Tragedy of the day: 1 in 10 animals unable to outrun climate change

From the University of Washington, via Eurekalert, sympathy for snails, turtles, sloths, slow moving howler monkeys, shrews and moles and other slow moving critters that will apparently bake in place due to the 0.7C temperature rise of the past century. They just can’t move fast enough it seems. No mention of adaptation either. Why oh why did nature equip them so poorly? /sarc

Gotta love this reasoning:

Only climate change was considered and not other factors that cause animals to disperse, such as competition from other species.

The natural world doesn’t work that way. You can’t just turn off all the other variables and make projections using only one (unless of course you are doing climate science).

Nearly one-tenth of hemisphere’s mammals unlikely to outrun climate change

A safe haven could be out of reach for 9 percent of the Western Hemisphere’s mammals, and as much as 40 percent in certain regions, because the animals just won’t move swiftly enough to outpace climate change. For the past decade scientists have outlined new areas suitable for mammals likely to be displaced as climate change first makes their current habitat inhospitable, then unlivable. For the first time a new study considers whether mammals will actually be able to move to those new areas before they are overrun by climate change. Carrie Schloss, University of Washington research analyst in environmental and forest sciences, is lead author of the paper out online the week of May 14 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“We underestimate the vulnerability of mammals to climate change when we look at projections of areas with suitable climate but we don’t also include the ability of mammals to move, or disperse, to the new areas,” Schloss said.

Indeed, more than half of the species scientists have in the past projected could expand their ranges in the face of climate change will, instead, see their ranges contract because the animals won’t be able to expand into new areas fast enough, said co-author Josh Lawler, UW associate professor of environmental and forest sciences.

In particular, many of the hemisphere’s species of primates – including tamarins, spider monkeys, marmosets and howler monkeys, some of which are already considered threatened or endangered – will be hard-pressed to outpace climate change, as are the group of species that includes shrews and moles. Winners of the climate change race are likely to come from carnivores like coyotes and wolves, the group that includes deer and caribou, and one that includes armadillos and anteaters.

The analysis looked at 493 mammals in the Western Hemisphere ranging from a moose that weighs 1,800 pounds to a shrew that weighs less than a dime. Only climate change was considered and not other factors that cause animals to disperse, such as competition from other species.

To determine how quickly species must move to new ranges to outpace climate change, UW researchers used previous work by Lawler that reveals areas with climates needed by each species, along with how fast climate change might occur based on 10 global climate models and a mid-high greenhouse gas emission scenario developed by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The UW researchers coupled how swiftly a species is able to disperse across the landscape with how often its members make such a move. In this case, the scientists assumed animals dispersed once a generation.

It’s understandable, for example, that a mouse might not get too far because of its size. But if there are many generations born each a year, then that mouse is on the move regularly compared to a mammal that stays several years with its parents in one place before being old enough to reproduce and strike out for new territory.

Western Hemisphere primates, for example, take several years before they are sexually mature. That contributes to their low-dispersal rate and is one reason they look especially vulnerable to climate change, Schloss said. Another reason is that the territory with suitable climate is expected to shrink and so to reach the new areas animals in the tropics must generally go farther than in mountainous regions, where animals can more quickly move to a different elevation and a climate that suits them.

Those factors mean that nearly all the hemisphere’s primates will experience severe reductions in their ranges, Schloss said, on average about 75 percent. At the same time species with high dispersal rates that face slower-paced climate change are expected to expand their ranges.

“Our figures are a fairly conservative – even optimistic – view of what could happen because our approach assumes that animals always go in the direction needed to avoid climate change and at the maximum rate possible for them,” Lawler said.

The researchers were also conservative, he said, in taking into account human-made obstacles such as cities and crop lands that animals encounter. For the overall analysis they used a previously developed formula of “average human influence” that highlights regions where animals are likely to encounter intense human development. It doesn’t take into account transit time if animals must go completely around human-dominated landscapes.

“I think it’s important to point out that in the past when climates have changed – between glacial and interglacial periods when species ranges contracted and expanded – the landscape wasn’t covered with agricultural fields, four-lane highways and parking lots, so species could move much more freely across the landscape,” Lawler said.

“Conservation planners could help some species keep pace with climate change by focusing on connectivity – on linking together areas that could serve as pathways to new territories, particularly where animals will encounter human-land development,” Schloss said. “For species unable to keep pace, reducing non-climate-related stressors could help make populations more resilient, but ultimately reducing emissions, and therefore reducing the pace of climate change, may be the only certain method to make sure species are able to keep pace with climate change.”

###

The third co-author of the paper is Tristan Nuñez, now at University of California, Berkeley. Both Schloss and Nuñez worked with Lawler while earning their master’s degrees. Lawler did this work with support from the UW School of Environmental and Forest Sciences using, in part, models he previously developed with funding from the Nature Conservancy and the Cedar Tree Foundation.

For more information: Schloss, cell 440-666-6389, cschloss@uw.edu Lawler, 206-685-4367, jlawler@u.washington.edu (Note: Lawler is away from the office the week of May 14 but will check for messages once or twice a day)

===========================================================

It is just too bad those poor animals can’t get out of the way. It reminds me of this:

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135 Responses to Tragedy of the day: 1 in 10 animals unable to outrun climate change

  1. archonix says:

    Once again I’m reminded of South Park

  2. rg says:

    A fleet of solar powered arks will do the trick.

    Next problem?

  3. HalfEmpty says:

    Hell they’ve got all kinda warning, tell them to get started now. Maybe do a wagonless train headed for the north. Army ants, rhino Beatles guarding the flanks and kicking speedy mammal butt. Just tell ‘em, communicate and all will be well.

  4. “…. how fast climate change might occur based on 10 global climate models and a mid-high greenhouse gas emission scenario developed by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change”
    This direct quote pegs my BS meter.
    End of discussion.

  5. robmcn says:

    Time for climate arks. Hansen at the rudder and Schmidt whipping the shackled deniers at the oar.

  6. corio37 says:

    Don’t laugh. Your taxes are paying for this.

  7. MarkW says:

    Are they using current ranges to determine what a species “climate tolerance” is?

    If so, that’s an inherenly flawed model. Range is not determined by climate tolerance, but rather it is a complex interplay of climate, forage, competition with other animals.

    So it is quite likely that an animals climate tolerance is much greater than merely looking at it’s current range would indicate.

    Another point, is that most animals range over a huge area. Even though mice won’t be able to move fast, they currently range from tropics to the arctic. They won’t need to move fast, where ever they need to move to, they are already there.

  8. Latitude says:

    it’s the pikas…..
    They are migrating up the mountains, scaring the goats and bears…..and making them jump

  9. MarkW says:

    Worst case scenarios are for 1 to 2C in increase over the next 100 to 200 years. Just how fast do these animals need to move in the first place?

  10. P. Solar says:

    “…9 percent of the Western Hemisphere’s mammals”

    If they could learn the correct use of capitals , I’d be more impressed. Hemisphere is a common noun, not a proper noun and thus only gets a capital at the beginning of a sentence. Similarly western is an adjective and does not get capitalised.

