Claim: Bird Numbers in the Mojave Crashing Because of Global Warming

Ivanpah Solar Concentrator, Mojave Desert

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

A new study claims that bird numbers are plummeting in the Mojave Desert region because of climate change. This appears to be occurring despite efforts by local authorities in the region to reduce CO2 emissions by filling the desert with wind turbines and solar concentrators.

Study: Climate change possible cause of bird species decline

Aug. 19, 2018

The study shows almost a third of species are less common and widespread now than they once were throughout the region.

The study’s authors, Steven Beissinger and Kelly Iknayan, point to less hospitable conditions in the Mojave Desert as the probable cause.

“California deserts have already experienced quite a bit of drying and warming because of climate change, and this might be enough to push birds over the edge,” said Iknayan, who conducted the research for her doctoral thesis at UC Berkeley. “It seems like we are losing part of the desert ecosystem.”

The Mojave Desert is now nearly half empty of birds,” said Beissinger, a UC Berkeley professor of environmental science, policy and management. “This appears to be a new baseline, and we don’t know if it’s stable or if it will continue to decline.”

“Studies elsewhere have found that climate change typically makes places unfavorable for some birds but opens the door for others to come in,” Iknayan said. “In the desert, we are not seeing increases in any of our species except for the common raven. There are a lack of climate change winners in the system.”

Read more: https://www.sfchronicle.com/science/article/Study-Climate-change-possible-cause-of-bird-13167195.php

The abstract of the study;

Collapse of a desert bird community over the past century driven by climate change

Kelly J. Iknayan and Steven R. Beissinger
PNAS August 6, 2018

Climate change has caused deserts, already defined by climatic extremes, to warm and dry more rapidly than other ecoregions in the contiguous United States over the last 50 years. Desert birds persist near the edge of their physiological limits, and climate change could cause lethal dehydration and hyperthermia, leading to decline or extirpation of some species. We evaluated how desert birds have responded to climate and habitat change by resurveying historic sites throughout the Mojave Desert that were originally surveyed for avian diversity during the early 20th century by Joseph Grinnell and colleagues. We found strong evidence of an avian community in collapse. Sites lost on average 43% of their species, and occupancy probability declined significantly for 39 of 135 breeding birds. The common raven was the only native species to substantially increase across survey sites. Climate change, particularly decline in precipitation, was the most important driver of site-level persistence, while habitat change had a secondary influence. Habitat preference and diet were the two most important species traits associated with occupancy change. The presence of surface water reduced the loss of site-level richness, creating refugia. The collapse of the avian community over the past century may indicate a larger imbalance in the Mojave and provide an early warning of future ecosystem disintegration, given climate models unanimously predict an increasingly dry and hot future.

Read more: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2018/07/31/1805123115

Interesting that a highly intelligent, opportunistic scavenger species like the common raven is doing well, in a region littered with renewable power installations.

Update (EW): Added the Bird vs Wind Turbine video

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2hotel9
August 20, 2018 6:27 pm

I was going to ask, isn’t that where they built that huge solar array plant, answered before asked. So, another question. Can we now sue these idiots and force them to pay to rip all that crap out? I know, just a dream.

RyanS
Reply to  2hotel9
August 20, 2018 9:05 pm

No, the Mojave is big, the renewable areas are small and the research areas are here http://mvz.berkeley.edu/Grinnell/

Bryan A
Reply to  RyanS
August 20, 2018 10:14 pm

There is a problem with the study zone map mentioned in your link. The study cited that the Mojave Desert was the area studied at numerous points in the article yet the map you’ve linked to doesn’t indicate any Mojave Desert areas within any of the boundaries. The closest is Joshua Tree National Park to the south and Death Valley to the north but the area of the Mojave Desert isn’t highlighted

Reply to  Bryan A
August 21, 2018 9:58 am

The Grinnell link isn’t the area covered by this study but is a different study by the same department. Since the study was designed to revisit the sites studied in the early 20th century they were limited to those sites:
“The majority of sites (58 of 61) were on federal lands managed by the NPS, US Bureau of Land Management (BLM), US Forest Service (USFS), and US Fish and Wildlife Service (SI Appendix, Fig. S1). Only one site experienced development from the historic time period; resurvey of this site occurred <1 km away in habitat matching historic descriptions."

2hotel9
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 4:28 am

And yet maintenance staff at these facilities spend a good portion of their time cleaning up dead birds so they do not interfere with facility operations, not to mention all the dead birds in the immediate vicinity of windmills. This even happens in PA where I live, birds getting whacked by windmill blades.

As for the tiny area this study was done in, why so small? They have all kinds of tax dollars to waste and total freedom of movement throughout the region. So why focus on such a small area? Seems a bit suspicious, like the “study” that shows a decline of songbirds, and their “study” areas are in the center of major metropolitan parks, not out in the world where birds actually live. I am highly suspicious of studies done in very limited areas which then proclaim trends over a vast region of a continent. Sound like more politically motivated “facts” to drive more tax dollar supplied funding.

Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 5:25 am

1. Ravens eat eggs and other birds.
2. When ravens increase other birds decrease.
3. Ravens are not a desert species.

What the researchers have found is that ravens are moving in as the Mojave is greening and displacing the desert species.

RyanS
Reply to  ferdberple
August 21, 2018 5:32 am

“researchers have found is that ravens are moving in as the Mojave is greening and displacing the desert species”

So nothing to do with wind turbines?

MarkW
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 7:28 am

In Ryan’s mind, there can only be one cause for any change.

Bryan A
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 9:51 am

But It’s a Dry Greening

SJM
Reply to  ferdberple
August 21, 2018 5:43 am

I’m afraid you’ve fallen for some propaganda. Ravens numbers have increased in The Mojave over the last 35 years due to human influence. They are desert birds, just uncommon in The Mojave, not abscent. Humans are messy and where there is trash or handouts from the ignorant you’ll find the highly intelligent raven.
https://www.nps.gov/articles/ravens.htm
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_raven

Reply to  SJM
August 21, 2018 6:41 am

Ravens and crows prey on songbirds. Anywhere you see the raven and crow populations increasing you are very likely to see songbird populations decreasing.

Humans brought garbage to the Mojave long before the raven population exploded. One could just as well argue that the raven population exploded AFTER laws were passed against littering.

In reality, people used to shoot nuisance birds such as ravens that scavenged garbage, and thereby protected the songbirds from predation. So it could just as easily be said that regulations are killing the songbirds.

Reply to  SJM
August 21, 2018 6:54 am

“the highly intelligent raven.”
======
You don’t even need to kill all the crows and ravens to have them avoid garbage dumps. You only need make an example of a few and the rest will learn. Sort of the same way we convince people not to murder each other.

The problem is that these birds have learned that they have nothing to fear from humans and so they have become a nuisance by scavenging garbage as a food source and thereby increasing numbers well beyond what nature would otherwise provide.

Reply to  SJM
August 21, 2018 6:57 am

The decline in songbird populations is not unique to the Mojave.

Bryan A
Reply to  ferdberple
August 21, 2018 9:54 am

They all moved to My Neighborhood. Our Songbird nesting sites are being inhabited for the third time this year so will be the Third Hatching in September

Sheri
Reply to  ferdberple
August 21, 2018 6:21 am

Ravens are scavengers and the wind and solar give them plenty to scavage.

tty
Reply to  ferdberple
August 21, 2018 9:00 am

Ravens is a desert species. It is an any-habitat-anywhere-from-the-high-arctic-to-the tropics species.
I once found a nest at Badwater in Death Valley. It doesn’t get much desertier than that.

MarkW
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 7:27 am

1) Birds are attracted to the solar grid because on the horizon it looks like a lake.
2) Wind turbines are placed in breezeways that are also favorite corridors for birds.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 7:40 am

Believe it or not, birds are highly mobile and cover a large area. And that link doesn’t appear to have anything to do with this dissertation.

Edwin
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 10:46 am

Sorry RyanS it doesn’t require a huge increase in directed mortality to impact an animal population. Once a bird reaches maturity they have a high probability of living a normal life unless directed mortality increases. Example, we know we don’t have to fish the entire ocean to collapse marine fish species. Wind turbines, solar arrays and solar concentrators (heck even guided wire towers) all have “take permits” meaning they are allowed to kill a lot of birds. Take permits would not be issued if these devices were killing only a handful per year.

kramer
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 12:42 pm

UK Ecologist: ‘Wind Farms Driving Birds, Bats to Extinction’
https://www.kcet.org/redefine/uk-ecologist-wind-farms-driving-birds-bats-to-extinction

“Between 6-18 million birds and bats are killed by Spanish wind farms each year Hambler says, including 400 griffon vultures per year just at Navarro. German wind turbines kill at least 200,000 bats per year, depressing populations up to 2,000 miles away.”

I don’t know if that solar array is killing many birds but if it is, it is conceivable that it could be depressing numbers far away like the article above says regarding bats.

Bigger question is, why we are building these almost useless wind turbines. They are a blight on the environment, are noisy for those who live near them, and according to James Hansen, are only good (wind and solar) for a few percent of total energy production.

Mike M
Reply to  RyanS
August 22, 2018 8:29 pm

How many places in the Mojave look like a large lake from ten miles away?
http://i.imgur.com/KPltu5F.jpg

JCalvertN(UK)
Reply to  RyanS
August 26, 2018 5:16 pm

They might not be relevant this study or to this discussion, but those are *very* interesting photograph pairs. One can’t help noticing how much thicker is the growth in the more recent photographs.

n.n
Reply to  2hotel9
August 20, 2018 10:52 pm

They should at least curb the marketing and political myths. One bird in traditional environmentalism colors “green” solutions gray. And that’s just during operation, excluding recovery, production, and reclamation phases.

Carbon Bigfoot
Reply to  2hotel9
August 21, 2018 2:00 pm

You forgot the O’Bummer admin. gave the industry a 30 year exemption to their Wind Power Cronies including GE so they could slaughter all these creatures with impunity. Oh did I forgot all these gobmint contracts and kickbacks…just sayin.

August 20, 2018 6:28 pm

They are worried about the birds? Really?

