Predictions of Impacts of Climate Change on Animal Species Suffer From Model Discrepancies
Real, R., Marquez, A.L., Olivero, J., Estrada, A. 2010. Species distribution models in climate change scenarios are still not useful for informing policy planning: an uncertainty assessment using fuzzy logic. Ecography 33: 304-314.
The study says: "our results show that discrepancies between predictions were more attributable to the lack of knowledge concerning the effect of oceans and atmosphere on climate (general circulation models) than to the putative effect of different emissions scenarios on future climate." The study found that the two climate models they tested produced species distribution results that differed more than the results from the two emissions scenarios, showing that there is not sufficient model agreement to allow models to be used to infer species habitat impacts over the next 100 years. The authors state: "our conclusion is that species distribution models in climate warming scenarios are still not useful for informing emission policy planning." This suggests that the claims of model agreement do not extend to the regional scale, the very scale at which impacts must be assessed.