The Real Winners from Climate Change

We are changing the climate so rapidly that the biological “winners” will be those organisms that 1) prefer it warmer than colder and 2) have a life-cycle sufficiently short that they can adapt faster than other organisms. Which are those? One guess:

“Insect population growth likely accelerated by warmer climate,” reports the University of Washington (UW). The researchers found “insect species that adapt to warmer climates also will increase their maximum rates of population growth.” In particular

Advertisement

The research shows, in effect, that “warmer is better” for insects, said Melanie Frazier, a UW biology doctoral student.

“Enhanced population growth rates for butterflies might be a good thing, but enhanced growth rates for mosquito populations is much more dubious,” said Frazier, who is lead author of the new research.

The full study is available in the October issue of The American Naturalist (subs. req’d). The research was funded by grants from a number of sources including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Science Foundation. It would certainly be nice if the one person ultimately in charge of those agencies was paying attention before we all get stung.