R. Shearer
Reply to  Chaamjamal
August 20, 2018 6:59 pm

Only the ones that aren’t completely vaporized or chopped to bits, as then they have to account for their carcasses. Otherwise, they see nothing and no problem.

rocketscientist
Reply to  Chaamjamal
August 20, 2018 9:05 pm

Take away the birds and we may become overrun with rodents and insects. Has climate change also reduced those populations as well, or are those population growing?
I wonder if coyotes are becoming accustomed to fried chicken?

HotScot
Reply to  rocketscientist
August 21, 2018 3:19 am

rocketscientist

Don’t you know that vermin are ONLY affected by climate change by allowing their numbers to multiply.

Doubtless that includes cattle the greens so despise.

Reply to  rocketscientist
August 21, 2018 6:37 am

“Has climate change also reduced those populations as well

No, but it has apparently increased grammatical redundancy. 🙂

John M. Ware
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
August 21, 2018 6:47 am

But we can really, truly say that those populations are undoubtedly and indubitably reduced in addition to–and over and above–the numbers given, cited, and . . . well, that’s enough, sufficient, and I’m out of energy for that. It was fun, though.

Gil
Reply to  rocketscientist
August 21, 2018 9:49 am

Blaming reduction in bird population on climate change is a conjecture, especially in view of the lack of any significant climate change in the last 20 years. However, there’s plenty of empirical, objective evidence of decimation of bird and insect populations by wind and solar projects in the Mojave Desert of California, so the hypothesis that those projects are the cause of fewer birds has actual observational evidence of a direct connection, making it a more likely explanation.

Check out the article here on WUWT on 8/1/2016: Google “Daily Caller, Obama-backed solar project incinerated…” Also, the Daily Caller on 6/21/2017 reported that the Interior secretary has called solar project a “sphere of death” for birds. “Is that the future of having these three or four eighty foot towers with reflector cells the size of garage doors where it makes this cone — this sphere of death — so as birds go through it they get zapped,” Zinke said.
Auditors estimated the Ivanpah plant killed 6,185 birds in 2015, including about 1,145 birds that were incinerated by the the intense heat coming off its many mirrored heliostat panels.
“And, they invent new language for it. It’s called a streamer. A streamer,” Zinke said of the incinerated birds. “And, then what happens is the bird gets zapped and of course bugs become a part of it and then it draws more birds.”

Gil
Reply to  Gil
August 21, 2018 9:52 am

Note that those figures were for 2015. There’s been almost 2¾ more years of zapping since then.

Chris
Reply to  Gil
August 21, 2018 10:30 am

So that’s 6,000+ birds at Ivanpah compared to a decline in the millions across the Mojave.

Carbon Bigfoot
Reply to  Chaamjamal
August 21, 2018 2:27 pm

The Audubon Society conspicuously absent during this travesty.

Tom Halla
August 20, 2018 6:30 pm

What did the climate in the Mojave actually do over that period? There has been so much “adjustment” of temperature records is should be difficult to tell.

August 20, 2018 6:36 pm

Those Ravens are a pretty smart bird and have learned quickly to give those Greenies bird-chomping wind turbines and solar-power frying units a very wide berth. They can also easily pick up chopped up bits from under the wind-turbines and fried chicken at the solar-power units.

knr
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
August 21, 2018 2:01 am

hence why they have grown in numbers , I wonder if they look at how these numbers had grown or did they develop a blind spot ‘climate change’ caused of course?

Philip Schaeffer
Reply to  knr
August 21, 2018 2:24 am

“hence why they have grown in numbers”

Yeah, that’s scientific. Oops, sorry, I was wrong, you just pulled that straight out of your butt.

2hotel9
Reply to  Philip Schaeffer
August 21, 2018 4:33 am

Increased availability of food means increased numbers. But hey! Don’t accept reality, it is still a free country.

Philip Schaeffer
Reply to  2hotel9
August 21, 2018 4:50 am

Yeah, more food means more numbers! So it’s a simple as that. It must be more ravens because of the solar and wind farms. Case closed, so you can assert that with confidence…. Scientifically solid.

Really? Do I have to explain how weak that is?

2hotel9
Reply to  Philip Schaeffer
August 21, 2018 5:53 am

No, we all understand how weak you are, you insist on proving it repeatedly without end.

Philip Schaeffer
Reply to  2hotel9
August 21, 2018 6:47 am

ooh, burn.

MarkW
Reply to  Philip Schaeffer
August 21, 2018 7:31 am

CVS has several ointments that are good for burns.

MarkW
Reply to  Philip Schaeffer
August 21, 2018 7:30 am

Philip is yet another example of an alarmist growing ever more bitter as his favorite religion continues to fall apart.

Philip Schaeffer
Reply to  MarkW
August 21, 2018 7:52 am

What have I said that is alarmist?

DonM
Reply to  Philip Schaeffer
August 21, 2018 9:19 am

What have you ever said that isn’t?

MarkW
Reply to  Philip Schaeffer
August 21, 2018 9:32 am

This time, not much, other times, lots.

Philip Schaeffer
Reply to  MarkW
August 21, 2018 10:40 am

“What have you ever said that isn’t?”

Cop out.

“This time, not much, other times, lots.”

Well, go on then. Quote me.

2hotel9
Reply to  MarkW
August 21, 2018 2:32 pm

Ah, now Phil is gonna pout. We should be ashamed of our,,,,,,,,,Naw! Heading out, got reservations at Van Rensselaer’s at 18:00, eat some excellent seafood and drink some Beach Blond draft. Later, y’all.

DonM
Reply to  Philip Schaeffer
August 21, 2018 9:34 am

seriously, copy & paste a cogent quote (that is lacking in exaggeration or willful ignorance).

simple questions don’t count. simple statements (“oooh burn”) don’t count.

2hotel9
Reply to  Philip Schaeffer
August 21, 2018 2:27 pm

What have you said that isn’t alarmist? Here, let me ‘splain it to you, Lucy. Humans are not causing the climate to change, humans can do NOTHING to stop the climate from changing.(wish I could type that in a Cuban accent) You, like the vast majority of humans(including me), are insignificant. Only a tiny percentage of humans have any effect on the race at large, and a large part of that percentage have a negative effect on the human race. Ponder upon that for awhile. You are just not that important in the grand scheme of things. Neither are the vast majority of other people. Get over yourself.

Philip Schaeffer
Reply to  2hotel9
August 22, 2018 4:42 am

2hotel9 said:

“Here, let me ‘splain it to you,”

And now we get to the heart of the issue. You declare that humans are insignificant on a scale you can’t quantify, and so therefore saying that anything important is caused by us is alarmist.

Scienceness. Like truthinesss, but… well, no, it makes just as much sense.

MarkW
Reply to  Philip Schaeffer
August 22, 2018 8:35 am

Claiming that a few tenths of a degree of warming is dangerous, is alarmist.

Philip Schaeffer
Reply to  MarkW
August 24, 2018 5:59 am

Where did I say that?

Gary Ashe
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
August 21, 2018 2:36 am

That is clever Nicholas, picking up carrion around the sites whilst giving them a wide birth.

Solomon Green
Reply to  Gary Ashe
August 21, 2018 5:23 am

If one has ever watched carrion crows and other corvids, they might note that, unlike kites most birds of prey, they often descend to earth some distance from the carrion and walk to their meal. Perhaps ornithogusts might be able to explain the reason

Dr. Deanster
Reply to  Solomon Green
August 21, 2018 5:51 am

AND ….. they are pretty dang good at dodging oncoming cars. I rarely see a dead Crow on the side of the road …. I would guess they are also pretty good at dodging windmills.

william Johnston
Reply to  Solomon Green
August 21, 2018 6:12 am

Just working up an appetite??????

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Solomon Green
August 21, 2018 7:58 am

Probably as a precaution for making sure there are no predators hidden from above by cover.

Pat Frank
Reply to  Gary Ashe
August 21, 2018 9:17 am

You’ve never seen a raven with a lasso?

rocketscientist
Reply to  Pat Frank
August 21, 2018 9:57 am

No, but they do know how to manipulate a string to obtain the food tied to its end. A classic experiment that tested crows ability to access food, found that crows were able to obtain food that was suspended on a string tied to a horizontal bar (tree branch). They learned to reach below the perch and grasp the string with their beaks. They would then pull up the string and step on the portion which draped over the branch. By subsequent reaching, lifting and grasping the desired food was hoisted to the perch.
Damn clever birds!

ATheoK
August 20, 2018 6:39 pm

Another study where loose associations are elevated to correlations and thence to causation.

All through researcher belief and assumptions.

It’s a form of confirmation bias.
Jokers, fakirs and scam artists masquerading as researchers.

RyanS
Reply to  ATheoK
August 20, 2018 6:53 pm

What do you put the collapse of the bird communities down to?

Davis
Reply to  RyanS
August 20, 2018 6:56 pm

Probably chopped up by the wind turbines, or cooked to death by the solar concentrators.

Chris
Reply to  Davis
August 21, 2018 9:33 pm

Davis – except there aren’t any wind turbine farms located in the areas surveyed. There are 2 solar concentrator power plants and a few solar sites, totaling .07% of the total area of the Mojave.

MarkW
Reply to  Chris
August 22, 2018 8:40 am

Birds don’t stay in the areas being surveyed.

Pierre
Reply to  RyanS
August 20, 2018 7:00 pm

Your AI circuits don’t do well with sarcasm Ryan,

RyanS
Reply to  Pierre
August 20, 2018 7:06 pm

Are you being sarcastic? I was just asking a question.
What do you put it down to?

Editor
Reply to  RyanS
August 20, 2018 7:37 pm

That question was answered: Many were killed by the greatly increased number of windmills, killed by the solar collectors added the past few years, and others lost due to their PREY being killed by the solar collector disruption (ground and heat and solar glare and direct deaths and range land/forage area destruction by the collectors, the roads and the new power lines added over previous empty wilderness.

RyanS
Reply to  RACookPE1978
August 20, 2018 8:36 pm

But the Mojave is huge and the wind turbines and collectors aren’t in the study areas.

JohnB
Reply to  RyanS
August 20, 2018 8:50 pm

Are you really this dense? Birds move from area to area using the prevailing winds. The wind farms are placed where the prevailing winds are strongest. Therefore the wind farms are placed in exactly the areas the birds will travel through to get from A to B.

Think of it this way: If the roosting area was in Brisbane and the feeding area was in northern NSW, what happens if we put a wind farm at Tweed Heads? Now do you get it?

