Claim: Extreme weather decides distribution of insects

Another modeled result, extrapolated all the way from 10 common fruit fly species to everything else in the insect world.

Extreme weather caused by climate change in the coming decades is likely to have profound implications for distributions of insects and other invertebrates. This is suggested by a new study of insects in tropical and temperate regions of Australia.

As climate change is progressing, the temperature of our planet increases. This is particularly important for the large group of animals that are cold-blooded (ectothermic), including insects. Their body temperature is ultimately determined by the ambient temperature, and the same therefore applies to the speed and efficiency of their vital biological processes.

Fruit flies have been the model for a study that has shown how climate change may affect insect distribution in the future. (Photo: Ary A. Hoffmann)

But is it changes in average temperature or frequency of extreme temperature conditions that have the greatest impact on species distribution? This was the questions that a group of Danish and Australian researchers decided to examine in a number of insect species.


Johannes Overgaard, Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Denmark, Michael R. Kearney and Ary A. Hoffmann, Melbourne University, Australia, recently published the results of these studies in the journal Global Change Biology. The results demonstrate that it is especially the extreme temperature events that define the distribution of both tropical and temperate species. Thus climate change affects ectotermic animals primarily because more periods of extreme weather are expected in the future.

Fruit flies were modelled
The researchers examined 10 fruit fly species of the genus Drosophila adapted to tropical and temperate regions of Australia. First they examined the temperatures for which the species can sustain growth and reproduction, and then they found the boundaries of tolerance for hot and cold temperatures.

“This is the first time ever where we have been able to compare the effects of extremes and changes in average conditions in a rigorous manner across a group of species”, mentions Ary Hoffmann.

Based on this knowledge and knowledge of the present distribution of the 10 species they then examined if distribution was correlated to the temperatures required for growth and reproduction or rather limited by their tolerance to extreme temperature conditions.
“The answer was unambiguous: it is the species’ tolerance to very cold or hot days that define their present distribution,” says Johannes Overgaard.

It is therefore the extreme weather events, such as heat waves or extremely cold conditions, which costs the insects their life, not an increase in average temperature.

Periods of extreme heat and thus drought may be the cause of death for many insects. (Photo: COLOURBOX).

Drastic changes in store
With this information in hand, the researchers could then model how distributions are expected to change if climate change continues for the next 100 years.

Most terrestrial animals experience temperature variation on both daily and seasonal time scale, and they are adapted to these conditions. Thus, for a species to maintain its existence under varying temperature conditions there are two simple conditions that must be met. Firstly, the temperature should occasionally be such that the species can grow and reproduce, and secondly, the temperature must never be so extreme that the population’s survival is threatened.

In temperate climate for example, there are many species which are adapted to endure low temperatures in the winter, and then grow and reproduce in the summer. In warmer climates, the challenge may be just the opposite. Here, the species might endure high temperatures during the dry hot summer, while growth and reproduction mainly occurs during the mild and wet winter period.

The result was discouraging for all 10 species.

“Climate change will result in fewer cold days and nights, and thus allow species to move toward higher latitudes. However climate change also leads to a higher incidence to extremely hot days and our model therefore predicts that the distribution of these species will be reduced to less than half their present distribution”says Johannes Overgaard.

“In fact, our predictions are that some species would disappear entirely in the next few decades, even when they have a fairly wide distribution that currently covers hundreds of kilometers”, adds Ary Hoffmann.
“Although none of the 10 species studied are normally perceived as either harmful or beneficial organisms for human society, the results indicate that distribution of many insect species will be changed dramatically, and it will probably also apply to many of the species that have particular social or commercial importance “, ends Johannes Overgaard.

Source, Aarhus University: http://scitech.au.dk/en/roemer/feb14/ekstremt-vejr-afgoer-insekters-udbredelse/

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86 Responses to Claim: Extreme weather decides distribution of insects

  1. A.D. Everard says:

    I’m just going to go away and scream now…

  2. p.g.sharrow says:

    After surviving hundreds of millions of years, Environmental disasters of epoch dimensions, insects are going to be threatened by a little change in climate conditions?!? More BS. The level that passes as scientific research is disappointing. pg

  3. Man-Made Global Warming Hinders Sex Life of Slugs.
    Slugs require copious amounts of slimy fluid in the act of sexual relations. Man-Made Global Warming tends to dry out slug bodies, making intercourse more laborious, resulting in fewer interactions. Slug populations have diminished as a result. Please do your part to stop man-made global warming, for Slug’s sake.

  4. Mike Tremblay says:

    Using this study, by extrapolation, it is obvious that Dewey really did win the election in 1948.

  5. Mac the Knife says:

    A collection of fruit flies, serially affected by global warming……
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/02/20/quote-of-the-week-gore-gets-tipper-er-tippy-er-whatever/

  6. dp says:

    The argument appears to be genetic changes occur in insects as a result of random episodes of extreme weather, what ever that might be. So then it should present no problem at all to identify in the laboratory those genes that are modified by controlled environments pushed to +/- extreme conditions at carefully contrived intervals. The only other thing to determine is what is the rate and sign of weather extremes in a specific region is needed to genetically modify insect genes and then prove that the probability of that happening is reasonable and probable.

    I’m thinking this is going to need a *lot* of funding and that is why the idea is being floated. No coulda/woulda/shoulda crank idea is worth discussing if there isn’t a funding bounty involved.

  7. Tom Harley says:

    So 1C or 2C rise in a hundred years is going to have a major impact on flies that live in a range in excess of 20C daily. Agreed PG Sharrow, it’s just nonsense.

  8. martin brumby says:

    These psyentists are either breathtakingly incompetent or breathtakingly dishonest (or maybe both). So insects are no longer capable of adaptation? How many species went extinct during the warming period which ended in 1998. (No, REALLY extinct, not just according to some fraudulent X-Box ‘model’).

  9. ntesdorf says:

    Anyone who has been on a picnic in Australia knows that all sorts of flies can handle any weather and any temperature condition in the search for food. Anyone who has tried to eradicate cockroaches knows that they will be around millions of years longer than we will. Anyone who has battled with termites knows that the termites will just laugh at climate change as they have already installed air conditioning in their home mounds. This study was carried out by people who should get out more and acquaint themselves with how the Earth and its inhabitants are equipped and work.

  10. Robert_G says:

    Didn’t we just “do this” with tropical fish? And it is not whether the organism is an ectotherm (poikilotherm), but rather whether it is a stenotherm.[http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/02/11/climate-craziness-of-the-week-fish-living-near-the-equator-will-not-thrive-in-the-warmer-oceans-of-the-future/ ]
    Stenothermic organisms will die if the environmental temperature falls outside of their tolerance range, by definition. Let’s pretend model future temperatures. if the model temperatures are outside the physiological range that the organism can tolerate for long, they are going to die (forget about possibility of adaptation). Fish or fruit flies, it’s all the same self-fulfilling, catastrophic tautology syllogism.
    There must be at least one paper per phylum hawking the same basic self-evident argument for CAGW journals to publish.

  11. george e. smith says:

    Insects barely live long enough to experience weather, let alone climate. So how could they possibly react to climate change.

    Dang ! Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, has already reported to us on 17 years and five months, of no significant global warming, It’s getting close to the life cycle of the 18 year cicadas, but they have slept through the whole thing.

    They probably won’t notice the change when they come up.

  12. michael hart says:

    If they were to include the plague of frogs in their models, then the frogs could eat the plague of insects. Problem fixed. Simples.

  13. Bonanzapilot says:

    If insects are so delicate, why is the USDA so touchy about agricultural products brought into the country from tropical climes?

  14. FrankK says:

    george e. smith says:
    February 20, 2014 at 11:00 pm
    Insects barely live long enough to experience weather, let alone climate. So how could they possibly react to climate change.

    Dang ! Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, has already reported to us on 17 years and five months, of no significant global warming, It’s getting close to the life cycle of the 18 year cicadas, but they have slept through the whole thing.

    They probably won’t notice the change when they come up.
    —————————————————————————————
    Well George the cics have been incredibly noisy this year. Must have been a protest about the lack of rising temperature! What utter rubbish is that “study”- more snouts in the spondulicks trough.

  15. pat says:

    all i know is CAGW is dangerous to our general well-being. it’s use-by date is long gone:

    21 Feb: UK Daily Mail: Tamara Cohen:
    Could Met Office have been more wrong? Just before floods, secret report told councils: Winter will be ‘drier than normal’ – especially in West Country!
    Worst weather prediction since Michael Fish reassured the nation in October 1987 there was no hurricane on the way
    Forecasters said the Somerset Levels and the rest of the West Country would be especially dry
    Last night, it was confirmed the UK had instead suffered the wettest winter since records began
    The three-month forecast, which a Met Office spokesman conceded was ‘experimental to some extent’, was given to councils, the Environment Agency and other contingency planners to tell them what they could expect from December to the end of this month.
    The forecasters – using ‘cutting-edge science’ – assured councils there would be a ‘significant reduction in precipitation compared to average’ for most of the country, adding that there was only a 15 per cent chance the winter would fall into the ‘wettest category’…
    The Met Office stopped publishing its long-range forecasts for the public to see in 2010, after its disastrous prediction of a ‘barbeque summer’ in 2009 – which ended in washouts throughout July and August.
    The three-month forecasts are now sent only to contingency planners, such as councils, government departments, and insurance companies…
    Using the Met Office’s super-computer, which can perform 100trillion calculations a second, experts in November predicted there would be high-pressure weather systems across Britain ‘with a slight signal for below average precipitation’…
    A spokesman for the Met Office said: ‘Our short and medium-term forecasts are the ones relied on by emergency responders to help them manage the impacts of severe weather.
    ‘The Met Office’s five-day forecasts and severe weather warnings have provided excellent guidance throughout this period of exceptionally stormy and wet weather.’
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2564358/Could-Met-Office-wrong-Just-floods-secret-report-told-councils-Winter-drier-normal-especially-West-Country.html

  16. Alec Evans says:

    Weasel-word watch: in warmist publications – especially by the BBC – beware of any tricky sentences beginning with “as” or “with”.
    Examples: “As temperatures continue to rise” or “With rainfall at record highs” etc.
    This is an insidious way to tell lies without actually making a statement that is substantiated or could be actionable / objected to.
    “As even more global warming campaigners are being strung up on lampposts…”

  17. Patrick says:

    10 species? 10 species???! Really? How many species of insects are there? We know flies can been drawn up into the upper atmosphere on currents, freeze, fall, unfreeze and start happily doing what they do. More utter rubbish from Autralian “scientists”. BAH!

