Friday, March 28, 2014

JUST THE SCIENCE of Fabricating Climate Doom: Parmesan's Butterfly Effect

In a previous post, "Fabricating Climate Doom: looking at Jim Steele’s deception" I did a paragraph by paragraph review of Jim Steele's article "Fabricating Climate Doom: Parmesan’s Butterfly Effect" that turned into quite the marathon.  Most of it turned out to deal with Steele's art of rhetorical manipulation and the structure of his sales pitch, since there's so little actual science about the thing.

That is why I've decided to do a second, thankfully shorter, science-focused review of that same article.  This time I strip away most of Jim's rhetorical fancy dancing and focus on his various scientific claims.  Once again Steele's words are in courier font and unaltered, though many have been jettisoned.  If you want to look at his full text visit here.

I have emailed Mr. Steele and invited him for a visit to take a look.

I challenge him to offer his corrections to my appraisal if and where he might see fit.  Toe to toe, eye to eye, man to man.  We don't need to like one another to try our hand at having a civil constructive dialogue.  I promise to give him equal space, I'll even offer him an unedited post, if he's up to the challenge.

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It's worth pointing out.
As with other climate science "skeptics" - our good Mr. Steele is great at making dramatic claims, freely attacking the integrity of accomplished scientists and their work with his one-sided story-telling.

But, when confronted with his many misrepresentations he won't defend his claims. What's to be made of that? Perhaps he knows dang well that his charges are indefensible.  {4/4/14}
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"Fabricating Climate Doom: Parmesan’s Butterfly Effect
by Jim Steele


¶1 - ... Dr. Camille Parmesan’s 1996 seminal Edith’s checkerspot butterfly paper titled "Climate and Species Range" that became
the model for future peer-reviewed papers that blamed climate change for driving species northward and upward and causing species extinctions. ... For promoting global warming theory, she subsequently earned an invitation to speak at the White House and became one of just four biologists to partake in third global climate assessment by the United Nations' Nobel-Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). ...
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This is a stump speech.
Where's the introduction to examining Dr. Parmesan's paper and it's alleged specific flaws? 

Instead, Mr. Steele is talking the politics of global warming - I thought he promised to review a specific meta-study conducted by Dr. Parmesan? 

Besides, focusing on only this one study Steele artfully avoids a huge body of Dr. Parmesan's follow up work (see appendix #4).  
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¶2a - Einstein said, ... the fanfare given Parmesan drove me hazy. ... butterfly experts and conservationists ... all blamed habitat destruction and sought habitat restoration. ...
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Invoking Einstein is a rhetorical ploy that has nothing to do with examining Dr. Parmesan's study.

Furthermore, as appendix 1 and 3 clearly shows, Mr. Steele is not telling us the truth regarding links between climate change and California butterfly losses.  
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¶2b - She had blamed “global” warming even though most maximum temperatures in California had not risen significantly.
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As appendix 2 clearly shows, Mr. Steele is not telling us the truth regarding California temperature trends.
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¶2c - More disconcerting the butterflies never migrated northward or upward, as claimed. 
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Steele is lying to his audience.  Dr. Parmesan was conducting a population study, which reported on population changes... she never claimed butterflies were migrating!

See Appendix #4 - 1999

Poleward shifts in geographical ranges of butterfly species associated with regional warming
Nature | June 10, 1999 | vol 399, p. 579/583:

"... Such changes in distribution would occur at the level of the population, stemming not from changes in the pattern of individuals' movements, but from changes in the ratios of extinctions to colonizations at the northern and southern boundaries of the range. A northward range shift therefore occurs when there is net extinction at the southern boundary or net colonization at the northern boundary. ..."
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¶2d - ...
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Has nothing to do with looking at Dr. Parmesan's studies.
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¶3 - ...{a dodgy description of her work, then}  What (Dr. Parmesan) got was 80% of the populations in Mexico and the Southern California populations were extinct, even though their habitats still looked perfectly fine."2 But as I discovered later Parmesan always knew the butterflies had never migrated further north or to higher elevations.
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Dr. Parmesan never claimed migration, Mr. Steele is erecting a strawman for his own easy destruction.  See for yourself what Dr. Parmesan wrote:
http://www4.nau.edu/direnet/publications/publications_p/files/Parmesan_1996.pdf
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¶4a - ... however Parmesan failed to mention that most of California's maximum temperatures had never exceeded the highs of the 1940s ... 
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Appendix 2 clearly shows that Mr. Steele is misleading his audience.
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¶4b - ... Ask any university ecology professor. They would not hesitate to harshly criticize an undergraduate term paper that used a “global average” to explain a local event; yet that was her only climate “evidence”....
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But, that's not what she did! 
This is another example of Steele erecting a strawman for his convenient destruction.  