RyanS
Reply to  JohnB
August 20, 2018 9:20 pm

Speaking of dense, you realise the prevailing wind only blows in one direction, so half the time the poor little buggers have a headwind too.
No, the bird-chopper meme is fake news. It seems they only harm English speaking birds. Find some actual evidence for it or stop believing it.

Bryan A
Reply to  RyanS
August 20, 2018 10:19 pm

Still 1.5 birds and 2 bats killed per year per turbine

RyanS
Reply to  Bryan A
August 20, 2018 11:03 pm

3 birds in 2 years? I’ll go through that in 2 months.

2hotel9
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 4:37 am

So, you enjoy killing endangered species? Really? Thats interesting.

MarkW
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 7:37 am

Ryan, do you know enough math to know what per turbine means? Are you actually dense enough to believe that there is only one wind turbine out there?

Bryan A
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 9:57 am

RyanS

3 birds in 2 years? I’ll go through that in 2 months

Times how many hundreds of thousands of Turbines?
FYI the .5 is 1 Raptor for every 2 turbines

Chris
Reply to  Bryan A
August 21, 2018 10:32 am

Bryan said: “Times how many hundreds of thousands of Turbines?
FYI the .5 is 1 Raptor for every 2 turbines.”

Show us proof that there are 100s of thousands of turbines in the Mojave.

Bryan A
Reply to  Chris
August 21, 2018 12:19 pm

Times how many Hundreds of Thousands of Bird Choppers both Inside AND OUTSIDE (global current est 350,000-400,000) the Mojave Basin Tehachapi has over 4000

Chris
Reply to  Bryan A
August 21, 2018 9:35 pm

Bryan A, Techachapi Pass is 100 miles away from the areas surveyed. it is nowhere near the areas surveyed, and there are no wind farms in the area surveyed.

Sheri
Reply to  Bryan A
August 21, 2018 11:16 am

The 1000 new turbines get TWO permits to kill eagles. How many dead eagles does that make? How many are illegally killed and they should be fined for?

Edwin
Reply to  Bryan A
August 21, 2018 6:29 pm

Bryan A, your numbers are much lower than what USFWS estimate which is 6 to 8 per turbine per year.

MarkW
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 7:36 am

Speaking of dense, Ryan is eager to show his.
Prevailing winds, like all winds, blow only one direction AT A TIME.
At different times of day and different times of year, prevailing winds can and do change direction.
There are also times when the winds aren’t blowing at all.

Steve Reddish
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 8:59 am

Birds would use alternate route for return trip. They are smart enough to know not to fight Nature.

But, they aren’t so savvy about Man-made contraptions. They would make repeated trips through the wind farm, until they get chopped.

SR

RyanS
Reply to  Steve Reddish
August 21, 2018 9:06 am

Do think that is what has decimated the birds in the Mojave?

Sheri
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 10:55 am

Pay attention to the reality of the deaths and stop believing the lies of wind.

Edwin
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 6:36 pm

RyanS, This is from the USFWS site on the issue. “The most comprehensive and statistically sound estimates show that bird deaths from turbine collisions are between 140,000 and 500,000 birds per year. As wind energy capacity increases under the DOE’s mandate (a six-fold increase from current levels), statistical models predict that mean bird deaths resulting in collisions with turbines could reach 1.4 million birds/year.”

Note: you should love the 1.4 million number since it is derived from a model. If one uses the 140,000 and the 500,000 range and multiply that times the six-fold increase then we are talking about a whole lot more birds dying than 1.4 million. Of course the model could be assuming lower bird densities from increased directed mortality.

Thing is that many of the raptors are not abundant in the first place. We spent tens of millions on raptor conservation since 1969. Now we are going to kill them at a higher rate for what?

RyanS
Reply to  Edwin
August 21, 2018 7:33 pm

Fair enough but if you are going to genuinely tackle the bird numbers issue where do start triage?

MarkW
Reply to  RyanS
August 22, 2018 8:43 am

You start where you can make a difference.
There is nothing we can do about the natural cycle of drought in the southwest.
Turbines and solar arrays have no value, get rid of them.

2hotel9
Reply to  JohnB
August 21, 2018 4:36 am

No, just sticking to his agenda. Politics uber alles.

RyanS
Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 20, 2018 9:25 pm

It seems they are not Eric. Many of the 43% of species are small, sedentry, ground-dwelling birds unaffected by wind or solar installations.

Robert of Texas
Reply to  RyanS
August 20, 2018 9:49 pm

The point is that there is not enough information to put down the alleged bird population decreases to any cause. It could be due to many different things, or it might be a difference in how populations have been measured.

Chris
Reply to  Robert of Texas
August 20, 2018 9:57 pm

“The point is that there is not enough information to put down the alleged bird population decreases to any cause. It could be due to many different things, or it might be a difference in how populations have been measured.”

Specifically what additional information is required?

MarkW
Reply to  Chris
August 21, 2018 7:39 am

Chris, that’s why you do studies.

Chris
Reply to  MarkW
August 21, 2018 8:11 am

“Chris, that’s why you do studies.”

Vague, hand-waving generalities – MarkW’s specialty. No actual details that might be criticized, just fluff.

MarkW
Reply to  Chris
August 21, 2018 9:34 am

The truth really does bother Chris and the other alarmists.

Edwin
Reply to  Chris
August 22, 2018 10:29 am

Chris, USFWS Take Permits require the holders to do dead bird counts by species. How well those counts are actually done is up to USFWS in the area where to turbines and array are located. I was involved in one guided wire extremely tall transmission tower. We demanded at least daily counts because scavengers would pick up carcasses if left longer. USFWS, if I remember correctly, only required weekly counts. I haven’t checked the wording for the Take Permit for wind turbines. My guess is it might require a FOI request to find out.

2hotel9
Reply to  Robert of Texas
August 21, 2018 4:40 am

Or their tiny study area was chosen to get the results which they desired.

Bryan A
Reply to  RyanS
August 20, 2018 10:22 pm

What do those small sedentary, ground dwelling birds eat?

2hotel9
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 4:38 am

Sedentary ground dwelling? In a desert? Wow, you just get funnier by the post.

RyanS
Reply to  2hotel9
August 21, 2018 4:50 am

For a laugh, look up sedentary bird.

2hotel9
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 5:56 am

That is the best you got? Birds in desert areas don’t have the option to be sedentary, they got to continuously search for food and evade predators, can’t just sit on the couch and order pizza like you.

RyanS
Reply to  2hotel9
August 21, 2018 6:04 am

lol. You didn’t google it did you?
Sedentary in bird parlance doesn’t mean sitting on the lounge it means non-migratory.

Gil
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 7:42 am

RS, but you said they were ground-dwelling.

RyanS
Reply to  Gil
August 21, 2018 8:25 am

Some birds are sedentary, some birds are ground-dwelling, some are both.

2hotel9
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 5:43 pm

Sitting on the moldy couch in your Mom’s basement is the very definition of sedentary, and birds in any desert are not sedentary, they may only migrate short distances from season to season, they do not remain in a single, narrowly defined area. Please tell me you are not this (SNIPPED) MOD

RyanS
Reply to  2hotel9
August 21, 2018 5:51 pm

mod this needs to be snipped

RyanS
Reply to  2hotel9
August 21, 2018 11:06 pm

Mod, I repeat this needed snipping 5 hours ago.

MarkW
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 7:38 am

OK Ryan, so your argument is now that since wind turbines don’t kill all of the endangered species, they aren’t a problem for any of them?

Chris
Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 20, 2018 9:56 pm

“Applying the “precautionary principle”, the solar collectors and turbines which are known to harm birds should all be dismantled, just in case they are applying pressure on already endangered populations.”

So if bird populations decline near coal mines, Eric, you’d be in favor of those coal mines being shut down? Same for coal-fired power plants?

2hotel9
Reply to  Chris
August 21, 2018 4:41 am

Bird populations increase in the areas of coal mines. I live near several and they are just polluted with birds of all types. Funny how that works.

Chris
Reply to  2hotel9
August 21, 2018 8:13 am

Funny how 2hotel attempts to prove his point by just saying it.

2hotel9
Reply to  Chris
August 21, 2018 12:17 pm

That is all it takes, sweety. No prove me wrong. Only takes one sentence! That is all you got, so vomit it forth.

Chris
Reply to  2hotel9
August 21, 2018 9:39 pm

You’re wrong, 2hotel. See, I can play the same stupid proof by assertion game you do. Wow, this is so much easier than researching a topic and articulating a position.

knr
Reply to  Chris
August 21, 2018 6:28 am

funny thing is that claim has indeed by made

Reply to  knr
August 21, 2018 6:42 am

“funny thing is that claim has indeed by made”

Wow, you can’t even proofread a single sentence, and make corrections before hitting post.

Bryan A
Reply to  RyanS
August 20, 2018 10:17 pm

The Mojave Desert National Park area also isn’t in the study area you had linked to

old construction worker
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 2:12 am

What makes you think the birds stayed in the study areas.

MarkW
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 7:34 am

Poor little Ryan, he actually believes that birds stay in the tiny little study areas.

Chris
Reply to  RACookPE1978
August 20, 2018 10:09 pm

RACook said: “That question was answered: Many were killed by the greatly increased number of windmills…”

Which specific Mojave desert-based wind turbines are you referring to?

2hotel9
Reply to  Chris
August 21, 2018 12:17 pm

All of them, moron, do try to keep up.

Chris
Reply to  2hotel9
August 21, 2018 9:41 pm

2hotel9 – Moron, there aren’t any wind farms in the areas surveyed. Zero. You’re too lazy to check. Pathetic.

Don
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 3:02 am

Ryan has legitimate questions and concerns. My general answer would be that most likely bird declines are due to climate change (or at least decreased precipitation) but climate change isn’t due to CO2. In like manner the California fires might be exacerbated by “climate change” but it’s really a leap of faith to attribute this change to CO2.

So why do 97% of scientists say that CO2 causes climate change, if indeed 97% do (it seems to me that 97% of 40% of respondents would equal something closer to 39%!) Because this is the theory, but curiously this theory has no experimental proof whatsoever, and in fact observational data tells us that CO2 isn’t affecting the climate as predicted.

