“CO2: We call it life”

RealClimate informs us of two ads being put out by the Onion Competitive Enterprise Institute. Punchline: “CO2: they call it pollution, we call it Life!”. If the CEI staff was locked in an airtight room, would they still call CO2 Life?

If you are unfamiliar with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, let me introduce some of their people. Steve Milloy, who Cato recently let go after the various pundit payola scandals, has found a new home at CEI. When you are both working for Philip Morris, I guess it’s not a conflict of interest. Paul Georgia, who told the world that average temperature had no physical meaning. Iain Murray, who tried to rewrite basic epidemiological principles and insisted that the evidence for global warming was cooked up. Roger Bate, who helped perpetrate the DDT hoax.

The CEI warns people that using Linux is legally risky, attacked the FDA when it proposed regulating tobacco, and relentlessly attacks Kyoto. It is no doubt just a coincidence that the CEI receives extensive funding from Microsoft, Philip Morris and Exxon.

Comments

  1. #1 John Cross
    May 18, 2006

    If the CEI staff was locked in an airtight room, would they still call CO2 Life?

    I don’t know about that Tim. I think we need to come up with a way of testing it. I thought about using models but of course they would never accept a result based on computer models. Then I thought about some sort of statistical analysis, but while we may be able to show that the test subjects died, are we sure they died from excess CO2 (after all, correlation is not causation).

    The only way to test it would be to actually have the CEI staff locked in an air-tight room. I am not advocating this as a course of action – I’s jus say’ng.

    John

  2. #2 Sven
    May 18, 2006

    Mind-blowing. I guess the “other side” of New Orleans flooding would likewise be that “water is essential to life.”

  3. #3 Dano
    May 18, 2006

    Spin is essential to life.

    I mean, what if electrons didn’t spin? Where would we be then?

    Best,

    D

  4. #4 Sir Oolius
    May 18, 2006

    but reducing carbon emissions will make little girls cry!

  5. #5 z
    May 18, 2006

    High level radioactive waste: they call it poison, we call it Evolutionary Enhancement!

  6. #6 nanny_govt_sucks
    May 18, 2006

    If the CEI staff was locked in an airtight room, would they still call CO2 Life?

    So has the alarmist argument changed from CO2 causes Global Warming to CO2 causes suffocation?

    I don’t think you want to try arguing for that one, peoples. No one is predicting for the forseeable future the kind of CO2 concentrations in the environment that might cause poisioning.

  7. #7 Robert
    May 18, 2006

    I like the scene where the little girl blows life-giving CO2 on the dandelion, but I think they missed an opportunity. They should have had her popping open a beer (maybe a nice Belgian one) and pouring it into a glass with the head building up. Then, when the announcer says, “CO2 [...] We call it life” she could raise the glass and say, “L’Chaim.”

  8. #8 Left_Wing_Fox
    May 18, 2006

    Wow.

    Anti-environment groups must be pretty sure of the utter collapse of the education system to come up with arguments that blatantly ridiculous.

    So has the alarmist argument changed from CO2 causes Global Warming to CO2 causes suffocation?

    Wow… just… wow.

  9. #9 Carleton Wu
    May 18, 2006

    Nanny, did you actually miss the point, or are you merely pretending to miss the point in order to have something nasty to say? Really, neither one says anything good about you, but Im curious.

  10. #10 nanny_govt_sucks
    May 18, 2006

    What’s nasty about what I said? On the other hand there’s:

    If the CEI staff was locked in an airtight room, would they still call CO2 Life?

    … which sounds pretty nasty to me.

  11. #11 Carleton Wu
    May 18, 2006

    It also sounds like an appropriate thought experiment for someone who claims that ‘CO2 is life!’ to consider.

  12. #12 nanny_govt_sucks
    May 18, 2006

    It also sounds like an appropriate thought experiment for someone who claims that ‘CO2 is life!’ to consider.

    Et tu, Carleton Wu?

    The kind of CO2 concentrations it would take to poison a human are not even talked about by the most extreme Global Warming alarmists. If this is your argument against CO2 emissions, then you are not going to be taken seriously in any resonable debate on the issue.