  18. Can’t say I ever noticed a shortage of insects when serving Her Majesty in warmer climes,whether desert or rain forest. Neither was there any shortage above the Arctic circle in the Swedish summer. Jim Steele, another scientist who’s made the transition from enthusiastic warmist to considered sceptic on the basis of observation of reality, covers the disappearance of insects from known habitats very well in “Landscapes and Cycles”, thoroughly debunking a paper similar in approach to the subject of this post. I wonder if the Lysenkists even considered his work?

  19. Angela says:

    “As climate change is progressing” What on earth does that mean? If you start with a false premise then all else is bunkum!

  20. 4TimesAYear says:

    I thought infestations were carried in from other states…you know…like a certain video I watched recently that showed how certain kinds of mosquitoes are spreading due to sales of used tires. Likewise crossing state lines in certain plants…which is why there are restrictions. Where did these people get their education? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iZPkQWcRsI

  21. Louis says:

    “…our model therefore predicts that the distribution of these species will be reduced to less than half their present distribution.”

    We can only hope that something will keep insects in check. Otherwise, as windmills and other “green energy” sources kill off large numbers of birds and bats, insects are likely to flourish.

  22. Aussie Pete says:

    Insects will go where the food is. Never seen a blowie put off attacking a dead cow by the odd the degree one way or the other. Strike me pink!! are these people serious?

  23. Nigel S says:

    Nurse! Nurse! The screens! (Sir Paul fruit fly and yeast expert)

  24. Admad says:

    From the Department Of Stating The Bleedin’ Obvious: “Thus, for a species to maintain its existence under varying temperature conditions there are two simple conditions that must be met. Firstly, the temperature should occasionally be such that the species can grow and reproduce, and secondly, the temperature must never be so extreme that the population’s survival is threatened.”
    Glad to see the antipodean warmist loonies haven’t been too disheartened by Chris Turney’s exploits. Back in the real world, the university doesn’t have very far to look if they need to perform a bit of cost-cutting…

  25. M Seward says:

    Look this is just fantastic news for science, not only is global warming real and upsetting the poor innocent insects but we now have proof that the Magic Pudding* (sarc off) introduced to Australian children by the the wonderful Norman Lindsay (sarc back on) has been discovered to exist in the form of climate science and public funding thereof.

    What with an aging population and how are we goping to fund pensions and retirem,ent etc, the answer is at hand. We can all retrain as climate scientists in our senior years and carry on into our dotage without a care in the world and lots of overseas trips to conferences. How many climate change refugee fleas can we absorb into our domestic canine population? Who knows but it will keep a bunch of climate scientists busy for years.

    * The Magic Pudding was one which no matter how much was eaten it regenerated or was otherwise endless.

  26. Dubya G says:

    I figure my bug spray does far more damage to the insects than global warming ever will. If the climate changes that much, it is the manufacturers of fly sprays that will suffer the most.
    “Global Warming causes unemployment at chemical spray companies”.

  27. Oldseadog says:

    They have done only half of the study because they have assumed that temperatures are going to go up.
    What about the possibility that temperatures will go down?

    Oh, of course, they need more money to do the other half of the experiments and make a new model. I suppose it keeps them off the street corners.

  28. Jer0me says:

    Plenty of insects here in tropical Australia, mate. May that pesky CAGW that caused me to move to the tropics in the first place kill a few off, please?

  29. izen says:

    I think that the confidence that many posters express here in the ability of evolution to adapt to the changing climate is well founded. Only a small proportion of the insect population became extinct with the ice-age to interstadial transition.

    However insect ecology is usually closely linked to the plant species they interact with. The insects will follow the plants and as growth and hardiness regions change with climate warming the insects will follow.

    http://www.mnn.com/your-home/organic-farming-gardening/blogs/climate-change-gives-gardeners-new-options

    The other problem is that international trade enables tropical insects previously confined to a specific region on one continent the opportunity to invade globally where there may not be the natural predation to control them. Local species can then be wiped out by competition from fitter foreign insects.

  30. Lawrie Ayres says:

    That research that found left wingers lack the logic gene has been confirmed yet again. It is a worrying time for the left in Australia. The new government is determined to cut spending and some of those cuts will fall on such things as the dubious research associated with AGW. Don’t forget these so called scientists are facing many years of unemployment.

  31. urederra says:

    Since this study is based on a model, I guess the results are only valid for spherical insects that reproduce in the vacuum.

  32. hunter says:

    Well that is interesting. The actual points of the study- it is not average temperatures that kill the insects, but ‘extreme’ events that do.
    So we can now see that once again skeptics were right on that point:
    The small actual changes in temperatures that AGW represents are not killing the environment.
    So we are left with so-called ‘extreme’ events.
    And an honest review of so-called ‘extreme’ events shows they are not increasing significantly.
    Yet the study promoters and those who reported on the study imply the opposite.
    What is it about anything touching climate that inspires AGW promoters and believers to mislead people?

  33. markstoval says:

    As many have pointed out, this is another example of horrific “science” that infests what passes for climate science today. I believe a decent statistician could spend an entire chapter on what is wrong with this “study” in his/her new book “Big Fat Liars, and the Statistical Lies they Tell”. (a book that needs to be written by the way)

    The point that I would make however, is that the process of evolution whereby species adapt to changing conditions seems to have been totally overlooked in the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming fairy tale. Darwin, call your office!