What data? Well for example balloon data and satellite data that tells us that the troposphere isn’t warming nearly as much as predicted, and that the tropospheric “hotspot” hasn’t been found. Now “skepticalscience,” that blog of misinformation, will tell us that “other” satellite data has been left out but so far as I know this is blatantly false, and if Carl Mears, who processes satellite data and is an alarmist, agrees with Christy, who processes different satellite data and is a skeptic, both agree that satellite data doesn’t match predictions, then I think we can say that it doesn’t.

But skepticalsceince, that blog of misinformation, will insist that we don’t live up at 300 hPa in the troposphere, where the hotspot should be. Skepticalscience seems not to understand that CO2 should be affecting the bulk atmosphere, as predicted all along and as stated clearly by the IPCC; in fact how it affects the troposphere at 300 hPa would’ve been proof of CO2’s action, and if this hotspot had been found then I’d be a believer.

But now we quietly dispense with the hotspot altogether, even though that was supposed to be the scientific prediction waiting to confirm the theory (but who gives a damn about confirmation? It’s all about theory!) Now we say, gently or even implicitly, that it doesn’t matter if the hotspot is found or not, CO2 raises the emissions height and we count down from there, using the lapse rate, to get surface temperature. Seriously? So emissions height now determines surface pressure too? The wonders of CO2! Conveniently no one can confirm that the emissions height has been raised, and I say it wouldn’t make any difference anyhow.

Climate science is unconfirmed theory masquerading as rigorous science. It misappropriates causes for its proof because it has no real scientific proof. Hence, birds disappearing because of climate change. It’s about defending your theory at all costs. Rigorous science doesn’t conflate causation and is very careful not to do so.

RyanS
Reply to  Don
August 21, 2018 3:38 am

Rigorous science doesn’t conflate causation and is very careful not to do so.

Hang on Don. The researchers found the climate there has changed: it’s become warmer and dryer. They think that offers the best explanation as to why so many species have disappeared. They made no satements about AGW. So how are they guilty of misappropriating a cause or conflating anything?

Then along comes Mr Worrel (the bird-lover) and tries to sex this up as some kind of dangerous machinery story, so dangerous its killed all the birds. Zero evidence, but Mr Worrel has um well with careless abandon, conflated causation and misappropriated a cause – rigourous science? More like a masquerade.

RyanS
Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 21, 2018 4:25 am

“look a little closer the suggestion is warmer didn’t bother the birds”
Where does it suggest that?

RyanS
Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 21, 2018 4:57 am

“Bird killers” didn’t seem to bother them either. Not even a suggestion. But afterall would local field experts know about these things?

2hotel9
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 12:19 pm

The fact warmer produces more plant growth, which produces more seeds, which feeds more birds, which produces more birds. Ya know, pinhead, that whole “cycle of life” thingy?

Chris
Reply to  2hotel9
August 21, 2018 9:44 pm

Duh, 2 hotel, you’re ignoring the role that water plays. Kind of important in a place that only receives 5 inches per year. The paper concluded that declining rainfall was the main factor, not warmer temperatures. You’d know that if you bothered to read the paper.

Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 6:44 am

“Rigorous science doesn’t conflate causation and is very careful not to do so.”

Do rigorous scientists expect climate to remain static?

Don
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 7:24 am

Ryan, you’re basically right but look at what’s happening: the implicit assumption is that climate change is due to CO2. Whenever anyone says “climate change” they are implicitly, not explicitly, referring to the theory of CO2 warming. I’m not imagining this or making it up, it’s all over the place. It’s a sloppy way of supporting the theory of CO2 warming: climate change, therefore the theory of CO2 warming is correct. Climate change is not in itself evidence of CO2 warming. On the other hand if the theory makes specific, measurable predictions regarding atmospheric behavior and those predictions come to pass, then that would indeed be evidence. But the opposite of this has happened: the predicted behavior of the troposphere, where the effects would be most noticeable, haven’t come to pass. The public doesn’t understand this, and apparently 97% of scientists are too blinded by adherence to theory to pay attention to fact.

I believe in climate change. I do not believe in CO2–induced climate change to any degree that matters.

Climate scientists seem curiously allergic to specific experiments and prefer to model and to make broad assumptions based on … on “climate change”, which must be caused by climate change, and here we go let’s slip it in: which must be cause by CO2 because climate change proves climate change! If you’re dazzled by the logic, I am too.

“Climate change” these days implicitly means the theory of CO2 warming, which is a theory is search of solid experimental confirmation that doesn’t exist. Hence the need to say things like: the birds are disappearing because of CO2 warming (“climate change”). There! Proof. Satisfied? 97% of scientists are. I would say that 97% of scientists don’t understand rigorous proof and prefer assumption and speculation– and blind allegiance to a theory– over fact.

gnomish
Reply to  RyanS
August 22, 2018 9:06 am

maybe a bit of outrage over the unfairness of stopping a dam for a snail darter or suing petroleum industry for killing an eagle while giving a free pass to their posture child for doing worse.
it’s not about the birds, per se. i mean- you might laugh and say nuryev thinks he’s a duck, but it’s really not what this game is about.

the underlying concern, here, is the declining population of hosts – and this has the prevailing parasites most anxious.
the birds are a metaphor for their funding and climate change is a metaphor for ppl figuring out the scam and no longer attending the doomsday rallies or filling that collection dish.

or, maybe it’s all about you- to give you a full life. a spritz of meaning.
magical how everything seems to have a reason, eh? i think starbucks serves a latte made of anthropomorphism + teleology called a ‘what’s the point – a low- fat decaf alternative to reality.

HotScot
Reply to  Don
August 21, 2018 4:04 am

Don

Great post.

“My general answer would be that most likely bird declines are due to climate change (or at least decreased precipitation) but climate change isn’t due to CO2. In like manner the California fires might be exacerbated by “climate change” but it’s really a leap of faith to attribute this change to CO2.

Shouldn’t that be man made climate change and man made CO2? As the whole climate change subject revolves around these points.

In which case, that’s some leap of faith considering man made CO2 makes up ~0.00012% of the planet’s atmosphere. Being that ~25% of man’s CO2 emissions are consumed by vegetation, that’s ~0.0009% left to cause extreme weather, kill birds and bats, and similarly cause ‘mass’ hysteria around the world, which it isn’t http://data.myworld2015.org/

Don
Reply to  HotScot
August 21, 2018 7:34 am

HotScot, thank you, and my whole point is that we’re conflating the phrase “climate change” with the phrase “CO2-caused climate change,” or as you put it “man-made climate change.” That makes it so much easier to confuse natural climate variation with the theory of CO2 warming. I think that’s the whole point of referring to the theory of AGW as “climate change.” If you have no evidence that proves your theory and if you want your theory to live, the next best thing is to make people believe that evidence is everywhere– in climate change!

HotScot
Reply to  Don
August 21, 2018 2:28 pm

Don

The claim the alarmists make is that ‘Climate Change’ has always been the predominant feature they have pursued, by citing the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on ‘Climate Change’).

The fact is that the brand name for Climate change was Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) or, for the MSM, simply Global Warming.

Global Warming failed as a brand, the man on the street was sceptical of it after 40 years as nothing has perceptibly changed other than marginally less snow in winters (a good thing) and better summers in the Northern Hemisphere (we are plagued by lousy summer weather in the UK so that didn’t wash) so the concept of Climate Change was brought to bear as the harbinger of doom with every slight change in any weather pattern.

Now snow in the winter is presented as evidence of AGW, despite there being no empirical evidence whatsoever that CO2 has any effect on the temperature of the planet whatsoever.

RyanS
Reply to  HotScot
August 21, 2018 4:18 pm

“Global Warming failed as a brand…so the concept of Climate Change was brought to bear”

Any evidence for that?

HotScot
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 4:52 pm

RyanS

The Mejia dimbo. Go and read the news of the moment between the early 70’s and now. I watched the change, and observation is everything is science, isn’t it?

“Global Warming has begun”

https://www.nytimes.com/1988/06/24/us/global-warming-has-begun-expert-tells-senate.html

Any evidence to the contrary dick?

RyanS
Reply to  HotScot
August 21, 2018 5:03 pm

Are you saying that is the first occurance of that expression?

Robert W Turner
Reply to  HotScot
August 21, 2018 8:00 am

“I’m sorry sir, there was an accident on the highway and they are dead.”
“But, but, they don’t live on the highway” — derp

Joel Snider
Reply to  Don
August 21, 2018 12:19 pm

I don’t think he has legitimate concerns – I frankly don’t think he gives a crap about birds, so much as another prop for a talking point.

HotScot
Reply to  Joel Snider
August 21, 2018 2:32 pm

Joel Snider

And the latest drought, fire, hurricane, tornado, flood?

They are all legitimate concerns despite them violating no previous ‘records’?

Joel Snider
Reply to  HotScot
August 21, 2018 4:24 pm

I don’t think HE has legitimate concerns. You fight a fire when and where it happens (unless you’re Governor Kate Brown) – you don’t reasonably use it as a legitimate reason for C02 regulation.

Kenji
Reply to  RyanS
August 20, 2018 7:27 pm

They MOOVED! MOOOOOOOVED! They flew to a neighboring habitat.

John McCabe
Reply to  RyanS
August 20, 2018 11:34 pm

Depending on the bird types, it could be an issue with veterinary use of drugs finding their way through the food chain. See, e.g. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2373805/

richard
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 1:41 am

the spread of non-native species has a big effect on native wildlife and is probably more the reason of bird loss-

“Invasive Species”

“The spread of invasive exotic plants and animals has become an urgent environmental threat throughout California, second only to habitat loss as the cause of species endangerment”

add on-

“Invasive species are not the only threat to native plants of the California deserts. Other threats include suburban expansion, power generation, military training, off-highway vehicles, grazing, mining, and agriculture—the latter due to both land conversion and the lowering of the water table (Barbour et al., 1991)”

http://mojavedesert.net/plants/vegetation/16.html

richard
Reply to  richard
August 21, 2018 1:48 am

cont… “While many non-native plants are not harmful, the noxious weeds crowd out native plants, compete with natives for limited resources, lower productivity for agriculture and grazing, and alter fire regimes. The worst culprits in our desert ecosystems are tumbleweed or Russian thistle (Salsola tragus), cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), Saharan mustard (Brassica tournefortii), giant reed (Arundo donax), and tamarisk or saltcedar (Tamarix ramosissima).

