In Heatstroke, the renowned paleoecologist shows how global warming Barnosky draws connections between the coming centuries and the. Barnosky,musicmarkup.inforoke: Nature in an Age of Global Warming1– (Island Koch, P. L. & Barnosky, A. D. Late Quaternary extinctions: state of the debate. Heatstroke by Anthony D. Barnosky, Island Press, $ GLOBAL warming will be as hard on plants and animals as on humans. With higher.
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PDF | In , one of the hottest years on record, a â€œpizzlyâ€ was discovered near the top Anthony Barnosky instead sees it as a harbinger of things to come. The Center for Resource Economics. Library of Congress Cataloging-in- Publication data. Barnosky, Anthony D. Heatstroke: nature in an age of global warming. HEATSTROKE BARNOSKY PDF - Global warming will hit plants and animals hard – what's needed is a new form of conservation, says Barnosky. Anthony.
Anthony Barnosky instead sees it as a harbinger of things to come. In Heatstroke, the renowned paleoecologist shows how global warming is fundamentally changing the natural world and its creatures. While melting ice may have helped produce the pizzly, climate change is more likely to wipe out species than to create them. This is not the first time climate change has dramatically transformed Earth. Barnosky draws connections between the coming centuries and the end of the last ice age, when mass extinctions swept the planet. The differences now are that climate change is faster and hotter than past changes, and for the first time humanity is driving it. Which means this time we can work to stop it.
Once a population or subspecies falls below a certain number of individuals, it can be virtually impossible to build back to viable numbers for the long run.
By the s, there were only 3, left, the result of people eating them, using and selling their fatty oils for fuel, converting their natural habitat to agriculture or other human constructs, and bringing in domestic livestock and pets that became ecological competitors or predators particularly on tortoise eggs and baby tortoises.
At that rate, those 3, individuals alive in would have dwindled to nothing in fewer than ten years if people hadn't stepped in to help. What scientists who study extinction mean when they use those words is much more than a general statement that a species is in trouble. It's an expression of exactly how much trouble a species or in some cases, a subspecies is in, defined by stringent criteria that include things like how fast individuals and populations are dying off, how fast the habitat they need to survive is disappearing, and so on.
The scientific body that has taken on the task of determining extinction risk is composed of thousands of biologists and is known as the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, or IUCN. Without going into detail here, suffice to say that the IUCN has come up with a set of rules for sorting species into categories according to their risk of extinction.
Those of "least concern" are considered to be in pretty good shape. Subsequent categories move to progressively higher risk of full-on extinction: "near threatened," "vulnerable," "endangered," "critically endangered," "extinct in the wild" meaning the only survivors are in zoos and such , and finally, when the last individual blinks out, "extinct.
Like many scientists who write about these things, when I call a species "threatened," particularly in this book, I'm using the word in its IUCN context-it's shorthand for saying that a species falls in one of those three higher-to-highest risk categories. That, of course, is not always the case when you read a news article about extinction, in which "threatened" may be used in a much more general sense. Likewise, you have to be careful with the word "endangered," because it too is used in many different ways.
For instance, saying a species is endangered under the United States Endangered Species Act is not quite the same as saying it's endangered in the sense of IUCN categories. The IUCN has its work cut out for it. Studying all the species in the world to determine which of the categories they fall into is a Herculean task-by latest estimates, there are some 8. As of , the IUCN had worked its way through about 70, species, at the rate of about 5, species each year over the preceding decade.
It's not too hard to do the math and realize that even if we were to assess all of the species that scientists have named-which amounts to only about 1. So the IUCN has come up with two other categories to sort species into: "not evaluated" and "data deficient.
Which brings up an important point about the way the scientists who categorize species in this way work: they tend to be cautious about saying something is so if there is not strong evidence to back up the conclusion. The problem with that methodical approach to sorting species into categories is that it sometimes puts a not-so-bad-sounding label on an on-the-ground situation that is really pretty terrible. Take "vulnerable," for instance, the category into which Lonesome George's species Chelonoidis nigra is placed.
What doesn't really come through with that simple word is that by the s, the number of animals that used to be normal for the species had been reduced by 99 percent. African elephants Loxodonta africana are also classified as "vulnerable" by the IUCN as of the date of their most recent comprehensive evaluation.
