May 18, 2011

MY IMAGINARY NUMBER IS BETTER THAN YOUR IMAGINARY NUMBER:

Extinction reports are greatly exaggerated (Iain Coleman, 5/19/11, Cosmos Online)

Predictions of how many species go extinct when habitat is lost are fundamentally flawed, according to new research.

Many estimates of extinction rates due to human activity, including those used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), will now have to be revised downward.

"We have proved mathematically where this overestimate comes from, and in this paper we provide a correct method," said Fangliang He of Sun Yat-sen University in China, co-author of the paper published in Nature this week.

"Based on the mathematical proof and empirical data, we prove that the overestimate can be as much as 160%, so previous estimates should be divided by roughly 2.5."


But how many extinct species can fit on a pin head?


Posted by at May 18, 2011 8:39 PM
  

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