nature works. Populations push out when conditions are favorable (i.e. they push the proverbial envelope) and populations contract when conditions turn less favorable. It’s true for humans, it’s true for animals. It applied to the Vikings in Greenland (they expanded and then retreated with weather conditions) and it applied to cold-adapted creatures when the Ice Age ended and glaciers retreated. It’s life. It doesn’t require a bogeyman. All creatures at the edge of their range are potentially living on borrowed time. Lizards aren’t known for making sophisticated cost/benefit analyses before they move into a new territory. They just go if it suits them and leave if it doesn’t. Some creatures survive, some creatures die. It’s a circle of life.

  20. Gary Pearse says:

    How did the good Doctor Bauer “document” that the alleged extinctions were due to climate change when even climatologists are growing more unsure that there is climate change. Also, “Science” has probably published elsewhere on several occasions that the tropical and subtropical zones won’t heat hardly at all – its the temperate and polar areas where this heating is supposed to take place in large measure. Maybe the lizards have packed their bags for Siberia, Nunavut and MacQuarry Island. I worked in the dry savannah of northern Nigeria for a couple of years mapping geology and in 40C+ the only creatures I saw in any number were lizards and occasionally lunatics like me.

  21. latitude says:

    The fact that the static climate that they seem to want, would cause more extinctions in the long run, is completely ignored.

    Don’t they all believe in evolution?
    Climate change is the primary driver of evolution.

    Evolution is constantly throwing different things out there to see what sticks to the wall. That’s how it works. The fact that some living thing made a bad evolutionary choice, is just part of it.

  22. Henry chance says:

    Wizards lying
    Lizards dying.

    The green unicorn is gone.

  23. latitude says:

    “So, even the lizard species that we don’t know about are going extinct?”

    LOL Garry, a perfect example of a bad evolutionary choice.
    Obviously that would be an animal that evolved to fill a very small and fragile environment. Any change at all could more than likely drive it to extinction. Only to hopefully be replaced by a better adapted animal.
    Or not. Even evolution can’t predict, it just throws it out there.

  24. David L says:

    More stupidity. So I guess nothing thrives in warmth according to the AGW crowd, except poison ivy.

  25. DirkH says:

    This is nothing to worry about. The world-famous biologist and Heineken prize recipient Prof. Paul Ehrlich has stated in 1981 that the yearly species extinction rate is about 250,000 per year; so that in 2000 half of them were already extinct and between 2010 and 2025 all of them. (Assuming 10 Million species after Myers, quoted by Stork 1997, “Measuring global biodiversity and its decline”)

    So the problems of the lizards are simply not anything one should be particularly concerned about. Other species would be happy to survive until 2080.

  26. Ralph says:

    I’ll gladly donate some of the lizards flourishing in my flower bed that constantly taunt my cat in the front window of my house. There are also some black snakes and salamanders in abundance.

  27. ck says:

    Tell me this boys, how much money would National Geographic fork over if you came up with the wrong answer?

  28. Stephen Wilde says:

    “Although the lizards normally bask in the sun to warm up, higher temperatures exceeding their physiological limits keep them in the shade, restricting their activity and preventing them from foraging for food.”

    Assuming the ground based temperature records are wholly accurate with no effect from UHI the observed temperature change is less than 1C in 100 years.

    I cannot ccept that a temperature change on that scale is going to have any effect on heat loving creatures such as lizards.

    Anyway a temperature rise to a point higher than they like it would only be for a tiny part of the day. They still have plenty of time to forage for food when it cools off a little.

    More likely lizard populations are naturally more mobile than the researchers acknowledge and such mobility adds to survival capability.

    This report makes no sense whatever.

  29. Henry chance says:

    If you believe in common ancestors we have a problem. If we believe that at some point that came to 100 million species of which 2 million species remain, survival of the fittest takes place and as new species come along, they will adapt. The speckled moths did. The super turbo beak birds adapted.
    This gloom and anxiety ridden doom about species loss really tells us people do not believe in adaptation and mutation to generate new species.

    Now the lizards deal. Joe Rommm says everlasting droughts. Lizards are in,. Salymanders need to sweat extinction.

  30. Dan Lee says:

    Why not, AGW killed Nessie after all. (Didn’t you post on this one a couple of years ago?)

    http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/2008/02/13/veteran-loch-ness-monster-hunter-gives-up-86908-20317853/

  31. Dave A says:

    A lizard is not hurt by an average decadal increase since that is not a thing. If high temperatures in the real world hurt them, then isn’t that easy to quantify and measure against real populations? Why the all models and the robot lizards?

    Anyone feel like posting real weather data for the study areas?

  32. Scribelus says:

    The Editors and reviewers at “Science”, always predictable as the organ of propaganda of the Scientists Labor Union, promulgate yet another horror story designed to tug at the public heart. What price further Federal funding?

  33. manfredkintop says:

    I think Gary Larson could have done a better job with the subject matter in a one – panel cartoon.

    Chalk up another entry for the warmlist.

  34. UK John says:

    Not seen a lizard in my backyard ever. Must be too warm!

  35. David Middleton says:

    In Mexico’s Yucatan region, scientists found that the time lizards could be out foraging had disappeared. “They would barely have been able to emerge to bask before having to retreat,” Sinervo adds.

    Study co-author Jack Sites of Brigham Young University says high temperatures during the reproductive cycle prevent the animals from eating enough to have the energy to support a clutch of eggs or embryos.

    “The heat doesn’t kill them, they just don’t reproduce,” Sites says. “It doesn’t take too much of that and the population starts to crash.”

    How on Earth did the lizards of the Yucatan survive the early 1960′s???

    LINK

    Chetumal

    Belize/Philli

    Campeche Camp

    If it becomes too cold, lizards fall asleep and don’t wake up.

    “The results were clear. These lizards need to bask in the sun to warm up, but if it gets too hot they have to move into the shade, and then they can’t hunt for food”…

    What do lizards eat?

    Bugs?

    Do bugs avoid shade?

  36. Henry chance says:

    By 2050 Warming to Doom Million Species, Study SaysJohn Roach
    for National Geographic News

    Updated July 12, 2004
    By 2050, rising temperatures exacerbated by human-induced belches of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases could send more than a million of Earth’s land-dwelling plants and animals down the road to extinction, according to a recent study.

    “Climate change now represents at least as great a threat to the number of species surviving on Earth as habitat-destruction and modification,” said Chris Thomas, a conservation biologist at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom.

  37. Harry says:

    This is bogus science. Lizards belong to a class of animals that has dwelled on this planet for more than 100 million years, experiencing heat( and cold) much higher than we have now. This has nothing to do with the non-existant AGW.

  38. intrepid_wanders says:

    I love the correlation of the “…being out in the open…” and “…foraging and eating…”.

    The only good reason for the little guys (blue-bellies) are out in the sun in the daylight is that they are the Hedonistic sunbathers that they are. When they are compelled to ‘sunbathe’ is the only time they are targets of predators (birds, etc). I always hear them actively doing something in the bushes afterdark (eating, mating, etc… perhaps they are nocturnal?)

    Interesting side note on that wiki, the Lymes disease tick has the bacteria that causes it “neutralized”.

  39. Mike D. says:

    Reptilian sexual dysfunction due to rising heat? I think we need to give reptiles a little more credit for procreative capacity. After all, lizards live in every climatic zone except polar ice and tundra. There are boreal lizards, ya know. The critters have been around for 300 million years or so and have managed to self-perpetuate in all sorts of climatic eras.

  40. Bob Kutz says:

    oldseadog:
    May 13, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    I think what they mean to say is that the models they have now show that, given the inputs of population, habitat and climatological data from 30 years ago, and the climatological data through today (since the models still don’t produce accurate “predictions” given the state of the climate in the late 70′s), the models are currently predicting that they would have predicted the extinctions 30 years ago, had they accurate climate models at that time. Clear enough?

    Praline;Never mind that my lad, I wish to complain about this Lizard what I purchased not half an hour ago from this very boutique.
    Shopkeeper: Oh yes, the Western Fence-sitter. What’s wrong with it?
    P: I’ll tell you what’s wrong with it. It’s dead, that’s what’s wrong with it.
    SK: No, no it’s resting, look!
    P: Look my lad, I know a dead Lizard when I see one and I’m looking at one right now.
    SK: No, no sir, it’s not dead. It’s resting.
    P: Resting? Look, I took the liberty of examining that Lizard, and I discovered that the only reason that it had been sitting on its fence in the first place was that it had been nailed there!
    SK: No, it probably just pining for the fjords.
    P:Pining for the Fjords?
    SK: Indeed, that lizard is pining for the Fjords of it’s native land; Svalbard!!
    P: It’s not pining, it’s passed on. This lizard is no more. It has ceased to be. It’s expired and gone to meet its maker. This is a late lizard. It’s a stiff. Bereft of life, it rests in peace. If you hadn’t nailed it to the fence, it would be pushing up the daisies. It’s rung down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. This is an ex-lizard.

    (Little comic relief there for dave ward; hang in there buddy, they can’t keep this crap up forever, and my spidey senses are telling me 10 more summers and winters more or less like the last are going to take a serious toll on the credibility of these AGW “scientists”)

  41. CRS, Dr.P.H. says:

    …will they still taste like chicken?

  42. Tommy says:

    I don’t get this meaning of the word “extinct”:
    “Their model accurately predicted specific locations on five continents where populations of lizards have recently gone extinct”

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to say “where populations of lizards have recently disappeared”? In order to say they are extinct, don’t you have to lose the entire species in every location, not just a population from a specific area?

    Imagine a census worker in Russia reports “whole populations of humans in Chernobyl have gone extinct”.

  43. Ed Caryl says:

    Of course this “study” overlooks the fact that lizards in Mexico, especially the larger Iguanas, get eaten, mostly by people. The heat is getting them, all right, the heat of cooking fires.

  44. Yep, but if this extinction story based on T increase is true, this does not prove AGW right or wrong, does it? And, is it supposed to or is somebody once again harping on something irrelevant in support of their religious beliefs (which does neither have to rely on science nor on logic).

    Don’t forget… “9/10 of sea ice is under water, how can the atmosphere cause the melting of the ice”:
    http://friendsofginandtonic.org/

  45. Zeke the Sneak says:

    “The researchers used these findings to develop a model of extinction risk…The model accurately predicted the disappearance of Mexican lizards…and was then extended globally to lizards in 34 different families…

    I see no appreciable difference between this computer model and a crystal ball.