  13. #13 Carleton Wu
    May 18, 2006

    Nanny,
    You have indeed settled it- you are a dumb person.
    No one is suggesting that global CO2 levels will approach those necessary to cause suffocation. We are merely suggesting that ‘CO2 is life’ is a very dumb slogan. It attempts to short-circuit the debate by suggesting that CO2 is uniformly beneficial, when it is stupefyingly obvious that this is not the case (eg the suggested thought experiment).

    Speaking of people who ought not be taken seriously, I now formally place you in that category & go off to find something interesting to do.

  14. #14 nanny_govt_sucks
    May 18, 2006

    No one is suggesting that global CO2 levels will approach those necessary to cause suffocation. We are merely suggesting that ‘CO2 is life’ is a very dumb slogan. It attempts to short-circuit the debate by suggesting that CO2 is uniformly beneficial, when it is stupefyingly obvious that this is not the case (eg the suggested thought experiment).

    Sounds like you’re using the thing that “no one is suggesting” to try and prove your point. So, it’s not so “stupefyingly obvious” to me. Especially when I see a proliferation of life all over the place due to a warmer, wetter, CO2-fertilized environment.

  15. #15 VJB
    May 18, 2006

    Nanny–you’re taking this all too seriously, and disregarding the bigger picture. Remember the concerns back in the 60′s and 70′s about eutrophication where runoff of phosphates from washing detergents, pig farms, and the like causes algal blooms in ponds and lakes? Good for algae, but bad for the environment as a whole. There were quite a few product changes subsequently, though pigs proved to be rather stubborn. Much the same can be said regarding CO2.

  16. #16 Wadard
    May 18, 2006

    I posted a counter ad to the CEI spots: :::[Carbon Dioxide spot - they call it ad, we call it lies].

  17. #17 Nick
    May 18, 2006

    I’ve posted a full commentary about these CEI ads and the internet frenzy surrounding them at greenr.

    If you look at it, there have been 4 cycles of cooling and warming of +/-5 degrees C over the past 450,000 years, and I’m betting there weren’t CO2 spewing humans to blame back then, so why should they be to blame now?

    We are in the MIDDLE of a warming cycle, that still has +5 degrees C to go. Of course we are seeing global warming.

    See my site for the full details.

  18. #18 nanny_govt_sucks
    May 18, 2006

    Good for algae, but bad for the environment as a whole.

    But increased CO2 concentrations are good for the environment as a whole, so the example you provided really doesn’t apply. See

    The Specter of Species Extinction: Will Global Warming Decimate Earth’s Biosphere?
    http://www.marshall.org/pdf/materials/150.pdf
    “Over the past century and a half of increasing air temperature and CO2 concentration, many species of animals have significantly extended the cold-limited boundaries of their ranges, both poleward in latitude and upward in elevation, while they have maintained the locations of the heat-limited boundaries of their ranges. Consequently, individual animal species, like individual plant species, have measurably increased the areas of the planet’s surface that they occupy, creating more overlapping of ranges, greater local species richness, and an improved ability to avoid extinction.”

  19. #19 Mark [Section 15]
    May 19, 2006

    Due to climate change, I see that there’s less and less snow melt from the Rocky mountains into Alberta, which is a problem given that that’s the major source of water for many rivers there.

    Ironically, Alberta uses huge amounts of water to extract oil from the tar sands…

    Yes, plants need CO2, but they also need water, good soil, and sufficient sunlight.

    I see that Canada’s polar bears are now endangered due to climate change.

    And so on…

  20. #20 Stephen Berg
    May 19, 2006

    Re: “Especially when I see a proliferation of life all over the place due to a warmer, wetter, CO2-fertilized environment.”

    and: “But increased CO2 concentrations are good for the environment as a whole, so the example you provided really doesn’t apply.”

    BS. What IS happening is desertification, deforestation, and urban sprawl which are reducing the amount of land which can be covered by vegetation.

