Azara Blog: Climate change is allegedly already having an impact on birds

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Date published: 2009/03/05

The BBC says:

Climate change is already having an impact on European bird species, according to British scientists.
Some birds are expected to do well as temperatures rise, but these are in the minority, the researchers write.

"Overall, the trend is towards net loss," said a spokesman for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), which contributed to the study.

The researchers found birds that are expected to do well as temperatures rise had indeed increased in number since the 1980s.

But some 75% of species studied by the researchers had declined in the same period.

The study compared the change in population numbers of bird species over the last two decades with the projected change in their ranges and found a strong link.
One UK species, the Scottish crossbill, could face extinction, the RSPB warned. The crossbill's range is already restricted to the Caledonian pine forests of Scotland.

"We need to redouble our efforts," said the RSPB spokesman, "for a G8 nation to lose a species is shameful."

The spokesman said preserving pine forests could be crucial to the survival of the crossbill.

Bird people always claim the world is about to end, and this is just the latest article in that vein. At least here they have allegedly found a "strong link" (i.e. a correlation) between predictions and reality. On the other hand, after blaming climate change for the problem, we then get the contrary claim that existing habitat loss is the issue for the Scottish crossbill. If climate change is changing the range of birds, then preserving existing habitat is not going to do much good, at least in the way the RSPB implies. And why is it allegedly "shameful" for a "G8 nation to lose a species"? Humans might be causing accelerated species extinction but it does not change the fundamental fact that in Nature species come and species go (and mankind is of course part of Nature, indeed a big part of Nature). What is "shameful" is the number of allegedly scientific people who bizarrely believe that they can make Nature stand still (if only they could stop all other people from doing anything).

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