  46. Bryn says:

    Ralph: “I’ll gladly donate some of the lizards flourishing in my flower bed that constantly taunt my cat in the front window of my house. There are also some black snakes and salamanders in abundance.”

    You have either extra tough lizards or a wuzzy cat, Ralph. Until I read your comment, I was going to remark on how the local population of skinks flourished once my neighbour with pesky predatory moggies moved away. Feral felines in Australia have become major nuisances to indigenous fauna and there has been many a move to ban/neuter/keep in-doors the breed. I’ll wager their depredations have done more than an extra couple of degrees of warmth might do to the local lizard stock.

  47. DirkH says:

    “Tommy says:
    May 13, 2010 at 3:21 pm
    I don’t get this meaning of the word “extinct”:”

    Locally extinct sounds better than “went somewhere else”. Oh, here’s a theory: Researchers check for the presence of lizards by looking on the rocks where they usually sunbath. When it’s warmer, the lizards don’t need the sunbathing to heat up and can go mate in the bushes. Researcher sees no lizards and concludes local extinction. As researchers are always in a hurry because they have to check so many places (and carry amphibian diseases on their boots with them) they simply check “Extinct” on a form and hurry to the next Margherita bar, eh, pristine habitat.

  48. Steve Sloan says:

    I almost died laughing at Anthony’s choice of a leading photograph.

  49. Stephen Pruett says:

    How can lizards even detect the global warming increase vs the typical day/night and day to day temperature changes, which are much larger than any average decadal temperature change? If the authors had just said that an increase in average temperature of 1°C (or whatever it is in the regions they investigated) is causing extinction and had not put this in the context of global warming, this would never had been published. Everyone would have been highly skeptical and would have demanded extraordinary evidence before publishing. Unfortunately, the editors of Science seem more interested in advocacy than in appropriate scientific skepticism.

  50. PeteB says:

    Notice how the most recent predictions are always 50-75 years in the future at least? They have learned their lessons of making predictions that can be evaluated within their lifetimes.

  51. TerrySkinner says:

    No doubt this will be added to the mass of ‘scientific evidence’ for global warming quoted endlessly by the brain dead. It starts out by assuming that there is global warming, not proving it. It then ignores any possibility that climate has ever changed before. It also ignores a major feature of normal species response to climate fluctuation – migration.

    For example in the last Ice-Age humans became ‘extinct’ in Britain. They went somewhere else. When fire devastates a forest the species that need trees move to where there are still trees standing. And when things get hotter, drier, colder, wetter etc and such change affects the wellbeing of a species it moves up or down the mountain, north or south, east or west or whatever.

    This is the ABC of ecology and evolution. Changes in local populations tell us only about local changes. They do not tell us anything about global changes. Even if global warming was as real as the most rabid scenario all it would mean would be that exactly the same conditions would be found further south or north or at a somewhat different altitude. It would not cause extinction of continental species unless they found themselves in a bottleneck with nowhere to go.

  52. Jack Simmons says:

    The real reason lizards are going extinct:

    I’m going to miss the little blighter.

  53. Tomas E Rivas S says:

    As a Biologist, these things looks weird.
    There are so many issues and assumptions on the article that I can’t believe it’s made by scientists. Ecologists and biologists always try to find the answers behind so many data sources: morphometrics, etology, biology, genetics, etc… but when the answers stuck on just one single argument (in this case climate change) the things are not credible.
    The lizards (and all reptiles) survive so many changes on earth trough evolution and adaptation than a small amount of warming (or cooling) it’s meaningless. The recent extinction of lizards on France and other sites, need to be clarified, because animal extinctions happens all the time trough the life story and by many causes. For me, the lizard extinctions (and I’m not an herpetologist) have natural (disease, overpopulation) or human (loss of habitat, pollution) causes. Some important facts on lizard that become extint needs to be pointed: biology, reproductive patterns, density, diversity, popullation ecology, habitat requirements, predators, diet, home range, genetics, life story, precedent distribution, taxonomy and phylogenetic story among others, if the study or references fail on shown or acconut all this facts, the “lizard extinction at alarming rate” it’s just another AGW lie.

  54. u.k.(us) says:

    Bauer believes that most Americans, particularly those in the northeast, where there are few – often inconspicuous – lizard species, are unaware of their ecological importance. However, the disappearance of lizard populations is likely to have repercussions up and down the food chain. Lizards are important prey for many birds, snakes, and other animals, and they are important predators of insects.
    =======================
    I always knew it was those “Americans, particularly those in the northeast,” that were causing all the extinctions, by their uncaring attitude.
    BTW, I live in the midwest, and am NOT guilty by association. Whew!

  55. RayG says:

    Mike D, I think that we should apply for a grant to build computer models for the study efficacy of reptilian Viagra for the treatment of sexual dysfunction in lizards in an AGW environment. We could then simulate reptilian response as temperature increases with CO2.

  56. RayG says:

    “…for the study OF the efficacy…”

  57. Baa Humbug says:

    Yeah but what about snakes?
    I’m sick of removing red bellied blacks and brown snakes from my property.

    Maybe I should just use a shovel and put ‘em out of their misery.

  58. R. Craigen says:

    What the heck does this sentence mean?

    Based on the predicted probabilities of local extinction, the probability of species extinction was estimated to be 6 percent by 2050 and 20 percent by 2080.

    I suspect the article was penned by a trained monkey.

  59. Dr A Burns says:

    Villanova seems to be scammer heartland. They also promote the world’s second biggest scam after AGW – Six Sigma. This is based on even greater nonsense than AGW but like AGW, the world’s major corporations have followed like sheep and invested billions in this rubbish.

    A bit off topic but a paper for anyone interested:
    http://www.qualitydigest.com/inside/six-sigma-article/six-sigma-lessons-deming-part-1
    http://www.qualitydigest.com/inside/six-sigma-article/six-sigma-lessons-deming-part-2

  60. Jimbo says:

    These lizards can tolerate relatively large swings in temperature from day to night and from winter to summer so why are they so sensitive to a tiny rise over the past decades.

    Remember the mass frog deaths in South and Central America:

    “One previous theory, for instance, blamed the fungus [Bd] on global climate change. Lips and Sears, however, found climate change doesn’t appear to trigger outbreaks of the fungus, but that it instead spreads in wave-like patterns often seen in exotic species and emerging infectious diseases.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080326195628.htm

    “The global exportation of the clawed frog is likely to have spread Bd around the world.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091123114640.htm

    Remember the mass deaths of bees:
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091002103210.htm

    I don’t know what is causing the lizard’s death but I am always sceptical of claims linked to a ‘warming’ world.

  61. Bruce Cobb says:

    Well, at least we do know of one species extinction so far, due to modern warming; that of the Golden Toad of Costa Rica, which lived in only one particular area, the cloud forest of Monteverde. Oh, wait, that was due primarily to deforestation of the lowland areas which reduced the amount of clouds and total moisture the cloud forest received. So, no extinctions so far, so a trend of exactly zero. But, hope springs eternal in the fevered minds of Alarmists. Somewhere down the road, they just “know” there will be extinctions, and catastrophic ones, plus, they will be due to “manmade warming”.

  62. Ray says:

    They did not hear that the temperature is not increasing. Anything correlated with Mann’s hockey stick graph is wrong.

  63. Mike McMillan says:

    Judging by the photo, I’d say Godzilla has adapted to Japanese climate change by moving to England. The multiple chimney pots, tile roof, and render walls are the giveaway. I won’t mention the drainpipe dropping down the center of the wall.

  64. Zeke the Sneak says:

    Stephen Pruett says:
    May 13, 2010 at 3:57 pm
    How can lizards even detect the global warming increase vs the typical day/night and day to day temperature changes, which are much larger than any average decadal temperature change?

    They say, “It is anamolously hot for this day month, in this grid box (5 deg lat 5 deg lon) of the Earth, adjusted for changes in type and location of thermometers, based on temps from 1961-1990.” Then the lizard goes in the shade and cannot forage, just as the climate quack says.

  65. Pamela Gray says:

    Can you imagine in today’s climate what they would have said back then about the downward slope of the now understood natural oscillation in ocean salmon populations related to the PDO? It was because of the oscillating pattern of salmon population that the Pacific Warm Pool and the PDO was discovered.

  66. Jimbo says:

    H.R. says:
    May 13, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    Inquiring minds want to know: how’d those lizards survive the last glaciation? Where were the French Lizards 30,000 years ago?

    ——

    Indeed how, after freezing their nuts off, did they survive the Roman / Medieval Warm Periods.
    http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/mwpp.php

  67. Charles Higley says:

    It’s difficult to buy any of this as the study was made in the last ten years during which there has been no warming. So, how can this be? It cannot.

    I want them to show that the warming in these regions is real before they jump to conclusions regarding the cause.

    Those models are so great. Look at what they did for the ash from Iceland. They grounded all of those planes based on models and found out later that the ash was not even close to the “modeled” concentrations. Good job!

    By the way, models are not science in my book as they can be made to mimic anything and not be based on any of the real factors involved.

  68. Vangel says:

    There is a big problem that the authors did not consider. An increase in average temperatures does not mean that we are seeing many new highs. We have seen that 1998 was a ‘hot’ year not because the summer was particularly hot but because spring came earlier and fall came later. If the idiots who wrote the BS study can’t figure out something as simple as that why should anyone accept anything that they say as being credible?

  69. Francisco says:

    The number of species that face extinction due to climate change will keep growing in direct proportion to the grants available to find them. Nothing surprising there. What’s astonising is that they pick lizards as among the most threatend creatures by a little warmer climate. If you give them enough money, their models will demonstrate that Winnie the Poo will face extinction due to a mild increase in global honey.

  70. Kum Dollison says:

    Uh, in the third paragraph (or, 4th, if you count the para. describing the “International team of biologists . . . . . . . . .. ..) you have this:

    While recent global extinctions of amphibians are not directly related to climate change, but largely due to the spread of disease,

  71. AnonyMoose says:

    “locally extinct”

    Did they predict whether they moved north, south, east, west, up, or down? Or only that they weren’t where they looked? Or when they looked… maybe they changed their vacation schedule.

