Print 48 comment(s) - last by Lerianis.. on Aug 13 at 5:58 PM

  (Source: The Northern Myth)
Though they do not have enough evidence to back it up

Two researchers have claimed that giant heat waves caused by global warming will kill off desert bird communities over the next one hundred years, and even believe that mass amounts of warming-related deaths have already begun to occur. 

Researchers Blair Wolf, an associate professor of biology at the University of New Mexico, and Andrew McKechnie, from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, have discovered that temperature increases as low as two degrees Fahrenheit can affect desert bird populations in a large way.

According to these researchers' findings, massive heat waves claim the lives of several desert bird populations because these birds release body heat by panting and evaporating water across the skin, and with increasing temperatures and not enough places for these birds to find shelter and water, large numbers are dying off due to heat stroke. 

Wolf and McKechnie found that water is scarce in deserts, obviously, and birds become inactive when temperatures rise. Since these heat waves cover large areas, the birds cannot just fly away to avoid the consequences either.

To better understand the future of these bird populations, Wolf and McKechnie have devised a

mathematical model based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's predictions that Earth's temperature will rise 3.5 to 6.5 degrees Fahrenheit over the course of the next one hundred years. This model estimates survival rates (and supposedly future water costs for birds in this region, though no actual figures have been provided) for birds that will live during the 2080's during heat waves in comparison to those who live in the two hottest desert regions today: Birdsville, Australia and Yuma, Arizona. 

According to this model's results, small birds in the 2080's will show significantly less survival rates than larger birds due to their increased amount of water loss. As much as 30 to 40 percent of small desert bird populations could die off in this time period. Their research also shows that all birds under 100 grams will experience a decreased survival rate of 25 percent due to an increase in water loss. 

These researchers are blaming global warming for the increased temperatures that lead to heat waves, causing desert bird populations to perspire too much without enough water to rehydrate. Both Wolf and McKechnie say these increased temperatures will be overwhelming to birds, and have already claimed the lives of several desert bird populations in Western Australia and India. 

While their research has led them to these conclusions, Wolf and McKechnie admit that these results are not exactly 100 percent finished or accurate at this point. So far, their models only apply to birds that are already in hot, dry desert climates. 

"We don't have good research of these die-offs," said Wolf. "No researchers have actually been present during these incidents and no one has actually done the autopsies - so we don't even know the exact cause of death of these animals - whether it was dehydration or heat stroke.

"Our models allow for making somewhat educated guesses at this point, but real data on bird tolerances to heat and water stress are lacking."

Locals in Australia and India have reported these die-offs. Wolf and McKechnie are looking further into these dying populations to see exactly how many are being killed due to heat, and how this will affect other plant and animal species. 

"These incidents illustrate a need for more basic research on how animals function so that predictions can be made and measures can be taken to preserve our biodiversity," said Wolf. 

Wolf presented his abstract, "Climate change increases the likelihood of catastrophic avian mortality events during extreme heat waves and droughts" at the Global Change and Global Science: Comparative Physiology in a Changing World conference from August 4-7 in Colorado.

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By pheffern on 8/11/2010 8:03:03 AM , Rating: 5
Seems like an awful lot of assumptions and very little actual data. Strange that this is what passes for science these days.

RE: Funny...
By JimboK29 on 8/11/2010 8:31:46 AM , Rating: 2
And what about the cooling that causes thousands of fish to freeze to death off the coast of Brazil?

Oh and look at this - global sea ice is up.

Stop the bias, DT. Please.

RE: Funny...
By MrBlastman on 8/11/2010 11:36:12 AM , Rating: 4
Less birds means less crap on my cars. :)

RE: Funny...
By drycrust3 on 8/11/2010 2:11:22 PM , Rating: 1
We don't have good research of these die-offs

Wolf and McKechnie admit that these results are not exactly 100 percent finished or accurate at this point

Good work chaps, keep it up. You should be proud of your work, and I hope your university is proud of you too. Make sure you never actually complete your research, because you've done a great job.
And while you are at it, tell your government that they need to bring in more controls on industry and the populous urgently (but not for yourselves and the government, you both need exemptions), oh, and don't forget the government needs to control the media as well because they might print things "out of context", and that you will need more money to "prove" this might happen someday or the whole of their country might become a barren desert with migratory birds dying of thirst because they might not know how to fly to the nearest waterhole.

