Extreme weather threatens rich ecosystems

Mar 30, 2012

Extreme weather such as hurricanes, torrential downpours and droughts will become more frequent in pace with global warming. Consequently, this increases the risk for species extinction, especially in bio diverse ecosystems such as coral reefs and tropical rainforests.

Human impact means that flora and fauna become extinct at a rate 100 times higher than normal. has been deemed as one of the main causes of species depletion.

A research team in theoretical biology at Linköping University in Sweden has, through the use of mathematical modelling and simulation, studied how the dynamics of different types of ecosystems may be affected by significant environment fluctuations.

Linda Kaneryd, doctoral student and lead author of a study recently published in the journal, Ecology and Evolution, says the results were surprising.

"Several previous studies of food web structures have suggested that species-rich ecosystems are often more robust than species-poor ecosystems. However at the onset of increased environmental fluctuations, such as , we see that extreme species-rich ecosystems are the most vulnerable and this entails a greater risk for a so-called cascading extinction."

In a rainforest or on coral reef there are a wide variety of species of primary producers such as green plants and algae. Since they are competitors, relatively few individuals of the same species exist, subjecting them to a greater risk of extinction should external conditions change. This could result in a depletion of food sources for a species of herbivores that, in turn, affects a predator at the top of the food chain. Biologists call this transformation a cascading extinction.

The opposite would apply to an ecosystem whereby few species exist in large numbers and animal species are adaptable generalists.

The researchers create their model food webs following on from their experiences with real ecosystems; what eats what, the composition of the species' life cycles, and how they interact with others. In this study, external conditions are represented as an increasing and unpredictable variation.

"The model we worked with is quite typical. The next step is to introduce actual, detailed climatic data," informs Bo Ebenman, Professor of Theoretical Biology who supervised Linda Kaneryds thesis.

Explore further: Stanford researchers rethink 'natural' habitat for wildlife

More information: Species-rich ecosystems are vulnerable to cascading extinctions in an increasingly variable world by L. Kaneryd, C. Borrvall, S. Berg, A. Curtsdotter, A. Eklöf, C. Hauzy, T. Jonsson, P. Münger, M. Setzer T. Säterberg and B. Ebenman. Ecology and Evolution March 30, 2012 ("Early View").

Provided by Linkoping University

3.9 /5 (7 votes)
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christian_physicist
3 / 5 (8) Mar 30, 2012
I'm quite skeptical of this claim. There is nothing magical about the current temperature of the earth. The earth has been warmer before. The earth has been cooler before. Animals and plants adapt and move, life goes on.
Voleure
3 / 5 (2) Mar 30, 2012
Skepticism is a great trait but reading comprehension is equally valuable. The article outlines ecosystem sensitivity not what PhysOrg decided to title their summary. "The model we worked with is quite typical. The next step is to introduce actual, detailed climatic data," indicating that the authors have yet to test their model against actual data. They claim only that rich ecosystems can have greater vulnerability to extreme weather.

My personal opinion, nothing to do with the article's premise, is that the rate of change is the biggest threat to plants and animals. Yes the Earth has been warmer before but the rate of warming greatly exceeds anything on the fossil record with the exception of the epoch changes where there was coincidentally large-scale extinctions.
Vendicar_Decarian
3.4 / 5 (5) Mar 31, 2012
Habitat loss is the primary means by which man causes and has caused extinction.

If organisms have gone extinct due to habitat loss without warming, where do you expect them to move when their habitat is lost due to global climate change?

"Animals and plants adapt and move, life goes on." - Christian
Vendicar_Decarian
3.9 / 5 (7) Mar 31, 2012
There is nothing magical about drinking a glass of water. But drinking it in .0001 seconds is another matter entirely.

"There is nothing magical about the current temperature of the earth." - Christian
ubavontuba
1.4 / 5 (9) Mar 31, 2012
@Voleure,

My personal opinion, nothing to do with the article's premise, is that the rate of change is the biggest threat to plants and animals. Yes the Earth has been warmer before but the rate of warming greatly exceeds anything on the fossil record with the exception of the epoch changes where there was coincidentally large-scale extinctions.
You had me ready to give you a 5, until this last bit. Currently, according to HadCRUT3 data, there's been no net global warming for 14 years.

http://www.woodfo...12/trend

ubavontuba
1.5 / 5 (8) Mar 31, 2012
Habitat loss is the primary means by which man causes and has caused extinction.