    As for a wetter planet, certain areas may be that, but many others are much drier than they should be. Also, wetter isn’t necessarily better, because much of this extra rainfall is all coming at once, flooding land and ruining crops.

    As for “http://www.marshall.org/pdf/materials/150.pdf”, I’m not touching that with a ten-foot pole. It’s from the Marshall Institute, yet another of those groups which have received thousands or millions of dollars from ExxonMobil.

  21. #21 Harald Korneliussen
    May 19, 2006

    I don’t believe some of the comments I see on this thread! Any interesting IPs, Tim?

  22. #22 Tim Lambert
    May 19, 2006

    Not on this thread…

  23. #23 nanny_govt_sucks
    May 19, 2006

    BS. What IS happening is desertification, deforestation, and urban sprawl which are reducing the amount of land which can be covered by vegetation.

    Sorry to rain on your doomsday, but please have a look at these:

    Global Warming Sparks Increased Plant Production in Arctic Lakes
    http://www.livescience.com/environment/051024_arctic_lakes.html
    “Biological activity in some Arctic lakes has ratcheted up dramatically over the past 150 years as a result of global warming, according to a new study.”

    Earth is becoming a greener greenhouse
    http://cliveg.bu.edu/greenergh/nontechsum.html
    “Our results … indicate that the April to October average greenness level increased by about 8% in North America and 12% in Eurasia during the period 1981 to 1999.”
    “the growing season is now about 12 ± 5 days longer in North America and 18 ± 4 days in Eurasia”

    Greening of arctic Alaska, 1981-2001
    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2003/2003GL018268.shtml
    “Here we analyzed a time series of 21-yr satellite data for three bioclimate subzones in northern Alaska and confirmed a long-term trend of increase in vegetation greenness for the Alaskan tundra that has been detected globally for the northern latitudes.”

  24. #24 Pinko Punko
    May 19, 2006

    nanny is doing what we call the Gary Ruppert. Acting in a way that I would describe (accurately, not ad hominem) as stultifyingly obtuse. I will turn nanny’s argument on it’s head: dear nanny, are global warming “alarmists” suggesting carbon monoxide levels be reduced to the point of suffocating plants?

  25. #25 jade
    May 19, 2006

    Incidentally, studies also show that biological activity ratchets up dramatically inside a milk carton if you forget to put it back in the fridge.

    Bad for human health, say the alarmites? Possibly. But really folks, when that happens there’s nothing to worry about… just toss it in the garbage, pop out to the swimming pool and refill with a nice refreshing glass of blue-green algae.

  26. #26 Stephen Berg
    May 19, 2006

    Nanny, two of the three locations you specify are supposed to be FROZEN OVER! Life is not supposed to flourish there!

    As for the growing season bit, who cares? If the amount of precipitation will likely decrease and exacerbate drought in areas of the Great Plains and the Canadian Prairies as a result of global warming, an increased length of the growing season would actually be bad, since snowpack would be reduced as well!

    What’s going through your brain, Nanny? Too much CO2 and not enough O2?

  27. #27 z
    May 19, 2006

    “They should have had her popping open a beer (maybe a nice Belgian one) and pouring it into a glass with the head building up. Then, when the announcer says, “CO2 [...] We call it life” she could raise the glass and say, “L’Chaim.”

    Good heavens, a second contender for Post of the Week.

  28. #28 z
    May 19, 2006

    I don’t think anyone is expecting AGW to sterilize the planet. Nature is value-free; life adapts. Often in ways we do not like; ironically Michael Crichton does a good job of portraying it in Jurassic Park, the book more explicitly than the movie. If lack of habitat exterminates the big cats, elephants, large predators in America, cetaceans, nature will just find a new balance, and the only ones to judge it as bad will be those who find themselves showing their kids quicktime movies of what a lion roaring was like. The climate can change all over the place and something will survive, even if it’s just sulfur fixing bacteria on the rims of underwater volcanic vents. But historically, rapid climate change and/or rapid extinction events preferentially kill off the larger, slower to adapt organisms, which happen to be the ones that humans feel an attachment to. The loss of polar bears may be compensated by a rich new environment for mosquitos to breed, but that’s not going to make anybody happy except those so diligently fighting the DDT ban.

