Wild claim from University of East Anglia

No mays, coulds, or mights here in this press release headline from UEA. They say “will“.  As usual, they assume nature so poorly equipped her creations that they can’t adapt. That’s some ballsy certainty.

Climate change will cause widespread global-scale loss of common plants and animals

More than half of common plants and one third of the animals could see a dramatic decline this century due to climate change – according to research from the University of East Anglia.

Research published today in the journal Nature Climate Change looked at 50,000 globally widespread and common species and found that more than one half of the plants and one third of the animals will lose more than half of their climatic range by 2080 if nothing is done to reduce the amount of global warming and slow it down.

This means that geographic ranges of common plants and animals will shrink globally and biodiversity will decline almost everywhere.

Plants, reptiles and particularly amphibians are expected to be at highest risk. Sub-Saharan Africa, Central America, Amazonia and Australia would lose the most species of plants and animals. And a major loss of plant species is projected for North Africa, Central Asia and South-eastern Europe.

But acting quickly to mitigate climate change could reduce losses by 60 per cent and buy an additional 40 years for species to adapt. This is because this mitigation would slow and then stop global temperatures from rising by more than two degrees Celsius relative to pre-industrial times (1765). Without this mitigation, global temperatures could rise by 4 degrees Celsius by 2100.

The study was led by Dr Rachel Warren from theTyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at UEA. Collaborators include Dr Jeremy VanDerWal at James Cook University in Australia and Dr Jeff Price, from UEA’s school of Environmental Sciences and the Tyndall Centre. The research was funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

Dr Warren said: “While there has been much research on the effect of climate change on rare and endangered species, little has been known about how an increase in global temperature will affect more common species.

“This broader issue of potential range loss in widespread species is a serious concern as even small declines in these species can significantly disrupt ecosystems.

“Our research predicts that climate change will greatly reduce the diversity of even very common species found in most parts of the world. This loss of global-scale biodiversity would significantly impoverish the biosphere and the ecosystem services it provides.

“We looked at the effect of rising global temperatures, but other symptoms of climate change such as extreme weather events, pests, and diseases mean that our estimates are probably conservative. Animals in particular may decline more as our predictions will be compounded by a loss of food from plants.

“There will also be a knock-on effect for humans because these species are important for things like water and air purification, flood control, nutrient cycling, and eco-tourism.

“The good news is that our research provides crucial new evidence of how swift action to reduce CO2 and other greenhouse gases can prevent the biodiversity loss by reducing the amount of global warming to 2 degrees Celsius rather than 4 degrees. This would also buy time – up to four decades – for plants and animals to adapt to the remaining 2 degrees of climate change.”

The research team quantified the benefits of acting now to mitigate climate change and found that up to 60 per cent of the projected climatic range loss for biodiversity can be avoided.

Dr Warren said: “Prompt and stringent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions globally would reduce these biodiversity losses by 60 per cent if global emissions peak in 2016, or by 40 per cent if emissions peak in 2030, showing that early action is very beneficial. This will both reduce the amount of climate change and also slow climate change down, making it easier for species and humans to adapt.”

Information on the current distributions of the species used in this research came from the datasets shared online by hundreds of volunteers, scientists and natural history collections through the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF).

Co-author Dr Jeff Price, also from UEA’s school of Environmental Studies, said: “Without free and open access to massive amounts of data such as those made available online through GBIF, no individual researcher is able to contact every country, every museum, every scientist holding the data and pull it all together. So this research would not be possible without GBIF and its global community of researchers and volunteers who make their data freely available.”

‘Quantifying the benefit of early climate change mitigation in avoiding biodiversity loss’ is published by the journal Nature Climate Change on Sunday May 12, 2013.


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Sam the First

Getting a lot of traction in today’s Independent, where the comments display complete ignorance of the issues and esp of the problems with this paper. It’s a sad fact that this ‘newspaper’ is read by so many opinion-formers, inc teachers and lecturers.

Henry Galt

We are very happy to use everyone’s freely donated data. Thank you.
You cannot have our data because you just want to find fault with it. Bugger off.
“… 50,000 globally widespread and common species…”
If they are widespread they already cope with the ‘projected’ 2C to 6C catastrophe.
Name the reviewers. I will bring the tar and the feathers.


That statement is true. The Climate will (and does) change. That change will (and does, and always has) cause plants and animals to die. We learned at least that much in high school.
The causes are not yet known, however. Next.


