Animals and plants relocating habitats closer to poles faster than scientists thought

August 21, 2011 CANADA – 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. The results helped to “cement” the link between climate change and shifts in species’ global ranges, said the team. Scientists have consistently told us that as the climate warms we should expect animals to head polewards in search of cooler temperatures. Animals like the British comma butterfly, for example, has moved 220km northward from central England to southern Scotland in the last two decades. There is also evidence that more species seem to be moving up mountains than down, explained conservation biologist Chris Thomas from the University of York, UK, who led the study. But studies had stopped short of showing that rising temperatures are responsible for these shifts in range, he added. Species at the summit of Mt Kinabalu in Borneo may be doomed if temperatures rise further Analysing the range shifts of more than 2,000 species – ranging from butterflies to birds, algae to mammals – across Europe, North and South America and Malaysia over the last four decades, they show that organisms that experience the greatest change in temperatures move the fastest. The team found that on average organisms are shifting their home ranges at a rate of 17km per decade away from the equator; three times the speed previously thought. –BBC
contribution by Education
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6 Responses to Animals and plants relocating habitats closer to poles faster than scientists thought

  1. Kathy says:

    It sure looks like it’s time to follow the animals.

    God’s Blessings


  2. Animals are a lot smarter than humans give them credit for.


  3. Jake says:

    What they weren’t blessed with in intelligence,they were blessed with in instinct and intuition.


  4. drnicolas says:

    I m staying at the foot of mount Kinabalu . Now I know why the animal is disappearing . Maybe due to the migration ( or hunting ) . Even fruit tree is not giving its fruit during fruit season and precious herbs is dying . Herbs that grows in pot need to be shaded during the earth is in the solar wind stream . Thats make me a very busy man …


  5. Golfdad641 says:

    Thousands of Walrus Begin Early Haul-Out in Alaska

    Prompted by receding Arctic sea ice, walruses have begun hauling out on the Alaskan shore by the thousands.

    In recent years, walrus migrations have happened on an unprecedented scale with the animals coming ashore in greater numbers, in new places, and at times not seen before. Last year, as many as 20,000 walruses hauled out on the Alaskan shoreline of the Chukchi Sea, near Point Lay, according to the World Wildlife Fund. [Giants on Ice: Gallery of Walruses]

    This year, the mass migration began three weeks earlier than last year, with a handful of walruses tagged by the United State Geological Survey heading to shore as early as Aug. 7. Then on Wednesday (Aug. 17), about 8,000 were spotted on or near a beach north of Point Lay, the Associated Press reported.


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