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Climate is Changing Faster than Animal Adaptation

Climate is Changing Faster than Animal Adaptation

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 20 August 2019



Song Sparrow
Song Sparrow, Jennifer Taggart, courtesy Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
Song Sparrow is one of the species considered in an international review of climate change studies, Jennifer Taggart, courtesy Cornell Lab of Ornithology.



Climate is Changing Faster than Animal Adaptation,
Cornell University, August 20, 2019.


"Birds and other animals cannot adapt fast enough to keep pace with climate change, throwing species survival in doubt."

"Our research focused on birds because complete data on other groups were scarce."

"...reviewed more than 10,000 published climate change studies..."

Phrenological Shift
"We demonstrate that in temperate regions, the rising temperatures are associated with a shift in the timing of biological events to earlier dates."

"These biological events include hibernation, reproduction, and migration. Changes in body size, body mass, or other physical traits have also been associated with climate change but--as confirmed by this study--show no systematic pattern."

"The rate of climate change has increased so much over the last 20 years that in general birds and other animals cannot respond fast enough, leading to a mismatch between the timing of nesting and when food needed to feed the babies is peaking."

"The data analyzed included common and abundant species which are known to cope with climate change relatively well. Even they cannot keep pace."


"The Timing of Life"

"Phenology is a key component of life on earth. Many birds time their nesting so that eggs hatch when insects are available to feed nestlings. Likewise, insect emergence is often synchronized with leaf out in host plants. For people, earlier flowering means earlier allergies. Farmers and gardeners need to know the schedule of plant and insect development to decide when to apply fertilizers and pesticides and when to plant to avoid frosts. Phenology influences the abundance and distribution of organisms, ecosystem services, food webs, and global cycles of water and carbon. In turn, phenology may be altered by changes in temperature and precipitation.

Changes in phenological events like flowering and animal migration are among the most sensitive biological responses to climate change. Across the world, many spring events are occurring earlier—and fall events are happening later—than they did in the past. However, not all species are changing at the same rate or direction, leading to mismatches. How plants and animals respond can help us predict whether their populations will grow or shrink – making phenology a “leading indicator” of climate change impacts."

National Phenology Network



Our Radically Changing Phenology
"The Timing of Life"

Aug 2019

Bee-Flower Mismatches Rising with Temperatures


July 12, 2019
Changing Timing of Life Bleeding Fertility Out of Nature, The Case of the Japanese Bumblebees

April 2019
ECO-CRASHING NEWS: Comprehensive Arctic Warming Underway


March 2019
CHANGING ARCTIC SEASONS: Harbigner of Deadly Changes


May 2019
Eco-Crashing News, 2019 Arctic Warming Specifics, Timing Spring


Jan 2019
BIRDS & INSECTS, A Shared Decline


June 2018
Climate Change News: Nature Losing its Integrated Timing; Life no longer supporting itself


May 2018
Timing of Life Changing with Changing Seasons: Birds Paying the Price


April 2018
The Timing and Character of Seasons have Changed: Nature-Ecosystems-Watersheds Crash


Nov 2017
Changes in flowering, fruiting affecting bird abundance, activities




Bird News


News of Man & Nature, August 2019








Nature News


Climate Destruction News



Bee News

Bear News

Spider Forum

Bird News

Small Mammals

Frogs and Reptiles

Butterfly News


Health and Fitness

Mountain Safety

Mosquito News

Female Trail

High Sierra History


Astro-Phys, Space, & Science News

High Sierra Geology News

Fish, Oceans, & Water News






study, timing of life, phenology, changing, faster, bird, animal, evolution, adaptation, affecting, hibernation, reproduction, migration


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