    Seems their understanding of basic science is not better than their knowledge of basic grammar.

    Reply: It’s always amusing when grammar Nazis get it exactly wrong. ~ ctm making a guest appearance.

  11. Disko Troop says:

    We must read more Globull Warming propaganda on this site than we could get anywhere else. We have had the farting dinosaurs crying over spilt milk; the poor wee mice running frantically Northwards as the heat(0.7 deg)wave chases them; kangaroo scientist culling; people running from one side of Sydney to the other to save themselves; the ice disappearing..again; Yet we are not convinced. I wonder what is wrong with us?

  12. Curiousgeorge says:

    It’s all BS. Show me the evidence.

  13. betapugb says:

    Could we please display the pricetag, with cost to taxpayers for each of these vital, high priority studies?
    I might want to see if I can move to a better deal.

  14. Gary Pate says:

    What color is the sky in their world???

  15. wayne says:

    This is the case where all 493 lowly mammals are much smarter than the University of Washington researchers. There is no real “climate change” underway and these mammals know it well, or they would walk the meters, this generation.

    The fatal assumption: “In this case, the scientists assumed animals dispersed once a generation.” Poof!

  16. Latitude says:

    Fish threatened by global warming to be moved north
    Sunday 23 January 2011

    Fish from the Lake District will be moved to cooler waters in Scotland under radical plans – which will be unveiled this week – aimed at coping with climate change.

    The first seven of more than 100 reports by government agencies and utility companies will set out how Britain needs to change to cope with hotter summers and wetter winters. They will highlight the risks – and potential costs – of more landslides, buckled railway lines, crumbling water pipes and rising sea levels threatening lighthouses around the coast. Officials say the studies are needed because levels of carbon emissions mean climate change over the next four decades is unavoidable.

    The dangers to wildlife have triggered the most extreme solutions: the Environment Agency is poised to catch and transfer thousands of vendace and schelly, both freshwater white fish, from the lakes of Cumbria to Scottish lochs.

    Scientists warn higher temperatures and lower rainfall in summer will lead to lower river flows and rising water temperatures. As a result, oxygen levels will fall. “It may be necessary to rescue fish or oxygenate the water to help them survive,” the Environment Agency’s report will warn. “We may also need to reintroduce species to re-colonise stretches where fish have died.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/fish-threatened-by-global-warming-to-be-moved-north-2192001.html

  17. otsar says:

    I predict that only 1 in ten climate scientists will be able to outrun the reality of the decrease in climate research funding.

  18. Latitude says:

    more from that previous post…..LOL

    “”Other climate change adaptation reports will be released this week by National Grid, covering gas and electricity, the Environment Agency, the Trinity Lighthouse Authority, the Highways Agency, Network Rail and Natural England. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs says the reports are the first step in preparing a nationwide plan in two years’ time. An economic analysis will put a price tag on the cost of adaptation in summer 2012.”””

  19. R Taylor says:

    I remember a story similar to this, but it involved Bugs and Taz.

  20. Otter says:

    Ostar, I would like to make a slight change to your line: ‘I predict that only 1 in ten climate scientists will be able to outrun extradition…’

  21. Paul Bahlin says:

    So, I want to know how you derive a dispersal rate for a population that is not yet under any influence that would cause them to disperse. If I’m a sedentary monkey surrounded by bananas and figs this says nothing about how fast I can move to find new ones when I need to.

    Do they have monkey dispersion models? If you have monkey models then don’t you need banana models to input parameters to the monkey model? Then wouldn’t you have to feed your banana model with your rain model? And then of course, your rain model would have to be fed with your climate model which is fed by your biometric, Co2 sequestration, Ice extent, cloud formation, and extreme weather forecasting models.

    Oh wait! Me thinks I’ve modeled a circle. Yikes!

  22. wikeroy says:

    Yes, it is terrible. Just think about all the buggers that drowns every time it rains.

    We need a memorial day.

  23. F. Ross says:

    Where were all these “endangered” animals living some 10k years ago when the earth started coming out of the most recent ice age?
    Where were they living during the medieval warm period? the little ice age? etc?
    Watta loada hogswill.

  24. Lost in the shift to the Holocene….Mammoths, Mastadons, Saber-toothed Tigers, Dire Wolves, Giant Bison, Ground Sloths, the 400 lb NA Armadillos, and more. Also included were the NA European origin “Clovis Man”, who’s arrow tips were discovered by the later Amerinds. All of these extinctions are buried with a fine layer of nano-diamonds, most likey from a direct solar burst. Where’s the “Eurekalaert” for the Sun’s repeated misbehavior ?

  25. Gail Combs says:

    Dinosaur farts and now this. They are really scraping the barrel.

    For what it is worth it is now mating season for tortoises and I see several of them crossing the road a day. Most seem to make it across OK. So far all those I have spotted have been alive. Of course most rural people know it is mating season and try not to hit them.

    The southern spotted turtle can move as much as 33 meters per day – see: http://sc.academia.edu/TimothyMousseau/Papers/897540/Home_range_and_seasonal_activity_of_southern_spotted_turtles_Clemmys_guttata_implications_for_management

    I really think most critters can out run CAGW it is the ice/snow storms and very cold weather that kills. For example.

    In the 1997-1998 Tibet lost over three million animals some areas lost as much as 70% of their herds. http://www.cwru.edu/affil/tibet/boosAndPapers/miller.restocking.and.pastoral.development.pdf

    It happened again in 2010 – 360,000 horses, 475,000 cattle, 11,700 camels, 5.2 million sheep and 6.1 million goats were killed According to the annual livestock census report of Mongolia’s National Statistical Office. http://www.mongolianviews.com/2010/12/livestock-number-down-by-277-percent-in.html

    South America got hit too in 2010
    …Some sources claim that nearly 200 people have been killed by a deadly cold snap that has affected Bolivia since the end of July. It’s winter in South America, and Bolivia is not the only country hit with what UPI describes as “bitter winter weather. Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Brazil are also experiencing the cold snap, which has killed millions of fish and an untold number of livestock…

    Despite the actual winter kills numbering in the millions in this decade alone we get “could” “might” “maybe” for a degree or so of warming.
    BAH!

  26. jim2 says:

    Where is Noah when you need him? Well, I guess he’d have to use a wind surfin’ kinda boat.

  27. beano says:

    based on the rate of ‘climate change’ for the last 15 years, my mates pet apple snail will easily out run any temperature rise on the horizon

  28. Gail Combs says:

    Gary Pate says:
    May 14, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    What color is the sky in their world???
    ________________________
    Red with green dollars floating their way instead of clouds.

  29. Kev-in-UK says:

    Ah well – us humans will be ok – we can outrun climate change in our SUV’s…………..can’t we?

  30. DirkH says:

    “It’s understandable, for example, that a mouse might not get too far because of its size. But if there are many generations born each a year, then that mouse is on the move regularly compared to a mammal that stays several years with its parents in one place before being old enough to reproduce and strike out for new territory.”

