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Is climate change rebuilding the "survival of the fittest" law?

发布时间:2019年12月26日15:54 Source: Science and Technology Daily Release time: December 26, 2019 15:54
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Global warming, abnormal snowfall, compression of biological habitat ...

Is climate change rebuilding the "survival of the fittest" law?

As global temperatures rise, the characteristics of winter seem to be diminishing, and people are worried whether the white snow at the end of the year will gradually disappear.

Complicated snowfall

Although, logically, warming means less snow, in fact, climate change's impact on snowfall location and snowfall is much more complicated. Although climate scientists cannot speculate whether it will snow at the end of the next 30 years, they can at least see some general trends.

David Robinson, a climatologist in New Jersey, states that they want to observe samples from multiple years at multiple sites and "never trust only a few measurements". To understand the trend of precipitation in the atmosphere, there are too many factors to consider. A trend indicates that there will be more precipitation in winter, this trend will start at the southern end, but as the global warming gradually develops to the north, where the temperature stays below zero in winter, because the warm air contains more moisture It may snow more, and there is already evidence to support this expected trend.

In addition, although snowfalls are generally less common, extreme snowfalls account for a larger proportion of all snowfalls. Atmospheric scientist Paul Ogoman of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology published a study in Nature in 2014 to illustrate this strange phenomenon.

In addition, there is a clear early melting trend in spring, especially in warmer years in the western United States. Robinson added that there is "no clear signal" for autumn and winter. At the same time, warmer temperatures will also make the lake "in autumn" for a longer period of time and remain ice-free for a long time, thereby affecting the climate surrounding the lake.

But climate models suggest that this trend will not last forever, as temperatures may eventually become too hot, even to the point where they cannot support any snow.

Changing habitat

While climatologists analyzed snowfall on land, another biological report also pointed out that due to the impact of climate change, marine life has begun to adapt to a new dimension. A paper published by the British "Nature · Ecology and Evolution" magazine on the 24th pointed out that in order to cope with environmental changes, in addition to moving to the polar regions, marine life may also migrate deeper, but they will first experience three-dimensional habitat compression.

In the context of global climate change, the oceans will continue to change, and organisms may also be forced to change. According to the British Guardian reported earlier this year, research shows that in the past 150 years, the ocean has absorbed 90% of energy from climate change-more than 90% of the heat captured by human greenhouse gas emissions has been absorbed by the ocean. Heat is stored deep in the ocean, and only a small amount of heat is absorbed by air, land, and ice sheets.

So, if you want to survive the rising temperature, marine species may migrate to the poles to keep their environmental temperature constant; or they may stay in their original location and adapt to higher temperatures. Of course, marine life may also migrate vertically deeper, but researchers know less about the possibility of such migration.

This time, researcher Cabriel Joda and colleagues at the Spanish Institute of Oceanography calculated the vertical distance that global marine species need to move to maintain the same ambient temperature by 2100. Although the results showed significant regional differences, the average vertical migration distance in the medium-emission scenario was 18.7 meters in all the locations studied; the vertical migration distance in the business-as-usual scenario was 32.3 meters.

However, temperature is not the only factor that determines the suitability of a habitat. Deeper waters cannot provide sufficient light for some species, and the actual maximum depth is also a major limitation in some areas. With this in mind, the research team pointed out in the article that phytoplankton and shallow-water terrestrial species such as corals, kelp, and seagrass all experience vertical compression of suitable habitats due to rising temperatures. The overall combined effects of thermal adaptation and horizontal and vertical migration may be complex, and the differences between different species and locations are also large.

Researchers say the analysis is also the first global estimate of the possible vertical migration caused by climate change. (Reporter Zhang Mengran)

(Source: Science and Technology Daily Editor: Luan Fei)

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