The latter two weeds have overtaken riparian zones along river channels, irrigation canals, and other wetland habitats, eliminating native species by outcompeting them for water, increasing soil salinity, and decreasing habitat values”

HotScot
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 3:25 am

RyanS

Perhaps it’s events not associated with climate change. A bit like the Bee scare. Nothing to do with climate change, just bad husbandry.

RyanS
Reply to  HotScot
August 21, 2018 3:45 am

Maybe, but the only thing that obviously had changed was the climate.

HotScot
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 4:30 am

RyanS

Fair comment, but that’s an entirely natural process, nothing to do with mankind, isn’t it?

Mankind’s CO2 contribution to the atmosphere is ~0.0012%. If vegetation use is included, that’s around 0.0009%.

RyanS
Reply to  HotScot
August 21, 2018 4:44 am

Are talking about the 30+gT contribution thats a caused a 40% increase in concentration? That 0.0012%? That has everything to do with mankind.

HotScot
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 4:57 am

RyanS

You can terrify the gullible by stating gT for the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere all you want. The fact remains, man’s total contribution to atmospheric gases is ~0.0012%.

The increase since the industrial revolution also includes natural causes which far outstrip man’s influence. Kindly don’t misrepresent the distinction between the two.

RyanS
Reply to  HotScot
August 21, 2018 5:29 am

” The fact remains, man’s total contribution to atmospheric gases is ~0.0012%.”

Sure, but what have nitrogen and oxygen got to do with it?

“The increase since the industrial revolution also includes natural causes which far outstrip man’s influence”

The increase in what? CO2? No is doesn’t. There is a 40% increase and we’ve burnt a proportionate amount of fossil fuel. In fact we’ve burnt more than that but over the decades the sink (the ocean) has been made to take more through higher vapour pressure. So I’m not sure what you’re talking about.

HotScot
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 6:12 am

RyanS

“Sure, but what have nitrogen and oxygen got to do with it?”

Well, as John Tyndall concluded that “water vapour is the strongest absorber of radiant heat in the atmosphere and is the principal gas controlling air temperature. Absorption by the other gases is not negligible but relatively small.” I don’t think CO2 has much to do with it either. Or has CO2 miraculously altered it’s state since Tyndall?

The calculations on what mankind has burned is at best an approximation. The difference between the two has never been empirically demonstrated, neither has CO2 been empirically demonstrated to raise the planets temperature.

If it’s such a racing certainty, wouldn’t it to be reasonable to expect numerous* empirical studies over the past 40 years to have shown it beyond reasonable doubt?

Your position is that despite a complete lack of empirical evidence, CO2 causes the planet to warm.

All I’m saying is, demonstrate it empirically. Do that and I’m a believer.

*There is one I’m aware of that momentarily seemed credible until it was discredited. Never to be referred to again by alarmists.

RyanS
Reply to  HotScot
August 21, 2018 6:26 am

“The calculations on what mankind has burned is at best an approximation.”

Yes, approximately 38GT by the look of this:

comment image

Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 7:49 am

and this
comment image

RyanS
Reply to  ferdberple
August 21, 2018 8:23 am

Tiny amounts sure add up over 150 years. That extra 38GT is done just hangin’ there. An increase rate probably not seen since the PETM.

Joel Snider
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 12:37 pm

‘Tiny amounts sure add up over 150 years.’

Now THERE is progressive logic at work. We’re always a small percentage… but it ‘adds up’. So we are now looking at the classic bastardization of the butterfly effect – we can’t touch anything lest small changes ‘add up’.
Control freakiness on a level that simply can’t be catered to.
You let a progressive talk long enough they will demonstrate the futility inherent in their entire belief system.

Jesus, do any of the majority sources ‘add up’?

kramer
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 12:52 pm

And there is virtually zero correlation between CO2 and temp going back way longer than the PETM.

HotScot
Reply to  ferdberple
August 21, 2018 12:53 pm

ferd

My favourite charts!……all on a clunky old website with circular binding.

Brilliant. Love that you consider the same a reasonable approximation.

HotScot
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 12:59 pm

RyanS

Mate, sorry, and I don’t mean to be rude, but it is disillusion to imagine that any accurate record of fossil fuel burning was possibly retained until about 50 years or so ago, if that.

Even you add the proviso “by the look of this” indicating you don’t trust it.

Sheri
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 11:19 am

Again, lying with statistics.

HotScot
Reply to  Sheri
August 21, 2018 1:07 pm

Sheri

His 38Gt equals 0.0012% of all atmospheric gases. All bumping together firing out energy in all directions (I’m yet to have explained to me why all the energy transferred from CO2 to the earth’s surface isn’t distributed equally around the circumference of a CO2 molecule and not just shot directly at the planets surface) yet we are assured the 0.0012% of the earth’s atmosphere controls everything climate.

Sorry, the Gt propaganda just doesn’t do it for me.

Philip Schaeffer
Reply to  HotScot
August 21, 2018 4:56 am

Nah, it’s bird choppers and burners. Eric told me so. That’s why there are more ravens.

HotScot
Reply to  Philip Schaeffer
August 21, 2018 5:28 am

Philip Schaeffer

Gosh, you’re so funny. You should heckle for a living.

Philip Schaeffer
Reply to  HotScot
August 21, 2018 6:13 am

“Philip Schaeffer

Gosh, you’re so funny. You should heckle for a living.”

That’s not nice. I’m deeply wounded.

HotScot
Reply to  Philip Schaeffer
August 21, 2018 6:15 am

Philip Schaeffer

That’s a shame, I was being complimentary. See how easy it is to get things wrong.

Philip Schaeffer
Reply to  HotScot
August 21, 2018 6:24 am

Is your sarcasm detector broken?

HotScot
Reply to  Philip Schaeffer
August 21, 2018 12:49 pm

Philip Schaeffer

“Is your sarcasm detector broken?”

Nope.

Perhaps your sarcasm is.

MarkW
Reply to  Philip Schaeffer
August 22, 2018 8:49 am

CVS also has bandaids.

Philip Schaeffer
Reply to  HotScot
August 21, 2018 6:00 am

“Mankind’s CO2 contribution to the atmosphere is ~0.0012%. If vegetation use is included, that’s around 0.0009%.”

Yeah, decimal places tell you how important something is. That’s why CO2 induced greening isn’t real…….

HotScot
Reply to  Philip Schaeffer
August 21, 2018 6:23 am

Philip Schaeffer

NASA tells us it is very real.

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2016/carbon-dioxide-fertilization-greening-earth

Or do you only believe NASA when it suits you?

Try finding something negative CO2 has accomplished, that’s been empirically demonstrated, which approaches 14% of anything. In fact, 1% of anything, that should make it easier for you.

Philip Schaeffer
Reply to  HotScot
August 21, 2018 6:29 am

The point is that the number of decimal places doesn’t tell you how important something is.

The claim was that the entire change in the climate is natural, and the support given was the “small” percentage of CO2 production due to human beings relative to size of the whole atmosphere.

Chris
Reply to  Philip Schaeffer
August 21, 2018 6:51 am

Philip, you’ll have to be more direct with Hot Scot, he doesn’t seem to get it. Climate skeptics can’t in one breath sat that CO2 is a tiny, insignificant trace gas that couldn’t possible affect climate, than in the next breath say that that same tiny trace gas is responsible for global greening.

I take that back – skeptics CAN sat that, but it makes them hypocrites.

Jan
Reply to  Chris
August 21, 2018 8:31 am

Chris & Philip – you’re being dense. Two mechanisms, two percentages and two effect sizes.
1. life giving CO2: 30% increase with great greening effect
2. warming “greenhouse” gasses: tiny percentage of increase with negligible climate effect

HotScot
Reply to  Chris
August 21, 2018 1:15 pm

Chris

Yet another drive by comment from you with no concept of observations.

CO2 has never been empirically proven to warm the planet. Doh!

CO2 has been empirically proven to green the planet. Double Doh!

What is it about the simplicity of climate change that you don’t get?

Either CO2 is the culprit, or it isn’t. So provide the empirical evidence that demonstrates CO2 warms the planet and we can all go home.

HotScot
Reply to  Philip Schaeffer
August 21, 2018 1:10 pm

Philip Schaeffer

“The point is that the number of decimal places doesn’t tell you how important something is.”

NO………The point is that CO2 has never been demonstrably responsible to cause anything but good.

Why is that such a difficult concept for you to digest?

HotScot
Reply to  Philip Schaeffer
August 21, 2018 1:29 pm

Philip Schaeffer

“The point is that the number of decimal places doesn’t tell you how important something is.”

Nor does quoting it in Gigatons, that’s just a scare tactic for the gullible public who can’t conceive what a ton (tonne) is, never mind a Gigaton.

MarkW
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 7:43 am

If you believe that the only thing that has changed out there is the climate, you are even more blind than your earlier posts indicated.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 8:01 am

How has the climate of the Mojave Desert changed?

RyanS
Reply to  Robert W Turner
August 21, 2018 8:18 am

20% less rainfall and about 1C warmer.

DonM
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 9:44 am

20% less than what initial point and what timeline?
1C warmer than …?

perspective

HotScot
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 1:17 pm

RyanS

“20% less rainfall and about 1C warmer.”

That is not climate dimbo.

Joel Snider
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 12:32 pm

Which is always changing, always had, always will. Birds survived the KT extinction, so I think they’ll be fine. And the ones that don’t – while that’s natural selection at work, isn’t it?

william Johnston
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 6:43 am

A recent Iowa State University study documented pheasants and lesser prairie chickens will avoid industrial wind parks. Permanently.

MarkW
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 7:34 am

Various possibilities.
1) Bird shredders and cookers.
2) Human intervention
3) Introduced speciest.

Unlike you alarmists, we consider all possibilities and don’t just assume that if something has changed, CO2 must be the culprit.

RyanS
Reply to  MarkW
August 21, 2018 7:46 am

You should at least read a little of it.
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2018/07/31/1805123115

Chris
Reply to  MarkW
August 21, 2018 8:17 am

Here’s how MarkW does science relating to climate change. “We just don’t know, too many variables. The best thing to do is shrug your shoulders and give up.”

