Friday Funny: Science by the kilogram

The report “Arctic Biodiversity Assessment ” was prepared by 253 scientists from 15 countries under the auspices of the Arctic Council. The printed 674 pages report weighs an impressive 2.9 kg! (Click image)

From Aarhus University, and the department of weighted (by the kilogram) peer review comes a really heavy new report. See actual photo caption at right, bold mine, I kid you not. I loved this quote from the press release: ‘Polar bears and the other highly adapted organisms cannot move further north, so they may go extinct’

Arctic biodiversity under serious threat from climate change according to new report

Climate change caused by human activities is by far the worst threat to biodiversity in the Arctic

Unique and irreplaceable Arctic wildlife and landscapes are crucially at risk due to global warming caused by human activities according to the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (ABA), a new report prepared by 253 scientists from 15 countries under the auspices of the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF), the biodiversity working group of the Arctic Council.

“An entire bio-climatic zone, the high Arctic, may disappear. Polar bears and the other highly adapted organisms cannot move further north, so they may go extinct. We risk losing several species forever,” says Hans Meltofte of Aarhus University, chief scientist of the report.

From the iconic polar bear and elusive narwhal to the tiny Arctic flowers and lichens that paint the tundra in the summer months, the Arctic is home to a diversity of highly adapted animal, plant, fungal and microbial species. All told, there are more than 21,000 species.

Maintaining biodiversity in the Arctic is important for many reasons. For Arctic peoples, biodiversity is a vital part of their material and spiritual existence. Arctic fisheries and tourism have global importance and represent immense economic value. Millions of Arctic birds and mammals that migrate and connect the Arctic to virtually all parts of the globe are also at risk from climate change in the Arctic as well as from development and hunting in temperate and tropical areas. Marine and terrestrial ecosystems such as vast areas of lowland tundra, wetlands, mountains, extensive shallow ocean shelves, millennia-old ice shelves and huge seabird cliffs are characteristic to the Arctic. These are now at stake, according to the report.

“Climate change is by far the worst threat to Arctic biodiversity. Temperatures are expected to increase more in the Arctic compared to the global average, resulting in severe disruptions to Arctic biodiversity some of which are already visible,” warns Meltofte.

A planetary increase of 2 °C, the worldwide agreed upon acceptable limit of warming, is projected to result in vastly more heating in the Arctic with anticipated temperature increases of 2.8-7.8 °C this century. Such dramatic changes will likely result in severe damage to Arctic biodiversity.

Climate change impacts are already visible in several parts of the Arctic. These include northward range expansions of many species, earlier snow melt, earlier sea ice break-up and melting permafrost together with development of new oceanic current patterns.

IMAGE: This image shows a sea butterfly (Limacina helicina), a key Arctic sea snail. With the acidification expected in Arctic waters due to the increased concentration of CO2, populations of sea…Click here for more information.

It is expected that climate change could shrink Arctic ecosystems on land, as northward moving changes are pressed against the boundary of the Arctic Ocean: the so called “Arctic squeeze”. As a result, Arctic terrestrial ecosystems may disappear in many places, or only survive in alpine or island refuges.

Disappearing sea ice is affecting marine species, changing dynamics in the marine food web and productivities of the sea. Many unique species found only in the Arctic rely on this ice to hunt, rest, breed and/or escape predators.

Other key findings

  • Generally speaking, overharvest is no longer a primary threat, although pressures on some populations remain a serious problem.
  • A variety of contaminants have bioaccumulated in several Arctic predator species to levels that threaten the health and ability to reproduce of both animals and humans. However, it is not clear if this is affecting entire populations of species.
  • Arctic habitats are among the least anthropogenic disturbed on Earth, and huge tracts of almost pristine tundra, mountain, freshwater and marine habitats still exist.
  • Regionally, ocean bottom trawling, non-renewable resource development and other intensive forms of land use pose serious challenges to Arctic biodiversity.
  • Pollution from oil spills at sites of oil and gas development and from oil transport is a serious local level threat particularly in coastal and marine ecosystems.
  • Uptake of CO2 in sea water is more pronounced in the cold Arctic waters than elsewhere, and the resulting acidification of Arctic seas threaten calcifying organisms and maybe even fisheries.
  • Shipping and resource development corridors are rapidly expanding and may dramatically increase the rate of introduction of alien species.
  • There is an enormous deficit in our knowledge of species richness in many groups of organisms, and monitoring in the Arctic is lagging far behind that in other regions of the world.
  • The multitude of changes in Arctic biodiversity – driven by climate and other anthropogenic stressors – will have profound effects on the living conditions of peoples in the Arctic.
###

