AP gets Silence of the Frogs Wrong?

Posted in Abrupt Climate Change at 7:40 pm

The AP just broke a story that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the authoritative U.N. network of 2,000 scientists and more than 100 governments say that climate change is already impacting species around the globe.

 I would be the last person to argue with this, but they go on to give examples, including a claim that the worldwide drop in the frog population is a result of global warming. The drop in frog populations was noticed as early as 1981 and was widely recognized 9 years later.

A massive amount of research ensued, with acid rain, global warming and other causes listed as potential causes to be investigated. It was determined that global travel had spread the virus and the fungus to areas they had never been before and caused the massive deformity and death of the amphibians.

In 2006 it was reported that extinctions occurred after periods of weather conducive to the spread of the fungus. The bouts of warm, humid weather were tied to global warming.

This does not logically imply that global warming was the primary cause of the extinction. It merely implies that global warming accelerated the timing of the extinctions. Especially prior to 1980, climate swings were still within the range of normal. Once pathogens had been spread it was only a matter of time before the trigger was pulled by normal variations in the weather.

If one is trying to deal with a disaster it’s really important to recognize that more than one may be occurring at the same time. Attributing all emotionally-charged consequences to your favorite disaster just makes it more difficult for the average layman who will have to push the solution to figure out what is going on.

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