Most folks like to be thought of as “can do”, Mark proudly flies the flag of “can’t do.”

Joel Snider
Reply to  Chris
August 21, 2018 12:42 pm

‘Most folks’ – what a giant ego – and typical group think. Seems to me your philosophy is ‘can’t do’ – as in ‘can’t do anything’ – might step on a butterfly and it’ll add up to catastrophic change.
No, we just don’t believe in walking on eggshells with some control-freak manifesto about saving the planet.
There’s also reality to consider – and regulation of the climate is impossible, yet that is the fundamental tenant alarmists are selling.

Chris
Reply to  Joel Snider
August 21, 2018 9:49 pm

Joel said “There’s also reality to consider – and regulation of the climate is impossible, yet that is the fundamental tenant alarmists are selling.”

False. What’s being “sold” is that we need to reduce CO2 emissions to reduce the adverse consequences of rising CO2.

MarkW
Reply to  Chris
August 22, 2018 8:52 am

There are no adverse consequences of rising CO2.

MarkW
Reply to  Chris
August 22, 2018 8:51 am

Whoa there sport, because I disagree with you proves that I “can’t do”?

It really is fascinating how Chris gets his panties in a wad whenever someone dares to disagree with him.
As to links, the vast majority of Chris’s posts don’t have links either.

Sheri
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 10:53 am

They moved.

bwegher
August 20, 2018 6:56 pm

Mohave regional precipitation shows decadal variability. Dry and less dry, but this USGS paper shows no change in precip over the 20th century. The trend line has zero slope.
https://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs117-03/fs117-03.pdf

Kenji
Reply to  bwegher
August 20, 2018 7:25 pm

So. The ONE animal on the planet with the greatest migratory range and mobility … chooses to remain in the desert and DIE?! Did the genius scientists check any neighboring habitats for INCREASED numbers of these bird species? Global warming hysteria requires dull, uncurious, minds willing to be spoon fed nonsense.

RyanS
Reply to  Kenji
August 21, 2018 1:28 am

Well did they? Oh wait, they did.

Joel Snider
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 12:43 pm

Well, you don’t know that, do you? Checked the global population, did you?

Peter Plail
Reply to  bwegher
August 21, 2018 1:11 am

Stop confusing a good argument with facts.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  bwegher
August 21, 2018 8:16 am

But you’re using actual data to formulate an argument, use climate change model data instead. And then don’t even use the same sampling methodology as the historic surveys and instead use a sampling method established in 2013 from a paper titled:
“Cryptic loss of montane avian richness and high community turnover over 100 years.”
Climate science!

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Robert W Turner
August 21, 2018 8:27 am

I especially like this statistical molestation: ” Observed heterogeneity in species occurrence within sites and among sites was incorporated into modeled detectability, reducing the potential bias of effort.”

RyanS
Reply to  Robert W Turner
August 21, 2018 8:47 am

Are you leaning towards the ‘bird-chopper’ explanation Robert?

Kenji
August 20, 2018 7:00 pm

Gee, IDK … Incineration by hyper focused solar rays seems as though it could … push the crashing bird populations over the edge. Do we have ANY scientists actually doing science anymore?

Reply to  Kenji
August 20, 2018 8:14 pm

“over the edge”. No, the fashionable dread is “tipping point”.
So there!

markl
August 20, 2018 7:23 pm

Ah, science intersecting with opinion. Always a good laugh. The problem is the supporters of “science” aren’t scientific and get all the attention. Why is that? Conspiracy theory or fact?

ray boorman
August 20, 2018 7:26 pm

common ravens are not known for their drought resistance, are they?

August 20, 2018 7:37 pm

I couldn’t find a historical Palmer Drought Index specific to the Mojave Desert, but I did find one (from the gubernment no less) for the western Unites States going back to 1900.

comment image

Looks to me like there nothing much going on that hasn’t happened before, numerous times. Perhaps someone else can dig up temperature graphs for the same area over the same time period, I’m guessing… same thing. These papers seem all the same. We found a change in something, it must be climate change. No….we don’t have any data to show that the climate actually changed in that area… that’s too much work.

Alan52
Reply to  davidmhoffer
August 20, 2018 9:23 pm

Alternative hypothesis, they aren’t smart enough but the money keeps rolling in, so why ask a hard question

ralfellis
Reply to  davidmhoffer
August 21, 2018 3:57 am

I see a correllation there. The extreme drought periods appear to be the inverse of the extreme wet periods. … /sarc.

R

MarkW
Reply to  ralfellis
August 21, 2018 7:45 am

You mean it can’t be drier and wetter at the same time.
Quick, put together a grant proposal on that.

Reply to  davidmhoffer
August 21, 2018 6:50 am

Based on that graph, it does seem a bit drier in recent decades, but who knows what it was like 500 years ago, 1000, 2000… looking at only the last hundred years is myopic.

MarkW
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
August 22, 2018 8:54 am

They are only interested in the last 100 years, because that is the period that CO2 has been rising.
Anything that happened prior to that can’t be blamed on man.

brians356
August 20, 2018 7:55 pm

That bird might be a California Condor. I thought probably a Turkey Vulture, but it’s size and coloration (as best as can be seen in the video) suggests a Condor. That should cause a major stir in the bird community if true.

PS: Now I feel it’s a Turkey Vulture. Makes more sense since Condors are so rare, and tend to stay near mountain cliffs. Turkey Vultures are very common in windmill country.

Percy Jackson
August 20, 2018 7:55 pm

It would appear on the face of it unlikely that wind turbines or solar concentrators are responsible for the decline in bird population. The Mojave desert has an area of 124000 square kilometres. And according to wikipedia there is a single wind farm located in the desert with an area of 12 square kilometres. Plus while there are a number of solar farms there generally use solar panels with one exception the Ivanpah solar concentrator which to be generous might have a bird killing area of 1 square kilometre. Thus the total area where birds might be injured from solar/wind farms is about 1/10000 of the area of the desert. Even assuming that birds fly very long distances to search for food would suggest that only about 1% of the birds would live in areas where they might fly close to a wind turbine or solar farm and thus we might expect that only 1% of the sites would show a decrease in numbers. This is not what is found suggesting that there is a more widespread explanation for the decline.

Reply to  Percy Jackson
August 20, 2018 8:02 pm

That’s all well and good Percy, but that doesn’t make climate change the culprit. Without data showing that the climate has changed in a way that is abnormal in the historical context, the claim that “well it must be climate change” is even less supportable than “it must be windmills”. There isn’t even data showing bird populations in their historical context either, for all we know that’s natural too.

If these people want me to believe them, they have to show both climate and bird populations over a lengthy period of time. Going look, there’s less birds in the last few years, it must be climate change is baby talk.

Percy Jackson
Reply to  davidmhoffer
August 20, 2018 8:33 pm

David you need to read the paper. They used historical data from 100 years ago and revised the same sites. So they have shown that the birds have declined by 50% over a 100 year period. And again they discuss various factors including land use change, climate change etc and look at what the best explanation is.

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  Percy Jackson
August 20, 2018 8:54 pm

Percy, There wasn’t any SUVs there 80 years ago. Even if there was enuf CO2 out in the atmosphere (assuming CO2 causes temp increase) by 1950, the temp has gone up only 0.8C in a 100 years. There have been climate changes 10 times that in the past and birds adapted. If a bird cant adapt to a 0.8C increase in 100 years his DNA is fuc***. What in the hell are we worried about? Everything is blamed on climate change. Oh the climate change is caused by CO2 huh! 0.8C in a 100 years huh . How can that small a change affect anything? Sheesh the number of bedwetters and people afraid of their own shadow is driving me to the insane asylum.

Chris
Reply to  Alan Tomalty
August 20, 2018 10:24 pm

Alan said: “If a bird cant adapt to a 0.8C increase in 100 years his DNA is fuc***. ”

Perhaps read the paper before commenting? One of the main issues is a decline in water availability.

Gary Ashe
Reply to  Chris
August 21, 2018 2:54 am

No it isn’t lying sophist.

comment image

Percy Jackson
Reply to  Alan Tomalty
August 21, 2018 12:38 am

Alan,
The rate of change in DNA is about 1% every Million years. So the chances of
evolution producing an adaption in 100 years is almost zero.

HotScot
Reply to  Percy Jackson
August 21, 2018 6:31 am

Percy Jackson

With respect, the chances of bird counts being accurate even 50, never mind 100 years ago, is not credible.

MarkW
Reply to  Percy Jackson
August 21, 2018 7:47 am

If birds need to adapt their DNA to accommodate a 0.8C change in climate, they would have died out millions of years ago.

Chris
Reply to  MarkW
August 21, 2018 8:18 am

The paper said a decline in water was the main factor.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Chris
August 21, 2018 8:31 am

And did they actually provide evidence of reduced water in the habitat?

Joel Snider
Reply to  Chris
August 21, 2018 12:45 pm

And here I thought one of the AGW feedbacks was more water vapor.

Reply to  Percy Jackson
August 20, 2018 9:27 pm

skimmed it, see comment below.

Reply to  Percy Jackson
August 20, 2018 9:39 pm

..and read the paper, they didn’t revisit the same sites. They surveyed sites that were similar to what was described in the Grinnell survey and in the same area. That’s partly good, doesn’t make sense to resurvey a site that has had a town built on it or a highway punched through it. Partly bad because since they are different sites, you’d have to go into a great deal of detail about adjacent areas to see if they affected the site you’re visiting. Grinnell did his surveys literally by walking through the area. The amount of ground that a man walking through an area can over is a few miles. The amount of ground a bird of prey can cover is much larger. So unless you take each area and show that the radius that would be hunted by a bird of prey is ALSO similar to the survey site, you’ve got nothing.

knr
Reply to  davidmhoffer
August 21, 2018 2:08 am

And walking over that type of area with its heat limits you range even more .
But we see this issue often , the idea that modern approaches have always existed so you can take mesurements from the past and deal with them as if they where taken with current approaches.

DonM
Reply to  Percy Jackson
August 21, 2018 10:22 am

Percy,

Did they reference the research assistant that was responsible for the bird count 100 years ago?

RyanS
Reply to  davidmhoffer
August 20, 2018 8:47 pm

“There isn’t even data showing bird populations in their historical context either, for all we know that’s natural too.”

