Earth Science News  





. Case Western Team Call For Better Global Warming Forecasting

The researchers call for eight steps to better forecasting: Select one of the many meanings associated with the complex concept of biodiversity and target that meaning as the parameters in a specific forecast; Evaluate and validate forecasting methods before applying them to general forecasts; Consider the various factors that might impact biodiversity from climate change to pressures from humans on the native habitat of a species; Obtain adequate information before making predictions about future outcomes; Examine fossil records to aid in understanding how some plant and animal species have adapted to changes in their environments; Improve four widely used techniques in forecasting that model individuals, groups, integration of species and environmental factors and lastly groups or species based on theories; Embed ecological principles in the forecasts based on air, water and animal and plant life.
by Staff Writers
Cleveland OH (SPX) Apr 02, 2007
Case Western Reserve University faculty member Matthew Sobel has joined a team of international scientists calling for better forecasting methods in predicting how climate changes will impact the earth's plant and animal species. They have reported eight ways to improve biodiversity forecasting in the BioScience article, "Forecasting the Effects of Global Warming on Biodiversity."

Sobel, the William E. Umstattd Professor at the Weatherhead School of Management, began consciously tithing a portion of his research time 40 years ago to critical environmental concerns at time when those issues were not fashionable in most of academia.

In addition to predictions about global changes, the researchers also want better forecasting to unravel "the Quaternary conundrum," which is evidence suggesting that many of the estimated 1.5 million species on earth are in danger of extinction from global warming, yet over the past 2.5 million years little extinction is documented in the fossil record.

"The simultaneous widespread and justified alarm over global warming and changes in biodiversity has induced both outstanding scientific research and deplorable pseudoscientific work," said Sobel.

Sobel raises concerns about the "blurring" of scientific fact with public advocacy and wants public discussions to center around sound environmental facts.

"Where the science has limitations that should be noted, too," added Sobel.

His concern is that misinformation or poorly constructed forecasts may divert and reduce resources that could be better spent in other areas.

Limits of scientific knowledge exist with current forecasting models, according to Sobel, and these need to be acknowledged when reporting global warming.

The concern for accurate information and reporting resulted in the article's lead authors-Daniel Botkin from the University of California at Santa Barbara and Henrik Saxe from the Danish Environmental Assessment Institute in Copenhagen-to convene a meeting of scientists from the United States, Spain, Denmark, the United Kingdom and Australia in 2004 in Denmark.

Instead of engaging in "a war of words" to set the record straight where misconceptions exist in the global warming discussion, Sobel said the group reached a consensus to come up with prediction tools that "do it right."

In the BioScience article, the researchers call for eight steps to better forecasting:

+ Select one of the many meanings associated with the complex concept of biodiversity and target that meaning as the parameters in a specific forecast

+ Evaluate and validate forecasting methods before applying them to general forecasts

+ Consider the various factors that might impact biodiversity from climate change to pressures from humans on the native habitat of a species

+ Obtain adequate information before making predictions about future outcomes

+ Examine fossil records to aid in understanding how some plant and animal species have adapted to changes in their environments

+ Improve four widely used techniques in forecasting that model individuals, groups, integration of species and environmental factors and lastly groups or species based on theories

+ Embed ecological principles in the forecasts based on air, water and animal and plant life.

Develop better models that improve upon modeling forecasts called species-area curves that are based on specific number of species in relation to their habitat and how climate changes can modify the environment

Sobel's interest in the environment stems from his work with the U. S. Public Health Service in the 1960s when he worked on a project that followed a proposal by the Army Corps of Engineers to close off the Delaware River when tidal surges from hurricanes threatened the water systems of Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Practices developed from that project have since been adopted worldwide.

After earning his doctorate degree from Stanford University, he carried that passion for environment with him to Yale University where as a junior faculty member in the 1960s he launched his teaching and research career.

"I felt from the very beginning that as much as I delighted in improving the efficiencies and effectiveness of operations in business, public agencies and nonprofit organizations, it was not enough for me," said Sobel.

He said he felt not only an obligation to do environmental research but gained "great satisfaction" from doing it.

It was at Yale that environmental discussions with Botkin started and continued during carpool rides to the New Haven campus during the 1973 oil embargo.

When the two researchers set out to improve the environment, the topic was not accepted as a legitimate research area on college campuses.

"The situation has changed dramatically, and it is legitimate in academia now," explained Sobel. It has even threaded its way and is accepted as a focus of study in his research areas of operations research and operations management.

Other contributors to the BioScience article are: Miguel Arujo from the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales in Spain; Richard Betts, Met Office Hadley Center in Exeter, U.K.; Richard Bradshaw from the University of Liverpool (U.K.); Tomas Cedhagen, Aarhus University, Denmark; Peter Chesson, University of Arizona; Terry Dawson, University of Edinburgh, Scotland; Julie Etterson, University of Minnesota; Daniel Faith, Australian Museum, Australia; Simon Ferrier, New South Wales Department of Environment and Conservation, Australia; Antoine Guisan, University of Lausanne, Switzerland; Chris Margules, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Australia; David Hilbert, CSIRO Tropical Forest Research Centre, Australia; Craig Loehle, National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, Illinois; Mark New, Oxford University, U.K.; and David Stockwell, University of California, Santa Barbara.

Email This Article

Related Links
Case Western Reserve University
Learn about Climate Science at TerraDaily.com

Unnatural Warming And Drying To Be Investigated In Australian West
Perth, Australia (SPX) Apr 02, 2007
Research will be stepped up into the causes and magnitude of climate change in Western Australia following the release of a report showing that observed temperature increase and winter rainfall decline in south-west Western Australia are unlikely to be due to natural climate variability alone.

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  



  • Life Or Death A Matter Of Luck In Japanese Quake
  • Japanese Earthquake Victims Spend Restless Night
  • Cyclone Kills 36 Displaces 50000 In Madagascar
  • Birth And Rebirth In New Orleans

  • Case Western Team Call For Better Global Warming Forecasting
  • Unnatural Warming And Drying To Be Investigated In Australian West
  • Climate Change Could Carry Huge Hidden Costs
  • Africa To Bear Brunt Of Global Warming

  • DMCii To Launch New Higher-Resolution Satellite Imaging Service
  • First Greenhouse Gas Animations Produced Using Envisat SCIAMACHY Data
  • GeoEye Acquires Leading Aerial Imagery Provider From GE Oil And Gas
  • Take A Closer Look At Our Planet At The Palais De La Decouverte In Paris

  • No Food Versus Fuel Debate With Cellulosic Ethanol
  • China May Import Oil Gas And Water From Russia
  • Harnessing New Frequencies
  • City Of Los Angeles Approves Agreement To Supply Clean Energy For 70,000 Homes

  • Has Russia Declared War On Migratory Birds
  • Antibiotic Resistance In Plague
  • Researchers Find Best Way To Detect Airborne Pathogens
  • Bird Flu Found In Endangered Japanese Eagle

  • MIT Ocean Model Precisely Mimics Microbial Life Cycles
  • Over-Fishing Of Atlantic Sharks Upsets Ecosystem Balance
  • 270 000 Seals To Be Hunted In Canada This Year
  • Monster Toad Found In Australia

  • EcoMafia Brings Toxic Terror To Naples
  • World Mayors Consider Perils Of Growing Urbanisation
  • London Asthma Sufferers Get Space-Based Help
  • Visions Of A Green China Lost In The Haze

  • It's Never Too Late To Interrupt The Aging Process
  • The Mother Of All Tooth Decay
  • Man's Earliest Direct Ancestors Looked More Apelike Than Previously Believed
  • Hebron Settlers Spread Out

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement