On the Move

almost 6 years ago
“From beetles to barnacles, pikas to pine warblers, many species are already on the move in response to shifting climate regimes. But how fast will they -- and their habitats -- have to move to keep pace with global climate change over the next century? In a new study, a team of scientists including Dr. Healy Hamilton from the California Academy of Sciences have calculated that on average, ecosystems will need to shift about 0.42 kilometers per year (about a quarter mile per year) to keep pace with changing temperatures across the globe. Mountainous habitats will be able to move more slowly, since a modest move up or down slope can result in a large change in temperature. However, flatter ecosystems, such as flooded grasslands, mangroves, and deserts, will need to move much more rapidly to stay in their comfort zone -- sometimes more than a kilometer per year. The team, which also included scientists from the Carnegie Institute of Science, Climate Central, and U.C. Berkeley, will publish their results in the December 24 issue of Nature.”
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