In another from the “global warming is gonna fuck everything up” desk we have this little gem.
A strange new fungus disease that kills frogs and toads and every other species of amphibian is spreading around the globe and — combined with pollution and overdevelopment — is driving more and more of the creatures to extinction, a coalition of the world’s top biologists warns.
At least one-third of the world’s known amphibians are threatened by the combination of attacks, and up to 122 species have become extinct within the past 25 years, the international team of specialists is reporting in today’s edition of the journal Science.
“Amphibian declines and extinctions are global and rapid,” 50 of the world’s leading specialists on water-dwelling animals declared in a joint report. At least 427 species are “critically endangered,” they said.
While the spread of the disease is a major new threat to all amphibians, the scientists reported that the greatest current danger to every threatened species is still the loss of habitat as cities and suburbs expand, streams and ponds and wetlands give way to the needs of farmers, and forest lands are destroyed.
But the fungus, a unique species called Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, could start taking on a larger role in the increasing extinction because of global warming, which scientists suspect is lowering amphibians’ resistance to the disease.
The fungus was discovered in Australia and Panama only eight years ago and since then has spread across Europe and both the Americas, causing skin infections called chytrid disease in every amphibian species it attacks. The death rate from the infections is 100 percent, biologists have found. The disease, they concluded, “causes catastrophic mortality in amphibian populations, and subsequent extinctions.”
Seems that for the first time we humans are about to wipe out not just a type of something, but the whole class of something. Namely amphibians. If I had children I would make sure to take them out to see a frog, a glacier, and the coast of Florida. All things that will not be here in 50-100 years.
The science is in, the facts are on the table. Global warming is real, its here, we need to deal with it. We all need to start on the path to being carbon neutral as soon as possible. Plant a tree, reduce, buy a hybrid, reuse, vote, recycle, call your rep, call your congress person, walk, ride public transport. DO ANYTHING. But do it now, and do it fast, because we do not have a lot of time left to sit around doing nothing.