  29. #29 Dano
    May 19, 2006

    I like the Marshall linky to a paper written by “CO2 is manna from heaven!! *heart* ” espousers.

    na_gs, of course, lacks any knowledge in the natural sciences to judge whether or not to believe the BS line that warming is just ducky.

    Just because something is greener doesn’t mean that the ecosystem can provide the ecosystem services that human societies depend on, na_gs.

    Best,

    D

  30. #30 Carleton Wu
    May 19, 2006

    “If you look at it, there have been 4 cycles of cooling and warming of +/-5 degrees C over the past 450,000 years, and I’m betting there weren’t CO2 spewing humans to blame back then, so why should they be to blame now?”

    Short answer:
    Your honor, I have proof that several people have accidentally fallen off of that mountain ledge- ergo, it is impossible that I pushed my wife off. QED.

    Long answer:
    There are mountains of evidence that this is anthropogenic. Maybe you have looked at them and found them wanting- maybe you’d like to tell us why. Or maybe you haven’t looked at them, in which case I suggest that you do, as you’ll find the answer to your question there. See, for example:
    http://www.realclimate.org/

  31. #31 Carleton Wu
    May 19, 2006

    Nanny,
    If you believe that primary productivity = ability to produce food; perhaps you’d like to explain why the areas of highest primary production in the world (ie the tropical rain and seasonal forests) are such poor food producing areas, and the high-latitude grasslands are the world’s bread basket.
    See, for example, http://earthtrends.wri.org/searchable_db/index.php?theme=8 – check ‘agricultural yields’ – the top 25 contain exactly 2 tropical nations (Egypt and Vietnam). And while economic development plays a part in this, countries with moderate per-capita incomes (eg Slovenia, Chile, and China) were able to make the list. (nb the story plays out roughly the same if you use other measures, such as agricultural exports).

    (Perhaps you don’t hold the belief that I suggested in the first sentence- in which case your blathering about primary production seems pointless. Unless you are ignorant enough of ecology to believe that primary productivity is correlated in the short-term with ecosystem stability or biodiversity or some other positive trait…)

  32. #32 nanny_govt_sucks
    May 20, 2006

    Nanny, two of the three locations you specify are supposed to be FROZEN OVER! Life is not supposed to flourish there!

    I really find this to be a fascinating quote from you, Stephen.

    Who says where life is “supposed” to flourish? Is there some law or rulebook of life on the planet Earth that only you have access to?

    The fossil record shows that Alaska was much warmer at many different times in the past. Who’s to say what the temperature of Alaska is “supposed” to be, and what kind of life is “supposed” to flourish there?

    How Does Climate Change Influence Alaska’s Vegetation? Insights from the Fossil Record
    http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs-0071-97/
    “During warm interglacial periods such the one we are currently experiencing (the Holocene, spanning the past 10,000 years), boreal forests of spruce, larch, poplar, birch, alder, and willow spread throughout most of interior Alaska. During the warmest part of the previous interglacial (about 130,000 to 120,000 years ago), average growing season temperatures in Alaska appear to have been at least 5° F warmer than today. Spruce-dominated boreal forests spread north of the Brooks Range and west to the Bering Sea coast, areas where lowland tundra vegetation now grows.”

  33. #33 jade
    May 20, 2006

    Who says where life is “supposed” to flourish?

    We do. Because if “life” “flourishes” where we don’t want it to flourish, there are consequences for agriculture and human health.

    Of course, the nanny goat has no answer the other comments, which refute him. Nice!

  34. #34 nanny_govt_sucks
    May 20, 2006

    If the amount of precipitation will likely decrease …

    GW predictions are for more precipitation, not less.

    Just because something is greener doesn’t mean that the ecosystem can provide the ecosystem services that human societies depend on, na_gs.

    Are you AGAINST greening, Dano? Isn’t a warm, green planet more capable than a cold, dry one of supplying whatever it is you’re talking about?