If organisms have gone extinct due to habitat loss without warming, where do you expect them to move when their habitat is lost due to global climate change?
Or, maybe their habitats will increase and flourish, like the biosphere normally does when the world warms.
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (3) Mar 31, 2012
There is nothing magical about drinking a glass of water. But drinking it in .0001 seconds is another matter entirely.
I doubt that's physically possible.

Anyway, it would be even harder to drink a glass of water which never pours (solid ice).

Vendicar_Decarian
3.4 / 5 (8) Mar 31, 2012
But there has been significant warming for 15 and 13 years.

Just not 14.

This is the kind of discontinuity you find when Conservative Denialists like UbVonTard are permitted to commit statistical fraud.

"there's been no net global warming for 14 years." - UbVonTard
Vendicar_Decarian
3.7 / 5 (6) Mar 31, 2012
You would die if you were forced to attempt it.

Just as species will go extinct if they are forced to adapt too rapidly to climate change.

"I doubt that's physically possible." - UnVonTard

You Brain Damage Much, Ubvon?
Vendicar_Decarian
3.9 / 5 (7) Mar 31, 2012
You mean like the cherry blossoms that were blooming here last week in 80'F weather, but are now frozen and lifeless?

No cherries this year, not for the local markets and not for the animals that rely upon them.

"Or, maybe their habitats will increase and flourish" - UbVonTard

More likely you are just an ignorant fool.
ubavontuba
1.4 / 5 (10) Mar 31, 2012
But there has been significant warming for 15 and 13 years.
You're just manipulating the data by using the end of the warming period, and a data spike. Neither changes the fact there has been no net global warming for 14 years.

Just not 14.
and 12

http://www.woodfo...12/trend

and 11

http://www.woodfo...12/trend

and 10

http://www.woodfo...12/trend

and so on...

In fact, as seen in the graphs above, we've been in a period of cooling for more than a decade.

This is the kind of discontinuity you find when Conservative Denialists like Uba are permitted to commit statistical fraud.
Obviously, the one perpetuating the fraud is you.

Again, please explain how declining temperatures equals "accelerated" global warming.
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (5) Mar 31, 2012
You would die if you were forced to attempt it.

Just as species will go extinct if they are forced to adapt too rapidly to climate change.
What climate change are you talking about?

You did know too the biosphere is booming as a result of the warming we've been lucky enough to experience, didn't you?

"NASA SEAWIFS satellite indicate that the Earth's biomass is booming:... They found that over a period of almost two decades, the Earth as a whole became more bountiful by a whopping 6.2%. About 25% of the Earth's vegetated landmass almost 110 million square kilometers enjoyed significant increases"

http://scintilla....e/317102

You Brain Damage Much, Ubvon?
You're really starting to look like a fool here. Everything you've been claiming about AGW is proving false. How does that feel?

ubavontuba
1 / 5 (5) Mar 31, 2012
You mean like the cherry blossoms that were blooming here last week in 80'F weather, but are now frozen and lifeless?

No cherries this year, not for the local markets and not for the animals that rely upon them.
This smacks of a lie.

Googling "cherry blossoms freeze news" comes up with no current hits regarding such a freeze.

Besides, wouldn't such a freeze be contrary to global warming?

Even so, it's not like local weather fluctuations never affected crops before (duh).

More likely you are just an ignorant fool.
More likely, you're a lying tool.

kaasinees
0.5 / 5 (26) Mar 31, 2012
Googling "cherry blossoms freeze news" comes up with no current hits regarding such a freeze.

Googling "kaasinees took a piss" comes up with no current hits regarding kaasinees taking a piss. Therefore i must not be alive right?

Besides, wouldn't such a freeze be contrary to global warming?

Fail, you make yourself look stupid.

Even so, it's not like local weather fluctuations never affected crops before (duh).

Who said they didn't? And do you know the causes of these fluctuations? Nope you don't, because you understand nothing about climate.

More likely, you're a lying tool.

Pot calling the kettle black.
Vendicar_Decarian
3.4 / 5 (5) Mar 31, 2012
"Neither changes the fact there has been no net global warming for 14 years." - UbVonTard

But there has been warming for the last 13 years...

http://www.woodfo...12/trend

and 15 years...

http://www.woodfo...12/trend

and 16 years...

http://www.woodfo...12/trend

etc. etc.. etc...

And of course, none of this - our your idiocy - has any statistical significance at all. The number of data points is far too short a duration to capture climate.