A look at the information within appendix 1, 2 and 3, provides ample evidence of warming happening and impacting local environments, including butterflies.
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¶5 - Furthermore Parmesan failed to address the fact that higher temperatures enhanced the butterfly’s survival. ...
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She was doing a population study, not a life cycle study.

Silly Steele, only slightly higher temps are good for some butterflies - too much higher temps is bad for all of them.
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¶6 - Since the 1950s, Stanford University's Paul Ehrlich ... When the checkerspot’s southern California Quino subspecies was finally listed as endangered, conservation scientists wrote, "The basis for the listing was habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation, recognizing additional negative effects from fire management practice. All factors are the results of intensive human economic development of ever diminishing resources."
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Comparing a study, done in the development mecca of the LA, San Diego corridor with a state wide study is being dishonest.  Dr. Parmesan never argued that development wasn't another major factor, particularly in Southern California "checkerspot' populations.  

Incidentally, she removed those populations from her meta-study,
so, what is Steele going on about anyways?
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¶7/8 - ...{a lot of handwaving} There was never any evidence of any real migration due to warming. There was never an apocalyptic flight to cooler lands. Parmesan’s climate claim was solely a statistical fairy tale. {She never claimed "migration" !} Still Parmesan's unscientific {in Steele's biased opinion} climate claim was published in one of the most prestigious scientific journals with one of the highest rejection rates, Nature.
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This is an argument from ignorance.  

Steele misrepresents Dr. Parmesan's study, mixes in the work of Ehrlich to confuse and creates a strawman, a strawman he then uses to insult the integrity of the scientific publication "Nature".  

Incidentally, contrary to Steele's claim, the Nature article was peer-reviewed! As Dr. Michael Singer points out: "Steele is absolutely wrong when he writes that the 1996 Nature "letter" was not peer-reviewed.  It was, indeed, peer-reviewed and was not accepted on first submission, but only after revision in the light of reviewer comments." 

On top of that, considering Jim Steele is no lepidopterologist, in fact, he has no formal training or experience in the field, it seems rather presumptuous of the man to go after the journal Nature.  Smells more of politics than any serious pursuit of understanding.
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¶9a - How did Parmesan deal with the multitude of contradictory factors? Instead of a more detailed study, ...
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Actually a look at appendix 4 reveals that Dr. Parmesan has been very active in conducting more detailed studies that build upon the knowledge and lessons of her earlier studies. 
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¶9b - In essence, by arguing that confounding factors were no longer important, ...
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Dr. Parmesan, never argued that "confounding factors were no longer important"!

It's pure deceitfulness on the part of Jim Steele. 
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¶10a - Defying the Experts... The evidence against any CO2 connection was overwhelming, but I was no butterfly expert. 
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Didn't Steele promise us to examine the flaws in Dr. Parmesan's study? 

Why is he confusing that issue by introducing this denialist canard that CO2 might not be responsible for warming our planet's climate system to begin with?  

Dr. Parmesan's studies had nothing to do with re-proving the CO2 global warming connection.

Her's was a butterfly population study that tried answering some closely framed questions... dragging in the denial of the CO2/global warming connection is indicative of Jim's malicious intent.
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¶12/13 - Opler ..."Our observation that human impacts were almost always involved in local extirpations in southern California (even for those areas that may seem to still have "suitable habitat"), the role of global warming as the proximate cause of extinction must be carefully evaluated. We suspect that warming is perhaps an exacerbating factor, but that increased extinction rates in southern California are primarily caused by more direct anthropogenic forces."
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One more time, the study Steele is obsessing over is of the greater L.A., San Diego area, whereas Dr. Parmesan's study involved 151 populations throughout California and south of the border.  No one is arguing that more immediate human impacts superseded any global warming signal in those populations!  Here's a quote from that linked study:
""Recently, Parmesan (1996) surveyed Euphydryas editha populations across the entire species range, sans the Rocky Mountain populations, to test the hypothesis that global warming should cause “net extinctions to increase in the south and at low elevations and to decrease in the north and at high elevations.” After censusing 151 previously recorded populations, she concluded that there indeed was a correlation, acknowledging that the relationships expected were complex, particularly with regard to habitat destruction and its effect on recolonization.  
Given the complex population structure of E. editha, and our observation that human impacts were almost always involved in local extirpations in southern California (even for those areas that may seem to still have “suitable habitat”), the role of global warming as the proximate cause of extinction of E. e. quino populations must be carefully evaluated.  
We suspect that warming is perhaps an exacerbating factor, but that increased extinction rates in southern California are primarily caused by more direct anthropogenic forces." 
pages 106/107 J. Res. Lepid."
 Dr. Parmesan does not argue against any of that.
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¶14 - ... 
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Rude misrepresentation, more words upon words, no coherent claim to counter.
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¶15 - I emailed Dr. Parmesan and asked for the locations of the extinct populations. ... 
¶16 - Her husband eventually responded to a follow-up email I sent a year later in which I expressed my frustration with their failure to allow independent verification. Her husband, Dr. Michael Singer, is a checkerspot expert who had shared in her research. ... 
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Since Jim Steele launches off on his own retelling, I'll cut him off (though if you want his full text you can link to it here) and allow Dr. Michael Singer to speak for himself - since I've sent Dr. Singer a couple emails asking about all this and he's been kind enough to respond.