That listing takes into account that ivory poachers killed nearly half of Africa's elephants in the s, before an international ban on ivory trade quelled the market. It does not take into account what has happened since as affluence has increased in China, the demand for ivory there has driven the price sky high, making ivory sales profitable enough for international crime rings to get into the act.
As a result, the 50 percent of African elephants that managed to survive the s onslaught is being decimated in record-high numbers. In Tanzania alone, 31, elephants fell under poachers' guns from to early that's 42 percent of Tanzania's entire herd.
By the time rangers got there, a million dollars' worth of tusks had been hacked off and hauled away. The new twist is dumping cyanide into water holes at which elephants drink, a technique that killed eighty-one elephants in a single September day in in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe. More than a million elephants are thought to have roamed Africa prior to ; after the s decimation there were perhaps , left; in the three years preceding , that dropped down to about , Continuing the death rate that has marked the years would mean there would be no more wild African elephants on Earth in twenty years.
That's "vulnerable" to extinction indeed. Now, multiply that elephant story, or Lonesome George's story, by 10,that's how many species the IUCN has classified as vulnerable as of the time I write this. Endangered species are those like the Atlantic bluefin tuna Thunnus thunnus , which we love to eat and whose numbers and geographic extent have been reduced more than 50 percent in their last three generations that is, over about three decades ; the blue-capped hummingbird Eupherusa cyanophrys , a stunningly beautiful iridescent green bird with bright purple wings that now is down to about 2, individuals restricted to a small area in southern Oaxaca, Mexico; and the growling grass frog Litoria raniformis , whose numbers have fallen by more than half in the last decade, thanks mostly to a deadly fungus that is killing amphibians by the millions worldwide.
Critically endangered species-numbering 4, as I write this-are even closer to the brink. Examples include western gorillas Gorilla gorilla and the bizarre-nosed chameleon Calumma hafahafa a species that deserves keeping alive for its name alone. Gorillas have lost 80 percent of their individuals in just the last three generations over the past sixty years ; even in protected areas, 45 percent of them died in the twenty-year period from to Bizarre-nosed chameleons are known only from Madagascar, where a very few individuals have been found exclusively in small patches of habitat that probably total no more than a hundred square kilometers.
That habitat is rapidly being taken over by slash-and-burn agriculture, logging, and cattle grazing. Rapid losses like these are rampant. The number of species we now know to be threatened with extinction remember, that's the sum of all the vulnerable, endangered, and critically endangered species is a whopping 20, species out of the approximately 70, species that have been assessed by IUCN standards. That list includes not only animals with backbones that is, vertebrate animals , which I chose for all of my examples above, but also annelids worms and relatives , arthropods insects, spiders, and relatives , cnidarians jellyfish and relatives , molluscs clams and snails , nemertine marine worms, onycophorans velvet worms , plants, and a very few protists.
Let's say, for the sake of argument, that all of these species continued down that Lonesome George path, eventually dimming into extinction.
Just how abnormal would that be, given that Earth's species have waxed and waned over much longer courses of time than just a human lifetime or two? Here's a way to get a quick sense of how what's happening now compares to what's happened over the past five centuries or so.
We know that about eight hundred species have died out in the last five hundred years. We also know that the vast majority of those species were driven to extinction by people-because we overhunted them, converted their habitat into something that we thought would serve us better in the short term, or introduced competing species intentionally or inadvertently.
Those are, of course, the same threats that are driving species toward extinction today, although the magnitude of those threats has increased dramatically, and some new ones like pollution and climate change have been added.
Continuing the present rates of decline means that all of those 20, currently threatened species will be extinct within the next five hundred years many of them much, much sooner. That would be twenty-five times as much loss in the next five centuries as in the last five.
Considering that even the past five hundred years-the years had elevated extinction rates with respect to what's normal over the thousands and millions of years that make up geologic time as I'll deal with in more detail in chapter 2 , what appears to be coming down the pike in the next few centuries is truly out of the ordinary.
So out of the ordinary, in fact, that sustaining current rates of extinction will guarantee that we bring on the so-called Sixth Mass Extinction. It's called that because there have been only five other times in the past million years that's right, million years when extinction on Earth has been as intense and as rapid as it is today.