    This sounds like they assume that migration rates stay the same under all conditions.

    How would these people survive without their academia job? Would they be able to navigate their way to the employment office? Obviously, after being fired, they would not notice and not change their behaviour and continue migrating daily from their home to the old institute every day only to not get in. Nothing would tell them that they should now go to a different place. They would starve.

  31. rudkinsm@yahoo.com says:

    Moron: snails and turtles are not mammals. And the article DID mention adaptation. I’m astounded by the lack of concern for the world we will be leaving to our children and grand children. It ‘s okay as long as WE don’t have to deal with the problem….let the future generations deal with our mess.

  32. timetochooseagain says:

    I seem to recall that the usual claims are for much more species experiencing outright extinction, not just loss of range. It’s interesting, because this study arguably represents an enormous retreat. They try to make all sorts of arguments to protect earlier “studies” claiming more losses by all sorts of qualitative arguments that their numbers should be higher, and let people just imagine that these factors must matter a great deal. Hah. Chances are they took so many “conservative” approaches because it would be embarrassing to include those factors and have the rates of species loss/range loss still come out low.

  33. Gail Combs says:

    Latitude says:
    May 14, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Fish threatened by global warming to be moved north
    Sunday 23 January 2011
    ___________________________
    And I wonder what the price tag for THAT idiocy is. Note the fish get better care that the elderly in the UK.

    2010: In 2006/07, there were 633 hypothermia admissions among the over-60s, rising to 1,396 in 2010/11.

    The cold weather health watch system, launched this winter, is aimed at slashing the total of 25,700 more people who died last winter… Around 3.5million older people live in fuel poverty…

    ERRRrrr wasn’t the UK held up to Americans as a shining example of how well socialists take care of the sick and elderly… elderly people are being left to starve on NHS wards. It was discovered that in 2008/2009 almost 180,000 patients left hospital malnourished and in serious condition.Even more shockingly, in 2007 – 239 patients actually died whilst in hospital as a result of malnutrition.

  34. Joachim Seifert says:

    It happened to the Trilobites some time ago….
    …..evolution of the species …..?

  35. SteveSadlov says:

    Here in the mid latitudes of the Western most Western world it seems that nature is taking back from Man. We’ve given up on frontiersmanship. The wild beasts are moving into the cities. If anyone is getting overrun it’s Man. These are all signs of an impending Age of Migrations. I guess in a way that is a form of extreme climate induced dislocation but not the type the Gaia worshiping crowd try to portray.

  36. manicbeancounter says:

    Let me get this right. According to recent nature program on the BBC the moose can survive in +20 degrees and -40 degrees. But a couple of degrees on average will wipe it out? Also on the BBC they had a program that said catastrophic climate change created the Sahara desert out of savannah (with occasionally lakes the bigger than Belgium) about 8,000 years ago. It wiped out the local animal population. The people were forced to cluster around the Nile, which generated the first civilization. According to the BBC we owe a lot to this climate change. One more thing the desertification of this vast area was accompanied by a 2 Celsius DROP in temperature. But this is the BBC, so they could be making it up.

  37. Green Sand says:

    Go east young mammal, go east!

  38. garymount says:

    Latitude says: May 14, 2012 at 2:50 pm
    Fish threatened by global warming to be moved north
    —- —- —-
    Similar concerns for the fish in British Columbia, Canada, with stories about how high temperatures were reducing fish numbers and schemes were proposed to cool streams, and a federal commission was set up to study the problem. Then this happened in late 2010:
    34 Million Fraser River Sockeye Return Highest Since 1913:
    http://www.cbbulletin.com/398502.aspx
    With this years record snow packs, the latest fear mongering is:
    “With a near-record snowpack still to melt in the Interior, Lapointe said there’s concern that returning sockeye will struggle to get upstream against a strong freshet in the Fraser and its tributaries.”
    —-
    More on the missing fish Inquiry:
    http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/06/27/christie-blatchford-fishing-for-the-missing-salmon/

  39. ntesdorf says:

    Ostar, I would like to make a slight change to your line: ‘I predict that only one in ten climate scientists will be able to outrun the lynch mob…’

  40. Gail Combs says:

    rudkinsm@yahoo.com says:
    May 14, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    …… I’m astounded by the lack of concern for the world we will be leaving to our children and grand children…..
    ____________________________
    OH?
    And you do not think we are very concerned about future generations being herded into “Company Towns” controlled by mega corporations where you either are a wage slave or starve?

    Thanks to Agenda 21/Smart Growth you will have no other option. Farming or small business ownership will no longer be an option for the “masses” At least one liberal radical has seen the trap under all the rhetoric. see Rosa Koire’s Democrats against Agenda 21: http://www.democratsagainstunagenda21.com/

  41. Gary Hladik says:

    It doesn’t really matter whether the endangerd animals can migrate 1 mile per year or 100. By 2100 the only habitable place on the planet will be the South Pole, and there won’t be room for anything there except James Hansen and his ego.

    /sarc

  42. Tom in Worcester says:

    Otter

    Ostar, I would like to make a slight change to your line: ‘I predict that only 1 in ten climate scientists will be able to outrun extradition…’
    =====================================================================
    Perhaps we can send them to the Maldives and they can be extradited back to their countries of origin once the ocean overwhelms the islands, they can return.

    …. and if the islands never sink below the waves …… it’s a win – win scenerio.

  43. cartoonasaur says:

    As the scientists dutifully paint the floor with Model colored paint, at some point their bony little rumps will push up against a hard corner called “reality”…

  44. Scarface says:

    And yet, mammals were able to survive the comet that killed the dino’s. Remarkable.

    Global warming… The gift that keeps on giving.

  45. Another Gareth says:

    Is a howler monkey a species of climate scientist?

    Animals weather the weather, not climate.

  46. polistra says:

    The sad and dangerous part here is not the idiot who did the “study”; the sad and dangerous part is all of the idiotic advisers and reviewers who thought the “study” was good science, who didn’t tell the original idiot to go back to elementary school and start life again.

  47. Gail Combs says:

    Joachim Seifert says:
    May 14, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    It happened to the Trilobites some time ago….
    _______________________________
    They did not do too badly…the trilobite lineage persisted for some 300 million years before finally becoming extinct at the end of the Permian Period. And you can not blame their extinction on mankind unless we develop time machines in the future.

    However you are correct they are an excellent example of a very successful and huge class of arthropods.

  48. son of mulder says:

    But look on the bright side, here in the UK we’ll be getting Mediterranean style weather thanks to CO2. http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/320186

    /sarc off

  49. majormike1 says:

    We just returned from three weeks in mountainous Costa Rica, where we observed large numbers of howler monkeys in the interior and on both the Caribbean and Pacific shores. They seemed highly mobile and ranged down the mountains to the rivers and sea shores, and then up into the cooler highlands. The poor doomed things seemed quite happy in their bliss-like ignorance of the impending apocalypse.