Quoting Dr. Singer:  
Jim Steele states "More disconcerting, the butterflies never migrated northward or upward, as claimed. There was never any evidence of any real migration due to warming.  There was never an apocalyptic flight to cooler lands.  Parmesan's climate claim was solely a statistical fairy tale.." 
No claims of migration were ever made. I've double-checked through Camille's 1996 paper and there is nothing in it about migration, the word does not occur.   
It is implied that butterflies sometimes move, because there is reference to the "net" extinction rate being the difference between rates of extinction and colonization. There is no statement that the northern range limit of the butterfly had expanded, since the study was restricted to sites at which the insect had previously been recorded.   
The range shift that was claimed was that the average location of an existing population had shifted significantly northwards and upwards because of geographical patterns of population extinction, not because the butterflies had said to themselves "O dear, awful hot today,  we'd better fly north!"   
Parmesan's conclusion was simply that the average Edith's checkerspot butterfly occurred further north and at higher elevation than before because of patterns of population extinction, not that butterfly migration had changed in response to warming climate.   
Here are what seem to me the most relevant quotes from Parmesan's paper: 
"I censused populations of Edith's checkerspot butterfly.. throughout its range, and found significant latitudinal and altitudinal clines in population extinctions at sites undegraded by human activities, producing a northward and upwards shift in the species' range. 
I documented extinction and persistence in 151 previously recorded populations of this butterfly, and excluded from the data set all sites where butterfly habitat was degraded and no longer usable by this species, including sites altered by human activities such as land-clearing, construction, overgrazing and introduction of exotic plants.  Dense populations of this butterfly have persisted even in moderately disturbed (grazed or logged) sites, if enough suitable host plants remain. 
Edith's checkerspot occurs as a mosaic of sedentary, discrete populations with intermittent colonizations, extinctions and re-colonizations (refs 14-17).  At equilibrium, the rate of extinction should be constant and equal to the rate of colonization and recolonization. Climate warming should cause net extinctions to increase in the south and at low elevations and to decrease in the north and at high elevations. It is the net extinction rate that is of interest in the context of global warming. 
I found a striking latitudinal cline in net extinction  rates (p = 0.009)...sites where previously-recorded populations still existed were on average 2 degrees further north than sites where populations were extinct....... net extinctions also significantly decreased with altitude. 
Populations above 2400m were significantly more persistent than those at al lower elevations (p = 0.016).  ... Although a predicted result of climate warming is an increased extinction rate at the very lowest elevations, no such trend appears in the data."
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APPENDIX

Appendix 1
Butterflies reeling from impacts of climate and development

Appendix 2
California temperature trend

Appendix 3
Indicators of Climate Change in California

Appendix 4
The partial Dr. Camille Parmesan Collection

Appendix 5
Why we know manmade global warming is for real

Appendix 6
Climate change impacting growing seasons and habitats

Appendix 7
Butterflies Become A Study in Climate Change Impact



Appendix 1
Butterflies reeling from impacts of climate and development 

Arthur Shapiro, et al.  |  University of California - Davis  |  January 12, 2010 

Summary:
California butterflies are reeling from a one-two punch of climate change and land development, says an unprecedented analysis. The new analysis gives insights on how a major and much-studied group of organisms is reacting to the Earth's warming climate. 