  34. KNR says:

    Models and guesswork all the way , and in the end what do they show . That AGW ‘research’ bucket is still deep and well filled and that there are still plenty of people happy to dip into and feed ‘the cause ‘ no matter how poor the science.

  35. Bloke down the pub says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong someone, but aren’t fruit flies used in lab experiments by real scientists, specifically because they adapt readily to change and therefore make suitable topics for genetic study?

  36. urederra says:

    Bloke down the pub says:
    February 21, 2014 at 2:45 am

    Correct me if I’m wrong someone, but aren’t fruit flies used in lab experiments by real scientists, specifically because they adapt readily to change and therefore make suitable topics for genetic study?

    Not sure about that. My impression was that they were used mostly because of the short life span and because they were easy to grow. Now there are other models more suitable for genetic studies. Arabidopsis thaliana and Echerichia coli are the preferred species right now. And one fish which I cannot recall its name.

  37. dbstealey says:

    Izen says:

    “…adapt to the changing climate…”

    The climate is always changing. Always has, always will. Furthermore, there is nothing happening now that is either unusual, or unprecedented. Everything currently being observed has happened before, and to a much greater degree.

    Now, you were saying… ?

  38. pat says:

    20 Feb: BBC: Marshall Islands: Islands ‘grow back’ after Pacific storm
    A powerful typhoon in 1905 killed all but two inhabitants of the Nadikdik Atoll – part of the Marshall Islands – and washed away most of the islands’ landmass. But the islands seem to have re-established themselves – one has become a fully vegetated, stable island again – while several smaller islands have reappeared and formed into a single, larger landmass, the New Zealand Herald reports…
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-26275034

  39. Jarryd Beck says:

    As soon as I saw the words “our models…” I knew that it was all bogus. It’s models all the way down, nothing but models. Does anyone do observational / experimental research anymore?

  40. wayne Job says:

    As an Aussie I can only apologise for the quality of the so called scientific studies emanating from my fair land. Recently we have changed direction, the last administration funded this cr#p.

    It is our hope that our research in the future will be less inane, I was led to believe that fruit flies were the domain of Dr Suzuki. I do feel some what ashamed that Australia has produced so many
    self serving idiots in such a short span of time.

    But the times they are a changing.

  41. BioBob says:

    Yep, this one ranks right up there along with “Expect Smaller Brains with Global Warming” by Dr. Ellen Weber …. which, of course, is the cause of all that follows !!

    http://www.brainbasedbusiness.com/2007/03/expect_smaller_brains.html

  42. Bob Layson says:

    Every variation is a change but not every change is a variation. How can one tell the novel from the old and familiar in new guises? That’s the enigma.

    So-called ‘climate change’ could simply be the same old physical system doing a not at all unprecedented thing. (The physical system that is land, Moon, Sun, sea and air has known far greater levels of CO2 before – as have the species now living)

  43. Doug Huffman says:

    I wonder if Ixodes hard-bodied ticks might not exhaust the AGW econauts supply of adhockeries. The ticks have a wonderfully complicated lifecycle that is precisely synchronized across generation of four stages, while being capable of moving only a few meters on their own.

  44. Alberta Slim says:

    Warning from Canada……………
    David Suzuki got his PhD. on fruit flies.
    Expect copius ranting and raving from him once he sees this.
    Also, more charge against certain individual of “Crimes against Humanity”

  45. richard says:

    oh another study that uses , may, might or could.

    “Fruit flies have been the model for a study that has shown how climate change may affect insect distribution in the future”

    In the mad. mad, mad, world of climate change you can say anything you like in a study with might , may or could. It’s how the advertising industry works, making claims on products without actually having to be correct by using weasily words.

    My study showed that climbing ladders in the future may cause more injuries to climate change.

  46. richard says:

    more injuries due to climate change

  47. Jimbo says:

    It is therefore the extreme weather events, such as heat waves or extremely cold conditions, which costs the insects their life, not an increase in average temperature.

    Can I call this obvious? For example human heatwave deaths at 47C, hypothermia deaths at -10C as opposed to a temperature rise from 18C up to 25C.

  48. Steve from Rockwood says:

    This is classic meaningless climate science nonsense. Insects to be at risk due to climate change. Yet a few years ago we were treated to trees being at risk as insects spread outward in a warming world. Insects taking over. Insects going extinct. It’s all bad news.

    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10584-013-1024-9

    The Emerald Ash Borer. Now if we could only teach the ash borer how to eat cockroaches.

  49. richard says:

    I am the wrong one, i should have read more carefully, this is the trouble, i see these articles and switch off.

    “In fact, our predictions are that some species would disappear entirely in the next few decades,

  50. Doug Huffman says:

    I have seen no evidence that Ixoides are susceptible to extremes of environmental temperature, tolerating freezing temperatures and heatwaves. Their primary abiotic liability is to dessication and starvation. The vast majority of their limited travel is up to their questing site and down into the detritus to rehydrate. Without a stadial feeding, starvation results within a few tens of days.