  50. Garacka says:

    Papers like this are worthy of being submitted to satisfy a high school or college freshman project. subject to evaluation, critique, and grading. My how our standards have changed.

  51. Gail Combs says:

    manicbeancounter says:
    May 14, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    …..The people were forced to cluster around the Nile, which generated the first civilization. According to the BBC we owe a lot to this climate change. One more thing the desertification of this vast area was accompanied by a 2 Celsius DROP in temperature. But this is the BBC, so they could be making it up.
    _______________________________________
    No that seems to go well with the Chinese/German papers presented on notrickszone http://notrickszone.com/

    Cool is drier at least in some areas. (Cold air holds less moisture and you have a slower evaporation cycle)

  52. Mr.D.Imwit says:

    rudkinsm@yahoo.com says:
    May 14, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    Moron: snails and turtles are not mammals. And the article DID mention adaptation. I’m astounded by the lack of concern for the world we will be leaving to our children and grand children. It ‘s okay as long as WE don’t have to deal with the problem….let the future generations deal with our mess.
    O.K.It’s called adaptation, well spotted.

  53. Gail Combs says:

    ntesdorf says:
    May 14, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    Ostar, I would like to make a slight change to your line: ‘I predict that only one in ten climate scientists will be able to outrun the lynch mob…’
    ____________________________
    Probably close to the truth and it is not the skeptics or the tea party types who will be the problem.

  54. Mike Jonas says:

    The level of wilful ignorance among climate alarmists continues to amaze.

    Here in Oz, Rick Shine has been studying the evolution of the cane toad and of the species with which it interacts.
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/02/0215_060215_cane_toads_2.html
    The evolutionary processes spawned by the cane toad invasion have occurred in a span of just 70 years. This adds to evidence from the past two decades that populations can adapt quickly when selection pressure is strong.
    “We’re taught evolution occurs over these very, very long time frames. But in systems like these, it’s incredibly fast,” Shine, the study co-author, said.

  55. pet says:

    The absurdity – it burns!! One irony I see here is that so many of the warmista types – it seems based on my experience – are also in-your-face hardcore pro-evolution/atheist activists. But I guess they have come to the conclusion that Darwin didn’t consider that a few ppm of plant food and a 0.7 degree change in average worldwide temps could totally blow his theory out of the water.

  56. Bill Illis says:

    According to climate scientists, there are no shrews or moles or snails in the Arctic.

    There are dozens of species of each.

    There are no monkeys in the Arctic, but 10 million years ago, when it was 3C warmer and wetter as a result, there were several dozen species in the Arctic and forest covered the whole planet.

    Climate science just makes stuff up and, for some reason, this becomes publishable in this field.

  57. Tom in Worcester says:

    A thought just occured to me (first time for everything), if our current climate change will kill off so many species of plants and animals …. just imagine how many there were before the last period of glaciation …….. and the one before that …… and the one before that ….. etc ad nausium.

  58. jayhd says:

    Another study for me to forward to my congressman. I think we could almost balance the budget if we defunded all the colleges and universities that put out crap like this. And that includes cutting off all student loans.

    Jay Davis

  59. Ally E. says:

    rudkinsm@yahoo.com says:

    May 14, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    Moron: snails and turtles are not mammals. And the article DID mention adaptation. I’m astounded by the lack of concern for the world we will be leaving to our children and grand children. It ‘s okay as long as WE don’t have to deal with the problem….let the future generations deal with our mess.

    *

    They’re going to have to. It’ll take a generation or two to mop up the damage caused by the current political mindset. We can’t put back the endangered birds killed by wind power, not to mention people already dead due to freezing temperatures when they expected and planned for warmth. The greenie mess is certainly madness in extreme, and the economic disaster already in place worldwide will take a very long time to put right.

    Of course if we start now, there’ll be less the future generations will need to wind back. There’s no time to lose in this reversal, folks, the world is screaming. We owe it to our children to do the right thing and kick the Greens and their ilk out of power.

  60. Luther Wu says:

    Why did the Lesser Prairie Chicken cross the four- lane highway (and the plowed field and the parking lot)?

    To prove to the Armadillo it could be done.

  61. jack morrow says:

    Just when I thought they couldn’t come up with another one-this! What a crock and I pay taxes for this stuff. ALAS.

  62. RoHa says:

    As far as I can tell, we’ve got a lot of the same sort of snails up here in Brisbane as they have down in sub-Antarctic Melbourne. If they can manage that temperature range, 0.7 degrees won’t worry them.

  63. Steve C says:

    Speaking as a Western Hemisphere primate, who took several years before I was sexually mature, I do feel vulnerable to climate change. Just not very. Much more vulnerable to packs of climate change BS-ers, if I’m honest.

  64. Goldie says:

    Same same same: if global warming happens (which it doesn’t appear to be) then there may be an impact on mammals …… or not. These “scientific” articles are as predictable as chick flicks and contain less rational thought. Someone should make a movie, folks would love it…….oh wait!

  65. pouncer says:

    Again and again, the history of science gives us examples of how one lone “skeptic” eventually overcomes the “consensus”. Thesis, antithesis, and a new and better synthesis. In this case, we should look back half a century at a powerful thesis the proposed to explain or at least tie together bio-diversity, animal migrations and climate change.

    I haven’t the time for the entire background tonight, but please consider this book review/summary of the life’s work of Paul Colinvaux, the skeptical evoluntionary botanist who devoted his career to the study of ice-ages, and the consensus about “refugia”.

    http://www.americanscientist.org/bookshelf/pub/setting-the-record-straight-on-the-refugia-hypothesis.

  66. sophocles says:

    According to Wikipedia (aka Really Trustworthy …)
    “The Holocene Climate Optimum warm event consisted of increases of up to 4 °C near the North Pole (in one study, winter warming of 3 to 9 °C and summer of 2 to 6 °C in northern central Siberia)”

    Ok, so what went extinct then? Apart from species which suffered from the Neolithic “Industrial Hunting” slaughter …

    And, also according to RT Wikipedia:
    “At the peak of the Eemian, the northern hemisphere winters were generally warmer and wetter than now, though some areas were actually slightly cooler than today. The Hippopotamus was distributed as far north as the rivers Rhine and Thames.[1] Trees grew as far north as southern Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago instead of only as far north as Kuujjuaq in northern Quebec … ”

    Hmm. Hippopotami in the Rhine and the Thames. What a sight that would be … so it must have been quite a bit warmer then. What proportion of the then current species went extinct then? How many polar bears drowned?

    C’mon you warmists! These are serious questions for which we want (serious) answers!

  67. eyesonu says:

    Gail Combs says:
    For what it is worth it is now mating season for tortoises and I see several of them crossing the road a day. Most seem to make it across OK. So far all those I have spotted have been alive. Of course most rural people know it is mating season and try not to hit them.

    =======================

    Do you try to run ‘em down if they are not mating? Maybe that’s the ticket. Run ‘em down and only the fastest will survive and future tortoises will be fast enough to outrun the climate.