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Appendix 2
California temperature trend



"Time series of annual California Tmin and Tmax temperatures from USHCN data between 1918–2006 are shown in Fig. 3. Annual temperature trends showed statistically significant warming (95% confidence level) for both Tmin and Tmax, but with a much larger warming in Tmin (+0.17C dec−1) compared to Tmax (+0.07C dec−1). 

"Despite significant differences in long-term trends, annual Tmin and Tmax were significantly correlated (r = 0.61), suggesting the influence of common forcing mechanisms."  {"common forcing mechanisms" read: greenhouse gases.}"
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Climate Data Shows California Has Been Heating Up
NASA   |  March 31, 2007

Average temperatures in California rose almost one degree Celsius (nearly two degrees Fahrenheit) during the second half of the 20th century

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Appendix 3
Indicators of Climate Change in California


page 5 - "Over the past century, minimum, average and maximum temperatures have all been increasing. The graph shows how much these temperatures have deviated (“departed”) from long-term average temperatures each year. ..."
page 6 -"Summertime heat waves are increasing across the state. ..."
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INDICATORS OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN CALIFORNIA - Report Summary

California Environmental Protection Agency Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment

August 2013
Kadir, Mazur, Milanes, Randles

Executive Summary

Page vi:
• Forest vegetation patterns
The lower edge of the conifer-dominated forests in the Sierra Nevada has been retreating upslope over the past 60 years. These regions are experiencing a warming of winter nights, causing a shift in vegetation from needle-leafed to broad- leafed trees. This vegetation shift will impact birds, mammals and other species that rely on certain tree types for food and habitat.

• Subalpine forest density
Today’s subalpine forests in the Sierra Nevada are much denser—that is, comprised of more small-diameter trees—than they were over 70 years ago. Small trees have increased by 62 percent, while large trees have decreased by 21 percent, resulting in 30 percent more stems today. During this time period, warmer temperatures, earlier snowmelt and more rain than snow occurred in this region. Densification of forests could lead to larger and more frequent fires and make trees more vulnerable to insect outbreaks and disease.

• Vegetation distribution shifts
In Southern California, the distribution of dominant plant species across a slope in the Santa Rosa Mountains has moved upward in the past 30 years by an average of 65 meters (213 feet). The climate of the canyon has become warmer and drier during this time period, suggesting that these conditions have been stressing the lower elevation plants and providing more favorable conditions for plants at higher elevations.

• Spring flight of Central Valley butterflies
Butterflies in the Central Valley have been appearing earlier in the spring over the past four decades, a change correlated with hotter and drier conditions in the region. This indicator complements studies from Europe that demonstrate a similar life cycle timing response of spring butterflies to warming and drying.

• Small mammal range shifts
Small mammals in Yosemite National Park are found today at different elevation ranges compared to earlier in the century. Most of these changes involved movement to higher elevations. Range contractions are of particular concern, given the decreased habitat area at higher elevations.
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Water and Air Quality, Temperature, Precipitation, and Snowpack
Sierra Nevada Conservancy
  • Temperatures have increased throughout the Sierra Nevada Region over the past 40 years, but more so at higher elevations. Also, nighttime low temperatures have increased more than have daytime highs. Average nighttime low temperatures above 6,000’ have increased in the range of 3 degrees F over the past 40 years. 
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A summary of current trends and probable future trends in climate and climate-driven processes in the Giant Sequoia National Monument and the neighboring Sierra Nevada.

Hugh Safford, Regional Ecologist, USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Region.  Date: January 27, 2010

I. Local trends in climate over the past century Temperature
Over the last 94 years, mean annual temperature at the Huntington Lake station has risen by about 1.8o Fahrenheit (Fig. 1; values from regression equation). This trend is driven by a highly significant increase in mean minimum (i.e., nighttime) temperatures, which have risen by 4o F since 1915. 

At the beginning of the record, the annual average of the monthly mean minima was below the freezing point, but it is now more than three degrees above the freezing point (Fig. 1). The 70-year record from Grants Grove shows a similar story, but with even more pronounced warming (Fig. 2).

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Appendix 4
The partial Dr. Camille Parmesan Collection

1996

Climate and species' range
Nature  |  August, 29, 1996  |  Volume 382 p. 765/766



Through physical evidence of global warming continues to accumulate, it is less clear whether the predicted biological consequences are occurring.  The key prediction is that species'' ranges should move both polewards in latitude and upwards in elevation.  To date, published claims of species' ranges shifts have extrapolated regional patterns from observations on a small part of a species; range.  

