Skip to content

European insects show evolution at work as climate warms

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
5/29/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Insects are becoming lighter in warmer regions due to climate change.

Climate change is changing insect colors and distributions in Europe according to a new study published in the journal Nature Communications. European scientists say they have documented changes in insect coloration and distribution as ecosystems shift.

The study focused on butterflies and dragonflies specifically. This The Southern Small White (Pieris mannii) has expanded its range northward into new regions as the climate has warmed.

The study focused on butterflies and dragonflies specifically. This The Southern Small White (Pieris mannii) has expanded its range northward into new regions as the climate has warmed.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
5/29/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: insects, global warming, climate change, evolution, adaptation, speciation


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to a paper published in Nature Communications, a peer-reviewed scientific journal, insects in Southern Europe are taking on more light or clear colorations, and those in the north, are becoming darker.

This process of speciation is an example of evolution at work and reveals adaptations consistent with changes in the natural environment. As Southern Europe becomes warmer, the insects in the region become lighter in color, an adaptation that helps them to stay cooler in hot weather and avoid predation.

St. Joan of Arc medal from Catholic Shopping .com

Likewise, insects in Northern Europe are becoming darker in response to longer cold spells, a product of climate change most likely linked to the melting of the Arctic ice cap.

Climates, particularly in Southern Europe are changing and environments are shifting. As this gradual change occurs, insects, which can evolve rapidly, are adapting to the changes.

Such changes are more difficult for larger animals which produce far fewer offspring over longer periods. For larger organisms, the shift in the environment is much more serious.

As insects change their coloration, some species will evolve slowly into different, newly-specialized niches suited to their environment. Other examples of species that are no longer as well adapted to the changing environment will become extinct. The white insects are an example of organisms in transition.

The study is considered proof that the climate is changing. The study does not speculate as to the cause of climate change, as this would be beyond the scope of its expertise.

Most scientists however agree that climate change is the result of human activity and that the planet will continue to warm over the next two hundred years or more, driving more evolution in various organisms and favoring new adaptations.

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for FEBRUARY 2017
Comfort for the Afflicted.
That all those who are afflicted, especially the poor, refugees, and marginalized, may find welcome and comfort in our communities.


Comments


More Green

This is your warning - Scientists predict Biblical flood for California Watch

Image of An ARk Storm could turn many places in central California into lakefront property within days.

California is known for sunny weather, even in the winter. That has made the state one of the greatest destinations for people looking to ... continue reading


Is evolution a lie? The Tully Monster suggests evoluton took some strange turns Watch

Image of Go home evolution, you're drunk.

What the heck is a Tully Monster? If there was an award for the strangest animal to ever live, the Tully Monster would be on the short list ... continue reading


Can the stones literally 'cry out?' Researchers discover LIFE in crystals Watch

Image of Will stones literally

Like something out of a storybook, scientists have discovered <i>life</i> in crystals. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


They can, but should they? Scientists bringing back woolly mammoth from extinction Watch

Image of Will the woolly mammoth once again walk the earth?

Scientists are ready to bring the woolly mammoth back from extinction using new gene editing technology. The creature will be a hybrid, ... continue reading


Scientists knew California would be flooded this year, but how did they predict it? Watch

Image of ARk storms, normally rare, have become a weekly occurrence in California.

In December of 2015, Catholic Online reported that an atmospheric river event known as an ARk storm could cause catastrophic flooding in ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.