Climate Alarmists: Global Warming ‘Wreaking Worldwide Havoc’ on Migratory Songbirds

Townsends warbler
Screen shot

The latest creatures to fall victim to “climate change” are America’s songbirds, joining a growing list of casualties attributed by climate alarmists to manmade changing weather patterns and global temperature shifts.

Warmer temperatures are threatening American songbirds with dwindling numbers due to an inability to successfully breed, a new study from Scientific Reports alleges.

A team of researchers studied migratory patterns of songbirds between 2001 and 2012 and claimed that of the 48 North American songbird species that migrate north, nine of these — or almost 20 percent — “didn’t reach the grounds by the deadline critical for mating and breeding the next generation of birds,” wrote Karla Lant in her summary of the report

Plants in eastern North America are “greening up” sooner than normal because of global warming, the report contends, while plants in the western part of the continent are somehow undergoing the process later.

This means that birds such as the Townsend’s warbler and the rose-breasted grosbeak “are arriving either too soon and being met with frigid temperatures or too late and missing out on the insect boom that coincides with the new plant growth,” Lant stated.

Either way, the birds have a much lower chance of surviving and reproducing, the report alleges, so the nine species identified are consequently in danger of dwindling numbers.

“As climate at the breeding grounds changes, birds may be unable to adjust wintering ground departure times and transit speeds sufficiently to match their arrival with altered breeding resource phenology, particularly leaf growth and the closely associated emergence of herbivorous insects,” the report warns.

If attributing changes in migratory patterns of songbirds to “global warming” after a mere 12 years of observation strikes readers as highly suspicious, that’s probably because it is.

Event attribution—the ability to link a given phenomenon to manmade global warming—is exceedingly speculative at best and completely unreliable at worst, even according to true believers.

At a meeting of climate scientists at Oxford in 2012, one participant argued that, given the insufficient observational data and the coarse and mathematically imperfect climate models used to generate attribution claims, they are “unjustifiably speculative, basically unverifiable and better not made at all.”

Nature Magazine felt compelled to conclude (with unusual modesty) that “better models are needed before exceptional events can be reliably linked to global warming.”

Of course, the purpose of studies such as these, which remarkably continue to receive funding, is ultimately practical rather than speculative. They are meant primarily not to inform but to exhort, and to put pressure on policy makers to coerce human behavior change in accordance with climate change theory.

“As for the fate of these migratory birds, that really depends on how far we’re willing to go to end manmade climate change,” Lant’s article predictably concludes.

“Climate change is projected to drive hundreds of bird species to extinction and greatly reduce the ranges of others,” the report prophecies, “and is already impacting species richness and composition.”

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