    “The only way to save them is to run ‘em over” Trust me, I wrote this and just published it. As you read it, it becomes reviewed by peers. You may not agree but the scientific reasoning is as sound as any other, so don’t be a denier and question my work. ;-)

  68. tango says:

    I will by dry ice to cool my gold fish

  69. Katherine says:

    Lawler did this work with support from the UW School of Environmental and Forest Sciences using, in part, models he previously developed with funding from the Nature Conservancy and the Cedar Tree Foundation.

    Follow the money.

  70. Catweasel says:

    Can the credibility of the so called professional climates scientists get any lower.

    Their implicit assumption that the tax paying general public are idiots, is so very revealing about them, and their arrogance..

    They should be defunded imediately, and the money spent on more deserving areas of human need.

  71. mfo says:

    “Only climate change was considered.”

    It’s going to come as a bit of a shock when they discover migration:

    -to find essential minerals eg wildebeest, African elephant
    -to find shelter or avoid harsh winter weather eg Mexican free-tailed bat, red-sided garter snake, monarch butterfly, Caribbean spiny lobster
    -to search for a mate eg male sperm whale, Australian giant cuttlefish
    -to give birth, lay eggs or raise young eg grey whale, European toad, green turtle, emperor penguin
    -to moult in a safe place eg walrus, shelduck, yellow-lipped sea krait (a venomous sea snake)
    -to flee overcrowded conditions eg Norway lemming, desert locust
    -to flee from interfering scientists eg polar bears

    http://www.nhm.ac.uk/nature-online/life/mammals/migration/index.html

  72. DesertYote says:

    “For the first time a new study considers whether mammals will actually be able to move to those new areas before they are overrun by”

    How come I read a press release containing the above sentence every few years?

  73. RoHa says:

    Incidentally, todays forecast is a low of 9 and a max of 23. If the poor creatures can’t survive a temperature rise of 0.7 degrees, today’s rise of 14 will be too much for them. If there are any left alive after today, they will be wiped out when summer comes and raises the temperatures to over 30.

  74. otter17 says:

    Poking fun at a paper accepted with the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is one thing. Successfully submitting a rebuttal paper on how their methods are flawed is another. Barring that, the mindset displayed is not exactly open-minded or scientific.

    There are instances in the paleo records where changes in climate have been linked with mass extinctions, except today we are unsure of the magnitude of effects since the pace of changes in temp and atmospheric chemistry are potentially orders of magnitude faster. Even our own species might have came close to extinction partially due to a change in climate, as explained in the article below.
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/04/080424-humans-extinct.html

  75. Tom Murphy says:

    In their paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences, Carrie A. Schloss, Tristan A. Nuñez, and Joshua J. Lawler assert – http://tinyurl.com/clpk84s :

    “Because climate change will likely outpace the response capacity of many mammals, mammalian vulnerability to climate change may be more extensive than previously anticipated.”

    And yet, John A. Finarelli and Catherine Badgley in an April 2010 paper entitled, “Diversity dynamics of Miocene mammals in relation to the history of tectonism and climate” and published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society assert – http://tinyurl.com/6wf5ts3 :

    “Although diversification histories differed between the two regions, species richness, origination rate and extinction rate per million years were not systematically different over the 20 Myr interval. In the tectonically active region, the greatest increase in originations coincided with a Middle Miocene episode of intensified tectonic activity and global warming. During subsequent global cooling, species richness declined in the montane region and increased on the Great Plains. These results suggest that interactions between tectonic activity and climate change stimulate diversification in mammals.”

    Not surprisingly, Schloss, Nuñez, and Lawler seemingly do not reference Finarelli and Badgley’s work – http://tinyurl.com/cb5sfye . When backcasted, the IPCC climate models utilized by Schloss, Nuñez, and Lawler are woefully inaccurate – http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/13592/2/MPRA_paper_13592.pdf . At 5-25 million years before present and given today’s “unprecedented rapidity of projected climatic changes” alleged by the authors (via Hansen, of course), the Miocene must have been far too timid a time period for their consideration.

  76. agimarc says:

    Interesting they would include snails and turtles in this foolishness, as both animals trace their lineage back over 100 million years. You would have thought they would have seen everything by now.

    As to Bullwinkle, you’ve never lived until you see one clear a six foot high fence on a single leap to get to the other side. While Moose do not sit at the very tip of the food chain, they are very well equipped and have the disposition to do quite well for themselves in Interesting Times. Cheers -

  77. Gunga Din says:

    rudkinsm@yahoo.com says:
    May 14, 2012 at 3:17 pm
    Moron: snails and turtles are not mammals. And the article DID mention adaptation. I’m astounded by the lack of concern for the world we will be leaving to our children and grand children. It ‘s okay as long as WE don’t have to deal with the problem….let the future generations deal with our mess.
    ===============================================================
    I certainly hope that future generations won’t have to pay for Mann’s mess. That’s one reason I like this site.

  78. Gunga Din says:

    Gail Combs says:
    May 14, 2012 at 4:11 pm
    Joachim Seifert says:
    May 14, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    It happened to the Trilobites some time ago….
    _______________________________
    They did not do too badly…the trilobite lineage persisted for some 300 million years before finally becoming extinct at the end of the Permian Period. And you can not blame their extinction on mankind unless we develop time machines in the future.

    ===============================================
    I don’t know, Gail. If those time machines emitted CO2 ………

  79. Kaboom says:

    That’s like observing suburban housing under the exclusive parameter of rainfall and ignoring the economic crisis and then coming up with a hare brained theory how wet springs and dry falls cause McMansions to go into foreclosure.

  80. Mac the Knife says:

    Luther Wu says:
    May 14, 2012 at 4:33 pm
    “Why did the Lesser Prairie Chicken cross….”

    Schweet!
    Q: Why did the punk rocker cross the road?
    A: He had to – He was stapled to the chicken!

  81. Billy Liar says:

    I hope I’m not saying what someone has already mentioned above but …

    surely the animals would have to wait 30 years to find out whether their climate had changed and which way to go?

  82. Gail Combs says:

    Gail Combs says:
    May 14, 2012 at 4:11 pm
    And you can not blame their extinction on mankind unless we develop time machines in the future.

    ===============================================
    Gunga Din says:
    May 14, 2012 at 6:17 pm
    I don’t know, Gail. If those time machines emitted CO2 ………
    ==============================================
    Darn it now I have to clean off the screen again…
    Hey maybe that is why there is such a high spike in the level of CO2 all the way up to about 7000 ppm in the Cambrian. http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/PageMill_Images/image277.gif

  83. Mac the Knife says:

    The plethora of really bad ‘climate science’ coming out of the University of Washington is simultaneously embarrassing and a source of real despair, for the local demise of rigorous science. My tax dollars at work – ugh!

  84. I can outrun an armadillo, so I’m cool.

  85. pet says:

    OH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The HUGE MANATEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HAHAHAHA

  86. Jeff Alberts says:

    Considering how cold it’s been in Western Washington (Yew Dub’s home area) the last three summers in particular, it must have been very difficult keeping a straight face while doing this research.