  72. Jimbo says:

    Why wouldn’t the lizards simply migrate northwards as we have been told before about animals ‘migrating’ north due to global warming?

  73. agimarc says:

    So like, does this mean that when Florida has its next really cold snap, it won’t be raining Iguanas from the trees any more like it did last winter? Oh wait. They were dying because it was too cold. No, that can’t be right.

    Another fun thing about the Florida cold snap was that it made python hunting in southern Florida very difficult, as a recent roundup of large snakes loose in the countryside didn’t find many.

    We have once again arrived at the point in time when extreme cold kills reptiles and just a little bit warmer will kill them ever so much more quickly – which nicely echoes the notion that manmade global warming will cause the next ice age.

    This dual causality stuff is indeed a hoot!

  74. Jimbo says:

    By the way, I live in a hot tropical country and right now there are lizards – lots of them – in the garden. Honest truth. The only time I see their maximum numbers is when its hot.

    Temperatures during the hot season reached a max of 43°C and months on they are still around. The temperature they are normally used to is a maximum of 32°C and evening temperatures of 16°C.

  75. JER0ME says:

    Reptiles don’t like it when it’s warmer, eh? That must be why there are so many in Antarctica, and so few in North Queensland, then…… no, wait…..

    “We did a lot of work on the ground to validate the model and show that the extinctions are the result of climate change,” Sinervo said. “None of these are due to habitat loss. These sites are not disturbed in any way, and most of them are in national parks or other protected areas.” While recent global extinctions of amphibians are not directly related to climate change, but largely due to the spread of disease, the ongoing extinctions of lizards are due to climate warming from 1975 to the present.

    How on earth can you show that these extinctions are the result of climate change and nothing else? It would be almost impossible to eliminate every single other factor.

    They have a conclusion. They eliminate the most obvious other causes of the effect observed, and call this ‘proof’. Bang that into a model, extrapolate a few decades or centuries, and “we’re all going to die!” This is true of Hidden Global Warming just as much as it is of this ridiculous study.

  76. Rob H says:

    “……used their findings to develop a predictive model”. Oh, oh, more models. So the argument is if I design a model based on some assumptions and that model corresponds to what actually happens my assumptions are correct. Would that be like the level of women’s hemlines and the economy?

  77. Jim says:

    How many species did the model predict would appear due to global warming? What’s that? Zero?? Some model!!

  78. Steve in SC says:

    Lizards are important prey for many birds, snakes, and other animals, and they are important predators of insects.

    Actually, the lizards have moved on and have taken up a different line of work.
    Most of them are working for Warren Buffet in the insurance business.

  79. Noel Davies says:

    Hmm – I wonder whether they possibly normalised the data for habitat loss and other direct anthropogenic imapcts before leaping on the climate bandwagon?

    Just wondering you know.

  80. Mike Shantz says:

    When I lived in Michigan, Indiana, Philadelphia, there were no lizards because it was too cold. When I lived in Nsukka, Nigeria where it was sweltering hot there were lizards all over the building walls. Now I live near mild climate San Jose and am surrounded by blue belly (w. fence lizard) and alligator lizards. Science and Nature are moving closer to supermarket tabloids.

    As temperatures rise and fall, species increase and decrease depending on their optimums.

  81. u.k.(us) says:

    “Although the lizards normally bask in the sun to warm up, higher temperatures exceeding their physiological limits keep them in the shade, restricting their activity and preventing them from foraging for food.”
    ===============
    Why forage when the food comes right to you, looking for shade, in your shady spot.

  82. Dena says:

    When I was a kid, my sister had a pet cat. We had to be careful when we moved between inside and outside because often the cat would be waiting outside the door with it’s catch of lizard that it wanted to eat with it’s cat food. How many wild cats are there out there working on the lizard population?

  83. Bill Illis says:

    The question is, is there really a rapid increase in lizard extinctions? The particular species mentioned has dozens of local subspecies so it is possible some regional/local mountain subspecies can not be located any more.

    The climate model generated impacts are predictable enough but we’ve seen exaggerations like this before.

    Is Science going to let through a claim like this if it were not true (species extinctions are at another level in my opinion and would require a greater level of review by Science)?

    I, for one, would want to see other proof given the history of this field. And it better be true or someone should wind-down this journal.

  84. jorgekafkazar says:

    My apathy knows no bounds. This is supposed to be science, but sounds more like another practical joke. The model didn’t predict. It looks like they used it to post-dict alleged extinctions. There’s no cause-and-effect shown for CO², but they claim it anyway. Models are not science. Science is dead. Science is a joke.

  85. crosspatch says:

    Let me get this straight … if temperatures and CO2 emissions climb to a value closer to what it was like when lizards ruled the world, they will go extinct?

    These people are either complete morons or believe that we are.

  86. björn says:

    The insensitivity of the google ads never fail to crack me up :)
    This time, the article about endangered lizards are accompanied by an ad far a reptile skin ipod casing!
    Oh I miss, Douglas Adams, we sure could use him now, even if he wiould maybeen a warmist, he would have been the one with a sense of humour:
    [An extraterrestrial robot and spaceship has just landed on earth. The robot steps out of the spaceship...]

    “I come in peace,” it said, adding after a long moment of further grinding, “take me to your Lizard.”
    Ford Prefect, of course, had an explanation for this, as he sat with Arthur and watched the nonstop frenetic news reports on television, none of which had anything to say other than to record that the thing had done this amount of damage which was valued at that amount of billions of pounds and had killed this totally other number of people, and then say it again, because the robot was doing nothing more than standing there, swaying very slightly, and emitting short incomprehensible error messages.

    “It comes from a very ancient democracy, you see…”

    “You mean, it comes from a world of lizards?”
    “No,” said Ford, who by this time was a little more rational and coherent than he had been, having finally had the coffee forced down him, “nothing so simple. Nothing anything like to straightforward. On its world, the people are people. The leaders are lizards. The people hate the lizards and the lizards rule the people.”
    “Odd,” said Arthur, “I thought you said it was a democracy.”
    “I did,” said ford. “It is.”
    “So,” said Arthur, hoping he wasn’t sounding ridiculously obtuse, “why don’t the people get rid of the lizards?”
    “It honestly doesn’t occur to them,” said Ford. “They’ve all got the vote, so they all pretty much assume that the government they’ve voted in more or less approximates to the government they want.”
    “You mean they actually vote for the lizards?”
    “Oh yes,” said Ford with a shrug, “of course.”

    “But,” said Arthur, going for the big one again, “why?”
    “Because if they didn’t vote for a lizard,” said Ford, “the wrong lizard might get in. Got any gin?”
    “What?”
    “I said,” said Ford, with an increasing air of urgency creeping into his voice, “have you got any gin?”
    “I’ll look. Tell me about the lizards.”
    Ford shrugged again.
    “Some people say that the lizards are the best thing that ever happened to them,” he said. “They’re completely wrong of course, completely and utterly wrong, but someone’s got to say it.”

  87. DirkH says:

    “Kum Dollison says:
    May 13, 2010 at 4:59 pm
    Uh, in the third paragraph (or, 4th, if you count the para. describing the “International team of biologists . . . . . . . . .. ..) you have this:

    While recent global extinctions of amphibians are not directly related to climate change, but largely due to the spread of disease,”

    Sorry if i point out the obvious or already known, but lizards are not amphibians but reptiles.

    The mass extinction of amphibians a year or two ago was first boasted as an effect of climate change in the media and by researchers – lots of frogs and toads died. It was later found to be caused by a fungus that strangely spread worldwide, and the cause of the spread was later attributed to the researchers themselves, carrying around the spores on their instruments and boots as they frantically visited remote sites to check if the amphibians there were still ok – thus causing the extinctions themselves.

  88. Henry chance says:

    Using a model is easier than field trips. Michael Mann took 500,000 dollars for one tree and it’s ring. 2 trees equals a million. It is important to save money.
    Without nasty consequences, fear and urgency, the grants dry up.

  89. Jimbo says:

    Nature – 10 May 2010
    Whipping up a little natural selection
    Manipulated islands reveal secrets of lizard adaptation.
    http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100510/full/news.2010.226.html

    Good night all.

  90. toyotawhizguy says:

    More warmist spin, hysteria, and pompous drivel.

    “If the only thing you have is a thermometer, everything looks like global warming”, to paraphrase the old saying “If the only thing you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail”.

    Who do these scientists think they are fooling when they make the claim that the only change in the lizard’s habitat is the temperature?

  91. Arizona CJ says:

    Here in Arizona, you have a variety of climate zones due to altitude, ranging from desert to alpine. I’ve lived at low and (presently) high altitude, and in the deserts we always had tons of lizards. At higher altitude (7000 feet) where I now live, they hibernate during the snowy weather. After a particularly sever and long winter, they are less numerous in the spring. This is one such year. However, I’ve been at lower altitude and they are everywhere; even the rarer Gila Monster seems to be having a population boom.

    Next, they’ll be telling us that, due to melting sea ice, the penguins are going to be eaten by polar bears…

  92. Layne Blanchard says:

    Florida is covered with various breeds of little Geckos. And their vision is amazing. They know if you are looking at them, from quite a distance. One step in their direction (while looking at them) and they run.
    How to catch a Gecko:
    When they get into your house and you see one on the wall, if you walk toward it, it will run along the wall away from you. (And they’re fast). So, act like you don’t know it’s there, and stroll casually in his direction. When you get close enough, look at him, and he will freak out and run. Run him toward a corner of the room. As he approaches the corner, quickly step toward the wall he is about to intersect. You are now stepping in front of him. He’ll turn to run back. Step toward the other wall. Now he really freaks out, and jumps for the floor to run past you. When he hits the carpet, his little sticky feet don’t work too well, and he’ll look like he’s treading water (This only works with carpet) . Now you just reach down and pick him up. They’re pretty cool. None of them bit me. Then you can put him back outside where he can eat more bugs. If you leave them inside, they get dessicated and end up shriveled.

