NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


June 23, 2008

A new study in the peer-reviewed PLoS Biology, a journal of the Public Library of Science, has disproven sensationalist media reports of global warming causing a mass die-off of tropical frogs, says Aleksandrs Karnick of the Heartland Institute.

In January 2006, a Nature magazine article argued global warming was behind the spread of a fungus, amphibian chytridiomycosis, in Central America that was decimating tree frog populations.  Ignoring the researchers' clear bias and predisposition toward finding global warming as the cause of declining frog populations, many prominent media outlets including MSNBC, BBC, the Washington Post and the New York Times were quick to cover the Nature report and point the finger at global warming, says Karnick.

However, this new study by a team of scientists specializing in zoology and animal health provides strong counterevidence to disprove the Nature magazine article, says Karnick. 

According to the study:

  • There was no evidence to support the hypothesis that climate change has been driving outbreaks of amphibian chytridiomycosis, a disease that kills tropical frogs.
  • Biologists indicated that the frogs and toads have been in their present location for thousands of years and would have experienced all types of climate fluctuations.
  • The scientists also found that the preliminary Nature study used flawed methodology and overlooked very basic real-world information.

"This is just one more example of how alarmists, including scientists on a mission, jump the gun, touting any environmental harm as being caused by global warming, regardless of the counterevidence," said Sterling Burnett, a senior fellow for the National Center for Policy Analysis.  "Thankfully, more thoughtful and honest researchers have debunked the myth that human-caused global warming is behind the frogs' unfortunate demise."

Source: Aleksandrs Karnick, "Global Warming - Frog Decline Link Is Disproven," Heartland Institute," July 1, 2008.


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