Have you read the study?

“If these people want me to believe them, they have to show both climate and bird populations over a lengthy period of time.”

“We assessed how climate change and other stressors have impacted desert bird populations over the past century by resurveying sites throughout the Mojave Desert that were originally surveyed for avian diversity in the early 20th century by Joseph Grinnell and colleagues. About 85% of desert lands in this region are largely undisturbed and ecologically intact…”

Read the study. http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2018/07/31/1805123115

Reply to  RyanS
August 20, 2018 9:26 pm

Skimmed the study.

1. Grinnel did a few surveys in the early 1900’s, roughly 1910 to 1930. That wasn’t in the paper (how convenient) I had to dig that up elsewhere. The Grinnell resurvey project didn’t start until 2002. We don’t have enough data to understand natural variability of climate even though we’ve had thermometers since the late 1800’s and daily temps from them from all over the world, but you think two manual survey’s (shown without error bars, also convenient) nearly a hundred years apart has any chance at all of capturing natural variability?

2. The climate change data presented graphically doesn’t actually present climate change metrics over time, it is graphed against a metric called “persistence”. I can’t be bothered to figure out what that is, but it doesn’t demonstrate that the climate has changed outside of natural variability at all.

RyanS
Reply to  davidmhoffer
August 20, 2018 9:48 pm

You question their conclusions and that is fair enough, you might be right – natural variability might swing back and all is good. I hope you are right, although I doubt it. One thing is entirely clear: their decline has nothing to do with windmills.

The Drivers of Collapse.
There is little evidence that the major drivers of systemic biodiversity loss—disease, pollution, overexploitation, and habitat destruction—are operating in the Mojave. Invasive plants are in the Mojave, but they currently represent a small amount of cover at most of our sites and across the Mojave as a whole (30) (SI Appendix). Instead, climate change, particularly decline in rainfall, was the most important driver of avian community dynamics in the Mojave Desert. Sites that received less precipitation in recent decades compared with early in the 20th century had higher local extinction probabilities (Fig. 2). Most sites became drier (µ = −3.6%; σ = 5.9%), receiving up to 20% less precipitation.

Gary Ashe
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 2:59 am

comment image

RyanS
Reply to  Gary Ashe
August 21, 2018 3:20 am

Yup, rising temperature so higher evaporation, combined with a 20% drop in rainfall. It’s a wonder only 43% of species were absent.

Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 6:57 am

“Yup, rising temperature so higher evaporation, combined with a 20% drop in rainfall. It’s a wonder only 43% of species were absent.”

Yet no evidence that it’s caused by humans, windmills or otherwise. Climate is never static, things change all by themselves. We’re comparing an incredibly small time frame, nothing meaningful can come of that.

RyanS
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
August 21, 2018 7:05 am

What’s your explanation Jeff? For the species reduction.

DonM
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 12:03 pm

“In the original survey there was a large difference in terms of birds observed per unit time between J. Grinnell and T. Storer, with Grinnell having much higher scores than Storer for the same area.”

What is you explanation, Ryan? For the species reduction between the time of the Grinnell & Storer surveys.

(My guess is that Storer was a bigger guy, who contributed more CO2 through his breathing, and the temp in the area went up, and the humidity went down, and the birds had to leave. We can dub this the Storer factor.)

Percy Jackson
Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 20, 2018 8:37 pm

Eric – “suspect” is such a great word. Lots of science is done by people suspecting their pet theory is correct without bothering to try and prove it.

I would suggest that birds are not like gas in a balloon. Rather a decline in bird population in one area would mean that birds in neighbouring sites would have more offspring that would migrate to the new areas. There is both a source and a sink of bird populations.

Steve Reddish
Reply to  Percy Jackson
August 21, 2018 12:34 am

Percy, why would a decline in bird population in one area cause an increase in chick survival rates in another area? If the cause of decline in the first area is a decline in a food source, local birds would move to neighboring territories. Even if the neighboring territories did not suffer a decline in food source production, the extra feeders would deplete those food sources. The result would be a lower survival rate for chicks in neighboring areas.

If the cause of lower population was bird kills, birds from neighboring areas that moved in would suffer the same fate.

In neither scenario would bird populations in surrounding areas increase.

SR

Percy Jackson
Reply to  Steve Reddish
August 21, 2018 1:03 am

Steve,
The number of chicks a pair of birds can raise successfully is a function of
the available food. Birds probably have a limited foraging area due to the presence of other birds. So if you remove the competition then the remaining birds will have more access to food and so raise more chicks. This is likely to be true for eagles and other birds that return each year to the same nesting site.

What would happen would be that birds near the wind farms but not in the direct area would raise more chicks which would then try and establish themselves closer to the windmills and would die. This would result in a new steady state – similar to a bath with both the taps running and the plug out.

Steve Reddish
Reply to  Percy Jackson
August 21, 2018 10:04 am

” Birds probably have a limited foraging area due to the presence of other birds. So if you remove the competition then the remaining birds will have more access to food and so raise more chicks. ”

Didn’t I address this point? Let me expound on it ’cause you missed it: If the competition was removed by bird choppers, the chopped birds’ territory becomes available to birds in surrounding territories. This results in 2 possibilities:

1. A mother birds foraging into the vacated territory gets chopped and fails to return to her nestlings in the nearby territory.
Bird population in nearby territory declines.

2. Mother bird evades bird choppers and raises brood successfully. As food supply in this territory is unchanged, some fledglings must move into the unoccupied territory with the bird chopping wind farm (where some meet chopper).
Neighboring territory bird population is unchanged.

Possibility 2 may make up for possibility 1, but bird population in neighboring territory cannot increase unless food supply in neighboring territory increases.

SR

MarkW
Reply to  Percy Jackson
August 21, 2018 7:49 am

“Lots of science is done by people suspecting their pet theory is correct”

The irony, it burns!!!

RyanS
Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 20, 2018 9:50 pm

Do have any numbers of bird deaths specifically associated with the Mohave installations?

Bryan A
Reply to  RyanS
August 20, 2018 10:59 pm

This study places a figure of 9.3 birds per Mw per year for Ivanpah
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960148116301422

Abstract
Despite the benefits of reduced toxic and carbon emissions and a perpetual energy resource, there is potential for negative environmental impacts resulting from utility-scale solar energy (USSE) development. Although USSE development may represent an avian mortality source, there is little knowledge regarding the magnitude of these impacts in the context of other avian mortality sources. In this study we present a first assessment of avian mortality at USSE facilities through a synthesis of available avian monitoring and mortality information at existing USSE facilities. Using this information, we contextualize USSE avian mortality relative to other forms of avian mortality at 2 spatial scales: a regional scale (confined to southern California) and a national scale. Systematic avian mortality information was available for three USSE facilities in the southern California region. We estimated annual USSE-related avian mortality to be between 16,200 and 59,400 birds in the southern California region, which was extrapolated to between 37,800 and 138,600 birds for all USSE facilities across the United States that are either installed or under construction. We also discuss issues related to avian–solar interactions that should be addressed in future research and monitoring programs

So with a 392Mw capacity at 9.3 birds per Mw, Ivanpah would represent 3645 annual bird kills over 5 square miles with 3 towers

RyanS
Reply to  Bryan A
August 20, 2018 11:17 pm

Half of those numbers were “unknown cause”, still large numbers though. I wonder how many miles of roadway take out those sort of numbers?

HotScot
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 7:04 am

RyanS

I have probably driven, getting on for, a million miles in the UK and the Continent, on all types of roads. I can count on the fingers of one hand how many birds I have hit.

Try to hit a pigeon with a car in London………No chance.

RyanS
Reply to  HotScot
August 21, 2018 7:21 am

I’m in a semi-rural area and my unscientific guess is I would probably driving passed 3-5 dead birds per km. I don’t hit many but their feathery little corpses are there.

HotScot
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 2:06 pm

RyanS

Seriously? 3-5 dead birds a Km? That’s around one every 300M to one every 200M.

Talk sense man.

I just drove 300 miles and back on Sunday. I think I might have seen two unidentifiable carcasses on the road.

Bryan A
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 10:11 am

EXPOSURE RATE…
How many miles of Roadway…
How many SQ FT of building surface…
How many windows…
How many Vehicle Miles Driven…
How many Ivanpah Facilities (1200 annual bird kills per Heliostat)
How many Wind Turbines (1.5 Bird kills and 2 Bat kills per turbine)
EXPOSURE RATE is the key

How many miles have you driven and how many birds have you struck with a vehicle?

I personally have driven 14 vehicles in the last 40 years traveling over 1.2m Miles in that time and have struck zero birds.

Sheri
Reply to  Bryan A
August 21, 2018 10:47 am

My husband has hit far more deer than birds. I had perfected a technique to take out seagulls with one of my cars, but never could repeat it with any other car.

Chris
Reply to  Eric Worrall
August 20, 2018 10:26 pm

Eric said: “I suspect the concentrators and turbines create a hole in the habitats in which they are situated, a hole which is continuously filled by new birds.”

Which specific wind turbine sites are you referring to?

HotScot
Reply to  Chris
August 21, 2018 7:05 am

Chris

Does it matter?

Chris
Reply to  HotScot
August 21, 2018 8:19 am

Yes.

HotScot
Reply to  Chris
August 21, 2018 3:35 pm

Chris

Explanation? Or should I just accept it because you say so.

Oh gosh! Silly question, it’s Chris, I should just bow down because of his alleged qualifications.

Chris
Reply to  HotScot
August 21, 2018 9:24 pm

HotScot, the explanation is that there aren’t any wind turbines in the areas that were surveyed for this paper. Eric posted a picture of a wind turbine striking a bird. That photo was not from the Mojave.

Throughout the comments section, folks like Eric, Sheri, Patrick and others have mentioned wind turbines as a likely culprit. The called them bird choppers, etc, and stated that turbines, along with solar, were a more likely cause of bird deaths than climate change.

Except there aren’t any wind turbine farms located where the bird surveys were done. None. Nobody here bothered to check that, they just asserted it without proof. This is what often passes for rigorous skepticism here on WUWT.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Chris
August 21, 2018 9:33 pm

“Chris

Throughout the comments section, folks like Eric, Sheri, Patrick …”

Hummm, no I didn’t.