These studies all assume that changes in population density at a point or movement of a boundary at one latitudinal end of a range can be unambiguously interpreted as range shifts, rather than as merely local density changes, range expansions or contractions.  Reliable evidence for range shifts, rather than as merely local density changes, range expansions or contractions.  Reliable evidence for range shifts must include examinations of a species entire range.  I report here the first study to provide evidence of the predicted range shifts. 

I censured populations of Edith's checkerspot butterfly (Euphydryas editha) throughout its range, and found significant latitudinal and altitudinal clines in population extinctions at sites undegraded by human activities, producing a northwards and upwards shift in the species range.  I documented extinction and persistence in 151 previously recorded populations of this butterfly, and excluded from the data set all sites where butterfly habitat was degraded and no longer unable by this species, including sites altered by human activities such as land-clearing, construction, overgrazing, and introduction of exotic plants. ..."

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1999

Poleward shifts in geographical ranges of butterfly species associated with regional warming
Nature | June 10, 1999 | vol 399, p. 579/583
Parmesan, Ryrholm, Stefanescu, Hillk, Thomas, Descimon, Huntleyk, Kaila, Kullberg,
Tammaru, Tennent, Thomas
& Warren


Mean global temperatures have risen this century, and further warming is predicted to continue for the next 50–100 years1, 2, 3. Some migratory species can respond rapidly to yearly climate variation by altering the timing or destination of migration4, but most wildlife is sedentary and so is incapable of such a rapid response. For these species, responses to the warming trend should be slower, reflected in poleward shifts of the range. 

Such changes in distribution would occur at the level of the population, stemming not from changes in the pattern of individuals' movements, but from changes in the ratios of extinctions to colonizations at the northern and southern boundaries of the range. A northward range shift therefore occurs when there is net extinction at the southern boundary or net colonization at the northern boundary. 

However, previous evidence has been limited to a single species5 or to only a portion of the species' range6,7. Here we provide the first large-scale evidence of poleward shifts in entire species' ranges. In a sample of 35 non-migratory European butterflies, 63% have ranges that have shifted to the north by 35–240 km during this century, and only 3% have shifted to the south.


We analysed distributional changes broadly spread over the past century for non-migratory species of butterfly whose northern boundaries were in northern Europe and whose southern bound- aries were in southern Europe or northern Africa. We excluded some data where circumstances suggested that range boundaries were controlled or altered by non-climatic factors. ...

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2002

A globally coherent fingerprint of climate change impacts across natural systems
Camille Parmesan & Gary Yohe
Article
Nature 421, 37-42 (2 January 2003) | doi:10.1038/nature01286; Received 5 March 2002; Accepted 22 October 2002

Abstract
Causal attribution of recent biological trends to climate change is complicated because non-climatic influences dominate local, short-term biological changes. Any underlying signal from climate change is likely to be revealed by analyses that seek systematic trends across diverse species and geographic regions; however, debates within the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reveal several definitions of a 'systematic trend'. 

Here, we explore these differences, apply diverse analyses to more than 1,700 species, and show that recent biological trends match climate change predictions. Global meta-analyses documented significant range shifts averaging 6.1 km per decade towards the poles (or metres per decade upward), and significant mean advancement of spring events by 2.3 days per decade. We define a diagnostic fingerprint of temporal and spatial 'sign-switching' responses uniquely predicted by twentieth century climate trends. 

Among appropriate long-term/large-scale/multi-species data sets, this diagnostic fingerprint was found for 279 species. This suite of analyses generates 'very high confidence' (as laid down by the IPCC) that climate change is already affecting living systems.

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2003


Evolution and Ecology Taking Flight: Butterflies as Model Systems. Ed. by C.L Boggs, W.B.Watt, and P.R., Ehrlich. University of Chicago Press. (2003), pp. 541-560.
Integrative Biology, University of Texas, Austin, Texas 78712

INTRODUCTION
Climate is changing. Weather patterns over the century have shown trends towards warmer temperatures, increased cloudiness (especially at night), and increased precipitation occurring in fewer, more extreme, events (Karl et al. 1996, Easterling et al. 1997, Easterling et al. 2000, Groisman et al. 1999). Evidence is mounting that these trends bear a human fingerprint - the products of industrialization altering atmospheric processes at the molecular level (IPCC 1996). 

If this assessment is correct, these trends will continue. In particular, what are now extreme events in terms of temperature and precipitation may become the norm. Extreme weather events affect many aspects of natural populations, communities and ecosystems, from behavior to reproductive physiology to dynamics (Parmesan et al., 2000).

