Climate Exchange(CC) as a perpetual Topic of Interest

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Pattern-chaser
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Re: Climate Exchange(CC) as a perpetual Topic of Interest

Post by Pattern-chaser »

GE Morton wrote: November 6th, 2021, 7:02 pm
Pattern-chaser wrote: November 6th, 2021, 4:32 pm
I think "inconvenient" is something of an understatement given, to offer only one example of many, that more than half the species that were extant at the time of my birth are now extinct.
Well, that is the sort of "Chicken Little" misinformation that leads to idiotic policies. Globally, 711 vertebrate species (since 1500 AD) and 571 plant species (since 1759) are known to have gone extinct. There is speculation that the numbers could be as much as 10 times higher than that, but that is speculation.
Yes, I made the mistake of accepting headlines without checking; sorry! A little more reading around tells me that these estimates might be correct. They depend on the number of species we have identified being extinct, but we haven't noticed yet, and also on species that we have not even identified, so their extinction is undetectable to us. This is especially the case in entomology, where no-one has a clue how many species of insect there are; they only know there are a lot more than we have so far identified.

I was unwise to deviate from the specific topic of CC, where the incidence of extreme weather is much more frequent than it used to be. Actual empirical evidence of CC, that we have all seen or experienced in our real lives.
Pattern-chaser

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Steve3007
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Re: Climate Exchange(CC) as a perpetual Topic of Interest

Post by Steve3007 »

Pattern-chaser wrote:I think "inconvenient" is something of an understatement given, to offer only one example of many, that more than half the species that were extant at the time of my birth are now extinct.
Yes, I made the mistake of accepting headlines without checking; sorry! A little more reading around tells me that these estimates might be correct. They depend on the number of species we have identified being extinct, but we haven't noticed yet, and also on species that we have not even identified, so their extinction is undetectable to us. This is especially the case in entomology, where no-one has a clue how many species of insect there are; they only know there are a lot more than we have so far identified.
I think we need to be clear about the distinction between the number of species that have become extinct in the last few decades and the reduction in the number of individual animals in the world. The news stories that I've read over the last few years say that 60% of all mammals, birds, fish and reptiles have gone since 1970. So we now have less than half the number that we had half a century ago. Perhaps that is the news headline you were remembering when you said more than half of species have gone extinct since the time of your birth?

https://www.worldwildlife.org/pages/liv ... eport-2018
Steve3007
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Re: Climate Exchange(CC) as a perpetual Topic of Interest

Post by Steve3007 »

That extremely rapid rate of decline in numbers across a wide range of species doesn't necessarily get reflected in a similar rate of decline in the number of extant species, at least not yet. Clearly it would be theoretically possible for almost all living things to die off but the number of species to remain the same. It would be the number of existing individuals of each of those species which had reduced. But obviously if this extremely rapid decline continues (and it seem unlikely that it's going to suddenly stop now) then there will likely come a point within the next few decades when large numbers of species do start to go extinct, when their population sizes become too small to be viable.

Obviously these rapid reductions in numbers aren't (yet) directly linked to climate change. They're linked to habitat loss. The single easiest thing that we can do to try to address that is eat less meat. But I think we, as a species, aren't going to do that. I think we're going to do the reverse. So I think the real mass extinctions (at least in the wild) will get going around mid century.
GE Morton
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Re: Climate Exchange(CC) as a perpetual Topic of Interest

Post by GE Morton »

Steve3007 wrote: November 9th, 2021, 8:00 am That extremely rapid rate of decline in numbers across a wide range of species doesn't necessarily get reflected in a similar rate of decline in the number of extant species, at least not yet. Clearly it would be theoretically possible for almost all living things to die off but the number of species to remain the same. It would be the number of existing individuals of each of those species which had reduced. But obviously if this extremely rapid decline continues (and it seem unlikely that it's going to suddenly stop now) then there will likely come a point within the next few decades when large numbers of species do start to go extinct, when their population sizes become too small to be viable.

Obviously these rapid reductions in numbers aren't (yet) directly linked to climate change. They're linked to habitat loss. The single easiest thing that we can do to try to address that is eat less meat. But I think we, as a species, aren't going to do that. I think we're going to do the reverse. So I think the real mass extinctions (at least in the wild) will get going around mid century.
Good points. Some reduction is inevitable, given human population growth. More people means more farmland, more urban land uses, more mining and industrial development, all of which reduce natural plant and animal habitats. I think most countries now recognize the need to set aside preserves and natural areas sufficient to maintain viable animal populations. Whether they will be sufficient remains to be seen.
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