A Sign Of Change: Species Move North

A Sign Of Change: Species Move North

One of the ways we can tell how climate is changing is how other living things adapt.  Whether it is the sugar maple tree or the swallowtail butterfly, even the most casual observer detects the differences. These changes, as well higher or lower temperatures, occur as you move north and south and as elevation changes.

Climate change: Species climbing higher and migrating north, study says

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR  - by Pete Spotts. August 19, 2011.

Organisms are responding to climate change at a pace much faster than scientists estimated about a decade ago, according to a new study in 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.

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Butterflies Booking It North as Climate Warms

MOTHER JONES - by Julia Whitty. Thu Jan. 31, 2013.

climate changeButterflies from the southern US that used to be rare in the northeast are now appearing there on a regular basis. The trend correlates to a warming climate report the authors of a paper in Nature Climate Change.

Subtropical and warm-climate butterflies—including the giant swallowtail (photo above) and the zabulon skipper showed the sharpest population shift to the north. As recently as the late 1980s these species were rare or absent in Massachusetts.

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Trees Migrating North Due to Warming

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC NEWS - Bruce Dorminey. February 9, 2009.

Other than the Ents of Lord of the Rings fame, trees generally aren't known for their mobility. So news that some tree species may be headed north at an average clip of 62 miles (100 kilometers) a century may come as a surprise.

That's the finding of a new study led by the U.S. Forest Service, which concludes that a few dozen tree species in the eastern U.S. are moving north at an unexpected rate, likely due to global warming.

In a paper appearing this month in the journal Forest Ecology and Management, the study authors documented the northward march of 40 major tree species over 30 eastern states based on the distribution of seedlings versus mature trees.


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