    Nanny, If you believe that primary productivity = ability to produce food; perhaps you’d like to explain why the areas of highest primary production in the world (ie the tropical rain and seasonal forests) are such poor food producing areas, and the high-latitude grasslands are the world’s bread basket.

    When did the conversation shift to human food production?

    We’ve been talking about CO2, whether CO2 poisioning is a good AGW argument, the proliferation of life, and what’s good for the environment as a whole. Shall we shift gears? OK. Global warming opens up vast areas of North Canada and Russia to human food production. For evidence of this, please see the following regarding Alberta, Canada:

    Temporal and spatial changes of the agroclimate in Alberta, Canada, from 1901 to 2002
    http://cgrg.geog.uvic.ca/abstracts/ShenTemporalThis.html
    “This paper analyzes the long-term (1901-2002) temporal trends in the agroclimate of Alberta, Canada, and explores the spatial variations of the agroclimatic resources and the potential crop-growing area in Alberta. … The results support the following conclusions. 1) The Alberta PCPN [May-August precipitation] has increased 14% from 1901 to 2002, and the increment is the largest in the north and the northwest of Alberta … 3) An earlier LSF [last spring frost], a later FFF [first fall frost], and a longer FFP [frost free period] are obvious all over the province. 4) The area with sufficient CHU [corn heat units] for corn production, calculated according to the 1973-2002 normal, has extended to the north by about 200-300 km, when compared with the 1913-32 normal, and by about 50-100 km, when compared with the 1943-72 normal; this expansion implies that the potential exists to grow crops and raise livestock in more regions of Alberta than was possible in the past. The annual total precipitation follows a similar increasing trend to that of the May-August precipitation, and the percentile analysis of precipitation attributes the increase to low-intensity events. The changes of the agroclimatic parameters imply that Alberta agriculture has benefited from the last century’s climate change.”

  35. #35 Ian Gould
    May 20, 2006

    So, Nanny where would YOU like to live: icky, cold New york city or nice, warm Death Valley?

    Does it worry you in the least that we’re looking at losing rare ecosystems like tundra and cloud forests while expanding already prolific ones like boreal forest?

  36. #36 Ian Gould
    May 20, 2006

    All: to be fair, we’d probably be a lot less inclined to snigger at an ad proclaiming “water: the stuff of life” but inhaling too much of either water or CO2 has the same effect.

  37. #37 Ian Gould
    May 20, 2006

    Finally, let’s note that Alberta’s gain is South Australia’s loss:

    http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2006/s1633527.htm

  38. #38 Dano
    May 20, 2006

    Oh, fer chrissake.

    Who is the bigger fool, the guy who argues with a fool or the fool?

    In case there are any lurkers out there who think na_gs might magically be onto something,

    GW predictions are for more precipitation, not less

    Not uniformly. And there will be more episodic pcpn according to models (and what we are starting to see on the ground). Soil moisture in changed flows is an issue as well (1., 2., 3., 4.)

    Are you AGAINST greening, Dano? Isn’t a warm, green planet more capable than a cold, dry one of supplying whatever it is you’re talking about?

    Not knowing what ecosystem services are is noted.

    Also not understanding ecosystems is noted too. You have not, anywhere, shown that just because the NVDIs are increasing in the positive that this is lending increased stability to ecosystems.

    When did the conversation shift to human food production?

    Not knowing what ecosystems do is noted.

    Any shift in ecosystem stability affects human food production.

    We’ve been talking about…whether CO2 poisioning is a good AGW argument,

    Not understanding scale is noted.

    But, no, we’ve been laughing at advert tactics. No one is seriously talking about whether our emissions will be poisionous.

    Sorry to tell you, na_gs, that the facts are inconvenient to the conclusions of your ideology and identity. All done here.

    Best,

    D

  39. #39 Chris O'Neill
    May 20, 2006

    “GW predictions are for more precipitation, not less.”