Those are known among paleontologists as the Big Five Mass Extinctions. The most recent was about 66 million years ago, when the big dinosaurs were lost forever, and that was in fact one of the least severe. The worst mass extinction was about million years ago, and it saw the deaths of more than 90 percent of known species. No wonder it's been called the Great Dying. That's why the thought of the Sixth Mass Extinction-where we're headed if we do nothing to save all the species presently at risk-is such a big deal.
I'll elaborate on our progress toward the Sixth Mass Extinction in the next chapter, but for now, it's enough to say we really don't want to see it occur. We'd be looking at a world where more than three out of every four of the species we take for granted would be gone.
That doesn't have to be. There are rays of hope. The last individuals standing as threatened species today don't have to be dead species walking, despite their high-risk status, because what the IUCN categories really reflect is not inevitable extinction, but "the likelihood of a species going extinct under prevailing circumstances" italics mine. Predictions of doom all have one key assumption: that we will simply keep on doing things as we always have, without any regard for what we now know.
That's kind of like being a train operator and seeing a school bus stalled on the tracks way off in the distance, knowing you can stop in time if you pull the brake lever hard now, but deciding what the heck, let's not bother. That would be an unusual scenario-humans are, in most cases, smarter than that.
And in fact, we've shown we can be smarter than that when it comes to preventing extinction. Which returns us to Lonesome George and his species. Recall that in the s, when Lonesome George was found, there were only 3, members of his species left, the nadir following the 99 percent loss that had begun centuries before. What reversed the almost-guaranteed extinction trajectory? In a word, people.
Humanity saw the train wreck coming and decided to do something about it. The first step, of course, is acknowledging that the wreck is imminent. That acknowledged the problem, but tortoise numbers continued to dwindle, in part because the pressures on the tortoises had shifted from buccaneers eating them to settlers converting their habitat to farmland; there was also a decent market for selling the tortoises, their eggs, and their shells to dealers outside Ecuador.
The net effect was to elevate the national park to a global treasure and turn it into an economic engine for the locals and for Ecuador in general. Protection for tortoises and other species was strengthened at the same time: it became illegal to capture or remove any species from the islands. All those legal measures slowed the killing of the last tortoises on the islands but couldn't change the fact that 99 percent of the species was gone.
There was one more piece to the puzzle of how to save them, and that was to make sure more of their young survived under the conditions in which the tortoises now found themselves: a world where introduced animals like feral goats, dogs, and pigs ravenously ate tortoise eggs as well as baby tortoises. The way around that was for people to step in, collect the eggs prior to hatching, and take them to captive breeding colonies to rear the young past the age at which they were easy prey-it doesn't take too many years for the tortoise shells to get big enough and tough enough to provide the right kind of protection.
Once that happened, the tortoises were and are returned to where the eggs were laid, and off they go on their own in their natural habitat. Elementa DOI: DOI: Newsletters on Stratigraphy Vol. Barnosky, Emily L. Lindsey, Natalia A. Villavicencio, Enrique Bostelmann, Elizabeth A.
Hadly, James Wanket, Charles R. Marshall, Cearreta, A. C, Grinevald, J. Scale and diversity of the physical technosphere: a geological perspective. The Anthropocene Review Vol 4, Issue 1, pp.
Ellis, Michael A. Ellis, Alejandro Cearreta, Peter K. Haff, Juliana A. Wing, Alexander P. Wolfe, and An Zhisheng.
The Anthropocene: a conspicuous stratigraphical signal of anthropogenic changes in production and consumption across the biosphere. American Geophysical Union. Download a reprint Barnosky, Anthony D.
Chapter 9. Collabra, 2 1 : 23, pp. Wolfe, and Yasmin Yonan, The geological cycle of plastics and their use as a stratigraphic indicator of the Anthropocene. Anthropocene — Download a reprint Colin N. McNeill, Daniel deB. Wolfe, The Anthropocene is functionally and stratigraphically distinct from the Holocene.
Hecht, Daniel Kammen, C. Victor, Byron Washom, Executive Summary of the Report, Bending the Curve: 10 scalable solutions for carbon neutrality and climate stability. Anthony D. Order the book Natalia A. Villavicencio, Emily L.
