Warming Planet Pushing Species Out of Habitats Quicker Than Expected

September 19, 2011 • Climate Change & Mitigation, Daily Email Recap

From Live Science. See: http://www.livescience.com/15640-species-shifting-climate-change.html

Warming Planet Pushing Species Out of Habitats Quicker Than Expected

Jennifer Welsh, LiveScience Staff Writer

Date: 18 August 2011 Time: 02:00 PM ET

If you can’t take the heat, get out of the habitat. That’s exactly what many species are doing, and they’re moving at an unprecedented rate, new research suggests. The cause: our changing climate.

The researchers analyzed previous studies to determine how far more than 2,000 species of plants and animals had strayed from their native habitats. The study included regions across the globe.

All types of species studied were moving toward the poles, at an average rate of about 8 inches (20 cm) per hour, or 11 miles (17.6 km) per decade. Species are also moving upward at an average rate of about 40 feet (12.2 meters) per decade. These estimates are about three times farther than previous measures.

The researchers also correlated this with how quickly the temperature was changing in these areas. They saw that in the areas of greatest temperature increases, species were moving farther and faster.

“There wasn’t any clear overall pattern that different types of species were responding more than others,” said study researcher Chris Thomas, of the University of York in the United Kingdom. “The amount of change we are seeing is greater in the regions that have warmed the most, the link to climate change is clear.”

To read the full article, please click here: http://www.livescience.com/15640-species-shifting-climate-change.html

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