  87. dp says:

    Isn’t it a marvelous thing that no matter where animals thrive, weather has adapted to support them. The world is a marvelous mysterious place.

    /sarc

  88. kcrucible says:

    “In this case, the scientists assumed animals dispersed once a generation.”

    Well there you go. Since they don’t have any actual data, they’ll just assume it. Because, ya know, if a species is going to be threatened with extinction, it’s crazy that they’d be CONSTANTLY moving to find new sources of food. Naw.. animals are really lazy, and have a deathwish in these scientist’s models…

  89. ScottR says:

    When Lewis and Clark explored what is now Montana and Idaho, all of the large animals were found in the plains along the rivers. There were virtually no large animals such as deer or grizzly bears in the mountains. But within a few decades, the influx of trappers and hunters had pushed most of the wildlife into the mountains. This is a large change, driven by a real cause. And the animals survived, in a completely new environment A tiny global-warming temperature change is nothing in comparison.

  90. Decimated. I’d say. They’re all going to be toast!
    Can’t migrate or adapt to a change of 0.7 °C/century.

    Of course this could be explained if climate had been constant since the universe was created 6500 years ago with almost all the species we see today in place. (The delicious falling prey to the injudicious top-predator; humans who’ve been responsible for the extenction of all species not alive today.) All frolicked in their ideal, unform habitats until dirty fossil-fuellers punctured and despoiled Gaia. There have only been daily temperature fluctuations of up to 70°C since Gaia has been in pain as a result of us feeding on her flesh.

    Repent now: Buy Panasonic.

  91. SteveSadlov says:

    @ Jeff Alberts says:
    May 14, 2012 at 6:58 pm
    I wonder if the Cordilleran Ice Mass is making a comeback and further wonder if that mass is a sort of “tipping point” in the grand scheme of repeated interglacial endings.

  92. Gunga Din says:

    Bernd Felsche says:
    May 14, 2012 at 7:32 pm
    Decimated. I’d say. They’re all going to be toast!
    =====================================================
    No need to cook our food. No CO2 emitted. WE’RE SAVED!!!!

  93. alan says:

    “…based on 10 global climate models and a mid-high greenhouse gas emission scenario developed by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”

    Models and scenarios developed by the IPCC! I quit reading right there!

  94. Jim Steele says:

    I like that they mentioned moose. Before 1980 there were no moose in Massachusetts. Since then they have been migrating south and the Quabbin Reservoir area now hosts 1000 of these “sub-arctic” critters. There biiggest danger is getting hit on the Mass pike.

  95. Bill Tuttle says:

    For the first time a new study considers whether mammals will actually be able to move to those new areas before they are overrun by climate change.

    They’re more likely to be overrun by semis before any climate change kicks in.

    Just what we need — another animal-movement study based on models rather than observation done by people who are clueless about animals and their movement.

  96. Bill Tuttle says:

    Bernd Felsche says:
    May 14, 2012 at 7:32 pm
    The delicious falling prey to the injudicious top-predator; humans who’ve been responsible for the extenction of all species not alive today.

    That’s the real reason dinosaurs are no longer around — they tasted like chicken…

  97. majormike1 says:

    otter17

    Since there have been five periods of equal or greater warming than the present since the end of the Ice Age, and four periods predominated by glaciation in the past 400,000 years, it seems that no mobility challenged animals could have survived to the present time. In reality, they thrived by adapting, and as my recent three-week vacation in Costa Rica demonstrated, the warm and wet environment there has been rewarded by astounding species diversification. Previous periods of mass extinctions have not been found to be caused by natural climate change, although there have been many. One of the most recent, the Younger Dryas of only 10,000 years ago, featured extremely rapid warming, followed by drastic cooling, then immediately by another and very prolonged period of warming far greater than even predicted for now called the Holocene Climate Optimum. This ended in a cold period which caused grass and tree-filled plains in northern Africa to become the Sahara. The Roman Warm Period 100BC to 300AD was a period of very good crops and parts of Europe and Africa became the granaries that supported Rome. The following colder Dark Ages brought drought, particularly in Asia, which drove the “barbarians” to the gates of Rome and its downfall. The Medieval Warm Period 800 to 1250AD again brought success to agriculture, but the following Little Ice Age brought famine, disease, and powerful storms.

    Through it all, the animals of the land, sea, and air adapted, just as humans did. Climate has always and will continue to be in a state of change, and humanity will not be able to develop a dial to control it and make it stay just the way humanity wants. And who’s to say that now is the best climate? Warmer might be better, although the inevitable glacial periods sure to come probably won’t be. Since over 70% of the past 500,000 years have been glacial, all living creatures will hae to demonstrate adaptation skills to survive. That’s the way it is, and always has been.

  98. thisisnotgoodtogo says:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/334/6059/1148.abstract

    They should consider what scientists have to say about populations on the move

  99. jorgekafkazar says:

    Pseudoscientific drivel. I see dud people.

  100. Bill Tuttle says:

    In particular, many of the hemisphere’s species of primates … will be hard-pressed to outpace climate change, as are the group of species that includes shrews and moles.

    Unless climate change can move faster than a pouncing housecat, shrews and moles will be able to outpace it quite nicely, thanks.

    Gail Combs says:
    May 14, 2012 at 4:11 pm
    They did not do too badly…the trilobite lineage persisted for some 300 million years before finally becoming extinct at the end of the Permian Period. And you can not blame their extinction on mankind unless we develop time machines in the future.

    Honest, that trilobite was already dead when I stepped on it!

  101. davidmhoffer says:

    majormike1;
    Climate has always and will continue to be in a state of change, and humanity will not be able to develop a dial to control it and make it stay just the way humanity wants. >>>>

    Says who? I have a climate control knob in my house. Called a thermostat.

    Lest ye think I’m being facetious, consider the facts. Almost all humans live in constructed shelters which are climate controlled 24 x 7. We drive from place to place in climate controlled cars. Much of our food is grown in area which would otherwise be too dry to support those specific crops, but we irrigate them. There are crops grown on swampland… which we drained. And an increasing amounf of our vegetable crops in particular are grown in greenhouses. Can we control the climate on a global basis? Of course not. But we can carve off chunks here and there and control them quite nicely, for our own benefit and the benefit of the animals we raise for anything from companiionship to food.

    We’ve been very successful employing this strategy from arctic zones to the tropics. Add to that our ability to ship food from anywhere in the world, to anywhere in the world, via climate controlled shipping containers ranging in size from trucks to ships.

    No, we can’t control the climate. But we can carve off chunks of the planet in useful sizes and locations and modify the climate of those chunks to suit our purpose. It would take a MASSIVE change in the climate to be a real serious problem for us humans.

    Unless we are stupid enough to cower in fear of the potential consequences because of fear mongering in this paper, a paper so over the top idiotic that ridiculing it seems redundant.

  102. Eric Huxter says:

    The issue is surely not the rate of adaptation to natural climate change, but the effect of increased human population leading to greatly fragmented habitats, which will make adaptation through spatial relocation much more difficult.

