Sunday, August 21, 2011
Go North Young Critters!
Animals and plants are shifting their natural home ranges towards the cooler poles three times faster than scientists previously thought. In the largest study of its kind to date, researchers looked at the effects of temperature on over 2,000 species.
They report in the journal Science that species experiencing the greatest warming have moved furthest.
Scientists have previously reported on individual species moving towards the poles or uphill, in mountainous regions, as their traditional habitats shifted due to global warming. But this new study analysed data on more species to get a more comprehensive picture. On the average, these species are moving to higher elevations at 36 feet per decade and higher latitudes at 10.5 miles per decade. at the extreme end, the comma butterfly in Great Britain has moved more than 135 miles in 21 years. According to USA Today, the average distances are two or three times faster than when it was last measured, in 2003.
Might be time to invest in Canadian real estate.