Thursday, January 19, 2006

CBC News: Global warming and fungus disease lethal to frogs

The loss of more than 70 species of brightly coloured harlequin frogs in the Central and South American tropics can be blamed on a lethal mixture of global warming and fungal growth, says their study, to be published Thursday in the journal Nature.

Climate change had been suspected as a cause, but the link was not immediately clear. The scientists' answer is this:

Global warming has accelerated cloud formation, which, paradoxically, has a moderating effect on temperature, producing warmer nights and cooler days.

Unluckily for the frogs, this keeps temperatures within a range that fungus loves. More extreme temperatures, both high and low, would hold back growth.

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