- May 21, 2005
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
LONDON (Reuters) - An infectious fungus aggravated by global warming has killed entire populations of frogs in Central and South America and driven some species to extinction, scientists said on Wednesday.
In research that showed the effects of rising temperatures on delicate ecosystems, a team of researchers found that a warming atmosphere encouraged the spread of a fungus that has wiped out species of harlequin frogs and golden toads.
"This is the first clear evidence that widespread extinction is taking place because of global warming," Dr Alan Pounds, an ecologist of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve in Costa Rica, said in an interview.
"Climate change is already altering the dynamics of infectious disease and causing species to disappear."
Pounds and his team established the link between global warming and the disappearance of frogs in the cloud forests of Costa Rica by analyzing sea surface and air temperatures, which rose by 0.18 degrees per decade between 1975 and 2000.
Warmer temperatures increased cloud cover over the tropical mountain which the scientists believe promoted conditions to spur the growth of the chytrid fungus that kills frogs.
They are confident that global warming is a key factor in the disappearance of many amphibian populations in tropical forests.
"There is absolutely a linkage between global warming and this disease -- they go hand-in-hand," said Dr Arturo Sanchez-Azofeifa, of Canada's University of Alberta and a co-author of the research published in the journal Nature.
"With this increase in temperature, the bacteria has been able to increase its niche and wipe out large populations of amphibians in the Americas," he added in a statement.
This kind of stuff will only get worse until we find a cheaper way to produce hydrogen fuel. That will only happen when more people start listening to the scientists who actually know what they're talking about.