Plants and Animals perfectly capable of Adapting to Environmental Changes
Despite the evidence, climate alarmist mainstream media continue to scare-monger about the impact of “global warming”.
The water flea depends on the temperature as few animals. This small crustacean is not reproduced by the union of the egg and the male gamete. Female sex cells develop without being fertilized.
This mechanism of asexual reproduction called parthenogenesis is initiated by an environmental or chemical signal. In the case of water fleas it is the ambient heat that drives reproduction. During warmer months, more breeding occurs and the offspring are females.
In winter, they are born less and are males. That’s why scientists studying climate change are using it as miners used the canaries in the mines.
“Combining numerous research techniques, both in the field and in the laboratory, we already have a full picture of the breadth of impacts climate change is having on these animals,” University of Florida biologist Brett Scheffers.
“We now know that climate change is affecting its genetics, its physiology, its distribution and the communities of which it is a part. This example offers the most complete proof of how climate change can alter all the processes that govern the life of the planet” he adds.
Together with about twenty scientists from so many universities, Scheffers has reviewed all the scientific literature on the impact of climate change on animals and plants published in recent years.
They looked for studies at all levels, from mutations in the genes of a species, to stress in an entire ecosystem, to changes in the size and shape or geographical distribution of species.
They identified almost a hundred ecological processes. As they publish in Science, from the micro to the macro, 80% of those processes are already showing the ability to adapt to emvironmental changes.
“Genes are changing, tolerance to high temperatures is changing and physical traits such as body size or color are changing,” says Scheffers.
In the case of the water flea, those of colder latitudes have developed a greater thermal tolerance in a few tens of years.
On a larger scale, “species are changing their geographic range”. Apparently, there are seeing clear signs that whole ecosystems are adapting to environmental changes.
Among the most evident changes are the ones in ecological processes related to seasonality.
A longer spring, for example, can cause changes in relations between species, pollination, and so on. Warmer temperatures are altering the behavior and distribution of many birds. The thing is, there has not been any warming for the past 18 years. So the opposite effect can be take place as the planet cools due to weaker solar activity.
At high latitudes, the boreal forests of Canada are progressing further north, in the Arctic, so are the species that now inhabitate the southern areas.
Researchers do not go into valuing the goodness or badness of the changes. For some species, such as corals, changes in the environment is different that for other areas of the planet. For the Adelaide penguin, the withdrawal of the Antarctic glaciers is causing their populations to increase.
In global terms, the planet’s vegetation cover seems to have increased, although some of the larger trees are disappearing. As previously explained, a warmer planet, assuming that the planet were getting warmer, would mean more vegetation, more food for animal populations and, therefore, more food for humanity.
At sea, the net result may seem neutral: while 52% of species adapted to warm waters have prospered, the same percentage of cold water species have waned. On land, half of vertebrate populations have disappeared in 40 years.
“Some did not expect this degree of change for a few decades,” says University of Queensland professor and co-author of the study, James Watson.
“The effects of climate change are being felt everywhere, without any ecosystem being left out. It is not sensible to think that climate change is only a problem for the future.”