Scientists Have Underestimated Ability To Adapt To Climate Change, New Studies Show

  • Date: 08/05/14
  • Ellie Zolfagharifard, Daily Mail

As the planet warms, animals and plants are learning to adapt to their new environment by either migrating or evolving, new research has revealed.

Many scientists believe the rate of climate change is too rapid for various species to keep up.

But two new studies have offered some hope that experts may have underestimated their abilities.

The first study reveals how a species of butterfly named the quino checkerspot has defied expectations of extinction by moving to cooler climes and changing its diet.

The quino checkerspot, found in Mexico and California, moved to higher altitudes to avoid extinction, according to research presented at the Butterfly Conservation’s symposium in Southampton.

Its rapid adaption offers some hope to scientists that other insects could be able to change their environment and survive a warmer climate.

Separate research led by Stanford University scientist Steve Palumbi found how some corals can quickly switch on or off certain genes in order to survive in warmer-than-average tidal waters.

The research team discovered corals can adjust their internal functions to tolerate hot water 50 times faster than they would adapt through evolutionary change alone.

Research led by Stanford University found that some corals can quickly switch on or off certain genes in order to survive in warmer-than-average tidal waters.

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