You are yammering meaningless nonsense about the weather.

ubavontuba
1 / 5 (5) Mar 31, 2012
"Neither changes the fact there has been no net global warming for 14 years." - Uba

But there has been warming for the last 13 years...
Nope. You're only using a data spike to skew the facts. There's been no net global warming for 14 years:

http://www.woodfo...12/trend

and 15 years...

and 16 years...

etc. etc.. etc...
Irrelevant. I never claimed there hasn't been any net global warming for 15 or more years.

See? You can't even argue the fact there's been no net global warming for 14 years! You're as much as admitting I'm right!

And of course, none of this - our your idiocy - has any statistical significance at all. The number of data points is far too short a duration to capture climate.
Lie. It's a significantly large enough portion of a standard climate period to show trends.
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (5) Mar 31, 2012
You are yammering meaningless nonsense about the weather.
No, that would be you with your one year data spike. I'm arguing weather trends over time (aka: climate).

And how much longer will we have to wait for you to explain how a decade long cooling trend is actually "accelerated" global warming?

Vendicar_Decarian
3.3 / 5 (7) Mar 31, 2012
Sorry Tard Boy, but your 14 year "trend" is not statistically significant since it is contradicted by the 15 year trend and the 14 year trend. Further it is too small to be statistically significnat, and finally the duration is too short for it to constitute climate.

You are simply jabbering childish nonsense about the weather.

"No, that would be you with your one year data spike. I'm arguing weather trends over time (aka: climate)." - UbVonTard
Vendicar_Decarian
3 / 5 (6) Mar 31, 2012
[2,1,3,2,4,3,5,4,6,5,7,6,8,7...]

Exactly 50% of the above time series has a downward trend. Yet the overall trend is upward.

As usual... Your comment is childish, ignorant, and pointless.

"Lie. It's a significantly large enough portion of a standard climate period to show trends." - UbVonTard
StarGazer2011
2.3 / 5 (3) Apr 01, 2012
"Extreme weather such as hurricanes, torrential downpours and droughts will become more frequent in pace with global warming. "

So why has there been no measurable increase in 'extreme' events so far? Could it be that the post normalists got it wrong again? Perhaps falsificationism wasnt so bad after all, you know, actual 'science' science.
Vendicar_Decarian
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 01, 2012
I take it that you are ignoring the 5,333 temperature records that were broken on a single day in the U.S. two weeks ago.

"So why has there been no measurable increase in 'extreme' events so far?" - StarTard
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (2) Apr 03, 2012
Sorry, but your 14 year "trend" is not statistically significant since it is contradicted by the 15 year trend
No it's not, as 15 years lies outside the parameters.

and the 14 year trend.
Uh, it is a 14 year trend, idiot.

Further it is too small to be statistically significnat,
14 years is a long time.

and finally the duration is too short for it to constitute climate.
"Climate (from Ancient Greek klima, meaning inclination) is commonly defined as the weather averaged over a long period. The standard averaging period is 30 years, but other periods may be used depending on the purpose."

http://en.wikiped...finition

14 years is a long period, and it fits the purpose.

You are simply jabbering childish nonsense about the weather.
No, that's your shtick, not mine. I mean, who was it that brought up the unusually mild North American winter? Oh yes, it was you! Idiot.
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (2) Apr 03, 2012
[2,1,3,2,4,3,5,4,6,5,7,6,8,7...]

Exactly 50% of the above time series has a downward trend. Yet the overall trend is upward.
Wrong. 50% of the series are downward steps and 50% are greater (double) upward steps, resulting in a significant upward trend. Idiot.

Do you know ANYTHING about statistics?

As usual... Your comment is childish, ignorant, and pointless.
Talking about yourself again?

ubavontuba
1 / 5 (2) Apr 03, 2012
I take it that you are ignoring the 5,333 temperature records that were broken on a single day in the U.S. two weeks ago.


Uh, didn't you know even the IPCC admits extreme weather has nothing to do with climate change?

"The IPCCs Special Report on Extremes, released March 28, reads, "There is medium evidence and high agreement that long-term trends in normalized [property] losses have not been attributed to natural or anthropogenic climate change.'"

http://www.washin...eversal/

How's it feel to live in a house of cards, as it crumbles down around you, VDtard?
Vendicar_Decarian
3 / 5 (2) Apr 04, 2012
Sorry Tard boy, but statistical significance isn't defined by your own personal parameters.

"No it's not, as 15 years lies outside the parameters." - UbvonTard

The fact remains that your 14 year period is cherry picked to provide the answer you want. Selecting a 15 year period, or a 13 year period produces the opposite results.

