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Range Responses of British Dragonflies and Damselflies to Recent Regional Warming
Reference
Hickling, R., Roy, D.B., Hill, J.K. and Thomas, C.D.  2005.  A northward shift of range margins in British Odonata.  Global Change Biology 11: 502-506.

What was done
The authors analyzed changes in the northern and southern range boundaries of 37 non-migratory British Odonata (dragonfly and damselfly) species - 4 of which have northern ranges, 24 of which have southern ranges, and 9 of which are ubiquitous - between the two 10-year periods 1960-70 and 1985-95.

What was learned
All but two of the 37 species increased the size of their ranges between the two 10-year periods.  With respect to this observation, Hickling et al. report that their "findings that species are shifting northwards faster at their northern range margin than at their southern range margin, are consistent with the results of Parmesan et al. (1999)," adding that "this could suggest that species at their southern range margins are less constrained by climate than by other factors."  We agree, noting that this is the primary thesis of our major report The Specter of Species Extinction: Will Global Warming Decimate Earth's Biosphere?

What it means
Rather than leading to range reductions as a prelude to a massive extinction of species, as has been claimed by many of the world's climate alarmists to be lurking just around the corner, so to speak, global warming, if it continues for some time and its elevated warmth is maintained, will in all likelihood lead to most of earth's species expanding their ranges and gaining even stronger footholds on the planet.

Reference
Parmesan, C., Ryrholm, N., Stefanescu, C., Hill, J.K., Thomas, C.D., Descimon, H., Huntley, B., Kaila, L., Kullberg, J., Tammaru, T., Tennent, W.J., Thomas, J.A. and Warren, M.  1999.  Poleward shifts in geographical ranges of butterfly species associated with regional warming.  Nature 399: 579-583.

Reviewed 24 August 2005