<chuckle> Why biodiversity increase from global warming is not good news

No! There can be no good from warming or anything at all that can be associated with humanity, ever!

Periods of the earth’s warming are associated with an increase in biodiversity, according to a study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. While this may sound like good news, the timescales involved cancel out any benefits they might experience from the rising temperatures.

The team behind the study, led by Dr Peter Mayhew at York University, examined the earth’s geological history and fossil records using improved data sets that looked at patterns of marine invertebrate biodiversity over the last 540m years.

They found that biodiversity increases over periods of warming in the earth’s climate with many new species emerging, although these are simultaneously accompanied by extinctions of existing species.

Mayhew said: “What seems to be happening is that when we get a warming, this coincides with an upward shift in biodiversity in groups of organisms. So it looks like warm periods are boosting the generation of new species and that’s improving biodiversity. However a bit later, and when I say ‘a bit’, I mean several millions of years later, you get extinctions occurring.”

“It’s a kind of a mixed picture,” he added.” We get an improvement in diversity but we also get extinction in new groups. It’s just that overall the origination tends to out-do the extinction so biodiversity improves, generally.”

But Mayhew doesn’t think this changes what we currently understand concerning the loss of species as a result of today’s man-made global warming.


2 responses to “<chuckle> Why biodiversity increase from global warming is not good news

  1. I seem to remember that we once discussed the ever-changing climate and species extinctions and emergence dispassionately as something that happens. Now climate and biodiversity should be static. Any change is bad. And we can control the climate. Seems like a very unscientific evolution.

  2. 540 million years ago, at the end of the Precambrian era, the supercontinent Pannotia broke up. Until that time all land life shared a single continent, and all marine life shared a single ocean. Then the supercontinent split into the islands of Laurentia, Siberia and Baltica, with the main landmass, Gondwana, south of it. The Panthalassic Ocean started to radically change its shape and its currents.
    Calculate the impacts of THAT on ‘biodiversity’ if you will!

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