Thursday, September 30, 2010

Automatic loss

From an article in the New York Times yesterday: Trying to Lace Together a Consensus on Biodiversity Across a Global Landscape

“Every degree centigrade the planet warms will lead automatically to a 10 percent loss in known species,” said Ahmed Djoghlaf, the executive secretary of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity.

That the most annoying thing I think I've read all week. What is especially irritating is that Ahmed Djoghlaf is a really big cheese at the United Nations. 'Executive secretary' is UN speak for the Director of a program so this guy effectively runs the Convention on Biological Diversity. He's certainly well educated with a PhD in political sciences, a Master of Arts, Government and Politics, a Master of Political Sciences and a Law degree. Okay, I think I see the problem there.

Let's see if we can restate that:

"The unknown future climate changes caused by man's alteration of the global atmosphere will most likely have a dramatic effect on many species distributions and abundances. An unknown number of our known and unknown species may go extinct. This may, or may not, matter to ecosystem function."

To be honest I find this far scarier than the 10% per degree scenario. On the bright side if we do screw up the planet astronomers today identified a planet 120 trillion miles away where "The chances for life on this planet are 100 percent."  Sigh.

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