RE: Funny...
By JimboK29 on 8/11/2010 8:35:42 AM , Rating: 2
RE: Funny...
By bug77 on 8/11/2010 8:47:17 AM , Rating: 4
Eh, you're not a scientist, you don't understand how these things work.

First, you need a catchy theme. Something that includes "climate change" (but not "questions", "investigating", etc.) is a sure hit. So you get "Climate change increases the likelihood of catastrophic avian mortality". Then you must publish something. And you go "these results are not exactly 100 percent finished or accurate at this point". And then you work towards making it 100 percent accurate, as long as money keeps coming in.

This is serious stuff, you know?

RE: Funny...
By the3monkies on 8/11/2010 9:34:58 AM , Rating: 3
I too believe that this AGW stuff is nonsense; but I recognize that a little proactive ass-covering is called for just in case Florida disappears under the waves. So what I've done is construct my argument in such a way that regardless of what global temps do, I can never be wrong. (You might object that this is the position taken by most of us AGW deniers, but I think I deserve credit for putting it all in black and white.) Here it is:

Scenario 1) global temps don't rise, therefore the theory is obviously wrong and I'm right.

Scenario 2) global temps do rise, in which case I'll explain it away as just another example of natural variation in the earth's climate and not proof of AGW, and therefore I'm right again.

So take that you liberal, tree-hugging, baguette and brie munching fairies - we are invincible!

RE: Funny...
By bug77 on 8/11/2010 10:12:11 AM , Rating: 2
Well, you'd be one step ahead of the scientists if you could " explain it away as just another example of natural variation". Most of the stuff I've read is just postulated . No way can any of the theories be proven wrong.

RE: Funny...
By chripuck on 8/11/2010 1:27:36 PM , Rating: 2
Do you just keep this in a word document and repost it in every global warming post?

RE: Funny...
By the3monkies on 8/11/2010 3:27:53 PM , Rating: 3
All I'm saying is that if we want to win this AGW debate, we've got to predefine our position so that no matter what facts and figures the tree-huggers throw at us, we still come out on top. Otherwise you spend all day having to Google up some refutation to all the pseudo-scientific nonsense being released by virtually every climate scientist in the world claiming that this or that statistic is further evidence of AGW. That's an endless battle, and ultimately a fool's game, because corrupt climate scientists are the ones who produce and control the data, which gives them an unfair advantage. So what I'm trying to do is tell the tree-huggers there's no point in throwing facts and figures at us because no matter what global temps do, we've structured our argument in such a way that we can never be proven wrong.

I mean, in the end, as far as our position is concerned, it doesn't matter what global temps do. Temps could go through the roof, all the ice sheets melt, the oceans rise dozens of meters; none of that is relevant to our argument, which is that even if we don't have the slightest idea where global temps are going, we can say ahead of time, no matter what happens, the man has no influence on global temps. And we can do that because of the reasoning I mentioned in my above post.

RE: Funny...
By Reclaimer77 on 8/11/2010 11:51:06 AM , Rating: 4
Can I see a show of hands from people who KNEW this was a Tiffany article before they even clicked on it, just from the title?

*raises hand*

RE: Funny...
By TSS on 8/11/2010 12:24:19 PM , Rating: 2
Now now be fair, From the title it could've been a Mick article just as well.

I stopped reading after the first paragraph though. Death from heat in the desert? Really? With no actual proof to back it up?

There i thought it was a tiffany article.

RE: Funny...
By Cheesew1z69 on 8/11/2010 12:45:02 PM , Rating: 4
And this

Wolf and McKechnie found that water is scarce in deserts

Really captain obvious?

RE: Funny...
By espaghetti on 8/11/2010 3:18:38 PM , Rating: 2
And in other news today......water is needed for birds to live. More on this at 5.

RE: Funny...
By InvertMe on 8/11/2010 1:03:51 PM , Rating: 5
I'm fairly convinced at this point that Tiffany is Mick in a dress behind the keyboard.

RE: Funny...
By AlexWade on 8/11/2010 7:21:28 PM , Rating: 2
Seems like an awful lot of assumptions and very little actual data. Strange that this is what passes for science these days.