  51. Latitude says:

    ..and yet mosquitoes (malaria) will take over the world

  52. Pamela Gray says:

    Well of course. Duh. Coulda told you that. How much money did you spend to discover this for yourself. Grasshopper populations, and many other winged insects, see their populations wax and wane because of extremes all the time. Crop eating insects have been studied for DECADES to determine their tolerance to extremes so that farmers know whether or not to spray. Could you not have just WALKED over to the ag school and fricken ASKED?????

    The list of animals studied in relation to extreme weather pattern fluctuations is very long and you couldn’t find one that coulda told you about this well-known, well-observed, don’t need a stinkin MODEL to answer your dumb-ass question?

    (me, brick wall, banging head)

  53. izen says:

    [snip - try again, and this time use citations instead of rants - Anthony]

  54. milodonharlani says:

    Insects have benefited greatly from the massacre of millions of birds & bats by windmills & solar panels installed at horrendous expense by Greenshirt blackmailers.

  55. izen says:

    @- dbstealey
    “The climate is always changing. Always has, always will. Furthermore, there is nothing happening now that is either unusual, or unprecedented. Everything currently being observed has happened before, and to a much greater degree.”

    Wrong, the present rate of rise in CO2 in the atmosphere and the consequent reduction of ocean ph is much greater than any past natural event, even the PETM.

    http://eesc.ldeo.columbia.edu/courses/w4937/Readings/Pearson.Palmer.2000.pdf

    the present rise in sea level, atmospheric humidity and temperature also exceed the rate experience for the whole of human civilisation when the holocene has otherwise been uncharacteristically stable in its climate for over 8000 years. A stability that may well explain the rise of human civilisation based on intensive collaborative agriculture.

    https://www.sciencemag.org/content/339/6124/1198.abstract

  56. Jimbo says:

    Whenever we see articles like these people point to adaptation, acclimatization and migration. Here are some on abstracts on acclimatization of the fruit flies Drosophila which may or may not mean they could cope with the modeled computer temperature predictions for Australia in 2100. We’ll know in 87 years.

    Abstract
    Heat-shock tolerance and inbreeding in Drosophila buzzatii
    …..All flies were conditioned at 36.5°C for 75 min prior to exposure to stress, to activate the synthesis of heat-shock proteins. These proteins are known to protect cells against stress damage. The younger group of flies were exposed to a thermal stress of 40.7°C for 88 min, 103 min, or 118 min and the older flies to the same temperature only for 88 min or 103 min, as the survival of older flies after heat stress was much lower than that of the younger flies…….
    http://www.nature.com/hdy/journal/v74/n2/abs/hdy199523a.html
    ——————-
    Abstract
    Effects of inbreeding in three life stages of Drosophila buzzatii after embryos were exposed to a high temperature stress.
    …The interaction between inbreeding and high-temperature stress was examined in the cactophilic fruit fly, Drosophila buzzatii. Embryos of four inbreeding levels (F = 0, F = 0.25, F = 0.375, F = 0.5) were either maintained at 25°C throughout egg-to-adult development or were exposed to 41.5°C for 110 min at an age of 20 h. Hatching, larva-to-pupa survival, pupato-adult survival, and egg-to-adult survival were estimated. Heat shock reduced hatching rates, but survival to adulthood for individuals that hatched was unaffected by the heat shock……
    http://tinyurl.com/ka3roh7
    ——————–
    Abstract
    Effects of extreme temperatures on phenotypic variation and developmental stability in Drosophila melanogaster and Drosophila buzzatii
    …….Drosophila melanogaster and Drosophila buzzatii. In both species, a general trend for increasing of phenotypic variation and fluctuating asymmetry at stress temperatures was observed; in fluctuating asymmetry, this effect was more pronounced……
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1095-8312.1997.tb01780.x/abstract

  57. Jimbo says:

    The insects survived!!! Ho, ho, ho. The PETM was a geological period of high global surface temperature of about 6C. The devastating results can be seen below. We must act now.

    Patterns in Palaeontology: The Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum

    Fossil leaves from Wyoming show that both the overall amount and the number of types of damage increased during the PETM. This is consistent with higher carbon dioxide concentrations reducing the nutritional quality of the plant material and stimulating increased feeding. Higher temperatures might also have increased insect population sizes…….

    …….The equatorial forests, therefore, not only survived the PETM warmth, but seem to have flourished in it, with enhanced speciation and limited extinction increasing the number of plant species present.
    http://www.palaeontologyonline.com/articles/2011/the-paleocene-eocene-thermal-maximum/
    ———————
    Abstract
    Biogeographic and evolutionary implications of a diverse paleobiota in amber from the early Eocene of India
    …. The amber is very partially polymerized and readily dissolves in organic solvents, thus allowing extraction of whole insects whose cuticle retains microscopic fidelity. Fourteen orders and more than 55 families and 100 species of arthropod inclusions have been discovered thus far, which have affinities to taxa from the Eocene of northern Europe, to the Recent of Australasia, and the Miocene to Recent of tropical America. Thus, India just prior to or immediately following contact shows little biological insularity. A significant diversity of eusocial insects are fossilized, including corbiculate bees, rhinotermitid termites, and modern subfamilies of ants (Formicidae), groups that apparently radiated during the contemporaneous Early Eocene Climatic Optimum or just prior to it during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum……
    http://www.pnas.org/content/107/43/18360.short
    /

  58. Curious George says:

    We can now model an evolution of ecosystems on a single genus. What an amazing breakthrough.