The fact that you cling to 14 years and not 15 or 13 just illustrates the depth of your mental illness.
Vendicar_Decarian
5 / 5 (1) Apr 04, 2012
How odd it is that 14 years is a long time when Denialists want to cherry pick a time period to show a (statistically insignificnt) flat line, but the 150 year warming trend in global temperatures is too short a time for them to conclude that the earth is actually warming.

"14 years is a long time." - UbVonTard

14 years is not a statistically period. 14 data points to not produce a statistically significant mean. As a rule of thumb, at a minimum 32 data points are recommended for most situations.

This is why climate is defined over periods of 30 years or longer.

And the 30 year running average of global temperatures is still rising.
Vendicar_Decarian
5 / 5 (1) Apr 04, 2012
Your reference is to the Washington (moonie) Times.

Is that where you get your marching orders? From the Rev. Song Yung Moon?

"Uh, didn't you know even the IPCC admits extreme weather has nothing to do with climate change?" - UbVonTard

If you believe anything you read in the Moonie Times, you need to get your head examined.

Oh wait. We have already concluded that you are mentally ill.
Vendicar_Decarian
5 / 5 (2) Apr 04, 2012
Just as the upward steps in Global Temperatures are greater than the downward steps that you fixate upon.

"Wrong. 50% of the series are downward steps and 50% are greater (double) upward steps, resulting in a significant upward trend. Idiot." - UbVonTard

Therefore we must conclude that your attempt to portray the downward steps alone as evidence that the globe is cooling are not just mistakes on your part, but outright lies.

and you did claim that you intend to continue to be a liar for the rest of your life.

I therefore conclude that you are mentally ill.

ubavontuba
1 / 5 (3) Apr 04, 2012
Sorry, but statistical significance isn't defined by your own personal parameters.
That's right, it's defined by the facts. The graphs answer questions: Is the world currently warming? A: No. In fact, it's currently cooling and has been doing so for more than ten years.

And: How long has it been since the world had any net global warming? A: 14 years.

The fact remains that your 14 year period is cherry picked to provide the answer you want. Selecting a 15 year period, or a 13 year period produces the opposite results.
It's the period that answers the question.

The fact that you cling to 14 years and not 15 or 13 just illustrates the depth of your mental illness.
That's just stupid. You might as well say the Empire State Building isn't Y stories tall because its not X or Z stories tall.

The maximum period of no net global warming is a specific period of time. Anything else answers different questions.

Don't you have ANY data analysis skills?
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (3) Apr 04, 2012
How odd it is that 14 years is a long time when Denialists want to cherry pick a time period to show a (statistically insignificnt) flat line, but the 150 year warming trend in global temperatures is too short a time for them to conclude that the earth is actually warming.
Straw man. I never claimed it didn't warm before the 14 year stall. In fact, quite the opposite.

14 years is not a statistically period. 14 data points to not produce a statistically significant mean. As a rule of thumb, at a minimum 32 data points are recommended for most situations.
Idiot. The X axis is a rule (time measurement) for the data points. Its segments aren't data points in and of themselves. There are 12 data points per year, comprised of countless global temperature measurements.

Raw data:

http://www.woodfo...12/trend

continued...
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (2) Apr 04, 2012
This is why climate is defined over periods of 30 years or longer.
This is why you look stupid.

Climate (definition):
from Ancient Greek klima, meaning inclination) is commonly defined as the weather averaged over a long period. The standard averaging period is 30 years, but other periods may be used depending on the purpose.

http://en.wikiped...finition

14years suits the purpose.

And the 30 year running average of global temperatures is still rising.
Sure, but it's a false effect, as rising ended 14 years a ago. That is, the rise for the 30 year period is the same as the rise for the first 16.
ubavontuba
1 / 5 (2) Apr 04, 2012
Your reference is to the Washington (moonie) Times.

Is that where you get your marching orders? From the Rev. Song Yung Moon?
Idiot. The quote was from the IPCC.

If you believe anything you read in the Moonie Times, you need to get your head examined.

Oh wait. We have already concluded that you are mentally ill.
No, we concluded you're the violent sicko.

ubavontuba
1 / 5 (2) Apr 04, 2012
Just as the upward steps in Global Temperatures are greater than the downward steps that you fixate upon.
Not in the last 14 years.

Therefore we must conclude that your attempt to portray the downward steps alone as evidence that the globe is cooling are not just mistakes on your part, but outright lies.
I'm not portraying any dwnward steps. I'm showing a flat line from 1998 to 2012.

and you did claim that you intend to continue to be a liar for the rest of your life.
Liar. Why don't you show us the full context?

I therefore conclude that you are mentally ill.
Says the idiot who dreams of imaginary frozen cherry blossoms.

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