Why not? Consider all the things man-made global warming is blamed for. GW is blamed on everything from acne to zoonotic diseases. Just add something else to the list, what does it matter at this point?

RE: Funny...
By Lerianis on 8/13/2010 5:58:22 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. It seems today that everyone wants to point to global warming/climate change (which is real, but just a natural non-man-made phenomenon) as the source of all the ills in the wild today.

I don't buy it. I'm wondering if more these species are 'dying out' because of diseases which have nothing or little to do with global warming or climate change.

Birds have... wings
By nafhan on 8/11/2010 9:24:40 AM , Rating: 3
This whole report is rediculous, but they seem to be starting with the assumption that if temperture in the desert goes up the birds will stay and live in the exact same place. If these temp changes occur over the next 70 years, it seems like the birds would act like birds do, and migrate to areas to which they are better adapted (i.e. areas like their current climates).
Assumptions, on top of speculation, pushed as urgent warnings of what IS going to happen. What do you expect?

RE: Birds have... wings
By marvdmartian on 8/11/2010 9:56:43 AM , Rating: 4
That should be an easy assumption to make, but we are talking about scientists, aren't we?

The thing I get a kick out of all the time, is that I'm sure these same scientists that talk about global warming causing bird species to become extinct, are the same guys who believe completely in the theory of evolution.

That being said, shouldn't the attitude be that if these birds are capable of evolving, they won't become extinct......and if they don't evolve, then isn't it just a matter of survival of the fittest? So why be upset, if it's a natural thing??

RE: Birds have... wings
By Calindar on 8/11/2010 6:58:09 PM , Rating: 2
That was actually my exact thoughts when I read the article. If these desert birds cannot handle a tiny increase in temperature, they are too specialized and are bound to die off in short order anyway.

RE: Birds have... wings
By Ammohunt on 8/11/2010 2:01:40 PM , Rating: 2
What if they migrate into a wind farm! mass extinction!

Seems Premature
By ltgrunt on 8/11/2010 9:49:17 AM , Rating: 1
This work really doesn't seem like it's ready for prime-time yet. Even the researchers admit that they haven't gotten around to doing much, well, research yet. A more fitting headline might have been "Researchers Announce Intent to Study Global Warming-related Bird Mortality Theory." Then again, an accurate and non-sensationalized headline isn't guaranteed to generate page views and advertising dollars, so I guess that's a lost cause.

And wow, people, the closed-minded absolutist denial of climate change is getting to be pretty staggering. Granted, there are still questions, but the hate, vitriol and the rabid distrust of scientists and the scientific method are getting out of hand. Just like the planet, I think you guys need to chill out a little.

RE: Seems Premature
By JediJeb on 8/11/2010 11:39:05 AM , Rating: 2
What is killing the AGW movement is people promoting AGW for the sake of promoting AGW. I read papers that discuss both sides of the issue and have yet to really find one that takes the facts, and presents them as raw unbiased research without adding in opinions that are not supported by the data the writer just presented. This is what is killing both sides of the debate, though I believe lately the pro AGW side has been putting out the more outlandish papers with this one as a prime example.

Real science takes facts and draws conclusions that are supported by them, these guys flat out admit that they made their conclusions before actually getting any facts at all. To write a paper that says " Birds die, we know it is Global Warming causing it but we have not yet determined what caused the birds to die" is the most unscientific paper I have ever heard of. You can't even call it a research paper because they admit they have not yet done any research! Might as well publish a paper on how the moon is purple and say that tomorrow you will actually look at the moon to verify it is purple. No real scientist has the answers before they do their research. You can either have a conclusion eg Birds Dying, then research the cause, or you can research a cause eg Global Warming, and come to the conclusion that is is causing birds to die, but you can't have your cause and conclusion decided before you do your research.

It is disgusting how real scientists are getting a bad name and pretty much thrown to the wayside because of characters like this. Legitimate research can't get funding now days, yet publicity stunts get more money than they know what to do with. We need a press that will force scientists to show their data and work to back up their conclusions or expose the charlatans for what they are. And that includes the peer reviewed scientific journals too, which are beginning to fall to the same level as most other press outlets these days.