    Of course it is a model, stupid me. Biological modelers…

  59. izen says:

    @- Curious George
    “We can now model an evolution of ecosystems on a single genus. What an amazing breakthrough.”

    It is worse than that, they are modelling a highly diverse genus on the basis of ten similar species within it.
    Just because the physiological constraints are common to the whole genus.

  60. Jimbo says:

    UK butterflies are threatened by global warming.

    BBC – 16 September 2013
    Hot summer helps boost butterflies
    …………
    The sustained warm weather over the summer provided “perfect” conditions for a boom in butterflies and day-flying moths according to experts.

    “Put simply, butterflies are cold-blooded creatures that rely on the warmth of the sun in order to be active,” said Butterfly Conservation’s survey manager Richard Fox.

    “The hot summer this year meant that some butterfly species, which were in their early life cycle stages when the heat wave began were able to capitalise on it giving rise to high numbers of adults during the count in late July and early August.”…..
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/24079279

  61. Pamela Gray says:

    Go Jimbo!!!! ROTFLMAO!!! Did you get your big fat oil check in the mail yet for doing all that work reviewing the literature? You should call them if you haven’t gotten it yet. I am sure they must have put it in the mail by now.

  62. Jimbo says:

    Why plan to kill fruit flies with spraying when climate change will kill them anyway? OK it’s a different fruit fly but the article above does mention insects in general towards the end.

    IPCC TAR – Working Group II: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability
    12.5.7. Pests and Diseases

    Cropping, horticulture, and forestry in Australia and New Zealand are vulnerable to invasion by new pests and pathogens for which there are no local biological controls (Sutherst et al., 1996; Ministry for the Environment, 1997). The likelihood that such pests and pathogens—particularly those of tropical or semi-tropical origin—will become established, once introduced to New Zealand, may increase with climate warming.

    ———
    …..The vulnerability of horticultural industries in Australia to the Queensland fruit fly Bactrocera (Dacus) tryoni under climate change was examined by Sutherst et al. (2000). Vulnerability was defined in terms of sensitivity and adaptation options. Regional estimates of fruit fly density, derived with the CLIMEX model, were fed into an economic model that took account of the costs of damage, management, regulation, and research. Sensitivity analyses were used to estimate potential future costs under climate change by recalculating costs with increases in temperature of 0.5, 1.0, and 2°C, assuming that the fruit fly will occur only in horticulture where there is sufficient rainfall or irrigation to allow the crop to grow. The most affected areas were the high-altitude apple-growing areas of southern Queensland and NSW and orange-growing areas in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area. Apples and pears in southern and central NSW also were affected. A belt from southern NSW across northern Victoria and into South Australia appeared to be the most vulnerable.

    Adaptation options were investigated by considering, first, their sustainability under present conditions and, second, their robustness under climate variability and climate change. Bait spraying is ranked as the most sustainable, robust, and hence most promising adaptation option in boh the endemic and fruit fly exclusion zones, but it causes some public concern. The sterile insect technique is particularly safe, but there were concerns about costs, particularly with large infestations. Exclusion is a highly effective approach for minimizing the number of outbreaks of Queensland fruit fly in fly-free areas, although it is vulnerable to political pressure in relation to tourism. These three techniques have been given the highest priority…..
    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg2/index.php?idp=477

  63. Robert W Turner says:

    Another Global Warming study that directly contradicts other studies published in the same year. Isn’t an increase in “extreme” cold snaps now part of the meme?!?! We need to hold an emergency global warming meeting at Gore’s mansion to get everybody on the same page.

  64. Tim Clark says:

    I’d like to send the authors a list of the insect species I would prefer be extinct, but I don’t have the time for such a long list.

  65. outtheback says:

    In September 2012 a similar study from the same Monash University and Danish researchers, no institute specified, appeared here.
    It does not seem to be the same study as they studied 100 fruit fly species from around the world, as compared to 10 from Australia, to come up with the same model findings. GIGO.
    While neither study tells us how long they took to come up with their conclusions, or when they actually started, I can not escape the thought that the earlier reported one was already on the way when the smaller one reported here was started.
    Why was that second one started to study, seemingly, the same criteria. If I would be an Australian or Danish taxpayer I would demand my money back.

  66. richard says:

    British Bees dying off due to climate change – Daily Planet Media

    “In this piece, author Shawn Regan, a research fellow at the Property and Environment Research Center in Bozeman, Montana drops a data bombshell from a USDA report — bee colonies are just fine

    The graph (below) clearly indicates that there has been no collapse”

    http://acsh.org/2014/02/bee-bee-behind-bee-colony-collapse-one/

  67. Jimbo says:

    izen says:
    February 21, 2014 at 6:34 am
    …………..
    the present rise in sea level, atmospheric humidity and temperature also exceed the rate experience for the whole of human civilisation when the holocene has otherwise been uncharacteristically stable in its climate for over 8000 years. A stability that may well explain the rise of human civilisation based on intensive collaborative agriculture.
    ……..sciencemag.org/content/339/6124/1198.abstract

    It’s a good thing you kept to the holocene.