    So now they’re all dying? That’s too bad. I’ll miss those little suckers. :-)

  93. pat says:

    13 May: WaPo: Rosalind Helderman: Moran weighs in on Cuccinelli subpoena
    We haven’t heard from a lot from Democratic politicians on the topic of Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s global warming subpoena to the University of Virginia, but perhaps that’s about the change
    On Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D) sent Cuccinelli a particularly blistering letter about Cuccinelli’s attempt to get documents related to the work of climate scientist Michael Mann, a former U-Va. professor.
    Read the full letter here (LINK) http://voices.washingtonpost.com/virginiapolitics/2010/05/moran_weighs_in_on_cuccinelli.html

    from the undated Moran letter:

    “Such action is reminiscent of the Catholic Church’s initial response when Galileo Galilei defended his views that the sun was the center of the universe in his famous work, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems. It was not until October 31, 1992 when Pope John Paul II expressed regret for how the Galileo affair was handled that the Catholic Church brought the controversy toward some closure…
    History will neither reflect kindly on those who reject science in the pursuit of short-term economic and political gain, nor will it look kindly on your attempt to tarnish the good name of Professor Michael Mann.”

    LOL: WaPo editorial includes link to climateaudit to defend Mann and the editorial:

    13 May: Wapo Editorial: University of Virginia should fight the Va. attorney general’s inquiry
    It’s clear from his statements that the “Climategate” controversy — in which hackers stole records of e-mails between climate researchers that global warming skeptics then distorted — inspired his witch hunt…
    The university plans to seek an extension of the deadline for challenging the attorney general’s “civil investigative demand.” But it must file a challenge. Moreover, Gov. Robert F. McDonnell should join the dozens of others — including some of Mr. Mann’s harshest critics (LINK TO CA) — in condemning Mr. Cuccinelli, lest he be implicated in this assault on reason.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/12/AR2010051204539.html

  94. sHx says:

    “In many parts of the world, lizards are almost certainly going extinct due to climate change before their very existence is known to biologists” said Bauer

    Did I read that correctly? Let me read it again.

    “In many parts of the world, lizards are almost certainly going extinct due to climate change before their very existence is known to biologists”

    OK. I think the statement is saying that lizards we haven’t discovered yet are going extinct because of global warming. In even simpler terms, we don’t know that they are there but we know that they are dying out because of us.

    If there is no honest mistake in the wording of the statement, then whoever uttered that statement should be stripped of all credentials as an Earthling and be declared as an alien fifth columnist. We don’t actually know that there are aliens out there, of course, but we know that we have successfully killed off most of them, and a few remaining survivors are now pretending to be human scientists sowing discord among Earthlings.

  95. MartinGAtkins says:

    Sinervo and his colleagues recently went to the Yucatán to test this theory. With thermal sensors, PVC pipe, plastic caps, and automobile primer paint, they created “electronic lizards”—temperature sensors painted to have light reflectivity similar to that of a lizard—and placed them at two sites where lizards could still be found and two where they’d gone extinct.

    This study is just too funny for words.

    http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2010/05/climate-change-causing-lizards-t.html

  96. Dick of Utah says:

    We have the Gieco gecko to thank for this alarmist scare. They’ve anthropomorhized cute lizards with British accents. Hopefully stinkbugs and rattlesnakes will demand equal protection from our noxious CO2 emissions.

  97. Joe says:

    jorgekafkazar says:
    May 13, 2010 at 5:40 pm
    Science is dead. Science is a joke.

    I could not agree more.
    Do these so called scientists realize that they are creating a society that will start to question everything considered science as this area is so polluted with garbage that true good science is written off now. Good science cannot even be published now as too many “PEERS” guard the garbage science.

  98. Smokey says:

    I know it’s been mentioned, but we’re talking about 0.6°C “climate change.”

    And most of that tiny change happens – if it happens at all – at night, and near the poles. So the rare and endangered Arctic snow lizards are the only ones affected.

  99. Brute says:

    My theory is that global warming will cause economic failure in Spain.

    Can I get funding to research that?

    Oh wait………..

  100. H.R. says:

    Charles Higley says:
    May 13, 2010 at 4:57 pm
    “It’s difficult to buy any of this as the study was made in the last ten years during which there has been no warming. So, how can this be? It cannot.

    I want them to show that the warming in these regions is real before they jump to conclusions regarding the cause. [...]“

    I (generously) gave them that their model worked and the 5 places where the temperatures actually rose the predicted extinctions actually occurred. However, temperatures going up and subsequent extinctions of the (whatever) local lizards says nothing about why the temperature went up at that location. They have assumed that the local temperature went up due to AGW, but they provide no proof, unless (ahem! koff!) one of their references in their paper is to a hockey stick based on tree rings ;o)

  101. gary says:

    Does this mean no more Geico commercials?

  102. Anu says:

    After Al Gore made $3 trillion trading carbon credits, he’s been systematically buying off every branch of science, telling them to support AGW in their work, or else.

    Is there no stopping this man ?
    Nobel Prize, Oscar, Pulitzer Prize, Fields Medal – his ambition, power and wealth show no signs of stopping…

  103. Bob_FJ says:

    About 2 weeks ago, I was watching a TV doco about the vast coral island archipelago of Tahiti, and what a wonderful life the inhabitants there live. As the program progressed I was waiting for it; “any minute now“, something like: But, all this will soon disappear because of AGW. But no, not a mention of it, or of rising sea levels, and everyone was smiling and relaxed.
    Well, stuff me pink, I thought, that’s amazing, and I felt warm and relaxed just like the Tahitians, that included interviews with Polynesians, French, and a German.

    But alas, my serenity was soon shattered by a following Oz doco where it was declared by various learned plant researchers that increasing levels of CO2 are either reducing productivity or poisoning some foods.
    Wheat is yielding less protein, Cassava has less tuber growth and increasing cyanide, and some other catastrophes, but worst of all, the iconic Koala (aka Koala Bear) is under threat because of bad things happening to eucalyptus (gum) leaves.

    Back on to the cassava: They showed what looked like fairly old film of some Africans paralytically stricken by cyanide poisoning, which at first was thought to be polio. However, cassava, (not indigenous to Africa), has always contained cyanide and it apparently had not been properly prepared for eating.

    In all this, although there were claims of less this, or more that, nothing, zilch, zero, was said about by how much!

    Check this out: “Koalas vulnerable to higher carbon dioxide levels”
    http://www.abc.net.au/rural/nsw/content/2006/s2239199.htm

    But then for a laugh, check this out; both are from the ABC: “Koala Wars“. (Too many koalas)
    http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/s528804.htm

  104. L. C. says:

    Models are first of all only guesses. Second of all models are toys for researchers to manipulate to get the result they want (AKA work for the grant money). We shouldn’t believe any of these predictions.

  105. Binny says:

    The Australian outback is noted for its heat. If you leave a piece of metal on the ground for 2 minutes in Midsummer it will blister your hand if you try to pick it up. One thing we have plenty of is lizards, I wouldn’t even bet that every single species has been listed. We even have one little guy who was learned to stand on 2 feet, during the intense midday heat he faces directly into the sun to reduce his profile and stands with 2 feet off the ground every minute is so he changes feet. Presumably because the ground is so hot that he can only keep his feet on the ground about a minute.

  106. 899 says:

    Their model accurately predicted …

    Well, actually it did no such thing.

    All the more likely what it DID do was make a case for further study to determine whether the ‘model’ considered ALL the factors involved, and that includes other environmental effects such as chemical pollutants, etc. We already know that BPA is causing some fish to change sex, and that’s just one chemical in the mix.

    As others have stated, it was a lot warmer a thousand years ago. Heck, it was a LOT warmer back in the 1930′s. So how was it that the lizards survived those spates of warming?

    Are modern lizards a pack of wussies when it comes to warmer weather?

  107. Richard M says:

    I think they just got a little frustrated. They meant the Blizzards were gong extinct but this past winter’s weather blew it. So, they just dropped a couple of letters and published anyway.

  108. Mike says:

    Here is the article (subscription required for full access):
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/328/5980/894

    Some more news stories (much overlap):
    http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100513/full/news.2010.241.html
    http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-sci-lizards-20100513,0,3133013.story
    http://www.vpr.net/npr/126797405/

    It is painfully obvious in reading the responses above that folks will dismiss any research that conflicts with their preconceived views without even reading the article. That’s why your are often called [snip] as apposed skeptics. I don’t know if this work on lizards will hold up as other researchers look into this. There is a great deal of debate as to the causes of frog and amphibian extinctions. Clearly we should be conscious of the many stresses human actively is placing on nature including CO2 emission’s potential effect on climate.

  109. Nolo Contendere says:

    The utter incompetence of these “researchers” is only exceeded by the lateness of their attempt to dip their straws into the dwindling global warming swill trough. We really need to start cleaning these bozos out of the academic world.

  110. kdk33 says:

    Two questions:

    1) given all the time/money/tears devoted to temperature measurements by NASA and Jones – how did these biologist so easily – nay blithely – assert that temps were 2 degrees above normal?

    2) Considering UHI: do lizards go extinct in cities? Why not in my city?

  111. Mike says:

    I found this in the same issue of Science:

    Science 14 May 2010:
    Vol. 328. no. 5980, pp. 899 – 903
    DOI: 10.1126/science.1186440

    Reports
    Carbon Dioxide Enrichment Inhibits Nitrate Assimilation in Wheat and Arabidopsis
    Arnold J. Bloom,* Martin Burger,{dagger} Jose Salvador Rubio Asensio, Asaph B. Cousins{ddagger}

    The concentration of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere may double by the end of the 21st century. The response of higher plants to a carbon dioxide doubling often includes a decline in their nitrogen status, but the reasons for this decline have been uncertain. We used five independent methods with wheat and Arabidopsis to show that atmospheric carbon dioxide enrichment inhibited the assimilation of nitrate into organic nitrogen compounds. This inhibition may be largely responsible for carbon dioxide acclimation, the decrease in photosynthesis and growth of plants conducting C3 carbon fixation after long exposures (days to years) to carbon dioxide enrichment. These results suggest that the relative availability of soil ammonium and nitrate to most plants will become increasingly important in determining their productivity as well as their quality as food.

    http://www.sciencemag.org.proxy.lib.siu.edu/cgi/content/abstract/328/5980/899

    So much for the CO2 is plant food theory.

  112. Gary P says:

    I can confirm part of this paper. Here in Minnesota I have not seen a single lizard in the last six months.

    Today I confirmed my dropping of Science News. I cannot take one more headline claiming global warming “may” cause harm to .. –insert name of favorite fuzzy, furry animal here–. Of course, on the other side of the wildlife diversity front, global warming “may” increase invasive species, thorny bushes, noxious weeds, and disease spreading bugs.