  103. Our winter here in the Sierra Nevada mountains was 10-15 warmer than normal- insanely warm. All the critters are still here. I’ll know we are up the “climate creek” when we only have reptiles running around. By the way, last summer cold. The bears are totally screwed up. Back to splitting more firewood for this summer….

  104. E.M.Smith says:

    If only I had known that it was THIS easy to be employed as a researcher. I’d have staying college to get a Ph.D and smoked dope. Immagine all the “crisis” paranoia moments that would be dreamed up, written about, and grant funded! Man, going to work for a living was one of my worst ideas ever.

    I think all us folks working for a living need to just stop. We can all get jobs for the government dong climate research. Clearly it doesn’t take much skill…

  105. Kev-in-Uk says:

    rudkinsm@yahoo.com says:
    May 14, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    you are mistaken. the good folk here do indeed have a lack of concern for the climate change cr*p but most are indeed promotors of good environmental husbandry, I’m sure. However, you do illustrate all that is wrong with the green theme by combining the two!
    The CAGW scam has done immense damage to environmental ‘care’ and awareness that anyone can imagine. Greenp*ss and all their friends jumped on that bandwagon for funding, etc and left the real environmental issues in the ‘to do’ tray!
    and you are right – our kin will all suffer the legacy of the carbon scam for many years to come.

  106. Espen says:

    And while we wait for these hypothetical extinctions, species goes extinct because of actual environmental problems, and some of these problems are direct consequences of the Fear Of The Warm, e.g. birds and bats getting killed by windmills and not the least enormous areas of valuable ecosystems in the tropics getting converted to agricultural biofuel producing monocultures…

  107. richard verney says:

    Environmental changes drives evolution. This is a fundamental requirement for the evolution of life on Earth.

    Mankind would not be here today if it were not for past climate change.

    Life is often more resilient than we give it credit as is obvious from past events where that has occasssionally been very rapid onset of climate change far more extreme than is presently occuring. Inevitably, species will adapt and evolve. Some may drop by the wayside, but in general evolution will strengthen life here on planet Earth.

  108. johanna says:

    Luckily for us Australians, kangaroos can hop pretty fast. Although, since they live from the tropics to the sub-temperate range, perhaps they don’t have to.

    As mentioned in another thread, we have to cull kangaroos around here. Maximum temperature is about 39C, last night it was -5 and -8 is not unheard of. We have dozens of native critters, sheep, cattle and even wild dogs and horses that some regard as pests, but can’t eradicate.

    I like these sorts of studies, and hope they are more widely publicised.

  109. Mike M says:

    As things get warmer and warmer 90% of all animals will be crowded together at the poles. This will lower the rotational inertia of earth which will speed up so much that the slow 10% will then be flung out to space.

  110. Peter Kovachev says:

    This is all funny, until we’re told that rural human habitations are in the way of animal migrations, which is starting to happen in some jurisdictions in Canada and I’m sure in the US too. The global warming theme is just the flimsy distraction; it will be cited as an established fact to support the new sustainability measures we have to adopt to save our bio-diversity. I think Gale Combs is the only one who gets it. Rio and its Agenda 21 is next on the list, while we’ll still be fighting the last war, bickering with retiring global warming pushers.

  111. Bob Tisdale says:

    I’ll miss sloths. Any animal named after one of the 7 deadly sins can’t be all that bad.

  112. Eric says:

    Oh my! Will the Northern Spotted Owl and Klamath Lake sucker fish be ok or should be put some more loggers and farmers out of work?

  113. alan says:

    In the 19th Century, there was an English gentleman who came up with a theory that explains how climate change might affect these animals. Today it’s know as E-V-O-L-U-T-I-O-N. Geez, Warmistas are as dense as Creationists! “Evolution deniers”!!

  114. Ed Zuiderwijk says:

    I am one of those animals. Climate change has caught up with me: we have just lighted the fire because it’s so bl… cold.

    But what does one expect in May in England?

  115. DirkH says:

    otter17 says:
    May 14, 2012 at 5:31 pm
    “Poking fun at a paper accepted with the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is one thing. Successfully submitting a rebuttal paper on how their methods are flawed is another. Barring that, the mindset displayed is not exactly open-minded or scientific.”

    otter17, you must be kidding. By their logic, mice wouldn’t run away from a forest fire but procreate first; and weeks later, the offspring would consider finding new habitat, because they postulate implicitly that animals don’t change their behaviour when the conditions around them change.

    “Successfully submitting a rebuttal paper on how their methods are flawed is another.”

    That is indeed difficult as the journals are ruled by the warmists and they don’t take kindly on opposition.

    “Barring that, the mindset displayed is not exactly open-minded or scientific.”

    As self-evident truths – mice run away from a forest fire – count nothing in todays so-called science, you might be right IF we take your definition of science; namely, that a paper based on ignorance of said truths, is science that should not have been rejected by peer-review.

    Or maybe you’d just let anything pass if enough “mights” and “coulds” are interjected.

  116. dscott says:

    We heard this same hokum about the decline of White Pine in the northern latitudes. The claim, due to AGW it wasn’t getting cold enough during the winter to kill off the mountain pine beetle eating the tree. Except that it has been known for quite some time that the pest was kept in check by a healthy tree’s normal defense mechanisms. What makes the tree unhealthy? Competition from other species growing in the same area making for a dense undergrowth which in turn makes the area shady and moist. Unhealthy trees as a consequence of the environment died. How did the White Pine maintain it’s preferred climate? FIRE Natural fires clear out the undergrowth keeping the area optimal for the seedlings to germinate and maintain the preferred environmental factors for optimal growth and health.

    “Seedlings do not do well in shady moist
    forest, hence their need for wildfires that
    clear the forest to allow full sunlight on the
    young trees. Without openings created by
    wildfire, even mature white pine eventually
    succumb to insects, fungi, or old age and
    are replaced by shade-tolerant species—
    grand fir, western hemlock, and western
    redcedar. As these competing species grow
    and the white pine die, the forest is gradually
    changed.

    Because white pine seedlings tolerate
    frost, you often find them in the lower portion
    of the subalpine fir zone (Abies lasiocarpus),
    and frequently along cold air drainages, river
    bottoms, and mountain meadows.”

    http://www.idahoforests.org/img/pdf/rmrs_gtr35.pdf

    So what we see here is the White Pine waging a continual war to maintain territory against the fir, the cedars, oaks and maples. Guess who has been suppressing forest fires to quell the war to maintain the Pine’s territory? The squirrels? The bears? NO, the clueless humans who insist fire is bad just like in California and other places with the expected results. The punch line as always when it comes to nature is the meddling incompetence of MAN that is at issue, but they always mean well by demanding peace at any price. btw- I was clued into this by an old Marty Stouffer Wild America production while watching TV recently discussing the decline of the tree with ZERO reference to AGW.