Contact:

Chief scientist and executive editor, senior advisor DSc. Hans Meltofte

Department of Bioscience and Arctic Research Centre, Aarhus University

Chief Scientist and executive editor of the ABA

Tel. +45 8715 8691

Mobile tel. +45 2988 9278

Email: mel@dmu.dk

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All of the “studies” along these lines fall into the same tired old piece of circular logic.
“If all the really horrible things that we’ve convinced ourselves will happen, really DO happen, then it will be really horrible!!!”
Yeah, and if they don’t, then it won’t. This isn’t “science”, it’s wishcasting, an art that once was the domain of medieval soothsayers. I guess they’re back, or maybe they never really left.

Ron

Shows what can be produced when funding grants are provided by groups with an agenda. World domination of all natural resources and human behavior is the goal of those who would be in power through “global environmentalism”.

Latitude

they never question the “science” they base their claims on….just repeat it for fact

WestHighlander

Hans: If the current unseasonably cold conditions in the US should become more common — the Polar Bears can always migrate South to the shores of the Great Lakes — Superior is nearly completely frozen over for one of the few times in a century

If the polar bears cannot go north, they can go under…

Akatsukami

Now we know what niche telephone directory publishers went into.

Jeff

Remember the infinite number of monkeys able to type out all the works of Shakespeare? It looks like three of them pictured on the cover came up with this report….

Ian L. McQueen

Latitude says:
February 14, 2014 at 7:26 am
they never question the “science” they base their claims on….just repeat it for fact
Lattitude: I coined the word “assumerism” to cover their actions. They assume that a scientifically-valid link has already been shown between CO2 concentration and climate and that all they have to do is enlarge on it, suggest ways to ameliorate this problem that does not exist.
Ian M

If the polar bears are so threatened by rising temperatures, then why have their numbers more than doubled the past 50 years? Secondly, why is it always acidification by CO2, not by sulphuric emissions from Chinese coal fired power plants?

UK Marcus

Pseudo-science really pays well these days. It must derive from extrapolation-science.
And these ‘scientists’ work at a ‘university’, paid for by taxpayers!
If all the experts are so clever, how come the world’s in such a mess?

Vince Causey

It is a fact of nature that species go extinct. Strangely enough, periods of mass extinction have always heralded a diversity of new groups that evolve to take over the new environments. Without the two mass extinction events of the past we would probably be no further advanced that primitive rat-like mammals.
Not that I expect these apocalyptic predictions to materialise.

Alan the Brit

A planetary increase of 2 °C, the worldwide agreed upon acceptable limit of warming, is projected to result in vastly more heating in the Arctic with anticipated temperature increases of 2.8-7.8 °C this century. Such dramatic changes will likely result in severe damage to Arctic biodiversity.
◾Shipping and resource development corridors are rapidly expanding and may dramatically increase the rate of introduction of alien species.
Firstly, the Einstein statement that “A scientific consensus can be undone by a single fact!”. e.g. The last four Inter-glacials going back half a million years were warmer than today by………………………between 2 & 4 degrees C! This suggests to me that the Arctic was warmer also back then! We also know that the Arctic & indeed the Antarctic were ice free in the geological past. Where did the 7.8 degrees figure come from, from what I have been able to glean UNIPCC upward figures have been substantially reduced.
Secondly, if alien species are being transported from temperate climes to Arctic climes, suddenly, to all intense & purposes, are they remotely suggesting the these “alien species” will adapt so rapidly as to threaten local species, that have spent thousands of years if not millions, learning to adapt to the second most hostile environment on Earth! I doubt that very, very much!!! More likely the other way around & they wouldn’t be able to adapt so readily, & simply plain old curl up & die! I am not saying that it couldn’t happen, worse things happen at sea, but I find it highly unlikely (95% confidence level – if it’s good enough for them to pluck numbers out of the air, it’s good enough for me!) Happy Valentine’s Day folks, & HAGWE!