Lindsey, Fabiana M. Martin, Luis A. Borrero, Patricio I.
Moreno, Charles R. HarperColllins, London, pp.
Order the book Charles R. Marshall, Emily L. A quantitative model for distinguishing between climate change, human impact, and their synergistic interaction as drivers of the late-quaternary megafaunal extinctions.
In press, In P. Polly, J. Head, and D. Fox eds. The Paleontological Society Papers Barnosky, Transforming the global energy system is required to avoid the sixth mass extinction. Download a reprint Gerardo Ceballos, Paul R. Pringle and Todd M. Accelerated modern human—induced species losses: Entering the sixth mass extinction. Waters, James P. The Anthropocene biosphere. The Anthropocene Review , first published on June 18, as doi The Anthropocene Review August 2: , first published on May 29, doi Ellis, Ian J.
Fairchild, Jacques Grinevald , Peter K. Wolfe, An Zhishengw, Naomi Oreskes. When did the Anthropocene begin? Jan Zalasiewicz ,Colin N. Disputed start dates for Anthropocene. Nature The Anthropocene Review 1 3 : — The Anthropocene Review 1 1 : 78— Problem solving in the Anthropocene, The Anthropocene Review 1 1 Translating science for decision makers to help navigate the Anthropocene.
The Anthropocene Review, 1 2 The technofossil record of humans.
White Chair , Richard B. Alley, David E. Holland, M. Smith, George Sugihara, David W. Thompson, Andrew J. Weaver, Steven C. National Academies Press, pp.
The Anthropocene Review: Its significance, implications and the rationale for a new transdisciplinary journal. In, C. Waters, J. Zalasiewicz, M. Williams, M. Barnosky, Andreas Mulchc, Marc A. Carrasco, C. Page Chamberlain.
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 17— Barnosky, James H. Brown, Gretchen C. Daily, Rodolfo Dirzo, Anne H. Ehrlich, Paul R. Ehrlich, Jussi T. Eronen, Mikael Fortelius, Elizabeth A. Hadly, Estella B. Leopold, Harold A. Barnosky, Mikael Fortelius, Nils Chr. Getting the word out on biodiversity crisis. Carrano, Marc A. Carrasco, Gregory M. Erickson, Jussi T.
Eronen, Mikael Fortelius, Russel W. Graham, Eric C. Grimm, Maureen A. Piel, P. From card catalogs to computers: databases in vertebrate paleontology. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Gerber, Elizabeth A. Bridging the Science-to-Society Gap. Climate change. Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia: Extinction.
Norman MacLeod. Detroit: Gale, Mammals modern. Hadly, Jordi Bascompte, Eric L. Berlow, James H. Brown, Mikael Fortelius, Wayne M. Marquet, Neo D. Mindell, Eloy Revilla, Adam B. Approaching a state-shift in Earth's biosphere. Download a reprint Brook B. Quaternary extinctions and their link to climate change. Hannah, Island Press, Washington, D. Foreword, pp. McGuire, Emily L. Lindsey, Kaitlin C. Maguire, Ben Mersey, Elizabeth A. Has the Earth's sixth mass extinction already arrived?
Carrasco, and R. Collateral mammal diversity loss associated with late Quaternary megafaunal extinctions and implications for the future. In, McGowan, A. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, , — Download a reprint Susumu Tomiya, Jenny L. Mcguire, Russell W. Dedon, Seth D. Lerner, Rika Setsuda, Ashley N. Lipps, Jeannie F. Bailey, Kelly R. Hale, Alan B. A report on late Quaternary vertebrate fossil assemblages from the eastern San Francisco Bay region, California.
Halfway There. Kyoto Journal This issue of Kyoto Journal was produced to coincide with and distributed to delegates to the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Nagoya, Japan, Fall Transforming Conservation. Download a reprint Barnosky, A.
Timing of Quaternary megafaunal extinction in South America in relation to human arrival and climate change. Download a reprint Carrasco, M. Barnosky, and R.
Quantifying the extent of North American mammal extinction relative to the pre-anthropogenic baseline. PLoS One 4 12 :e Vertebrate fossils and the future of conservation biology. Dietl and Karl W. Flessa eds. Heatstroke: Nature in the Age of Global Warming.