Unbelievable. I mean, really, unbelievable, as in “not to be believed.”
How many plants and animal species would be lost in the absence of “climate change,” a dubious term if there ever was one? How much species range would be lost regardless of “climate change” due mostly to loss of habitat through changes in land use? McIntyre would have a field day with this study.
They really are revving up for AR5, aren’t they?


CO2 helps plants grow, therefore possibility more diversity not less?

They are right, of course, but because the sign on the change is towards the minus: A coming ice age could indeed cause that effect. Heating Earth will not.


IF the change is unprecedented, then the rate of adaptation is also unknown.
After all, Polar Bears, Artic Foxes, Emperor Penguins, and Seals aren’t that fragile, I’ve seen them at the Denver Zoo frolic in the sun at 95 F.
If any creatures were too fragile to endure a temperature at nearly 60 degrees (F) than what is normally encountered in their normal habit, these would be the first ones I’d expect to be hunkering down or not active.


It is the Tynfoil Centre…

M Courtney

Nature Climate Change – This new journal does seem to have spectacular papers published quite regularly. Spectacular but implausible papers. As though the year on year variations in the timoings of the seasons is of less impact than a gradual change (for whatever cause) over a century.
OK, some turtles have a long period generations but “More than half of common plants and one third of the animals”?
Would this pass peer review in a respectable journal?
But Nature Climate Change is a new journal. Perhaps, there needs to be a formal rating system for the quality of such journals. Maybe, the percentage of published papers that are overturned per year since publication could gve a simple, two-parameter metric. Too few overturned quicky and the journal haslittle new to say. Too many overturned quickly and the editorial standrds are clearly rubbish.
Oh, and a third metric especially for Nature Climate Change – % of papers that can never be falsiifed.

Chuck L

Like every pro-AGW organization, they are doubling down on their claims while “fixing” global temperature numbers as data mocks computer model “projections.”


The 13th word in paragraph #1 is “could”.
Technically, I “could” be president. Or an astronaut…

Jimmy Haigh.

Pure Climate Bollocks.

David L. Hagen

The complete Greenland ice core shows the Eemian temperature was ~8 C warmer than today about 130,000 years ago.
Nature is robust:
– both in constraining total changes between ~ 10C and 25C,
and in adapting to such changes!
Focus on adapting as 50x cheaper than “mitigating”.

John V. Wright

It’s the CO2, you see. Plants don’t like it.
Oh look, another squadron of flying pigs………..

Robert Doyle

A great business opportunity! A zoo & botanical garden should be set aside to study un-extinct
animals and plants which became un-extinct at least twice before.

“We looked at the effect of rising global temperatures”
apparently they didn’t get the memo that there has been no significant increase this century.


Maybe if we give them another $100K they might be able to learn that plants grow better in higher CO2 environments.

David L. Hagen

Reality Check needed!
Study: Climate 460 MYA was like today, but thought to have CO2 levels 5-20 times as high
Vandenbroucke, T.R.A., Armstrong, H.A., Williams, M., Paris, F., Zalasiewicz, J.A., Sabbe, K., Nolvak, J., Challands, T.J., Verniers, J. & Servais, T. 2010. Polar front shift and atmospheric CO2 during the glacial maximum of the Early Paleozoic Icehouse. PNAS doi/10.1073/pnas.1003220107.


The paper is correct!
Bird choppers (Wind turbines) will kill more endangered species because “environmentalist” believe in CAGW. Beliefs do kill.

Henry Keswick

No surprise that the BBC (Biased Broadcasting Corpration) picked up on this and is featuring it on their website. What a wonderful illustration of how scientifically illiterate a society we’ve become.


“… reduce the amount of global warming and slow it down.”
Rejoice, then, ye worriers, for global warming has slowed down to nil:

RHS says:
May 13, 2013 at 7:14 am
” I’ve seen them at the Denver Zoo frolic in the sun at 95 F.” That’s a first to me, whenever I’ve seen penguins, they’ve been frolicking in the water.

I call these people global warming rapture-ists comparing them to the religious fundamentalists from the Bible Belt. They are all seeing that the Great Apocalypse is coming, something we common sense people can’t see.
The CAGW crowds are becoming more and more desperate as nature refuses to cooperate.