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2006

Ecological and Evolutionary Responses to Recent Climate Change
Camille Parmesan
Section of Integrative Biology, University of Texas

Annu. Rev. Ecol. Evol. Syst. 2006. 37:637–69  |  starting at page 637
First published online as a Review in Advance on August 24, 2006
The Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics is online at http://ecolsys.annualreviews.org

Abstract
Ecological changes in the phenology and distribution of plants and animals are occurring in all well-studied marine, freshwater, and terrestrial groups. These observed changes are heavily biased in the directions predicted from global warming and have been linked to local or regional climate change through correlations between climate and biological variation, field and laboratory experiments, and physiological research. 

Range-restricted species, particularly polar and mountaintop species, show severe range contractions and have been the first groups in which entire species have gone extinct due to recent climate change. Tropical coral reefs and amphibians have been most negatively affected. Predator-prey and plant-insect interactions have been disrupted when interacting species have responded differently to warming. Evolutionary adaptations to warmer conditions have occurred in the interiors of species’ ranges, and resource use and dispersal have evolved rapidly at expanding range margins. Observed genetic shifts modulate local effects of climate change, but there is little evidence that they will mitigate negative effects at the species level.
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For a complete list of Dr. Camille Parmesan's scientific publications check out her Google Scholar results

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Appendix 5
Why we know manmade global warming is for real

Climate change: How do we know?
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National Academies - Climate Change: Evidence and Causes
- - - 

New analyses find evidence of human-caused climate change in half of the 12 extreme weather and climate events analyzed from 2012
September 5, 2013
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- - - 

Global Climate Change Indicators
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- - -

10 Signs Climate Change Is Already Happening 

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Appendix 6
Climate change impacting growing seasons and habitats

Europe
This figure shows the rate of change in the growing season length (defined as the number of frost-free days per year) during the period January 1975 – December 2010.
- - - 

Length of Growing Season
This indicator measures the length of the growing season in the contiguous 48 states.
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British Butterfly Reveals Role Of Habitat For Species Responding To Climate Change
Source:  University of Exeter  |  March 9, 2009

Summary:
A new study shows it is possible to predict how fast a population will spread and reveals the importance of habitat conservation in helping threatened species survive environmental change. The research tracks the recovery of a rare British butterfly over 18 years and offers hope for the preservation of other species.
- - - 

And let's not forget the real time situation and drought's impact on healthy habitats

Global warming related droughts the western USA is enduring

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Appendix 7
Butterflies Become A Study in Climate Change Impact


1}  Signals of Climate Change in Butterfly Communities in a Mediterranean Protected Area
Konstantina Zografou, Vassiliki Kati, Andrea Grill, Wilson, Tzirkalli,  Pamperis, John M. Halley 
Published: January 29, 2014
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0087245

""The European protected-area network will cease to be efficient for biodiversity conservation, particularly in the Mediterranean region, if species are driven out of protected areas by climate warming. ...

"... we found a marked change in butterfly community composition over a 13 year period, concomitant with an increase of annual average temperature of 0.95°C. Our analysis gave no evidence of significant year-to-year (2011–2012) variability in butterfly community composition, suggesting that the community composition change we recorded is likely the consequence of long-term environmental change, such as climate warming. 

We observe an increased abundance of low-elevation species whereas species mainly occurring at higher elevations in the region declined. The Community Temperature Index was found to increase in all habitats except agricultural areas. …"
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2}  Climate Change May Affect Butterfly Flight Season
Published November 22, 2013

According to new research from the University of British Columbia, the Université de Sherbrooke and the University of Ottawa, increasing temperatures caused by global climate change will ultimately affect the flight season timing of these winged beauties.

A team of researchers combed through Canadian museum collections of more than 200 butterfly species and matched them with weather station data going back 130 years.

As a result, researchers found butterflies possess widespread temperature sensitivity, with flight season occurring an average of 2.4 days earlier per degree Celsius of temperature increase.
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3}  Climate Change May Disrupt Monarch Butterfly Migration 
Feb 22, 2013 | By Nayantara Narayanan and ClimateWire 

The butterflies rely on the thaw of spring to tell them when to begin the long journey back north but global warming may disrupt the timing

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4}  Climate Change May Affect Butterfly Flight Season
From: Allison Winter, ENN 
Published November 22, 2013 08:41 AM

According to new research from the University of British Columbia, the Université de Sherbrooke and the University of Ottawa, increasing temperatures caused by global climate change will ultimately affect the flight season timing of these winged beauties.

