Speed River Journal’s nature news roundup for Feb. 20, 2014, highlights a few recent comments, forecasts and data on climate change.
This week Greenpeace published analysis of recent weird weather patterns around the world and explaining their connection to climate change. Reuters reports the heavy impact on developed countries is getting the attention of politicians before a 2015 deadline to work out a U.N. climate deal.
While climate change affects temperate regions more adversely, tropical species are also experiencing the impact. A recent study published in the Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences found New Guinean birds are shifting their distributions up mountain slopes. Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s All About Birds blog reports, this trend puts species in an ever more precarious situation, and some may become extinct by 2100.
A new book by American journalist Elizabeth Kolbert puts such predictions in context. The Sixth Extinction, published this month by NPR books, places the current acceleration of extinctions on the timeline of Earth’s history, relating her own experiences as well as interviews with specialists. Drawing on peer reviewed science, she predicts between 20 and 50 percent of living species will become extinct by the end of this century.
Meanwhile, Anny Revkin at Dot Earth posted the text of a speech by political scientist David G. Viktor, “Why do smart people disagree about the facts? Some perspectives on climate denialism.” In it, Viktor warns against trying too hard to defeat denialists.