  113. Warren says:

    I think they should have read WUWT a few months back.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/04/where-are-the-corpses/

    Willis, as usual, beat them to the story.

  114. Tor Hansson says:

    From the article:
    “Based on the predicted probabilities of local extinction, the probability of species extinction was estimated to be 6 percent by 2050 and 20 percent by 2080.”

    So if I understand this correctly, nothing is even being said of 20% lizard species going extinct by 2080. It says that in 2080 any lizard species has a 20% chance of being extinct, if it lives in a place that has gotten warmer by as a much as what is produced by a fart in a VW bus.

    By 2080 100% of these scientists, mercifully, will be extinct. And a corpse with egg on its face is still a corpse.

  115. Tor Hansson says:

    Mike says:

    “So much for the ‘CO2 is plant food’ theory.” Say what?

    That must be why CO2 levels in greenhouses are kept somewhere between 1,200 and 2,000 PPM.

    Not to mention why net primary production between 1982 and 1999 increased by 6%.

  116. P.G. Sharrow says:

    I have lived in the wild of the arctic to the tropics and if there is one thing for sure, Lizards like heat and not cold. Global cooling is the danger to lizards not warming.
    This article attests to the low level of quality of AGW science in this modern era.
    Anyone with any experience at all would know that this “research” is BS (bad science).

  117. David44 says:

    Also to be published in May 14 Science is a study by UCD plant researchers claiming that rising CO2 will have a deleterious effect on crops:
    Rising CO2 levels threaten crops and food quality. From the press release:

    May 13, 2010

    Rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide interfere with plants’ ability to convert nitrate into protein and could threaten food quality, according to a new study by researchers at the University of California, Davis. The scientists suggest that, as global climate change intensifies, it will be critical for farmers to carefully manage nitrogen fertilization in order to prevent losses in crop productivity and quality.

    The study, which examined the impact of increased carbon dioxide levels on wheat and the mustard plant Arabidopsis, will be published in the May 14 issue of the journal Science.

    “Our findings suggest that scientists cannot examine the response of crops to global climate change simply in terms of rising carbon dioxide levels or higher temperatures,” said lead author Arnold Bloom, a professor in UC Davis’ Department of Plant Sciences.

    “Instead, we must consider shifts in plant nitrogen use that will alter food quality and even pest control, as lower protein levels in plants will force both people and pests to consume more plant material to meet their nutritional requirements,” Bloom said.
    more at: http://www.news.ucdavis.edu/search/news_detail.lasso?id=9479

    p.s. Watch out Anthony. Western Fence Lizards are a reservoir in of the Lyme Disease agent, Borrelia burgforferi. It still takes a tick to transmit it, so as long as your property and animals aren’t tick infested, you’re OK. (They’re sure cute though – the lizards not the ticks.)

  118. Gail Combs says:

    #
    Dr A Burns says:
    May 13, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    ….Villanova seems to be scammer heartland. They also promote the world’s second biggest scam after AGW – Six Sigma…..
    ________________________________________________________________________
    Funny you should mention Six Sigma, I just slammed it in another post today but was nice enough not to name it. I am a Quality Engineer/Chemist and I absolutely HATE Six Sigma and the ISO crap that goes with it. We use to call the stuff the “flavor of the month”

  119. George Turner says:

    This research is even dumber than the famous wood spider drug study.

    Youtube clip of the spider study

  120. Geoff Sherrington says:

    How does it happen that no lizards appear on the official list of extinct Australian animals ?

    http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/sprat/public/publicthreatenedlist.pl?wanted=fauna#other_animals_extinct

    I guess it makes the paper read better if you don’t have to divide by zero.

  121. Pete H says:

    “We did a lot of work on the ground to validate the model and show that the extinctions are the result of climate change,” Sinervo said

    I groan and stop reading articles every time the word “Model” appears!!!!!!!!!

    By the way, my two resident gecko (s?) are currently eyeing up a big fly in my living room. They seem very happy, as does the Chameleon in my garden. I would just like to use WUWT to pass on my thanks to them for the great job they do ;-)

  122. Neil Jones says:

    oldseadog says:
    May 13, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    A clash between British English and American English. Not something we need right now.

  123. Neil Jones says:

    I don’t think I got the html tags right. Sorry

    Reply: Just type or paste the URL and don’t bother with tags. ~ ctm

  124. Andrew Parker says:

    “Back on to the cassava:”

    Oh, about 22 years ago, an anthropology professor at the University of Utah related a very sad story about finding his research subjects, a pygmy family in the Congo that he had been studying for many years, lying dead around a still smoldering cooking fire. They had eaten improperly prepared cassava.

    My wife is from Ecuador and they eat yuca (cassava) all the time without any major preparation. She has never heard of anyone dying from ingesting bad yuca. Well, after the professor’s story, I thought it prudent to do some research on the matter. According to the information I read, cassava is like apricot pits. There aren’t really sweet and bitter varieties. It is dependent on environmental factors, such as soil type, amount of water available, kind of water, and who knows what else. Often what kills people is that they become used to eating “sweet” cassava for many years and then a variable in the environment changes and people die. What I read is probably 30 years old, so more may be known now, but I still hear stories every once in awhile about cassava poisonings — and I still nervously eat yuca when it is served — and my father ate “sweet” apricot pits and then fed us, if he didn’t experience any ill effects.

    I suppose that increases in cassava poisonings could be blamed on climate change, but cassava is also being grown on more marginal land as countries push to increase production.

  125. Juraj V. says:

    Sinevo, sir, you are a pseudoscientific prostitute and an idiot.

  126. Fitzy says:

    Blah!
    Here in New Zealand, we have one of the oldest living species of Lizards in the ENTIRE! world, as oppose to the other lest attired world, thats ancient DNA by the way, not just individual longevity.(Also impressive)
    The Tuatara, for the phonetically challanged, thats T00-Ah-Tar-Rah, manages to cope with a temperate climate.
    Its a threatedned species, and is managed by our Department of Conservation.

    The threat was caused by the introduction of Wild Humans, Dogs, Cats, Stoats, Weasels and other creatures that ate it or stole its habitat. So we relocated whats left to the predator controlled islands on the outskirts of the mainland, they spend most their time sitting around, eating bugs and getting laid…..man,…what a fate.

    These little @#$%! survived throughout the Dinnysaws epoch, the Ice ages, the Mediaeval Warming period, The Spice Girls and the Spice Girls reunion tour….2012 the musical and AvidTard (In 3D).

    1C over 100 years?, these guys have a life span easily equal to that, reckon they get to 100 and mumble, “@$#! its Hot” and promptly expire? Methinks if something as mean looking, slow, and slovenly as a Tuatara can survive longer than the average Mammalian species, they’ll brush off 1 degree C with contempt.

    I smell a funding rat in this latest proclaimation of imminent and ireversable climatic armageddon from the, “We don’t get published when we tell the truth” brigade.

  127. JPeden says:

    Time out! Are there not any current or relatively recent AGW studies showing the likely, possible, or wildly optimistic benefits of GW?

  128. James Mayo says:

    This overwhelming affliction of the media and warmist intelligentsia to tele-connnect and attribute every conceivable negative outcome to climate change is getting to be unbearable. A quick scan through the TV listings of all the scientific type channels reveals just how pervasive they have gotten.

    TV Listings 1:30 am EST May14
    Animal Planet — “Wild Pacific: Fragile Paradise”. The fragile ecosystem of the Pacific is constantly threatened by climate change, overfishing and man’s increasing influence.
    NatGeo — “Known Universe: Cosmic Fury”. Using interplanetary phenomena to help predict natural disasters; physical sources of earthquakes and volcanoes beneath the Earth’s crust.
    Halogen — “Keep it green” (I had never noticed this channel before but it appears to be 24 hours of green propaganda and I will be blocking it henceforth).
    History — “Life After People: Toxic Revenge”. Toxins and chemicals are unleashed in a world without people; deadly gases turn lakes and rivers into acid; without mankind’s help, Niagara Falls has a surprising fate.
    Discovery — “Build It Bigger: New Orleans Surge Barrier”. The city of New Orleans works on constructing the world’s strongest hurricane protection system.

    I used to really enjoy the documentaries that they broadcast but the recent special on the Iceland volcano eruption just really opened my eyes to how far they’ve tilted. They include all of this amazing footage of the eruption but can’t just leave it at that. They just had to conclude that this was all the result of climate change due to CO2 melting the ice sheets above the volcano releasing the pressure and resulting in all the grounded flights and economic losses. Totally ignoring that we just spent the previous half hour reviewing the historical eruptions that could not have been a result of excess CO2 and the eruptions don’t seem to correlate with periods of high temperature and unprecedented ice melt.

    Every single one of the specials and documentaries listed above were just so frustrating with their constant agenda trumpeting that I really have doubts that any of the current younger generations will be able to think critically without a narrator telling them that warming causes colder temperatures and more snow except when it doesn’t and species we haven’t even discovered are going extinct because a quantum computer model of James Hansen’s cat in a box predicts that the very act of looking for an extinct species causes its extinction.

    JM

  129. Martin Brumby says:

    I was wondering why, if their “predictions” were so accurate, they didn’t include a nice list of all the species that had gone extinct, with their proper latin names and little photos with black borders and R.I.P. notations. Then we could all shed a tear.

    But then it occurred to me. YES!!!

    The “scientists” (being Very Clever People) have thought of yet another use for their trusty (and very expensive) supercomputers.

    Instead of wasting a lot of time cherry picking data, “homogenising” it, extracting trends using inappropriate statistical methods and writing up papers and getting their mates to “peer review” it, they have a simpler procedure.

    It’s obvious! Get the computer to produce the paper, with everything from the little maps with red splodges and the breathless doom predictions through to the press releases all as one package!

    Then they can all lie on a beach somewhere and relax in the sun whilst “Science” or “Nature” or whatever prints it up and sells copies to ecotards the world over!

    The only thing they have to do is use their cell phones to text LIZARD to their “laboratory” and the computer does everything else! Untouched by human hand (and certainly by human brain).

    Next week it might be DUNG BEETLE

    or PORCUPINE.

    or UNICORN. No, wait……

  130. Expat in France says:

    After the coolest May period since we’ve been here (4 years), I can confidently say that the lizard population around here is unaffected, and if anything, increasing. Where does this nonsense emanate from?

