global warming and extinction, is there a model?

Richard Pyle deepreef at BISHOPMUSEUM.ORG
Wed Sep 28 16:24:32 CDT 2005

>      I think it depends on whether you are talking about mass
> extinction on land or mass extinction in the oceans.  I think
> global warming will be more of a factor (far more than a blip)
> when it comes to ocean life (at least in general).

I tend to agree with Ken on this -- particularly with regard to the diverse
array of life inhabiting coral reefs.  After talking to Charlie Veron about
this, the future of coral-reef ecosystems is looking pretty bleak, in my

>      As for human scientists fifty-odd million years from now
> (assuming that there will be any humans around then),

Given that the entire human lineage diversified throughout the past five
million years or so, methinks that fifty-odd million years from now we'd be
hard-pressed to classify our collective descendants as "humans".  One
wonders whether, by that time, those descendants of ours (if they exist)
will have settled the "what is a species" question...


Richard L. Pyle, PhD
Ichthyology, Bishop Museum
1525 Bernice St., Honolulu, HI 96817
Ph: (808)848-4115, Fax: (808)847-8252
email: deepreef at

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