A team of researchers combed through Canadian museum collections of more than 200 butterfly species and matched them with weather station data going back 130 years.

As a result, researchers found butterflies possess widespread temperature sensitivity, with flight season occurring an average of 2.4 days earlier per degree Celsius of temperature increase.
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5}  The Butterfly Effect: How a Little (Climate) Change Can Lead to Chaos
Posted on September 4, 2012 by iyzabaig

The model showed that although most of the life stages hinted at an increased population with higher temperatures, the life stage that determined population viability was the overwintering larva stage. 

This stage was negatively affected by all of the climate change scenarios, and resulted in (compared to the baseline scenario) an 88% butterfly population reduction in the increased temperature variability scenario, a 94% reduction in the temperature increase scenario, and a 97% reduction in the European climate change scenario. 

These results suggest that because temperature increases will negatively impact the overwintering stage of the butterfly life cycle, the most temperature-sensitive life stage, the overall population of butterflies will decrease significantly in the coming years due to climate change. ..."
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6}  Butterfly Range Shifts Are A Sign Of Global Warming
September 29, 2012 | By:  Samantha Jakuboski


Last month, after 18 years of observation and nearly 20,000 surveys, a very interesting study was published in Nature Climate Change about the effects global warming has on Massachusetts’s butterflies. 

Conducted by amateur scientists of the Massachusetts Butterfly Club, the study supported the hypothesis that global warming is the culprit when it comes to the changes in the “distribution and abundance” of butterfly populations on the Northeast Coast. As the temperature is rising, populations of warm-adapted butterflies are increasing in size and moving farther north, whereas populations of cold-adapted butterflies in Massachusetts are decreasing in size.

Over the past 100 years, the temperature of Massachusetts has risen 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
- - - 
5b}  Climate-driven changes in northeastern US butterfly communities
Greg A. Breed, Sharon Stichter & Elizabeth E. Crone
Nature Climate Change 3, 142–145 (2013) doi:10.1038/nclimate1663
Published online 19 August 2012
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7}  How Butterflies Adapt When Climate Changes
Jennifer Welsh, LiveScience Staff Writer   |   April 03, 2012 07:01pm ET

"A lot of the butterflies we were looking at are threatened by climate change. With the warmer temperatures, it will be too hot for a lot of them to survive in southern Europe," study researcher Andrew Suggitt, a graduate student at the University of York in the United Kingdom, told LiveScience. …

The researchers concluded that though the majority of butterfly species could make use of these cooler areas of habitat, not enough of the actual individuals are doing it to protect the species from climate change. It's likely that food and other habitat resources are keeping them in open, warmer areas, even though it may be too hot for them to survive.

They did see that the microclimates played a more important role to the butterflies in Spain, where climate change is heating the butterflies out of house and home, than in the United Kingdom, where the butterflies are expanding their range northward to escape the heat. The Spanish populations will likely continue expanding northward and to higher altitudes to escape the heat, the researchers noted."
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8}  Passion for Butterflies Becomes A Study in Climate Change Impact
Ayesha Monga Kravetz , National Science Foundation   |   August 03, 2012 

The work within the sites began as a five-year study that focused on short-term weather impacts. Soon, however, the study became an open-ended, long-term project that incorporated the impact of climate change. ...
In the more than 40 years since the sampling sites were established, Shapiro has completed more than 6,300 trips to the 11 sites. He has entered about 130,000 individual records of 160 butterfly species and subspecies.

Through an NSF Biological Databases and Informatics grant, Shapiro and his team created a digital database covering more than 35 years of field records.
With the digital database and using statistical tools to separate short-term effects from long-term effects, Shapiro and his team have found significant long-term trends by studying the changes in the geographic and altitudinal distribution of butterflies. ...

At low-elevation sites, near sea level, increasing urbanization and landscape changes have heavily impacted butterfly populations. Butterflies have decreased in abundance and distribution due to fragmentation of their habitats.
With climate warming, butterflies at the highest-elevation site are appearing with increasing frequency. Those that normally breed at 7,000 feet now breed at 9,000 feet. The site is gaining diversity because the butterflies are moving uphill. ...
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9}  The Butterfly Effect: Global Warming Changes Butterfly Habitat and Behavior
Saturday, June 12, 2010 by: M.Thornley