Paul Westhaver

… in other words…
HYPE HYPE HYPE from biologists clanging for more research money….
There is a catastrophe looming!!! Fund me, fund me, fund me, they say or doom will befall us all.
Brought to you by ManBearPig. the offsping of the Club of Rome.
http://www.jeremiahproject.com/newworldorder/club-of-rome.html

outdoorrink

Is there anything that CO2 doesn’t destroy?

more soylent green!

Two recently articles from the Wall Street Journal I haven’t seen covered elsewhere:
The first is about a breakthrough for fusion power:
A Star Is Born: U.S. Scores Fusion-Power Breakthrough
Experimental Reaction Yields Energy, but Sustainability Still Proves Elusive
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304888404579378920296615030
There’s also a video, but you have to sit through some ads — http://live.wsj.com/video/us-scientists-make-fusion-power-breakthrough-and-more/9A617B6B-4313-4AC0-8D24-9ED71DAE8222.html
The second is about the new solar power station in the Mojave killing birds.
The $2.2 Billion Bird-Scorching Solar Project
At California’s Ivanpah Plant, Mirrors Produce Heat and Electricity—And Kill Wildlife
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304703804579379230641329484
This also has a video — http://live.wsj.com/video/wildlife-worries-cause-solar-project-reassessment/CD1F2735-6EE2-4B51-8DB2-7327783BD3B2.html

John Tillman

Should the Arctic suddenly melt, polar bears would likely blend back into their ancestral stock of brown bear & Arctic foxes into swift foxes.

jakee308

It never ceases to amaze me that those who accept the past positives derived from evolution (which more or less assumes the extinction of some species at some point.) cannot accept the positives of any extinctions NOW for any reason.
It’s almost as if they believe they’re GOD. (or at least Mother Nature)

Alan the Brit

Latitude says:
February 14, 2014 at 7:26 am
they never question the “science” they base their claims on….just repeat it for fact
Lenin said, “If you repeat a lie often enough, it become truth!”
Hitler said in Mein Kampf, “The mass of the people would more readily believe a big lie, than a small one”.
AGW follows both these apt & highly accurate statements. What they do, particularly the left &
neo-left, is create a scare story, reinforce with as much hype as possible, they then close down debate as far as possible with trite remarks such as “the debate is over, the science is settled”. They then rapid move the scare story onwards to what are we going to do about it. Then they provide the solutions, which they already knew all along because it is part of then long term agenda. It’s very similar to how things operate in the PDRofEU. The EU pay WWF/FoE/Greenpiss & any other tin-pot NGOs to provide reports, upon which they can then base their Socialist agenda, on the grounds of something along the lines of “We don’t want to do this but well, look at the evidence, so we’d better do what the experts recommend!”
They’re doing exactly the same thing in the States. The EPA is the perfect subversion of the democratic process, ruling on “environmental & health endangerment” grounds, all based on flawed science. Using that august body of Presidential appointees, Obama can force through his agenda, right or wrong, virtually unchallenged! m The USA must take its country back, rein in the EPA & reduce its powers.

So how come polar bears live in Chicago zoos? Seems to me these guys are having a hard time finding reasons to care, even should their future come to pass. And why do these yokels believe we will still be emitting CO2 from our cars and power plants a hundred years from now? Carbon emissions are not a future technology, although I worry about what will happen if we succeed in reducing CO2 level to unhealthy levels. Now THAT would be mass extinction – of humans.

Dave in Canmore

wws says “Wishcasting”
Brilliant!!! Perfect description of this nonsense! The University bubble can’t crash fast enough.

Alan the Brit

outdoorrink says:
February 14, 2014 at 7:48 am
Is there anything that CO2 doesn’t destroy?
Nope, nothing! Fact! sarc off.

R2Dtoo

The second to the last bullet says it all. ” …an enormous deficit in our knowledge…” and “…monitoring in the Arctic is lagging far behind…” is not only a cry for more funding, but also a tacit admission that most of what the say is speculation based on the speculation of worst case climate models. The fact that 253 scientists are associated with this one group shows how many folks worldwide have their snouts in the trough.

kenin

“Climate change is by far the worst threat to Arctic biodiversity. Temperatures are expected to increase more in the Arctic compared to the global average, resulting in severe disruptions to Arctic biodiversity some of which are already visible,” warns Meltofte.
That’s interesting, I would think that the raping of the arctic resources is the one and only threat to arctic biodiversity. Military bases, hydro dams, new roads, oil /gas and what about the rail-lines being proposed by the mining companies; but no, its about CO2 only.. lol. Only God knows what their doing up there with those military bases.
Don’t look over there… no no no, look over sheeple.

outdoorrink says:
February 14, 2014 at 7:48 am
Is there anything that CO2 doesn’t destroy?
——————————————————-
University grants are known to thrive from increased CO2.

