CAVEAT LECTOR “let the reader beware”

Posted by john Byatt . How often do we see a research paper that turns out to be misrepresented by the sceptics or ignores any caveats imposed ?

This paper looked ripe and plump enough to be picked by the sceptics to spread misinformation .

Climate Warming Unlikely to Cause Near-Term Extinction of Ancient Amazon Trees, but Multiple Threats to the Forest Remain
Dec. 13, 2012 — A new genetic analysis has revealed that many Amazon tree species are likely to survive human-caused climate warming in the coming century, contrary to previous findings that temperature increases would cause them to die out.

The study by University of Michigan evolutionary biologist Christopher Dick and his colleagues demonstrates the surprising age of some Amazonian tree species — more than 8 million years — and thereby shows that they have survived previous periods as warm as many of the global warming scenarios forecast for the year 2100.,

THE CAVEAT
But study co-author Simon Lewis of University College London and the University of Leeds cautioned that “the past cannot be compared directly with the future.”
“While tree species seem likely to tolerate higher air temperatures than today, the Amazon forest is being converted for agriculture and mining, and what remains is being degraded by logging and increasingly fragmented by fields and roads,” Lewis said. “Species will not move as freely in today’s Amazon as they did in previous warm periods, when there was no human influence. Similarly, today’s climate change is extremely fast, making comparisons with the past difficult.
“With a clearer understanding of the relative risks to the Amazon forest, we conclude that direct human impacts, such as forest clearance for agriculture or mining, should remain a focus of conservation policy,” Lewis said. “We also need more aggressive action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to minimize the risk of drought and fire impacts to secure the future of most Amazon tree species.”

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121213192951.htm

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