    Abstract
    Richard B. Alley
    Ice-core evidence of abrupt climate changes

    …..As the world slid into and out of the last ice age, the general cooling and warming trends were punctuated by abrupt changes. Climate shifts up to half as large as the entire difference between ice age and modern conditions occurred over hemispheric or broader regions in mere years to decades…….
    http://www.pnas.org/content/97/4/1331.full
    —————–

    Abstract
    Pierre Deschamps et al
    …Our results, based on corals drilled offshore from Tahiti during Integrated Ocean Drilling Project Expedition 310, reveal that the increase in sea level at Tahiti was between 12 and 22 metres, with a most probable value between 14 and 18 metres, establishing a significant meltwater contribution from the Southern Hemisphere. This implies that the rate of eustatic sea-level rise exceeded 40 millimetres per year during MWP-1A….
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v483/n7391/full/nature10902.html

    —————–
    Abstract
    Reef drowning during the last deglaciation: Evidence for catastrophic sea-level rise and ice-sheet collapse
    Elevations and ages of drowned Acropora palmata reefs from the Caribbean-Atlantic region document three catastrophic, metre-scale sea-level-rise events during the lastde glaciation…..

    [paper]
    …. Such drowning eventsmust have been truly catastrophic, involv-ing—to our knowledge—the fastest rates of glacio-eustatic sea-level rise yet reported…..The exact duration of the CREs is unknown but, given that the mini-mum rate of sea-level rise was >45 mm/yr, the duration of the 14.2 ka event must have been…..
    http://www.academia.edu/200254/Reef_drowning_during_the_last_deglaciation_Evidence_for_catastrophic_sea-level_rise_and_ice-sheet_collapse

  68. Jimbo says:

    Read this too izen

    Abrupt Climate Change: Inevitable Surprises 2002
    Executive Summary
    Recent scientific evidence shows that major and widespread climate changes have occurred with startling speed. For example, roughly half the north Atlantic warming since the last ice age was achieved in only a decade, and it was accompanied by significant climatic changes across most of the globe. Similar events, including local warmings as large as 16°C, occurred repeatedly during the slide into and climb out of the last ice age.
    NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
    http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10136&page=1

    “Multiple, Intense, Abrupt Late Pleistocene Warming And Cooling: Implications For Understanding The Cause Of Global Climate Change”
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/06/02/multiple-intense-abrupt-late-pleisitocene-warming-and-cooling-implications-for-understanding-the-cause-of-global-climate-change/

  69. “Climate change will result in fewer cold days and nights,
    Tell that to the people who live through the winter of 2013-2014.

    and thus allow species to move toward higher latitudes.
    And elevations.

    However climate change also leads to a higher incidence to extremely hot days and our model therefore predicts that the distribution of these species will be reduced to less than half their present distribution”
    I confess I didn’t expect to see them admit that.

    But I guess it is par the for course. Any change to distributions, north-south, bigger, smaller, is worth publication, even from a model of extreme weather.

  70. george e. smith says:

    Well in the USA they say that the Eastern Elk have gone extinct. Apparently the only thing bigger than an ant that has; except nobody has seen that Woody wood pecker in the swamp for a while.

    Well come out to California, if you want to see an Eastern Elk; we have plenty of them. They don’t go back East any more, because it is too hard to cross all the roads, because of traffic.

    Come to think of it, you can see Eastern Elk down in New Zealand; try asking for Wapiti though, or else they won’t know what you are talking about. They are about as extinct as the San Francisco Bay Coyote, which eats Clapper Rails. I have all kinds of San Francisco Bay Coyotes hanging out, down by my house, south of Fresno.

  71. henrythethird says:

    Just a quick look at Wiki told me everything I needed to know about their “study”:

    “…Drosophila are found all around the world, with more species in the tropical regions. They can be found in deserts, tropical rainforest, cities, swamps, and alpine zones. Some northern species hibernate…”

    Sounds like they’re adapting quite well to extreme temperatures.

    and this gem:

    “…The genus Drosophila as currently defined…contains 1,450 described species…”

    So they’ll need more money to check out how well the other 1,440 species react. Maybe they need to look at the hibernating species – after the record snow and cold weather lets up…

  72. Lars P. says:

    Oh, my, it is worse then we thought.
    1) these people should get out more and see insects in nature not only the ten fruit flies in their box.
    2) they used as base for their study a modelled (climate changed) future.
    How was that model validated? We have saw several times here on WUWT that 95% of models are garbage when tested against reality.
    I am ready to blind bet that they used one of the bunch with predictions that go into Nirvana as base for their study.

    So somebody financed a study to work based on a flawed climate model?
    Why did the people waste that money to make a study based on a flawed climate model? First validate the climate models then do the further study?
    Letting the students play role playing games would have been more valuable then this.
    Again and again and again the west is trapped in this maelstrom of climate change studies which devour a huge amount of money and deliver only garbage.
    Instead of research we finance “research”. And the consequence is that there is no money for other studies. Real studies.

    izen says:
    February 21, 2014 at 6:34 am
    the present rise in sea level, atmospheric humidity and temperature also exceed the rate experience for the whole of human civilisation when the holocene has otherwise been uncharacteristically stable in its climate for over 8000 years. A stability that may well explain the rise of human civilisation based on intensive collaborative agriculture.

    oh my the Marcott et all study you link to did not capture rapid variations of climate and you know that.
    You know the 8.2 even is well documented, but of course you would like to deny that:
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/abrupt/data5.html

  73. george e. smith says:

    I can’t believe this sort of nonsense is even discussed in “scientific” circles.