    And also for more evaporation. Anywhere with a dry season will have to get by with more evaporation during the dry season. This has the greatest effect where the dry season occurs during summer, i.e. a Mediterranean climate (although places with dry springs or autumns are also substantially affected). This includes the southern part of mainland Australia, which will have to greatly increase water storage just to maintain the availabilty of city water supplies, even if the average rainfall over the whole year does not decrease.

  40. #40 aaron
    May 21, 2006

    some people call it money. we call it life.

  41. #41 Pinko Punko
    May 22, 2006

    I forgot that I applied for a job at CEI

  42. #42 Jeff Harvey
    May 22, 2006

    Nanny, for the zillionth time, why do you avoid reading the primary literature? Or are you made of rubber? Everything seems to bounce off of you. If you want to debate population ecology with me, fine, but to keep sending unidimensional reports, many from corporate-funded think tanks with an axe to grind, is a waste of time and energy. You want to believe in the tooth fairy and nothing is going to deviate you from this path.

    The problem is that the files you keep attaching are purely descriptive science, or not science at all. They are, in other words utterly useless. They don’t tell us anything about evolutionary eclogy or population ecology. I relish debating clowns like the Idso’s because they do not understand basic ecology! The crx of the matter is this: Ecological systems are non-linear. REPEAT!!!!! Non-linear. Invasion ecology provides us with thousands of examples of non-linearity. Changing one variable in a system (e.g. C02 atmospheric concentrations) is not going to result in a linear benefit for other species/populations in the system. It just DOES NOT work that way!!! Just becase primary production is stimulated by increased C02 in some regions of high latitudes does not tell us how species and genetcally distinct populations within the ‘new system’ will respond. Many of these species are not thermophilic and are thus adapted to colder regimes. They are phylogenetcially constrained by their evolutonary history. At the same time, there will be winners. But the bottom line is that species and populations which make up ecological communities and systems exist in myriad of interactions, most that have been little explored. More complex systems are probably more stable than biologically simple systems because there are many alternate pathways for the transfer of resources, energy etc. Daniel Janzen said more than a quarter of a century ago that the ultimate extinction is the extinction of species interactions, because these reinforce food web structure; there is no doubt that food webs exhibit some degree of reslience to rapid change, which is dependent on the genetic structure of the popuations of species within these food webs. But current changes are occurring in systems which are already stressed by a suite of anthropogenic processes, and there’s no doubt that many species in radically warmer climates are not biologically or phenologically adapted (bearig in mind they interact with other species) to the rate of change now underway. There are plenty of studies in journals such as Nature and Science which report that plant-predator-prey interactons are being compromised due to asymmetrcial seasonal warming, because each of the components is physiologically responding differently, thus ‘unraveling’ the itneractions. When one species loses, all of those inderdependent on it lose as well. The consequences will be severe.

    So nanny, you might as well stop citing descriptive studies which tell us nothing about interactions. Moreover, the report from the GCMI was pure and utter garbage. Anti-science. Claptrap. Gobbedegook. It wouldn’t see the light of day if it were submitted to a rigid scientific journal. I am a population ecologist whose understanding of complex systems is – like it or not – light years ahead of the Idso’s and their cahoots at the GCMI. Reading your embarrassing arguments is bad enough, nanny, but then trying to bolster them with childish unscientific nonsense from a think tank authored by people who probably can’t tell a mole cricket from a giraffe takes the cake.

  43. #43 Eli Rabett
    May 22, 2006

    Everyone should notice how conservative (wishing to preserve that which we have and serves us well) Jeff Harvey is and how radical (rushing eagerly headlong into he knows not what) nanny is.

  44. #44 Jeff Harvey
    May 22, 2006

    Thanks Eli,

    I guess that I should go easier on nanny. I just hate to see science abused by the likes of the Idso’s etc. These guys have no credibility in environental science. They are given a pre-determined position to defend by their buddies at the GCMI, and they then search through the empirical literatrue to find studies whose conclusions they can twist and distort. They did this with a colleague’s paper here a few years ago. She’d just had her first Nature paper published when she learned that the web site C-oh-two (Idso et al) had used her study to argue that enhanced C02 concentrations were a boon for the environment, even though her study had said no such thing. I told her more about these spooks and how they abuse science in support of a corporate agenda.

