Spiegel science journalist Axel Bojanowski writes here about the grave error committed by the British Royal Society’s in its false claim that the Rhachistia aldabrae snail had gone extinct and that it had been due to global warming. Full story here in English.
Hat-tip: Reader DirkH.
Bojanowski calls the news of the extinction being false “good news”, but says that it has become “a problem for British Royal Society” and that the re-appearance of the alleged climate change victim has put the Royal Society “in difficulty“.
The story, first reported by the Times, is now catching some of the attention of the German mainstream media, which have been reluctant to report the good news. Bojanowski describes how scientists declared the snail extinct and how subsequent rebuttals were rejected.
Eventually a red-faced Royal Society admitted that the reviewers of the rebuttal were the very same who reviewed the 2007 paper which had declared extinction.
IPCC credibility questioned more than ever
Not only the Royal Society has been embarrassed by the snail’s re-appearance, Bojanowski also writes that “the case is also inconvenient for the UN IPCC“, which claimed global warming was threatening to make a number of species extinct and that the snail’s alleged disappearance was a sign of this happening.
On the IPCC Bojanowski writes:
Now credibility is in question more than ever”.
At the end Bojanowski tells readers, however, that the snail’s re-appearance is no reason to call off the alarm:
The number of snails at the Seychelles coral atoll has shrunk considerably since the 1970s. Reason unclear.”
The science is as murky as ever. But one thing is clear: some scientists were in quite a rush to declare it dead and to use it as a poster-child for global warming.