Mindert Eiting

Dutch proverb: ‘when the sky falls down everyone gets a blue hat’.

negrum

jakee308 says:
February 14, 2014 at 8:03 am
” It never ceases to amaze me that those who accept the past positives derived from evolution (which more or less assumes the extinction of some species at some point.) cannot accept the positives of any extinctions NOW for any reason. …”
—-l
If you could point out the positives of the current extinctions I am sure you could convince people to accept them.

Rascal

Guess they didn’t study anything about polar bears and Arctic foxes adapting to their environments.

TomRude

Melthofe has a public meltdown… One truly wonders how Polar Bears and the rest of the Arctic biodiversity managed during the Holocene Optimum, the Roman, the Medieval etc…
Reports compile literature. If the literature is biased…

Bill Parsons

The printed 674 pages report weighs an impressive 2.9 kg!
———————————————–
And the Aarhus University professors who require it in class should be able to extort equally hefty fees from the students who are forced to buy it, a price they can conveniently increase next year with a cd, – and the following year with supplemental information, and the following year with a new chapter… ad nauseum.

urederra

From the iconic polar bear and elusive narwhal to the tiny Arctic flowers and lichens that paint the tundra in the summer months, the Arctic is home to a diversity of highly adapted animal, plant, fungal and microbial species. All told, there are more than 21,000 species.

I just recall an article on WUWT about a paper where they claimed that some lichens were growing in places where no lichen was found during the last 50000 years and that was perceived as a bad thing. Some commenters pointed out the lack of logic in the statement. (I am trying to find the article, no luck so far)
Same happens here. If ice recede, more rock will be exposed for lichens to grow. You do not need a 100 million dollars supercomputer to see that.

Ralph Kramden

There has been no global warming in this century, the catastrophic global warming theory is going down by the bow. A these guys are rearranging the deck chairs.

Jim Cripwell

Thinking about the Arctic, there are currently some 20 yachts overwintering at Cambridge Bay, when they go stuck there last fall, when the ice closed the eastern exit at Prince Regent Inlet, and the western end at Cape Bathurst. I wonder whether they will be able to escape this season, without the help of icebreakers, at a cost of $50,000 per day

milodonharlani

negrum says:
February 14, 2014 at 8:13 am
Which current extinctions do you have in mind? There haven’t been many of multicellular organisms since the supposed onset of CACA c. 1977.
I personally am glad to see the smallpox virus go extinct in the wild. Too bad more pathogens haven’t been eradicated, along with some of their vectors. It’s unclear to me what benefit Anopheles (from the Greek for “good for nothing”) mosquitoes confer to ecosystems, for instance.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eradication_of_infectious_diseases

richard

I have written a lot of dumb things on this site and sometimes reading them back embarrases me, but nothing i have written compares to this,
‘Polar bears and the other highly adapted organisms cannot move further north, so they may go extinct’
The usual may, might or could in an alarmist story.
Damn if only I could earn millions for coming up with any crack pot story with the same auxiliary verbs .

mpainter

Well, now, such timing! Released in a winter of record cold with record arctic ice extent. These global warmers are never embarrassed and do not mind looking ridiculous.

“The report “Arctic Biodiversity Assessment ” was prepared by 253 scientists from 15 countries under the auspices of the Arctic Council. The printed 674 pages report weighs an impressive 2.9 kg!”
My warmist friend, Ernie, just called to discuss this report. I like talking to Ernie because it’s a good way to keep a finger on the pulse of the general public when it comes to CAGW. He was beside himself. “OMG!,” he said, “It’s worse than we thought. Hundreds of scientist, the Arctic Council, 700 pages. Do you know that 2.9 kg is 6.8 pounds! Do you have any books anywhere near that heavy? I don’t even need to read this. The Arctic is over, man, over. Melted, gone, fini.”
No reasoning with him, he’s a true believer. He wants me to contribute to his “Polar Bear Rescue Project”, geoengineering, I think. Next summer he wants to barge a refrigeration plant up to the North Slope of Alaska to make ice in environmental quantities to save the flora and fauna. The first of many. Of course it will have to be powered by diesel generators like everything up there. I didn’t bother to point that out. Or that it’s been much warmer in the past up there. Just upsets him even more.

