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Birds and wind farms/climate change

Posted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:39 pm
by GrahameNZ

An extreme rarity and a wind turbine, UK

Posted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:26 am
by GrahamB
Here is a minor tragedy that could spark some controversy: ... d-turbines



Re: An extreme rarity and a wind turbine, UK

Posted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 11:00 am
by Michael Szabo
The title of this piece is apt: "Let's not martyr the white-throated needletail to the anti-wind cause"

It's an abundant species that is not classified as threatened within its large mainly Asian range, but because it is a rare vagrant to the UK it qualifies there as a "rarity". Climate change is a far greater extinction threat to wild bird species globally than wind farms are.

Re: An extreme rarity and a wind turbine, UK

Posted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 11:02 am
by Mxyzptlk
That controversy has been running high in the US for some time. This is one of the latest brouhahas: ... TLIN168949

Re: Sad

Posted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:57 pm
by Neil Fitzgerald
Merged two threads on the same subject.

RSPB wind farms policy

Posted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 5:55 pm
by Michael Szabo
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds is the largest bird conservation advocacy organisation in Europe, with a million members. It supports wind farms and acknowledges that climate change poses the single greatest long-term threat to birds and other wildlife. If this issue is of interest, it's worth reading their wind farms policy which recognises the essential role of renewable energy such as wind power in addressing climate change:

24-50% of all bird species threatened by climate change

Posted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 6:11 pm
by Michael Szabo
For more on birds and climate change read about the new IUCN study which shows that 24-50% of all bird species are threatened by climate change: ... c_Lb6xyjzJ

The figures in the new study are similar to those obtained in a 2004 study (Extinction risk from climate change, Thomas et al, Nature), which estimated that 15-37% of species will be "committed to extinction" by 2050 due to climate change.

Re: Sad

Posted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:46 am
by Mxyzptlk

I assume you are fully aware of the rebuttles of Chris Thomas's paper. In a subsequent issue Nature published three others that challenged all his conclusions. Among other things the methodology and data were called into question. Elsewhere Daniel Botkin took a Very Big Stick to it. If such public comments had been made about any of my published works no rock would have been big enough for me to hide under.

Birds and climate change

Posted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:44 am
by Michael Szabo
Yes, some of those authors believed the Thomas et al study was an overestimate, and others believed the risk could be even greater. Thomas et al replied in Nature addressing criticisms and concluding, "Although further investigation is needed into each of these areas, it is unlikely to result in substantially reduced estimates of extinction. Anthropogenic climate change seems set to generate very large numbers of species-level extinctions."
(See: ... 02719.html)

Research published in the 4 January 2012 edition of Proceedings of the Royal Society B by Urban et al found that diversity decreased when differences in how quickly species relocate and competition among species were taken into account in the climate model used. As a result they observed the rate of extinctions may be higher than previously projected. (

If anyone wants to read more about birds and climate change the most recent study was published in June 2013 in PLoS One by the IUCN, BirdLife International and others ("Identifying the World's Most Climate Change Vulnerable Species: A Systematic Trait-Based Assessment of all Birds, Amphibians and Corals: ... ne.0065427). This found that 24-50% of all bird species are threatened by climate change.

It found that, of those species currently considered to be safe by the IUCN, 17-41% are highly vulnerable to climate change, including "most Arctic birds", some of which migrate to New Zealand.

And of those bird species that are both highly climate change vulnerable and threatened, the regions which contain the highest numbers include, Sundaland [Indonesia], the Indian subcontinent, south-eastern South America, southern oceans from 30–60oS, the northern Andes, much of central and eastern Asia, Africa excluding the Sahara and Congo basin, and parts of North America.

Obviously, "southern oceans from 30–60oS" includes seas around New Zealand from the Kermadec Islands to seas south of Campbell Island and [Australian] Macquarie Island towards Antarctica.

See also the research published by a team at the University of Strasbourg which found that warming of the sea surface by as little as several tenths of one degree poses a serious threat to king penguins. The study tracked more than 450 king penguins over nine years and found that warm events negatively affected breeding success and adult survival. The derived population dynamic model suggested a 9% decline in adult survival for 0.26°C of warming. The authors suggested that king penguin populations were "at heavy risk" of extinction" based on projections of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC predicted an average temperature increase of approximately 0.2°C per decade for the next two decades.

"King penguin population threatened by Southern Ocean warming":

Re: Sad

Posted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:55 pm
by Mxyzptlk
This was just sent to me: ... rticles%29

Imtriguing. This seems the appropriate place to post it.