  131. Bill Tuttle says:

    Although the lizards normally bask in the sun to warm up, higher temperatures exceeding their physiological limits keep them in the shade, restricting their activity and preventing them from foraging for food.

    Bull. I’ve seen all types of lizards happily dashing around in triple-digit temperatures on three different continents — happily because both their predators and their avian competitors were all sitting in the shade.

  132. Bruce Cobb says:

    Mike says:
    May 13, 2010 at 7:28 pm
    It is painfully obvious in reading the responses above that folks will dismiss any research that conflicts with their preconceived views without even reading the article. That’s why your are often called [snip] as apposed skeptics. I don’t know if this work on lizards will hold up as other researchers look into this. There is a great deal of debate as to the causes of frog and amphibian extinctions. Clearly we should be conscious of the many stresses human actively is placing on nature including CO2 emission’s potential effect on climate.
    The so-called “study” is about “extinctions attributable to rising temperatures”. It says nothing about your “many stresses human actively is placing on nature”. Clearly, your Belief in manmade warming is clouding both your ability to read, and to analyze what you’ve read.
    So, what is it that causes you to feel that our C02 will someday effect our climate? Perhaps we can help you with that misconception.

  133. jaymam says:

    Meanwhile on the non-continent of New Zealand, tuatara (that look like lizards) are now breeding on the mainland for the first time in 200 years.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/3674331/Excitement-as-second-baby-tuatara-appears

    10 May 2010
    For only the second time in more than 200 years, a baby tuatara has been spotted on the mainland, leading experts to believe there could be more breeding in Wellington.

  134. David Alan Evans says:

    Science by Google, what next?

    DaveE.

  135. Jessie says:

    #Mike D says: May 13, 2010 at 3:19 pm
    #Jack Simmons says: May 13, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    The real story: – Amazonian frogs seeking a new life cause the demise of lizards
    Budweiser Compilation
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3mXaATLeRM
    4.36-5.32

  136. rogerkni says:

    Lounge lizards too? Oh the humanity!

  137. rogerkni says:

    Maybe it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.

  138. Veronica says:

    They won’t die. They will pack their little suitcases and take that one flight a day to Svalbard.

  139. Larry Geiger says:

    I live where there are lots of lizards. Lots. I have them all over the sides of my house and in the woods. When the nieces come from Kansas, they begin the inevitable, annual lizard inventory. They collect all they can find, drop them into the lizard cage and then watch them. Great fun. At the end of the week they all get to go free!

    A few years back we noticed one summer that there seemed to be fewer lizards (2005, 2006?). They had a hard time filling up the cage. Who knew. I don’t know what happened. Then last year we had more lizards that you can shake a stick at. They were everywhere. They could have filled up two cages. Now I don’t know anything about lizard population fluctuations, but I know that it happens. Sort of like ciciadas. One year August is totally buzzed out. Another year, hardly a sound.

    My guess, the “scientists” are discovering natural, cyclical behavior and attributing it to AGW. It must make life easy to have one thing to blame everything on. YMMV.

  140. Dan J says:

    “In many parts of the world, lizards are almost certainly going extinct due to climate change before their very existence is known to biologists”

    This makes perfect sense. The unknown lizards are extinct. How do we know that? Well, we can’t find the unknown lizards anywhere so they must be all gone! And it’s your fault!

    Can’t argue with that…

    P.S. unless the unknown lizards are off enjoying the “missing heat” somewhere nice.

  141. Anu says:

    JPeden says:
    May 13, 2010 at 10:43 pm
    Time out! Are there not any current or relatively recent AGW studies showing the likely, possible, or wildly optimistic benefits of GW?

    Sure:
    Madagascar will soon be able to host lots of tourists that previously avoided the island because they hated lizards.
    http://www.ucsc.edu/news_events/press_releases/text.asp?pid=3787
    http://www.visitmadagascar.com/wildMadagascar/wildlife.php

  142. Tamara says:

    From a UCSC press release:
    “From climatologists, the researchers were able to get extremely detailed maps of maximum daily air temperatures over the entire planet in the past and present, as well as projections for the future based on climate models.”

    And from a 2009 Climate Audit post, it looks as though the climate stations for the Yucatan peninsula were dropped from the CRU database. http://climateaudit.org/2009/07/25/cru-then-and-now/

    So it would be interesting to have a closer look at the supposed increase in temperatures that is causing these “local population extinctions” (ecologist code for, we can’t find the lizards where we expected them to be).

    Also, one of the species that they were focusing on in Mexico (Blue Spiny lizard) is not listed as endangered or threatened, and has a fairly extensive range, from Texas to Central America. It produces live young between February and June, which would seem to indicate that it has the ability to adjust breeding to suitable climate conditions.

    “How quickly can Earth’s lizards adapt to the rising global temperatures? That’s the important question,” Sinervo said. “We are actually seeing lowland species moving upward in elevation, slowly driving upland species extinct, and if the upland species can’t evolve fast enough then they’re going to continue to go extinct.”

    A shift in population dynamics loosely correlated with a thirty year change in climate can be transformed through the magic of modelling into the end of 20% of the world’s reptiles. That’s pretty amazing.

  143. Tamara says:

    Now if we are talking about the extinction of house geckos, I know for a fact that the problem isn’t global warming. It is vacuum cleaners and rocking chairs. When I lived in Texas, we would periodically have a gecko move in with us. They were the sweetest, tamest lizards. It was so fun to see one hanging on the window or bathroom mirror. Unfortunately, they never learned to stay out of the way when my mother was moving the furniture around for a good vacuuming. :(

  144. tarpon says:

    We had plenty of lizards die off due to cold this winter in South Florida. The cold also killed huge numbers of coconut palms, all the way to south Miami.

  145. kcom says:

    This makes perfect sense. The unknown lizards are extinct. How do we know that? Well, we can’t find the unknown lizards anywhere so they must be all gone! And it’s your fault!

    And we know the reason they’re gone is because of global warming. After all, in the last 50 or 60 or 70 years the average world temperature has risen a fraction of a degree. It’s been brutal.

  146. Garry says:

    Mike says May 13, 2010 at 7:28 pm: “Clearly we should be conscious of the many stresses human actively is placing on nature.”

    Human activity *is* nature.

  147. Theo Goodwin says:

    Obviously, habitat loss cannot cause lizard extinction. If you are familiar with the southern United States, you know that the preferred habitat for lizards is the patio.

  148. Garry says:

    Tamara says May 14, 2010 at 7:13 am: “Now if we are talking about the extinction of house geckos, I know for a fact that the problem isn’t global warming.”

    When I was living in SE Asia the geckos seemed to love the stifling evening heat of the dry season (November to March, many days up to 105F, nights 85F). But they would frequently fall from their perches on ceilings and walls for no apparent reason, and sometimes to their demise. I concluded that the biggest threat to geckos was suicide.

  149. Ted C. MacRae says:

    [SNIP Calling other commenters the D-word is unacceptable here. ~dbs, mod.]

  150. Bill Illis says:

    The online supplement to the paper has most of the detail.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/data/328/5980/894/DC1/1

    They are dealing with subspecies within subspecies. The main lizard species they are talking about (Sceloporus or the spiny lizard) is divided into 48 different sub-types. It is the small local subtypes that they are purporting to be going extinct. [I saw another study that quoted numbers at 166 individuals per hectare in one area so these lizards can be very common and they have a very large genetic diversity - it would not be unexpected that one subtype might take over a certain area and researchers could claim extinction of another subtype].

    http://www.google.ca/images?hl=en&q=sceloporus&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=univ&ei=GWrtS_SHGoH48AaQq_WjDg&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=4&ved=0CC8QsAQwAw

    Summer temperatures in Mexico and the Yucatan are not increasing very much – it would be less than 0.3C over the 30 years of extinctions in question here.

  151. Ted C. MacRae says:

    Well, I didn’t call anybody anything but did use the words “denialism” and “dismiss” – which of those is the “D-word”?

  152. LarryOldtimer says:

    Peer review is about the worst thing that ever happened to science. It is nothing more or less than “defending the faith”, whatever the “faith” is at the time. Along with any faith comes belief (as opposed to thinking).

    How familiar it sounds, modern “science”. Everyone (of the existing faith) saying in unison, “mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa”, with those who protest being excommunicated from the “priesthood” of the consensus science establishment (and being prevented from receiving any government grants).

  153. Dave Dodd says:

    “We did a lot of work on the ground to validate the model and show that the extinctions are the result of climate change,”

    When one’s only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail!

  154. rogerkni says:

    Leapin’ lizards!

  155. Sean Peake says:

    So lizards are the new frogs? It’s hard to keep up.

  156. Reed Coray says:

    DirkH says:
    May 13, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    The mass extinction of amphibians a year or two ago was first boasted as an effect of climate change in the media and by researchers – lots of frogs and toads died. It was later found to be caused by a fungus that strangely spread worldwide, and the cause of the spread was later attributed to the researchers themselves, carrying around the spores on their instruments and boots as they frantically visited remote sites to check if the amphibians there were still ok – thus causing the extinctions themselves.

    Dirkh, do you have a reference for the above? I’d really like to read it. It seems that the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle applies to biology at a macro level. If so, we can use the precautionary principle to pass laws prohibiting human observation of species lest those observations harm the species.

  157. Anu says:

    Ted C. MacRae says:
    May 14, 2010 at 8:21 am

    You’re allowed to call other people a “pseudoscientific prostitute and an idiot”, but only if they are actual scientists:

    Juraj V. says:
    May 13, 2010 at 10:21 pm
    Sinevo, sir, you are a pseudoscientific prostitute and an idiot.

    ( He means Sinervo, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz
    http://www.ucsc.edu/news_events/press_releases/text.asp?pid=3787
    )

    “other commenters” on WUWT should be shown respect, though.

    Unless they are “Alarmists”.
    Those are the Rules – thanks for playing.

  158. Smokey says:

    Anu says [ ... ]

    Anu should fill out this form and submit it to Anthony. Maybe he will do something to make it all better.

  159. Tamara says:

    Smokey,
    That was hilarious. Thank you.

