Saturday, 11 Oct, 2008 Environment

Tropics Getting Too Hot


American researchers declared that climate change threatens not only the polar region with its cold-loving animals, but the tropics as well. They become too hot for many species which will have to move higher seeking escape from the heat.

Robert Colwell of the University of Connecticut carried out a research presenting its results in the journal Science. He considers that if the climate continues to get warmer, the Costa Rican tropics will undergo considerable changes within the next century. As Colwell and his colleagues predict, the current climate at 100 meters will be observed at 700 meters.

Colwell and his work-mates gathered information about 2,000 species of plants, insects and fungi in Costa Rica. They came to a conclusion that half of the species would have to change their habitats and to move up in the mountains. If species suffer from the heat, they will feel better in their customary climate zone.

As a result of this process, populations inhabiting lowland regions will decrease in biodiversity because other species can't survive in this climate. But species living high in the mountains may have no space to move higher.

Colwell's forecast differs from the suppositions made by other researchers who state that global warming will not have a considerable impact on species inhabiting tropics. As his opponents say the climate was warmer 50 million years ago, but tropical forests still existed. However, Colwell insists upon further investigation before making a final conclusion.

Researchers from the University of California-Berkeley pursued another study comparing changes in small mammal populations at Yosemite National Park in California to the data received in 1918. They also found out that mammals like shrews, mice and ground squirrels moved to high-set regions. As it turned out, half of the species made such shifts. Changes in nature can not be avoided, but their speed should be kept under control.

Source: #

Posted by sharaeff

Add your comment:

antispam code