Don Easterbrook

Amazing! 674 peer-reviewed pages and they didn’t bother to check real data from the Arctic. If they had, they would have found that recorded temperatures from multiple stations in Greenland were warmer in the 1930s than the recent warming (after 1978) and that 8,500 of the past 10,000 years were 3.5 to 5 degrees F warmer than present in the GISP2 ice core.

Gary Pearse

The trouble with university profs, bless their hearts, is they themselves tend to be 10-20 years out of date. I remember my first mining exploration job when I graduated and discovered geochemical sampling of soils, stream sediments and even spruce twigs was standard practice in grassroots mineral exploration. In university we learned that geochemical sampling was a new thing, presently being used in Finland – turns out this was recycled lecture notes for a couple of decades and industry had evolved the method over this time. The profs don’t go out to see what is really happening in the industry. I recall one economic geology prof who set up a consultancy for exploration and was surprised when he didn’t get any work.
This tome will have been in production for 10 years at least, fieldwork done a long time ago and a complete lack of awareness about the 1/7 of century with no warming. The reading they do will be the sanitized crap from Nature, etc. This is why it is called the ivory tower – they are remote from not only the arctic but the real world itself. They are like monks in a mountain-top monastery. This is precisely why the “Ship of Fools” set sail into the antarctic summer to chronicle the end of snow and ice and got stuck fast in ice and were whipped by blizzards. Like Candide, they live in the best of all possible worlds despite all the things to the contrary that are happening out in the real world.
http://www.shmoop.com/candide/summary.html

squidlyrumskadoo

Completely o/t but… hi folks, long time reader, first time commenter. I’ve been reading the Delingpole thread about Steyn and peeps keep bringing up the bunked-debunked-undebunked hokey stick.. what’s the deal for real? I’m a geologist with a warmist coworker and would dearly love to send him some links. Ty in advance. . Work nights.. probably won’t respond. . Back to lurk mode..

Not only is CO2 plant food; Co2 is grant food.

Resourceguy

Is it a pound foolish?

richard

Gary Pearse,
“Ten years”
and debunked in an afternoon.

All the data shows that the whole food web has benefited from the recent loss of ice from plankton, to cod to seals to bears.Polar bear experts have observed that heavy ice causes greater hardships, but then speculate less ice is the most dangerous.
http://landscapesandcycles.net/less-arctic-ice-can-be-beneficial.html
The polar winters will always be dark causing freezing winters with plenty of ice.
Most of the Arctic ice loss is due to intruding warm waters controlled by natural oscillations. http://landscapesandcycles.net/antarctic-sea-ice–climate-change-indicator.html

TRM

wws says: “wishcasting”
Ian L. McQueen says: “assumerism”
mpcraig says: ” Co2 is grant food.”
and of course Don Easterbrook killing their study with those pesky FACTS from reality. A place the authors don’t visit much 🙂
God I love this site! You guys just made my day. Love it and keep it coming. Cheers

negrum

milodonharlani says:
February 14, 2014 at
“Which current extinctions do you have in mind? … ”
—-l
I am trying to work out which extinctions jakee308 had in mind. Given the subject of the post I don’t think he was referring to the same extinctions as you were (which, I agree, do not seem to be to the disadvantage of humanity). Can you think of any possible extinctions (multicellular or otherwise) which would not be of benefit to the human race?
I am assuming that his references to positives refer to human point of view, and not the species that became extinct or the biological kingdom as an entity 🙂

Steve Keohane

I think the validity being inversely proportional to the number of contributors applies here.

kenin

If we had to trace back all propaganda to the source, it would eventually take you to The Inner City Of London. Actually maybe even further…….The V_ _ _ _ _ n

It is expected that climate change could shrink Arctic ecosystems on land,
When you have to double up on your disclaimers like that, you need to think carefully about your conclusions.

negrum says:
February 14, 2014 at 9:30 am

I am trying to work out which extinctions jakee308 had in mind.

From context it’s obvious. He’s talking about the mechanism by which evolution occurs: extinction of the less suitable. Extinctions are always good because they give more suitable organisms access to the resources that the less suitable organisms were formerly hogging.

Mike Smith

The greatest threat to bio-diversity is the Marxist/Leninist outlook displayed by the warmists.