    I’ve debated a few of these kinds of people in the past, and they are exceedingly hollow. They don’t understand basic ecology and yet they write appalling position papers as if they have some kind of intellectual authority. Their bottom line is always that we should not change anything. The only business is business-as-usual, irrespective of the empirical evidence that we are heading in the wrong direction. Humans are conducting an experiment on systems of unimaginable complexity which generate an array of conditions that permit our survial, an experiment in which there are no replicates. We now that these systems function in decidedly non-linear ways, and that the addition or loss of a single component e.g. a population, species, functional group or guild) to the system can have exceedingly dramatic consequences on the persistence and vitality of the system. This kind of thinking is apparently beyond those who believe only in the market, in terms of short-term profit, and the Idso’s should be ashamed of themselves for abusing science in this way.

    I suggest that Nanny goes to the library and reads up on the primary literature e.g. studies showing how climate change is having asymmetric affects on tightly linked linear food chains, by disproportionately affecting each species within the chain. We have extensive literature showing how declines of migratory songbirds is being facilitated by differing behavioral and physiological responses to warmer spring temperatures in Holland. This is resulting in rapid temporal shifts in the abundance of caterpillars which are being forced to emerge earlier in spring to keep up with suitable food supplies (young leaves of their foodplants). At the same time, some migratory birds, which are dependent on the caterpillars for food, are not arriving any earlier at their breeding grounds because teperatures in their overwintering range (tropical Africa) are not increasing at the same rate, as they are leaving their overwintering grounds at the same time to head north each year. Populations of studied species are in freefall as a result. As more species declines are investigated, there is no doubt that the effects of climatic warming on similar phenological processes will be shown to be the primary culprit. None of this appears in the Idso’s trashy article. I wonder why?

  45. #45 Ian Gould
    May 22, 2006

    Let’s forestall another of the standard anti-environment talking points: yes, there have been episodes of global warming in the past and yes, ecosystems managed to survive.

    However, so far as we know, none of those episodes of global warming occurred when the Earth was already undergoing one of the greatest mass extinctions in its history.

  46. #46 Jeff Harvey
    May 23, 2006

    Ian,

    Exactly. Climate change is just one of amny anthropogenic stresses to whch ecosystems and the species which make them up, have to adapt.

    I spoke with a colleague this morning who is a co-author on two studies (one in Science, the other in Nature) whose conclusions were twisted by the Idso’s on their atrocious web site, C-OH-2. He told me he was amazed how they’d managed to take two different studies and cherry-picked conclusions to suit their agenda that enhancing atmospheric CO2 levels would help to facilitate succession in plant communities. This ‘just plain daft’ he told me.

  47. #47 z
    May 23, 2006

    “Humans are conducting an experiment on systems of unimaginable complexity which generate an array of conditions that permit our survial, an experiment in which there are no replicates. ”

    The proverbial guy passing the halfway point as he falls from a skyscraper: “So far, so good!”

  48. #48 Dano
    May 23, 2006

    Someone will just invent something, z, that will break the guy’s fall, and even better make lots of money at it!!!!!! Don’t worry about it and keep on doing exactly what you are doing.

    Best,

    D

  49. #49 z
    May 26, 2006

    “The new results suggest that the tropics have expanded by 2 degrees latitude, or 140 miles, over the past 26 years.
    “It’s a big deal,” said study team member Thomas Reichler, a meteorologist at the University of Utah. “If this is true, it also would mean that subtropical deserts are expanding into heavily populated mid-latitude regions.”
    “The current study support previous findings which found that accelerated subtropical warming of the troposphere could shift the paths of rain and snow storms poleward. This would reduce winter rainfall in places such as southern Europe and southern Australia, scientists say.”
    - Deserts Might Grow as Tropics Expand
    LiveScience.com
    Thu May 25, 3:00 PM ET
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/space/20060525/sc_space/desertsmightgrowastropicsexpand

The site is currently under maintenance and will be back shortly. New comments have been disabled during this time, please check back soon.