Chris
Reply to  Patrick MJD
August 21, 2018 11:40 pm

Patrick – OK, my mistake. Lots of others but not you.

MarkW
Reply to  Chris
August 22, 2018 8:59 am

Chris, how exactly do the get the birds to stay in the areas being surveyed?

HotScot
Reply to  Chris
August 22, 2018 2:46 pm

Chris

“………….the explanation is that there aren’t any wind turbines in the areas that were surveyed for this paper. Eric posted a picture of a wind turbine striking a bird. That photo was not from the Mojave.”

I’ll accept that post as credible, I won’t ask for a link as I’m sure you wouldn’t make that statement without having researched it.

However, assuming there is climate change going on at the moment, which there has been for the earth’s existence in time and space, so no reason to expect it’s not now, birds have been part of that for many millennia. Long before man pitched up to the party.

In other words, birds are, as I understand it, kind of mini dinosaurs with the gift of flight, well most of them anyway. They are no stranger to rapid climate change.

Being that no one has demonstrated credibly and empirically that CO2 causes global warming, and these towers are erected to stop something that has never been demonstrated then, by definition, solar arrays and wind turbines are killing animals unnecessarily.

Climate change hasn’t done it in the past, so why would it do it now?

MarkW
Reply to  Chris
August 22, 2018 8:59 am

At this point I could make a snarky comment about how Chis is a “can’t do” type of guy. But I’m not a hypocrite.

Rick C PE
Reply to  Percy Jackson
August 20, 2018 8:35 pm

Per the abstract, they compared bird populations now to surveys conducted in the early 20th century. i.e. two data points ~100 years apart. How many factors like land use, development, water management projects, etc. during this period might have affected bird habitat and numbers? How can a study like this reach a conclusion that climate change is even a factor?

RyanS
Reply to  Rick C PE
August 20, 2018 8:52 pm

Per the study:
“About 85% of desert lands in this region are largely undisturbed and ecologically intact…”

Reply to  RyanS
August 20, 2018 9:33 pm

Populations vary naturally due to all manner of cycles quite apart from the area being disturbed. One of the well known ones is rabbits and foxes. For years there’s a growing population of rabbits, then it explodes. Slightly behind it in time, there’s a growing population of foxes, then IT explodes. Shortly afterward, the rabbits all but disappear, and shortly after that, the foxes all but disappear. Then is all starts over again. About a 7 year cycle where I used to live, other areas have different cycles.

So yeah, two data points a hundred years apart tells us nothing, disturbed or not.

RyanS
Reply to  davidmhoffer
August 20, 2018 9:57 pm

This is not individual population fluctuation, if it were surely some species would show an increase. None did, 43% disappeared.
Do you think it was windmills?

Reply to  RyanS
August 20, 2018 11:18 pm

None did? You missed the part about the ravens?

The population of anything in the desert is extremely thin and vulnerable, so no I don’t think it was windmills, and yes a 20% change in precipitation is significant. Now, is 20% natural? Let’s consider the timing of the two data sets. Take another look at the graph I posted earlier:

comment image

Grinnell did his studies during a relatively wet PRIOR to that huge dry spike in the late 30’s. For all we know, that’s what killed everything off, and it never came back. The resurvey starts in 2002, commensurate with ANOTHER large dry spike. So…

1. Dry spikes are natural. They’ve happened before. CO2 emissions didn’t become significant until 1950, so you can’t blame CO2 for the older one, nor rule the modern one as unnatural.

2. We have a tiny blip of data from a relatively wet period and a resurvey that was taken in a relatively dry period, nearly a century apart. When you’ve got continuous data from multiple wet periods and multiple dry periods let me know.

RyanS
Reply to  davidmhoffer
August 20, 2018 11:27 pm

True the ravens. Look I am largely agreeing with you David. However not entirely. If the species numbers followed those rainfall fluctuations I would be. Only 2 data points…but I bet my bottom dollar they don’t. I bet there has been a more or less steady decline in species.

Reply to  RyanS
August 20, 2018 11:43 pm

That’s the thing Ryan. I bet you are wrong. But neither of us has enough data to settle the bet, so its just opinions.

Science isn’t about opinions.

Reply to  RyanS
August 20, 2018 11:48 pm

…and this from good old Wikipedia:

“In the original survey there was a large difference in terms of birds observed per unit time between J. Grinnell and T. Storer, with Grinnell having much higher scores than Storer for the same area.

The results of two different surveyors of the exact same areas AT THE EXACT SAME TIME were different. No way to compare to the modern survey on that point ALONE.

RyanS
Reply to  davidmhoffer
August 21, 2018 12:02 am

Science isn’t about opinions.

No. But 43%? This was a pretty systematic survey by the sounds, I think it’s unlikely this is “natural” variation. I’ve been a twitcher all my life and have seen local species disappear from a thousand cuts. Half is not natural and once their habitat is gone they don’t come back.

Now try to explain to Eric that this bird-chopping meme is disingenuous.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  RyanS
August 21, 2018 8:34 am

“I’ve been a twitcher all my life and have seen local species disappear from a thousand cuts.”

Wut mate?

RyanS
Reply to  Robert W Turner
August 21, 2018 8:40 am

What does Wut mate? mean?

Robert W Turner
Reply to  davidmhoffer
August 21, 2018 8:33 am

Exactly, these types of studies are typically conducted by art majors and are pseudoscience all the way down.

Chris
Reply to  davidmhoffer
August 20, 2018 11:54 pm

David Hoffer said: “Grinnell did his studies during a relatively wet PRIOR to that huge dry spike in the late 30’s.”

That’s not true. There was a much bigger dry period that occurred just prior to Grinnell’s Mojave research, which began in 1908. It lasted from 1893 to 1904 – 12 years of much drier conditions than that of the late 30s. https://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs117-03/fig3.html

Reply to  Chris
August 21, 2018 12:05 am

So Chris, there was a dry period before Grinnell, but when Grinnell got there, the birds were still there. Is that what you’re saying? AND you’re saying that dry periods, according to YOU are completely natural?

And so the current dry period cannot be fingered as either being unnatural nor the culprit for the lack of birds.

I agree with you.

Chris
Reply to  davidmhoffer
August 21, 2018 2:05 am

David, where did I say that dry periods are completely natural? I gave you a record of historical precipitation for that location. It shows that your statement that Grinnell took his survey during a time of high precipitation is not true. #1 – it followed a very dry period, as I noted. #2 – it is certainly not wetter than the 1975-1985 periods, or the 1990-2000 period.

Water availability is not just a function of precipitation, increasing temperatures in the Mojave are causing greater evaporation, which leads to lower water availability for birds.

Philip Schaeffer
Reply to  Chris
August 21, 2018 5:02 am

Meh, mere details. You need to pull with the team and get on message!

HotScot
Reply to  Philip Schaeffer
August 21, 2018 7:12 am

Philip Schaeffer

Another fantastic heckle there Philip.

Philip Schaeffer
Reply to  HotScot
August 21, 2018 7:56 am

I was responding to Chris. And your sarcasm detector is still broken.

HotScot
Reply to  Philip Schaeffer
August 21, 2018 2:58 pm

Philip Schaeffer

“I was responding to Chris. And your sarcasm detector is still broken.”

Assuming you were responding to me, let me help you out here Phil ole’ buddy.

When one responds to a comment it’s common courtesy to refer to your subject by name e.g. as I have done above when referring to you, as I believe I always do.

It helps to eliminate confusion. It’s also helpful under certain circumstances to refer to the remark they made, as I have done above. Using inverted commas or “quotation marks” is also helpful.

Your sarcasm is lost if it’s not, at worst, suitably directed; at best counter productive if it’s used as you do, like a scattergun wishful insult.

I have no doubt this will make no difference to your approach but I at least I have pointed out some civil conventions to you.

With that in mind, I have no idea who your ‘sarcasm’ was directed at so no, my sarcasm detector is not broken, your sarcasm is clearly dysfunctional though.

And finally, as my mother used to tell me, “Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, and it’s only half wits that use it”.

If you want to say something, say it. Don’t try to be clever, doing so merely risks exposing your stupidity.

Reply to  Chris
August 21, 2018 8:06 am

David, where did I say that dry periods are completely natural?

In the graph you linked to showing they were.

It shows that your statement that Grinnell took his survey during a time of high precipitation is not true.

Can you read your own graph? It how dry period before Grinnell, mostly wet during Grinnell, and dry period after Grinnel.

increasing temperatures in the Mojave are causing greater

Did you post a link to temps in the Mojave? Wasn’t in the paper (they graphed persistence vs temp which is meaningless) and I didn’t see a temp graph from you, so….

Chris
Reply to  davidmhoffer
August 21, 2018 8:55 am

No, it didn’t, it just showed a plot of precipitation relative to the norm.

It wasn’t particularly high during Grinnell’s time – as I noted it was higher in the 80s and 90s than when he did his survey. Yet you postulated that the population took a hit and never recovered (zero evidence provided for that assertion).

The paper talks about a .8C warming.

Reply to  Chris
August 21, 2018 10:21 am

Yet you postulated that the population took a hit and never recovered (zero evidence provided for that assertion).

I postulated no such thing. I pointed out that without continuous data, we don’t know if the bird population declined in the years immediately after the survey, or just before the resurvey, or sometime in between. You pointed out that there was a large dry period prior to the survey, which I agreed with. That dry period was a) natural since CO2 emissions weren’t significant yet, and b) didn’t wipe out the birds since we know they were still there when Grinnell did his survey, and c) since the previous dry period was natural and didn’t wipe out the birds, we cannot say that the current dry period isn’t natural, nor that it wiped out the birds since you conveniently provided the data to show that previous dry periods didn’t.

Thank you for your support.

Chris
Reply to  davidmhoffer
August 21, 2018 10:37 am

David said: Yet you postulated that the population took a hit and never recovered (zero evidence provided for that assertion).

I postulated no such thing.

Yes, you did. From above: “Grinnell did his studies during a relatively wet PRIOR to that huge dry spike in the late 30’s. For all we know, that’s what killed everything off, and it never came back.”

Reply to  Chris
August 21, 2018 11:46 am

Yes, you did.

By your quote of me, what I said was “for all we know” which is true. We don’t know because we have zero data between Grinnell and the resurvey. So we know nothing about what happened in between.