Mass Migration

Mass Migration of species toward the pole due to climate change has led to Mass Migration of reason from Steve Goddard at Real Science - he even gave me some credit for the post showing so much misunderstanding of science that even those in remedial education should spot it.

Recently I provided a link to a meta study for a commenter on a Real Science post who stated;
“Migration towards the poles has not been observed.”
The link I provided showing this was simply untrue was a report nearly a year ago called 'Rapid Range Shifts of Species Associated with High Levels of Climate Warming' published in Science.

It appears that Goddard was displeased with real scientific research being linked on his blog because he used my link as the subject of another post that turned out to be wrong in some many embarrassing ways.

In his post he asks;
"Why is it necessary for the government to keep wasting billions of dollars repeating the same cherry picked study over and over and over again?"
Clearly he doesn't really understand what a meta study is. This wasn't a single study let alone a repeated one.

It was a meta analysis of 54 separate studies that looked at data for over 2000 animal and plant species and found that species were moving toward the poles or to higher elevations at an average rate of around 20 cm per hour, faster than a previous study found in 2003.

Goddard then states;

"Why doesn’t someone do an honest study – which starts in the 1940s? We see 1970s cherry picking in almost every single study coming out now. It is worse than intentionally deceptive, as it is intended to defraud the reader into drawing a wrong conclusion which the larger data set does not support."
Not honest, intentionally deceptive, cherry picking?  It appears he is suggesting that this study chose data just from the 1970s to give the impression that species were moving, but if a study looked at a longer period of time this would not be the case. You see it 'was very cold during the 1970s', so all these 2000 species must have wandered south during that time and are just waltzing back again now. An 'honest' study starting from the 1940s would show that - well that appears to be what Mr Goddard is saying. He even provides his version of the GISS temperature graph just to prove it 'was very cold in the 1970s'. The official GISS graph is below.

The 70s were a little cooler than 1940s to be sure but that was warmer than all previous years - wouldn't starting a study from then be cherry picking? In any case it is clear that even the 70s were just part of an overall warming trend that began after 1900 so if Goddard's theory where species continually wander north and south and up and down is true, then they have been migrating both north and higher for several decades before 1940 in response to warming, just as this honest study continues to prove.

As to cherry picking, can Goddard point to any species data from the 1940s that could be included in a study such as this and would support his preposterous claims of these scientists being intentionally deceptive and dishonest? Without such evidence his beliefs are just unproven ramblings of an unqualified conspiracy theorist blogger. Suitable studies do not date back that far but it is reasonable to assume based on the evidence of this research that species also migrated due to warming as long as there has been a warming trend and according to the GISS graph that pre-dates 1940.

However if Goddard was even slightly interested in science he would have looked at this meta-study and saw that many of the studies used actually did use data sets older than 1970, many were from the 60s and even one from as far back as 1947.

But now comes Mr. Goddard's biggest howler as he goes for a hat-trick; His claim that  the government is wasting billions of taxpayer dollars repeating this research. Ignoring that he is wrong about this being repeated research, and forgiving his alarmist 'wasting billions of dollars' shriek, this study was carried out by scientists in the Department of Biology at the University of York, England. Not a single taxpayer dollar was used.

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