    Planet earth has multiple infinities of different “environmental niches” , and at the surface level, the range of niche Temperatures goes from -94 deg. C to over 100 deg. C if you count geothermal region lakes etc. Fishes have been photographed right on the bottom of the Challenger Deep at 10,900 meters below sea level. Critters fight to eject other critters from their holes / dens / nests / whatever, and any one vacated, voluntarily or otherwise will soon be snapped up by another critter, of the same species or a different one.

    The idea that species are driven around by climate change, is pretty lame. Living things grow where they ca, and easily moveable ones move wherever they want.

    Take lobsters for example; not those bitter tasting Maine ones, but tasty spiny lobsters, such as can be found all over the Florida Keys , and many other places.

    Everybody knows that you can build a lobster trap with a cage and a hole with inward pointing spines, so the lobsters can easily enter to find the bait you put in there, and then can’t get out, because of those spines.

    Total BS. Marine biologists did some experiments (in the keys, where people trap lobsters all the time.) They set out pots in a number of different local places in the keys (strings of pots).

    Next morning, they came back, and pulled the pots. Any lobsters they found, were tagged, and left in the pots, back in the water, recording which pots which lobsters were in.

    They repeated this every day. The result was, that any lobster could be found in any pot, any day. At night, or in the daylight, they simply climbed out of their pot, and went hunting, and then found a pot to climb into (for safety). Not that they are that safe in there. If humans didn’t come for them, those pots are just octopus cafeterias.

    Even plants find a way to move around to find a vacant space where they can get more sun, or nutrients. If there is vacant habitat, uphill from some plant, with less vegetation than downhill, when the plant spreads its seeds to the winds, the downhill ones, may fall on the leaves of some other vegetation, where birds or insects will eventually find them. The uphill ones, are more likely to fall on empty soil, so they can start to grow there. It’s all automatic, and doesn’t have much to do with climate. Just the diurnal weather change on a single day, subjects any critter, plant or animal, to a greater change than the anomalies of the last 150 years, as promulgated by GISS, and UEA CRU , and others.

    The humans who spread from the central Asian -istans, to the Southern tip of South America, had absolutely no idea they were going to America.

    They just went out hunting one day, and while chasing an animal for food, they found themselves in Mexico. The Bering land bridge was over 1,000 miles wide.

  74. Leo G says:

    Shouldn’t increased plant growth and changes in the distribution of plant species due to increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide imply corresponding changes in the distribution of insects, even without climate change?

  75. Gunga Din says:

    It would seem there lots of bugs in this model.

  76. Jimbo says:

    There are 2 kinds of life that I am least worried about due to global warming. Bacteria and insects. They will be here until it really is the end of life on Earth.

  77. Jimbo says:

    And for the professional eco-worriers who stress about Gaia and life on Earth stop your endless worry. We humans are only on Earth for a blink of a geological eye. Like over 95% of species that ever lived are now extinct, we too will just go poof. Extinction is the norm, not the exception.

  78. catweazle666 says:

    Ah, the magic word – “modelled”.

  79. dbstealey says:

    Izen says:

    “…the present rate of rise in CO2 in the atmosphere and the consequent reduction of ocean ph is much greater than any past natural event, even the PETM.”

    then Izen quotes that paragon of peer reviewed excellence:

    https://www.sciencemag.org/content/339/6124/1198.abstract

    Izen’s first link says:

    …a reconstruction of the links between climate and radiative forcing of the Earth’s surface temperatures… may have been caused by reduced CO2… CO2 concentrations appear to have remained below 500 p.p.m…. And so on.

    Izen is hanging his hat on those weasel words, which show that his source isn’t sure about anything at all.

    In fact, CO2 has nothing measurable to do with global temperature. Any assertions to the contrary are simply an effort to buttress the alarmist belief in cAGW. But so far, empirical [real world] evidence does not support Izen’s belief in the “carbon” scare.

  80. DaveW says:

    This doesn’t sound like such a bad study, only the hype is annoying. One major problem is that the 10 species of Drosophila are all closely related. That was a poor choice if one wanted to extrapolate the results to ‘insects’: you can’t. I assume they did this because many Drosophila are easily reared in the lab and because some have been model organisms in genetics, much has been learned about their distributions in the field.

    Finding that the response to temperature shocks in the lab match expected high temperatures in the distribution of these species in the field may seem trivial (it does to me), but just because this relationship is assumed to occur doesn’t mean it isn’t useful to see it tested and supported. Obvious problems in interpretation include microhabitat choices in the field that would tend to ameliorate any effect of temperature shocks are not available in the lab and one would expect multivoltine insects such as these fruit flies to rapidly adapt to a new temperature regime. There is also the confounding relationships between temperature and other factors that do not seem to have been controlled for.

    Another example of how CAGW poisons everything it touches. This is an interesting minor study that adds somewhat to understanding Drosophila distributions, but has been turned into more magical science.

  81. Patrick says:

    “izen says:

    February 21, 2014 at 6:34 am

    Wrong, the present rate of rise in CO2 in the atmosphere and the consequent reduction of ocean ph is much greater than any past natural event, even the PETM.”

    Where is the evidence to support that statement?

  82. Brian H says:

    Which comes after which? Maybe the bugs drive the weather. It’s consistent with the statistics!

    And, btw, extremes accompany COOLING. That is the only hypothesis consistent with recent or paleo-history.

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