RE: Seems Premature
By ltgrunt on 8/11/2010 1:18:38 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not seeing anything in this article to suggest that these researchers are specifically focusing on AGW climate change. It's widely understood at this point that climate change is happening; it's a real thing. The biggest point of contention is the cause, which is where the AGW vs. natural processes argument comes in. But this article doesn't really indicate that their research is going one way or the other on the causes, rather that they're just looking at the effects.

And while it could be argued that they're making their conclusions first, keep in mind that it's also part of the scientific method to make a hypothesis and then do your research and testing to support or falsify that hypothesis. They need to start their research with a bit more focus than something general like "what's happening with birds?" So they take the theory "global warming can cause bird die-offs" and they run with it to see what happens. They seem to be explicitly stating that they haven't finished (or started) research, to say nothing of testing.

RE: Seems Premature
By JediJeb on 8/11/2010 4:56:14 PM , Rating: 2
To better understand the future of these bird populations, Wolf and McKechnie have devised a mathematical model based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's predictions that Earth's temperature will rise 3.5 to 6.5 degrees Fahrenheit over the course of the next one hundred years

They are basing their model off of what is probably the most pro AGW work out there, so I assumed they are also thinking along the same lines with their work. Maybe I guessed wrong.

RE: Seems Premature
By espaghetti on 8/11/2010 3:36:37 PM , Rating: 2
I cannot deny that the climate changes.
There once were giant glaciers. Now they are gone.

What I and many others disagree with is anthropogenic global warming.

If humans can raise the temperature with C02 emissions, the only way to slow or stop it is to lower the earth's population or completely regulate their behavior.

Given how much people like to procreate, nothing can be done. Unless you enslave them.

By mkrech on 8/11/2010 12:45:08 PM , Rating: 3
Honestly, I think Tiffany is just trolling for comment traffic.

In fact, I think DT uses the tactic in general to promote site traffic. Not that it is bad. Hey, you gotta generate traffic however you can. But, sprinkle a little useful stuff in there as well.

Arguing with idiots gets boring.

RE: Troll
By superflex on 8/11/2010 12:58:23 PM , Rating: 2
Give that man a cookie.
The obvious lack of tech and non-scientific method speculation by these two assmaggot "scientists" is better suited for WaPo or HuffPo.
Please DT,
Stick to real science and tech articles. Not political junk science.

RE: Troll
By espaghetti on 8/11/2010 3:22:17 PM , Rating: 2
I miss the "TECH" part of this website..
I swear if someone brings up a frickin electric car I will loose my mind.

By The Imir of Groofunkistan on 8/11/2010 11:48:55 AM , Rating: 2
So where's the scientists talking about natural selection now? Not that I buy the GW stuff but won't genetics deal with < 1-2 degrees over 100 years? The birds that can't handle it die off, the birds that can survive to reproduce and pass on the good genes. Why is everything a crisis?

RE: Darwin
By JediJeb on 8/11/2010 12:49:19 PM , Rating: 2
That is definately something to think about. Everyone wants to tout how evolution works and how it brought about all the diverse species we now have, and talk about how climate, plants, animals, position of the land masses, ect have all changed over time, yet they want to somehow lock everything in existance now into place and never let it change in the future. People now want to "stabilize" the climate, prevent extinctions, control the environment and other things just so they will not have to adapt to the changes that naturally occur.

True believers in evolution and the entire geologic past of the Earth, should now man up and admit that it will continue to change and that species will appear and disappear from existance and there is little we can do about it. If man somehow causes the extinction of a species is it any more unnatural than if say lions were to kill out one of their prey until it was extinct? Was man's killing off of the Dodo any worse than an asteroid killing off most of the dominate species of the Earth in one fell swoop?

RE: Darwin
By ClownPuncher on 8/11/2010 3:04:44 PM , Rating: 2
Why is everything a crisis?

Pageclicks. Would you watch the news if all they reported was fact? BORING!

I blame..
By GruntboyX on 8/11/2010 9:52:19 AM , Rating: 2
I blame global warming for the dog burning the grass with his urine. It has been hotter lately, and therefore he is drinking more water. Thus, Global warming is causing my lawn to burn more than normal.

Now I would like my millions from the government to do a more thorough study.

RE: I blame..
By mmatis on 8/11/2010 10:19:47 AM , Rating: 3
The dog does NOT want you to do a more thorough study of that activity.

