Biologists believe that climate change is affecting living things worldwide, and the latest evidence suggests that warmer winters may mean fewer migratory birds. New research shows that as winter temperatures have risen in central Europe, the number of migratory birds has dropped. Ultimately, this may also decrease the number of migratory bird species there.
"We predict that with increasing winter temperatures...the number of long-distance migratory bird species should decline," say Nicole Lemoine and Katrin Boehning-Gaese of Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, in the April issue of Conservation Biology.
The Earths surface temperature has increased by about a degree F since 1860, and is expected to increase by as much as 10 degrees F more over the next century. Already, climate change is affecting plants and animals in many parts of the world: for instance, plants in Europe have a longer growing season, a North American marmot has a shorter hibernation period, and some migratory birds in Europe are starting to breed earlier.
Nicole Lemoine | EurekAlert!
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