March 19, 2012

New Study: Current Climate Change Models Underestimate Rate and Severity of Species Extinction

Mark Urban, lead author of a new study about the effects of climate change on plants and animals, under one of many ice sheets threatened by a warming environment


Plenty of experimental studies have shown that species are already moving in response to climate change, says [Mark] Urban, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Connecticut. For example, as temperatures rise over time, animals and plants that can't take the heat are moving to higher altitudes where temperatures are cooler.

But not all species can disperse fast enough to get to these more suitable places before they die off, Urban says. And if they do make it to these better habitats, they may be out-competed by the species that are already there -- or the ones that got there first.

Read whole article here.

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