Range Shifts – More Evidence of Warming
February 22, 2012
We continue to see postings from armchair climatologists trying to pretend there is some as yet undiscovered flaw in global temperature data, or some fiendish plot by the entire scientific community (even the vanishing skeptic community) to fool us about global temperature rise.
But animal and plant species know of no controversy. They are not “warmists”, or “skeptics” – like ice, ocean, and tundra – they simply respond to changes and adapt, by moving north, or moving to higher altitudes.
Go north (or up), young sagebrush.
That, in effect, is the survival imperative that global warming is handing organisms worldwide, and they are responding at a pace much faster than scientists estimated about a decade ago, according to a new study published in Friday’s issue of the journal Science.
Researchers in Britain analyzed dozens of studies tracking changes in the ranges of some 1,376 species of plants, animals, and insects. They found that a warming climate is driving species toward higher latitudes at an average of nearly twice the pace that studies indicated in 2003. And species are migrating to higher altitudes nearly three times faster.They either are following food sources or are so tightly tailored to a particular temperature or precipitation regime that they are following it as conditions in their traditional ranges become more hostile to them.Moreover, the species in the regions experiencing the most significant warming over the past 40 years are the species moving the most quickly.