Friday, February 5, 2010

Climate Change Responsible for Butterfly Homicide

Biologists in the Golden State announced this week that butterflies are joining the list of unfortunate victims of climate change.

A University of California study found that butterflies living at lower elevations are slowly migrating towards mountain tops to escape the hotter, more volatile weather conditions (and urban development), while butterflies already living on mountain tops have no escape and are simply dying.

Butterflies have long been regarded as an early warning indicator for climate change. But because the environment is changing so quickly and they have very little time to cope, their already short life cycles and high sensitivity to temperature make them especially vulnerable.

Another recent study indicates the same issue occured in the eastern United States, stating that climate change was one possible explanation for a sharp decline in female monarch butterflies there.

Poor butterflies!