The migration of Ecotones is not new. Carole Crumley, for example, did some good work on this in the 1990’s. To quote from Gill’s “The Great Maya Droughts: Water, Life and Death.”
“Over the past two millennia, in fact, the ecotone dividing the Mediterranean and continental climatic regions has migrated north and south from 36 degN along the North African Coast to 48 degN along the North Sea and Baltic coast of Northwest Europe – a distance of 8 deg of latitude, approximately 880 km (500 miles). (Crumley 1994))
……… During the first millennium BC, Celtic peoples occupied the northern half of the range of the Mediterranean-continental ecotone. South of the Celts, along the north Mediterranean littoral, lived the sea traders, among them Greeks, Etruscans, and Romans. Around the fifth century BC, during a period when the ecotone when the ecotone was located far to the south, the Celts advanced on settlements in Italy and Geece. By the end of the second century BC, as the ecotone moved sharply north, the tables were turned dramatically. Rome came to dominate the Greek-controlled shipping lanes and made a province of the southern fringe of Celtic polities in France. By the end of the first century BC, Rome had conquered the entire Mediterranean region and Western Europe as far as the Rhine, roughly the northern location of the ecotone.
As Crumley points out, “The extent and duration of the Pax Romana in Europe was greatly facilitated by climatic conditions that favored Roman-as opposed to Celtic-economic, social and political organization.”
I suppose, back then, us Celts were the “endangered species.”


We had frost this morning. The forecast for tomorrow is 90 degrees. If a couple degrees in 70 years is going to cause that much harm, surely >60 degrees in 24 hours is going to kill everything here, eh?

Mark Nutley

Hang on, biodiversity will decline? In a world which is greening due to the extra C02? What a pile of bollocks.

Mark Bofill

“The good news is that our research provides crucial new evidence of how swift action to reduce CO2 and other greenhouse gases can prevent the biodiversity loss by reducing the amount of global warming to 2 degrees Celsius rather than 4 degrees.”
They are building on a foundation made of sand. The study wasn’t about climate sensitivity yet depends on a specific figure for it. How much additional CO2 is required for a 4C increase? I’m pretty sure I’ve read about a number of papers that disagree about this key value…

“Co-author Dr Jeff Price, also from UEA’s school of Environmental Studies, said: “Without free and open access to massive amounts of data such as those made available online through GBIF, no individual researcher is able to contact every country, every museum, every scientist holding the data and pull it all together. ”
They are lucky Phil Jones was not in charge of data.


From what I know of Sub-Saharan Africa, Amazonia, and Central America, the flora and fauna there are in danger of habitat loss more from the direct actions of man on them and their habitat than from any kind of climate change.


“Prompt and stringent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions globally…”
At the core of such nonsense is control. You’ll never catch the “controllers” setting example to further their proclamations in cause of their catastrophic claims.
And with the next generation moving through an “education” system aimed at brain washing to the same message of “its all your fault” thus kneel before the thrown of powers at be who will at liberties expense “control” all. As in even what you swallow as seen by the NY mayor who NY elected.


This is basically about breaking through open doors!
What has really happened all the extinct species that ever existed (~ 98% of all), unless climate change caused this?
If adaptability had been missing in evolution, ancient species like ginko, ferns, sharks and crocodiles had no longer existed. (We wouldn’t have this discussion …) If as stated, the question is if it had been any advanced life left at all?
It seems that some people in the past, have failed in biology!
An idea – the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere, is due to a heavy use of weed …

Chris B

The six N. American birds species to go extinct all did so around the beginning of the 20th Century. None since.
I suppose that means that Climate Change was more intense before the increase in CO2 concentration?
PS we’re still not sure about the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker.

Raving Loony University, who wants to pay £9000 p/a to study there.


Soon there will be press releases blaming this century’s warming (never mind that is does not exist) on the decreasing population of bats, then eagles, then followed by a press release for every other species of bird that as fallen in mass numbers from the sky (never mind the windmills.)
The PR war will not end any time soon.

Eric Anderson

This whole idea of massive catastrophe for plants and animals from a small temperature increase just doesn’t pass the smell test. A small increase in temperature over decades or a century is going to cause catastrophic effects for plants and animals that regularly — both throughout the day and throughout the year — experience temperature swings far in excess of the alleged coming warming?
Further, a warmer climate is typically a more hospitable climate for plants and animals, particularly when much of the alleged warming is supposed to raise nighttime lows. How that can possibly be a catastrophe doesn’t make sense.
The only way you can conclude a catastrophe of this scale is by (i) assuming an unrealistically high warming number, (ii) modeling negatives and ignoring positives, (iii) including other questionable follow-on assumptions that allegedly flow from the warming, like more drought, more severe weather, etc., and (iv) ignoring organisms’ ability to adapt.
Sorry, but I can’t get too worried for the general flora and fauna of the Earth over a couple degrees of temperature increase.

