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The bat fungus: Few clues

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Monday, Feb. 27, 2012

A bat-killing fungus that can't tolerate heat above 68 degrees should wane in a human-warmed world. Yet it's spreading, killing more bats -- which suggests blame-mankind alarmists' climate models are flawed.

First found domestically in 2006 in upstate New York, white-nose fungus since has spread west to 16 states and four Canadian provinces, killing up to 6.7 million bats. Expected to peak this winter in Western Pennsylvania, researchers say it could wipe out five North American species of hibernating bats.

Unlike honeybee-killing Colony Collapse Disorder, no "batkeepers" manage healthy populations to mitigate the effects of white-nose fungus. That, combined with bats' beneficial hunger for crop-destroying pests -- worth an average of $74 per acre to farmers, one study says -- makes the fungus a mystery that science must solve.

That effort should stay off the climate alarmists' path. With the fungus growing at only between 39 and 59 degrees and unable to survive 68-plus degrees, their "settled science" of dramatic, human-caused warming in recent years is at odds with the bats' worsening plight.

So, too, is European bats' seeming immunity -- another reason to look elsewhere than mankind and climate for the white-nose fungus cure.

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