  160. Willis Eschenbach says:

    In the online supplement to the paper, the authors describe how they made their model. Then they “ground-truthed” the model by comparing lizard numbers to actual nearby stations. In Figure S5, they say they show:

    Climate change in the Yucatán peninsula at 3 weather stations near our ground-truth sites of the relationship between extinction, Te and hr in activity time for Sceloporus serrifer. These weather stations were also near the sites where we deployed lizard models to estimate Te to ground-truth the relationship between extinction and restriction in activity time.

    The three Mexican weather stations that they used to “ground-truth” the relationship were Merida and Valladolid in the Yucatan, and Chetumal in Quintana Roo. They show month by month temperature trends for the three stations.

    So how good is their ground-truth temperature data? Well, here’s the GISS data from three ground-truth stations, so you can decide …



    Figure W1. Temperature data from 3 Mexican stations. Varying line types (dotted, dashed, solid, etc.) indicate separate records from the same location.

    Yeah, those stations could ground-truth the heck out of just about any theory … my personal favorite is Valladolid. I mean, they are claiming that the temperature changes since the 80′s are showing their claims to be true, and there’s so much data from Valladolid since 1980.

    Finally, in their supplement they say:

    We applied these relationships to the values for local population extinction in 2080 and 2050 to derive the probability of species extinction in 2050 and 2080 for lizard families across the globe (Table 1). We weighted the values of total species extinction by the number of species in each family to derive the estimates of global levels of species extinction of 6% in 2050 and 20% in 2080 described in the paper. Therefore, total species extinctions dramatically jump by 2080 relative to values projected for 2050.

    You gotta admire the huevos of these folks, predicting numbers of certain types of lizards in a variety of sites for the years 2050 and 2080 based on shonky Mexican temperature data, extrapolating that to the entire global lizard populations for 2050 and 2080, and then comparing the 2050 and 2080 global lizard predictions as if that were in any sense scientifically valid …

    Killer peer-review on that one, Science Magazine.

  161. John T says:

    “The researchers used these findings to develop a model of extinction risk based on maximum air temperatures, the physiologically active body temperature of each species, and the hours in which its activity would be restricted by temperature.”

    Did they “model” the other side of the equation? How many extra hours of activity were _added_ because it wasn’t too cold?

  162. DirkH says:

    “Reed Coray says:
    [...]
    Dirkh, do you have a reference for the above?”

    Sorry, no, somebody mentioned it on a thread several months ago… so maybe i’m just spreading an urban legend… but it sounds rather plausible to me. Well, doesn’t any good urban legend ;-)

  163. Dr A Burns says:

    >> Gail Combs says:
    >> May 13, 2010 at 8:56 pm
    >> Funny you should mention Six Sigma, I just slammed it in another post today but
    was nice enough not to name it. I am a Quality Engineer/Chemist and I absolutely HATE Six Sigma and the ISO crap that goes with it.

    Great to know that I’m not alone in the wildness of Six Sigma stupidity ! It is interesting to see the parallels in the scams of SS and AGW. It amazes me that anyone could invest money in SS if they were able to think logically or simply to able research the origins of the claimed “unavoidable” “long term” (24 hour), 1.5 sigma drift in the process average of “all processes”.

    The way concepts such as Six Sigma (or AGW) take hold is exemplified by IBM. After a study, the quality department came to the conclusion that Six Sigma was “thin” and “dubious”, yet “Our position paper was finally regarded as too disruptive to IBM s progress …”.

    Politics is much more powerful than science or common sense.

  164. Bill Tuttle says:

    DirkH: May 14, 2010 at 2:54 pm
    @ Reed CoraySorry, no, somebody mentioned it on a thread several months ago… so maybe i’m just spreading an urban legend… but it sounds rather plausible to me. Well, doesn’t any good urban legend ;-)

    I do b’lieve there was a post on WUWT on that very subject some months back.

    I got here late, so I can’t hit the archives before the generator goes to sleep for PM and refuel, but it had a pic of a Concerned Wildlife Biologist looking very Intent and Concerned under the header.

  165. Jimbo says:

    Layne Blanchard says:
    May 13, 2010 at 6:24 pm
    “How to catch a Gecko:
    …….. If you leave them inside, they get dessicated and end up shriveled. “

    ——————————–
    I don’t know what kind of Geckos you have but the ones in my house don’t end up dessicated and shriveled because they eat the insects (I live in a tropical climate) in my house which are attracted by the lights. I don’t study Geckos but I have to tell you I have NEVER seen one drinking water. (I repeat I thought maybe some do drink water.)

  166. Jimbo says:

    “In many parts of the world, lizards are almost certainly going extinct due to climate change before their very existence is known to biologists”

    This begs the question of how do they know that the lizards they don’t know about can tolerate / adapt to ‘climate change’ i.e. GLOBAL WARMING??? Is this the use of the scientific method at work???

    What a CROC!!!

  167. C. Gallagher says:

    npr.org
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126797405

    I listened to this crap today, He stated that the temperature increase since the 70′s is 3-4 degrees C.
    Absolutely above the predicted rise by global warming. ,,,but maybe not by the bad data from those weather stations.

  168. rogerkni says:

    Bill Tuttle says:
    May 14, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    DirkH: May 14, 2010 at 2:54 pm
    @ Reed CoraySorry, no, somebody mentioned it on a thread several months ago… so maybe i’m just spreading an urban legend… but it sounds rather plausible to me. Well, doesn’t any good urban legend ;-)

    I do b’lieve there was a post on WUWT on that very subject some months back.

    I got here late, so I can’t hit the archives before the generator goes to sleep for PM and refuel, but it had a pic of a Concerned Wildlife Biologist looking very Intent and Concerned under the header.

    Here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/03/06/global-warming-not-blamed-for-toad-extinction/

  169. rogerkni says:

    I think this study, once debunked, will be regularly cited as a high-water-mark, Onion-worthy classic of trend-chasing alarmism.

  170. Mike D. says:

    Polar bears forgot how to swim, so why is it any curiosity that lizards forgot how to have sex?

    Personally I await the treatise on the issue by Rajendra Pachauri, who has proven himself to be an expert in the marital and extra-marital arts. A robust bodice-ripper about lizard sex is just what the masses demand, RP.

  171. Jessie says:

    Mike D. says:
    May 14, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    Here’s lizards and sex http://www.herpconbio.org/Volume_4/Issue_2/Ramirez_etal_2009.pdf
    and disease http://www.jwildlifedis.org/cgi/reprint/27/4/551.pdf

    Further comment, thank you Bill Illis for the supplemenatry pdf.
    The Yucatan area according to wiki:-
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Map_of_Atlantic_Category_Five_hurricanes.png

    And other lizard researcher studies
    http://www.scienceblog.com/community/older/2001/A/200110135.html and a researcher/lizard expert:-
    http://news.wustl.edu/news/Pages/655.aspx

    Times reports the Science Lizard Extinction article
    http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1989115,00.html

    A link in the article (Times Photo Essay – 10 species near extinction) would appear to be suggesting that poaching, villagers protecting crops/livestock and/or the need to feed ones family may be attributable to the 10 nearing extinction-status. Not so clear on the polar bear though.

    An extensive database on lizards just discovered for those interested http://www.jcvi.org/reptiles/species.php?genus=Sceloporus&species=serrifer
    and has been updated if one follows the links through to home page
    http://reptile-database.org/

    The reference list of the Science supplement N=387 (t’you Bill Illis) .
    Perhaps we are reading an extensive data extraction exercise matched to selected climate points? It is stated they wanted a global validation of the hypothesis by using their choice of families or regional biota and pushing this through the three criteria grinder. (p16)

    The supplement also refers to Liopholis kintorei (Table S7D p83-4) in the central desert region of Australia. References provided to the L kintorei surveys (S60:62:63:64) are all government environmental departments. http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/action/
    Further to this
    http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/sprat/public/publicthreatenedlist.pl?wanted=fauna
    where the Great Desert Skink is listed ‘vulnerable’ and one can assist in providing information to the World Wildlife Fund who are funded and fund local peoples under the
    http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/desert-skink.html (see contacts and references Email: rangelands@wwf.org.au ).
    However the Supplement thanks the Australian Research Council, not WWF.
    Recall the Green Jobs Illusion or Why are Politicians so enamoured with Cap n Trade? http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/07/03/spencer-on-waxman-markeys-cap-and-trade/

    Since the skink can grow to some 40cm and lives in extensive burrow communities; are the skinks being eaten by local indigenous peoples? Dingos, some feral cats, larger lizards and scrub burning measured in square kilometres may contribute to some of the ?low skink numbers but very little if at all pastoral or mining in much of this region. The human population of the Australian desert area described is very low and child malnutrition exists. Lizards as a source of food could be an explanation in some of the areas surveyed?

    Beside grant $ and publishing, the other common variable not included [tested] may well be proximity to UN heritage/ecological listed areas or awaiting potential listing. Or as in previous WUWT link; trade in carbon and/or storage of, illicit drugs, humans, possibly fauna.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/04/25/global-warming-the-oxburgh-inquiry-was-an-offer-he-couldnt-refuse/ and again http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/07/03/spencer-on-waxman-markeys-cap-and-trade/

    http://www.huahintoday.net/news/science/rising-global-temperatures-cooking-lots-of-lizards-607.htm

  172. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Excerpt from: Mike D. on May 14, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    A robust bodice-ripper about lizard sex is just what the masses demand, RP.

    The good old ABC network (USA) has that covered with their remake of V. The “lizard sex” was getting played up on the ads long before the first episode aired.

    (General note: If extraterrestrial aliens show up that look exactly like humans, immediately presume deceit and deception.)

    I haven’t bothered to watch this new version. Did the aliens promise to fix global warming climate change along with eliminating war and poverty?

  173. Jessie says:

    Mike D. says:
    May 14, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    Here is a bodice-ripper study on lizard sex, minus their livers:
    http://www.herpconbio.org/Volume_4/Issue_2/Ramirez_etal_2009.pdf
    and of disease in lizards http://www.jwildlifedis.org/cgi/reprint/27/4/551.pdf

    Further comment:-
    The Yucatan area according to wiki:-
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Map_of_Atlantic_Category_Five_hurricanes.png

    And other lizard researcher studies
    http://www.scienceblog.com/community/older/2001/A/200110135.html and a researcher/lizard expert:-
    http://news.wustl.edu/news/Pages/655.aspx

    Times reports the Science Lizard Extinction article
    http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1989115,00.html

    A link in the article (Times Photo Essay – 10 species near extinction) would appear to be suggesting that poaching, villagers protecting crops/livestock and/or the need to feed ones family may be attributable to the 10 nearing extinction-status. Not so clear on the polar bear though.