These guys are geniuses
By mdogs444 on 8/11/2010 8:35:02 AM , Rating: 2
Wolf and McKechnie found that water is scarce in deserts

Really? You don't say! With findings like that, everything they say MUST be true! Who can argue?

RE: These guys are geniuses
By Schrag4 on 8/11/2010 9:07:43 AM , Rating: 2
I wonder how much time and taxpayer money it took them to figure that out.

oh really?
By Gul Westfale on 8/11/2010 8:06:03 AM , Rating: 2
Researchers Blame Global Warming For Dying Bird Populations

i blame manbearpig.

A research proposal
By Amiga500 on 8/11/2010 8:17:38 AM , Rating: 2
In other news, Amiga500's taste for beer may be eroding due to global warming. But further research into the area is required before any definite conclusions can be reached. Any chance the IPCC could fund this work?

(My point is, so much of this work is now self-promoting in terms of garnering initial and subsequent research funding it is no longer impartial in its approach.)

Hey, I like this one
By Sahrin on 8/11/2010 8:30:06 AM , Rating: 2
"Why didn't you finish those TPS reports? You told me you would have them by yesterday morning, and we need them for a meeting right now. What's going on? What possible explanation could you have for this?"

"I understand your frustration, but there's not really anything I could do about Global Warming, is there?"

The best excuse is one that is blamed on collective negligence. A victimless crime.

It's over
By BernardP on 8/11/2010 8:35:55 AM , Rating: 2
This is the kind of news that is sapping the public's belief in AGW: IF this happens, and IF this is caused by AGW, then THAT catastrophic event will happen.

What matters is that, all over the world, politicians are incresingly backtracking on measures to fight the imaginary global warming problem. These leaders have been swindled into believing, and now they are trying to extricate themselves from this mess without losing face.

AGW will fizzle away when the media drops the subject.

By dgingeri on 8/11/2010 9:27:25 AM , Rating: 2
more announcements without adequate proof. Just like the so-called scientists that so-called study climate change.

The church of global warming is looking for recruits. Pretty soon they'll be blowing themselves up inside coal power plants.

By Meinolf on 8/11/2010 9:51:45 AM , Rating: 2
My whole neighborhood gets their grass sprayed and then they leave signs for people and animals to stay off the grass. Maybe we need to stop blaming global warming for everything going wrong with nature today.

By Bonus on 8/11/2010 10:41:31 AM , Rating: 2
Besides the silly Global Warming slant around here, why is this considered 'tech' ?

It's all about the money...
By vortmax2 on 8/11/2010 11:45:29 AM , Rating: 2
Even if AGW was real, it will forever be corrupted, shrouded, and motivated by the greed of people. This is why we will never really know for a fact if AGW is real until it's too late or never happens. Sad really...

Do it for the birds!
By Ammohunt on 8/11/2010 2:06:00 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe Global Warming will kill Chicken Little as well.

By letmepicyou on 8/11/2010 2:52:04 PM , Rating: 2
Could be from "chemtrails". The only way to know would be for some energetic and determined soul who lives in the areas named to get ahold of one of these birds and have it tested at a lab to see if it contains high levels of arsenic, barium, aluminum, or any other chemicals associated with chemtrail spraying.

It's not a conspiracy "theory", it's a conspiracy. There are a few other videos that also show independent lab results that show the same chemicals. Suggest you look em up.

Obvious troll is obvious
By Performance Fanboi on 8/11/2010 3:47:22 PM , Rating: 2
This used to be a great web site.

It's global warming!!!!!
By xxsk8er101xx on 8/12/2010 4:17:31 AM , Rating: 2
Why not just blame the expansion of the universe on Global Warming. Global Warming is causing the universe to expand.

Dark Flow is caused by global warming!

Michael J Fox has parkinsons disease because of global warming!

I'm tired because of global warming!

My fart is caused by global warming!

When everything is caused by global warming then it's the same thing logically as saying nothing is caused by global warming.

It's like saying Dark Energy causes cancer, aids, herpes, warm temperatures, birds dieing, cats sleeping with dogs, raining frogs and then say we need to save the planet from Dark Energy give me your money.

At what point do you wake up and realize that this is a joke?

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