john robertson

I agree with these “experts” unless the spread of this most dangerous subspecies, the wild-eyed eco-loon, is checked; common plants and animals will suffer on a global basis.
These secular anti-humanists are hostile to all forms of life, worship a non-existent earth deity and destroy everything they claim to save.
They say meat is bad, so all domestic herd will suffer.
Food shall be fuel, so harvests are destroyed.
Logging(forest management) is evil,so forests will burn.
Food comes from the supermarket,water from a tap and carbon is a toxin to carbon based life.
So these “experts” are right, unless we prevent the rise of this subspecies of man, massive ecological damage will ensue , this century.
Sadly sarcasm does not apply.

barry laughton

All people who think the science of CO2 weather and global warming is settled should remember a Richard Feyndman quote “It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are, If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.” For theory read “model” and for experiment read “actual weather”.


I’m betting there’s not a single geologist amongst ’em. (Any geologist would be laughing his pants off at their absurd claims.)
UEA perfessers must believe up is down, left is right, and hot is cold: It is an Ice Age that restricts biodiversity; it is warm geologic periods in which life forms flourish. They just simply don’t get it (except when “it” refers to more funding from a corrupt government wasting taxpayer dollars they can’t afford.)

Is “LPKI JATENG says: May 13, 2013 at 7:38 am” spamming WUWT?
Seen him/her on another thread with nothing to say as well.


Soooo, how many plant and animal species have dissapeared in the last, say, 1,000 years or 1,ooo,ooo or 1,000,000,000 years? Like 75-99% or so?
Ya think?

UEA stopped doing real science years ago.
As for the Tyndall Centre, they never started.

Channel 4 in the UK have started a series about “climate change causing a wildlife crisis.
Most of it, unsurprisingly, has no basis in fact.

Joe Crawford

“… will lose more than half of their climatic range by 2080…”
I guess my question for the authors would be “If all of the climate ranges shrink to half their current size, what sort of climate or non-climate (?) fills in the vacated areas?”

Leo Morgan

This prediction assumes all other things will be equal. Even if it were otherwise correct, that assumption invalidates everything.
I’m reminded of the story: “In 1894, the Times of London estimated that by 1950 every street in the city would be buried nine feet deep in horse manure.”
Is the story true? Probably not or they’d cite the prognosticator and edition. But as Freakonomics author Steven D. Levitt puts it “People never imagined in the 1890s manure would be a distant memory in a decade, and yet in a decade it was solved.”
He applies that lesson to Climate Change. http://www.fortnightly.com/fortnightly/2007/12/horse-manure-crisis?page=0%2C0
Warren et al.’s forecast time is way beyond Kurzweil’s estimate for the technological singularity. Even if Kurzweil is wrong, which is not a proposition I’m prepared to bet on, it is unreasonable to anticipate that changes in computing, genetic engineering, biotechnology, novel energy sources and medical and other technology won’t change every other aspect of the Globe so immensely as to make this sad prophecy moot, ripped from the entrails of a computer though it might be.
What will become of biodiversity if there is atomic war, or a nuclear winter? What do their forecasts say about the effects on climate range of species subject to natural selection, artificial selection or genetic engineering? What about the vast impact of invasive species?
I am unconvinced of the inability of the ecosystem to adapt to the prospective change. Evolution is a slow process, but not because conditions are steady-state. Mostly they are cyclic, with drought and flood and ordinary conditions alternating regularly. Each generation is subject to natural selection according to the conditions encountered in it’s life. As Olivia Judson points out, the contents of a genome tend to ‘jitter’ in response to natural selection according to varying conditions. If changes are all in one direction for a while it does not seem to pose any insuperable problem for orthodox evolutionary theory.
To compute a future without taking these expected changes into account is to presume that although you are putting the wrong figures in, the right numbers will come out. I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a forecast.

Mike M

Where can I git me a job write’n lies to scare people so they’ll keep askin me for more?

What about all those “spare” genes we are endowed with, believed by some to exist precisely to enable us to cope with a changing environment? Climate scientists are such rigidly deterministic types, aren’t they? It must be in their genes, I suppose. Obviously in need of a shake-up!

Outrageous “panhandling for grant money” hyperbole.

Billy Liar

The study was led by Dr Rachel Warren from theTyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at UEA. Collaborators include Dr Jeremy VanDerWal at James Cook University in Australia and Dr Jeff Price, from UEA’s school of Environmental Sciences and the Tyndall Centre.
Policy based evidence making.


What’s wrong with all you people! Aren’t you aware that there were only 5000 polar bears in 1970 and their population has declined to about 25000 today?


Aren’t the most biodiverse ecosystems generally in the tropics? You know, the warmest areas on the planet?