Thursday, 10 March 2011

New Study: Spiders adapt to global warming (quite like humans)

A new study shows that spiders are able to adapt to global warming. This is, of course, evident even without any new studies. There has been "climate change" for millions of years, and both flora and fauna have ajdusted, some better, some not quite as well. Even if there would be some degree of human induced global warming - which remains to be proven - homo sapiens would be able to adjust. One can only  hope that the new spider study will make some of the most ardent believers in the catasthropic global warming religion start thinking about the possibility of human adaptation: "Yes, we can, if the spiders can". That would already be a step forward ....

The predatory behaviour of spiders is unaffected by increased temperatures, according to research by Yale University, suggesting some species can adapt to global warming.

The Yale research examined a well-studied grassland food web, made up of a predatory spider, its grasshopper prey, and the plants grasshoppers fed on. The spider’s predatory behaviour is known to be temperature-sensitive, decreasing with increased temperatures. Researchers had expected higher temperatures to stop the spiders preying on grasshoppers, leading to more plants being eaten.

However, in the study, spider populations from warmer areas tolerated higher temperature ranges better than the populations from cooler areas and continued to control the grasshopper popualtion. This suggests they can adapt to local conditions and maintain their vital role in the community despite increased temperatures.

‘Species are almost certainly adapting to the climate change Earth has experienced during the past century,' study author Dr Brandon Barton told the Ecologist. 'My results show that species have the capacity to adapt to a range of temperatures, similar to those predicted by climate change models, and that a species’ role in the community can be conserved by this adaptation.’ 

Warmists as they are, the researchers - not surprisingly -  felt the need to add the following warning:

Despite species ability to adapt, Barton remains unconvinced this can eliminate the negative impacts of climate change.‘Whether understated or exaggerated, all evidence suggests that the wide-reaching direct and indirect effects of climate change will have innumerable consequences on biological systems globally.’

Read the entire article here.

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