01-20-2011, 05:52 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
The disappearing frogs and Michael's 99.9.9%.
It seems there is something fishy in the amphibian world..
Just a few years ago, we were told that frogs were disappearing because of global warming. We were told that there was no further time to waste, that soon the world would be frog-bereft, so we had no choice but to limit carbon emissions or all would be lost. Now it turns out that this prediction was as valid as the prediction that snow would vanish from Britain, and that Australia was doomed to extreme drought. As the UK digs out of record snowfall, and Australia copes with extreme floods, the frogs are bouncing back. Apparently that peer-reviewed, scientific consensus was flat out wrong.
First, the doomsters:
National Geographic News (January 2006)
Global warming may cause widespread amphibian extinctions by triggering lethal epidemics, a new study reports.
J. Alan Pounds and colleagues :
"Global warming is wreaking havoc on amphibians and will cause staggering losses of biodiversity if we don't do something fast."...
Climate scientists have long warned that global warming could spur deadly disease epidemics. The study suggests that such a scenario may already be unfolding in the amphibian world.
Then there's Washington Post (January 2006)
Rising temperatures are responsible for pushing dozens of frog species over the brink of extinction in the past three decades, according to findings being reported today by a team of Latin American and U.S. scientists.
The study, published in the journal Nature, provides compelling evidence that climate change has already helped wipe out a slew of species and could spur more extinctions and the spread of diseases worldwide.
The US National Science Foundation, January 2006:
Results of a new study provide the first clear proof that global warming is causing outbreaks of an infectious disease that is wiping out entire frog populations and driving many species to extinction.
And many more..
Now, from the New Scientist:
FROGS across Australia and the US may be recovering from a fungal disease that has devastated populations around the world."It's happening across a number of species," says Michael Mahony at the University of Newcastle in New South Wales, who completed a 20-year study of frogs along the Great Dividing Range in Australia for the Earthwatch Institute. Between 1990 and 1998 the populations of several frog species crashed due to chytridiomycosis infection (chytrid) caused by the pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, but Mahony's surveys suggest that the frogs are re-establishing.
Barred river frogs (Mixophyes esiteratus) disappeared, he says, but now up to 30 of the animals have returned to streams across Australia's Central Coast. The tusked-frog (Adelotus) and several tree frog species (Litoria) have also returned there. Ross Alford at James Cook University in Townsville, Queensland, says tree frogs are also repopulating other areas of the state after their numbers nosedived. Some have even reached pre-infection levels.
In the US there are also signs of recovery. Roland Knapp at Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory at the University of California says mountain yellow-legged frogs (Rana muscosas) - once "driven virtually to extinction" - are returning.
Waramists lament that skepticism is growing about their theory and the scientific consensus they claim backs it up because they have not done a good job of explaining their position. They could start by explaining why their doomsaying has been so wrong.