In an article titled, "Butterflies Across Europe Face Crisis as Climate Change Looms," researchers warn that Europe will lose much of its biodiversity due to global warming as indicated by a study of butterfly distribution conducted by the Climatic Risk Atlas of European Butterflies, which involves hundreds of European scientists. One of the authors of the study, Dr Josef Settele, said: "The Atlas shows for the first time how the majority of European butterflies might respond to climate change. Most species will have to shift their distribution radically."
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10}  Compounded effects of climate change and habitat alteration shift patterns of butterfly diversity
Matthew L. Forister, Andrew C. McCall, Nathan J. Sanders, James A. Fordyce, James H. Thorne, Joshua O’Brien, David P. Waetjen, and Arthur M. Shapiro 

approved December 17, 2009  -  http://www.pnas.org/content/107/5/2088.full

Abstract
Climate change and habitat destruction have been linked to global declines in vertebrate biodiversity, including mammals, amphibians, birds, and fishes. However, invertebrates make up the vast majority of global species richness, and the combined effects of climate change and land use on invertebrates remain poorly understood. Here we present 35 years of data on 159 species of butterflies from 10 sites along an elevational gradient spanning 0–2,775 m in a biodiversity hotspot, the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Northern California. 

Species richness has declined at half of the sites, with the most severe reductions at the lowest elevations, where habitat destruction is greatest. At higher elevations, we observed clear upward shifts in the elevational ranges of species, consistent with the influence of global warming. Taken together, these long-term data reveal the interacting negative effects of human-induced changes on both the climate and habitat available to butterfly species in California. 

Furthermore, the decline of ruderal, disturbance-associated species indicates that the traditional focus of conservation efforts on more specialized and less dispersive species should be broadened to include entire faunas when estimating and predicting the effects of pervasive stressors.

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5 comments:

citizenschallenge said...

Email to jsteele@sfsu
Fri, Mar 28, 2014 at 8:37 PM


Mr. Steele,

Admittedly my first review of your article was quite long and more about your rhetoric than the science.

That is why I've done a second review that focuses on your "scientific" claims. Thus, I would like to share the following along with an invitation for you to join in on the conversation.

Dr. Singer (and I dare say Dr. Parmesan) will be a witness to this conversation, so this is your chance to really explain your complaints in a constructive manner… and perhaps get some of your questions resolved.


Sincerely,

Peter Miesler
aka citizenschallenge
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Friday, March 28, 2014

Fabricating Climate Doom: Checking Up on Jim Steele’s Science
http://whatsupwiththatwatts.blogspot.com/2014/03/fabricatingclimatedoom-steeles-science.html

In a previous post, "Fabricating Climate Doom: looking at Jim Steele’s deception" I did a paragraph by paragraph review of Jim Steele's article "Fabricating Climate Doom: Parmesan’s Butterfly Effect" that turned into quite the marathon. Most of it turned out to deal with Steele's art of rhetorical manipulation and the structure of his sales pitch, since there's so little actual science about the thing.

That is why I've decided to do a second, thankfully shorter, science-focused review of that same article. This time I strip away most of Jim's rhetorical fancy dancing and focus on his various scientific claims. Once again Steele's words are unaltered, though many have been jettisoned and in courier font. If you want to look at his full text visit here.

I have emailed Mr. Steele and invited him to visit for a look at my detailed critique plus to challenged him to offer his corrections to my appraisal if and where he might see fit. Toe to toe, eye to eye, man to man. We don't need to like one another to try our hand at having a civil constructive dialogue. I promise to give him equal space, I'll even offer him an unedited post, if he's up to the challenge.

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"Fabricating Climate Doom: Parmesan’s Butterfly Effect"
by Jim Steele
http://landscapesandcycles.net/climate-doom--parmesan-s-butterfly-effect.html


¶1 - . . .

D.C.Petterson said...

I've been recently dealing with Steele. He's, uhm, challenging.

This is very good work you did here. Thank you.

citizenschallenge said...

Thank you.
I hope it was of some service.

Tripp Funderburk said...

Jim Steele is a charlatan that makes pseudo-science claims on denier blogs that are not true, and when the problems are exposed, he becomes a childish internet troll. I loathe him. He wrote a ridiculous piece on Judith Curry's climate denial website arguing that coral bleaching was not a big deal, was not due to CO2 or climate change, and that corals could magically adapt to rising temps by switching to heat tolerant symbionts. He is an anti-science fool.

citizenschallenge said...

You left out the part about being Jim a malicious nasty creature.
Oh and Jim can only "debate" within his echo-chamber of like minded bigots.

But he's absolutely incapable of engaging in a constructive debate on a level playing field.

(Tripp, sorry I didn't notice your comment sooner, been out on a job past couple days.)