    For your listening enjoyment: Rush – The Trees http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-qf7-66NMI

  117. Bill Yarber says:

    Faux Science Slayer

    Check your facts. I believe that nano-diamonds come from an asteroid impact, not a solar event.

    Otherwise, I agree with you, these researchers don’t have a clue how these mammals will react. But if we modify the calendar they read to know when to mate and when to seak shelter from the noon day sun, I’m sure they’ll survive and prosper. /sarc

    Bill

  118. Reasonable Skeptic says:

    Have you ever noticed the vastly different ecology as you approach your neaby city? It is like going from the arctic to a jungle. Polar bears (what few remain) outside, palms tree inside! The Ubran Heat Island effect in action!

    Oh wait…….. the difference is only 3-4 degrees……..

  119. johanna says:

    Bob Tisdale says:
    May 15, 2012 at 4:22 am

    I’ll miss sloths. Any animal named after one of the 7 deadly sins can’t be all that bad.
    ———————————————————————
    I’m with you, Bob, although even a sloth should be able to move fast enough to adjust to treelines that allegedly move a few metres a year at most. Besides, sloths are cool, like John Travolta in an Elmore Leonard film. Ever seen a sloth look worried?

    Still, in this frenetic age, perhaps they should be replaced on the list of vices with Honey Badgers.

  120. Dave Wendt says:

    In studying the future plight of our beleaguered primates, instead of focusing on dispersal rates alone, perhaps they could have pulled a few of said primates aside and requested some tips on constructing their analysis. They probably wouldn’t have been much of a help, but it’s hard to imagine that they could have been seriously more inept than the authors on their own.

    Although I haven’t gone back to do a comprehensive count, my general impression is that we have been gifted with at least 3-5 of these pieces of PR science dreck per week for 2-3 years now. Like this one, most have not required a level of intelligence much beyond the simian to discover the gaping logical flaws included in them. Despite this dismal record we have also had the privilege of experiencing almost as frequent appearances by various CAGW fanboys announcing that anyone who has the temerity to disagree with them is either a knuckle dragging mouth breathing moron or the veritable spawn of Satan who lusts after the highest possible level of misery and death for all of humanity.

    Personally, I find the suggestion that I should be convinced of anything by this ongoing deluge of idiocy entirely laughable. To those who do find themselves inclined to be convinced I would offer some helpful tips.
    1) Place a block on your cable box so you will never accidentally tune into a channel that is broadcasting an infomercial.
    2) Under no circumstance accept one of those free vacation trips that are offered contingent on attending a sales pitch for timeshares or real estate, unless you really want to be known as the “King of Underwater Real Estate”
    3) Stay as far away from New York City as you can. With your obviously low level of resistance to persuasion you would likely be sold the Brooklyn Bridge within twenty minutes of appearing on the street there.

  121. Bill Tuttle says:

    Eric Huxter says:
    May 15, 2012 at 12:54 am
    The issue is surely not the rate of adaptation to natural climate change, but the effect of increased human population leading to greatly fragmented habitats, which will make adaptation through spatial relocation much more difficult.

    So, you’re saying that animals aren’t smart enough to cross roads?

    I live in New Jersey, the most densely-populated state in the US. I have a chain-link fenced back yard, and everything from shrews to box turtles to skunks to woodchucks to deer get into it (I’m not counting the three coyotes, just the constant visitors), and the nearest stretch of woods is 200 meters away, on the other side of a canal ten meters wide — the closest bridge is 500 meters away.

    Barriers slow animals down, but not by much.

  122. JohnBUK says:

    I’m worried now about being run down by a fleeing Thomsons Gazelle. What should I do?

  123. John Trigge (in Oz) says:

    The turtle are safe – http://youtu.be/Pf4yvaasODo

  124. Otter says:

    JohnBUK says:
    May 15, 2012 at 2:17 pm
    I’m worried now about being run down by a fleeing Thomsons Gazelle. What should I do?

    Throw a sloth under its feet.

  125. Phil's Dad says:

    Easy solution – snail mail.

  126. david elder says:

    Requiem for a species engulfed by climate change (with apologies to Peter Paul And Mary and their boa constrictor song):

    Oh gee
    It’s up to my knee

    Make haste
    It’s up to my waist

    Oh heck
    It’s up to my neck

    Oh dread
    It’s got to my (GULP)

  127. Richard M says:

    alan says:
    May 15, 2012 at 4:33 am

    In the 19th Century, there was an English gentleman who came up with a theory that explains how climate change might affect these animals. Today it’s know as E-V-O-L-U-T-I-O-N. Geez, Warmistas are as dense as Creationists! “Evolution deniers”!!

    My thoughts exactly. If this silly narrative was really true humans should be commended for helping develop stronger species. Survival of the fittest and all that. By implying this is a bad thing, the researchers are claiming evolution is a bad thing. They should be laughed out of their respective schools.

  128. Steve P says:

    “Our figures are a fairly conservative – even optimistic – view of what could happen because our approach assumes that animals always go in the direction needed to avoid climate change and at the maximum rate possible for them,” Lawler said.

    It’s so silly, I can’t help but imagine the fun old Far Side cartoonist Gary Larson would have with this:
    his lions are getting ready for the hunt; one says to the other: should we go for the ones getting a drink of water, or the ones avoiding climate change?

    Of course, smart, successful, well-adapted critters can see that ol’ climate change comin’ a mile off, and make tracks on out of there. But the dumber beasts just stand around stupidly until they are overtaken by climate change, and they perish.

    Eons later, we find their smashed remains heaped-up in enormous bone piles, or buried in permafrost where they were overwhelmed by gradualism even as they finished their last meals.

  129. Golgafrinchan Refugee says:

    Global warming, giant space goat, it’s all the same. Time to build a space arc and get to another planet. I would suggest Mars, but the polar caps are already melting.

  130. Eric Huxter says:

    @Bill Tuttle

    It is not so much the crossing of roads that is the problem but the lack of habitat when they get there.

  131. greg holmes says:

    This is scary, who is paying these peole to produce such nonsense? I bet it is us.

  132. clipe says:

    “But, darn those Caribou, they just aren’t acting the way they are supposed to….”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/24/caribou-supposedly-roasted-by-global-warming-found-unharmed/

    The researchers found that individual seals pursue a variety of different foraging strategies, but most of them target one oceanographic feature in particular — a boundary zone between two large rotating ocean currents, or gyres.

    Along this boundary, the cold nutrient-rich waters of the sub-polar gyre in the north mix with the warmer waters of the subtropical gyre, driving the growth of phytoplankton and supporting a robust food web. Presumably, this leads to a concentration of prey along the boundary.

    “The highest density of seals is right over that area, so something interesting is definitely going on there,” study researcher Patrick Robinson, of the University of California at Santa Cruz, said in a statement.

    http://www.livescience.com/20371-elephant-seals-traveling-oceans-food.html

    Follow the money food.

  133. F Murtha says:

    Apparently the sloth is one of the animals able to migrate fast enough. When an animal synonymous with lethargy is able to outrun your threat… maybe it isn’t that much of a threat.

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