    An extensive database on lizards just discovered for those interested http://www.jcvi.org/reptiles/species.php?genus=Sceloporus&species=serrifer
    and has been updated if one follows the links through to home page
    http://reptile-database.org/ and this chap has a blog of Mexican lizards
    http://www.backyardnature.net/n/lizards.htm

    The references listed in the Science supplement N=387 (t’you Bill Illis) .
    Perhaps we are reading an extensive data extraction exercise matched to selected climate points? It is stated they wanted a global validation of the hypothesis by using their choice of families or regional biota and pushing this through the three criteria grinder. (p16)

    The supplement also refers to Liopholis kintorei (Table S7D p83-4) in the central desert region of Australia. References provided to the L kintorei surveys (S60:62:63:64) are all government environmental departments. http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/action/
    Further to this
    http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/sprat/public/publicthreatenedlist.pl?wanted=fauna
    where the Great Desert Skink is listed ‘vulnerable’ and one can assist in providing information to the World Wildlife Fund who are funded and fund local peoples under the
    http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/desert-skink.html (see contacts and references Email: rangelands@wwf.org.au ).
    However the Supplement thanks the Australian Research Council, not WWF.
    Recall the Green Jobs Illusion or Why are Politicians so enamoured with Cap n Trade? http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/07/03/spencer-on-waxman-markeys-cap-and-trade/

    Since the skink can grow to some 40cm and lives in extensive burrow communities; are the skinks being eaten by local indigenous peoples? Dingos, some feral cats, larger lizards and scrub burning measured in square kilometres may contribute to some of the ?low skink numbers but very little if at all pastoral or mining in much of this region. The human population of the Australian desert area described is very low and child malnutrition exists. Lizards (particularly fatty tails) as a source of food could be an explanation in some of the areas surveyed?

    Beside grant $ and publishing, the other common variable not included [tested] may well be proximity to UN heritage/ecological listed areas or awaiting potential listing. Or as in previous WUWT link; trade in carbon and/or storage of, illicit drugs, humans, possibly fauna.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/04/25/global-warming-the-oxburgh-inquiry-was-an-offer-he-couldnt-refuse/ and again http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/07/03/spencer-on-waxman-markeys-cap-and-trade/

    A new dish, what with culinary tourism of anthropods of Asia being a media hit:-
    http://www.huahintoday.net/news/science/rising-global-temperatures-cooking-lots-of-lizards-607.htm

  174. I just wanted to humbly throw a little bit into this with my experience from the Pacific Northwest and dealing with Mt. St. Helens.
    First of all I am not a scientist. I however have done a lot of reading and researching on these subjects since I was about 13. I am now 50 so I have been doing a lot of research and reading.
    I accidentally wound up on http://www.skepticalscience.com I learned you really have to read the fine print on the web because they aren’t skeptics, they’re skeptics of us who are skeptical.

    John the moderator is an ok sort for a warmist but his followers are faithful and zealots to the core and are excellent slingers of the ad hominym and red herring. (So good with the herring in fact they should work for Pike Place Market fish store)

    here is a copy of some of their comments and mine on the new article about the lizards disapearing. I’m also left wondering if these “scientists” are related to the ones who are blaming global warming on a transexual lizard?
    51. skepticstudent at 03:04 AM on 19 May, 2010
    I can’t see the whole article so I don’t know so i’m asking.

    Why would lizards suddenly start dying in Mexico and no where else in the world? Lizards survived 10 million years of heat warmer than what is currently anywhere in the world.

    Did they do any studies on the habitat itself or on the food sources in the area…

    Also I find it interesting that despite their claims of temperatures being higher in the areas, the last few years have seen an incline in the Monarch Butterfly and the larvae only successfully grow to the butterfly stage in cooler temperatures.

    I’m not just sayin… just sayin ya know?
    51. Ned at 03:32 AM on 19 May, 2010
    skepticstudent writes: Why would lizards suddenly start dying in Mexico and no where else in the world?

    They did a study of lizard populations in Mexico, and derived a model that can be used to predict lizard population dynamics in general.

    Then, they tested this model by comparing its predictions to field studies from all over the world:

    “The global generality of our model is verified by concordant distributions of current observed and predicted local extinctions of lizard biotas from four other continents (table S7). Our model pinpoints exact locations of two Liolaemid species going extinct in South America (Liolaemus lutzae, Phymaturus tenebrosus: {chi}2 = 32.1, P < 0.0001). In addition, the model predicts recent (2009) extinctions among 24 resurveyed populations of L. lutzae ({chi}2 = 8.8, P = 0.003). In Europe, our resurvey of Lacerta vivipara revealed 14 extinct sites out of 46 (30%), which are predicted quite precisely by the model ({chi}2 = 24.4, P < 0.001). In Australia, the model pinpoints 2009 extinctions of Liopholis slateri ({chi}2 = 17.8, P < 0.00001) and 2009 extinctions of Liopholis kintorei ({chi}2 = 3.93, P = 0.047). In Africa, analysis of Gerrhosauridae and Cordylidae at 165 sites predicts <1% extinctions, and yet the model pinpoints the single extinction reported by 2009 (exact P-value = 0.006). We temper this value with extinction projections of 23% for 2009 at Malagasy Gerrhosauridae sites, which is validated by the observed 21% levels of local extinction across several lizard families in Madagascar nature reserves (23)."

    Tables S7A, B, C, and D in the Supplementary Online Material provide all the details about these surveys. It looks like a pretty massive effort.
    Ned, I can make a climate or any kind of model do what I want it to do.
    I want to know if they studied the habitat. Did they study the food of the lizards. Did they study if anything has changed other than weather or are they strictly using weather models? Like I mentioned earlier there have been larger than normal monarch butterfly escape into North America. The monarch butterfly only has large escapes during years where winter and spring weather is cooler than normal. So one tends to wonder about their comments about warmer climes wiping out a species locally or otherwise.
    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2011876112_volcano16m.html
    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/flatpages/video/mediacenterbc3.html?bctid=85750359001
    Are two newspaper article videos of species that have made fantastic comeback/adaptation to their surroundings despite massive changes in their surroundings.

    Now before any of you try to make the assertion that this doesn’t equate to Mexico think for a second. Suddenly a massive volcano blows up wiping out trees for hundreds of square miles. Clogging rivers with ash, trees, choking them with ash, and acid and other poisons.
    Mt St Helens did to the Tuttle valley what evolutionary scientist said took 10 billion years, in 3 days.
    There were trout and salmon back in the rivers and lakes in less than 3 years. There were birds, lizards, salamanders. Trees were gone, thus the ground temperatures were far far warmer than they had ever been before. I was up at Mt St Helens a short time after the blast. It was like a Nuclear bomb, no roughly about 380 Nagasaki bombs went off.
    To try and tell me that lizards are dying because of supposed recent changes in temperatures over a 20 + year period because they can’t “evolve” fast enough is nonsense. Animals adapt to living conditions quickly every day all over the world.
    I think this is a very very poor representation for the climate warming side.
    I have to make another comment here.
    I don't believe a drop of Darwin's theory of evolution, however I find this article even more rediculous to read that they are whining about lack of time to evolve because of man's involvement in global temperature increases.
    1. If this is the case it pretty much flies in the face of evolution itself, and denies evolution,because if it really was the evolving species of the fittest these animals would have evolved millions of years ago to adapt to warmer temperature climes. What wiped out the dinosaurs? It wasn't man kinds contribution of a paultry few hundred co2 ppm.
    Lizards have been around for a long time. Temperatures have been much hotter than now for longer periods than 30 years. If evolution was real vs. Macro evolution or adaptation why haven't these lizards adapted before now?
    This article is not one of the best for the side of global warming.
    2. If one is supposed to believe in evolution then all animal loving aside, let the stupid lizards die because they obviously aren't superior according to Darwin the father of evolution. Let them die and make way for the superior lizard that can make it's own margarita and cool itself down.

  175. Personally I wish their was an adaptation/evolution problem with the progressive socialists taking over our nation. Talk about your alien invasion.

    It’s like Roddy Pipers movie, “They Live” has come true.
    Get your sun glasses and head for the hills.

  176. You know it just dawned on me that today is May 18th. This is the 30th anniversary of Mt. St. Helens. Kind of interesting time for this lizard article to be coming out.

  177. Jimbo says:
    May 14, 2010 at 5:26 pm
    “In many parts of the world, lizards are almost certainly going extinct due to climate change before their very existence is known to biologists”

    This begs the question of how do they know that the lizards they don’t know about can tolerate / adapt to ‘climate change’ i.e. GLOBAL WARMING??? Is this the use of the scientific method at work???

    What a CROC!!!
    no Jimbo, we’re talking lizards not Croc’s, Crikey what’s wrong wit you mate?
    :-)

  178. Mike D. says:
    May 14, 2010 at 10:07 pm
    Polar bears forgot how to swim, so why is it any curiosity that lizards forgot how to have sex?

    Personally I await the treatise on the issue by Rajendra Pachauri, who has proven himself to be an expert in the marital and extra-marital arts. A robust bodice-ripper about lizard sex is just what the masses demand, RP.

    Mike D. Have you ever seen Pachauri? He looks like a lizard. or maybe in Star Wars terms… A Denebian SlimeDevil. empasis on the word slime!

  179. DCC says:

    It doesn’t take cold to make an iguana fall out of a tree. I was walking a trail at Copan in Honduras one summer day when I heard a loud thump behind me. I turned to see a large iguana, obviously a bit dazed from the fall. Whether it was accidental or intentional, I do not know, but I can imagine falls from very dangerous heights that could do more than stun one of these large lizards.

  180. maybe it was a fall out of a tree that caused a trans-sexual lizard and not global warming.
    I’ll have to research that and throw a couple of mathematical models into the mix to see if that computes. :-)

  181. Beth Cooper says:

    Maybe the snakes are eating the lizards. We certainly had a lot of tiger snakes around our local golf course,(10km from Melbourne city centre) last summer.I almost stepped on one near the 6th tee.

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