Climate change in the tropics cont'd


We published our climate change resurveys in PNAS earlier this year (take home message: birds in New Guinea are moving rapidly upslope in response to warming temperatures), and it's been nice to see some responses to our paper in the media.

To start was a nice commentary by Jared Diamond published in PNAS titled 'Birds and grapes on mountaintops' available at

In addition, a back and forth with Evan Rehm of Florida International University was just published in PNAS (his letter: Rates of upslope shifts for tropical species depend on life history and dispersal mode; our response: Reply to Rehm: Why rates of upslope shifts in tropical species vary is an open question). We mostly agree with Rehm that upslope shifts will be faster in some taxonomic groups than others. With so few published studies documenting upslope shifts, however, it is tough to know at present which groups are more affected by climate change. Hopefully others are hard at work generating new empirical datasets, as there is a desperate need for more studies.

You can also read more about our work in the latest issue of Living Bird (for Cornell Lab of Ornithology members, not available online at the moment) and in a variety of other outlets such as:

and several others.


In other news, we just returned from a nice trip to the mountains and deserts of southeastern Arizona. Spring is finally arriving here, and the warblers are returning. Finally, my friend Alex Freeburg just started a law firm practicing criminal and DUI defense in the Tetons. Check him out at if you are ever in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and need a lawyer.