Global warming to keep animals, plants on move
Peter Fimrite, Chronicle Staff Writer
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Plants and critters will have to move an average of a quarter-mile every year to keep up with global warming this century, meaning less mobile creatures will have to adapt or die, a new study revealed Wednesday.
A team of scientists from the California Academy of Sciences, UC Berkeley and the Carnegie Institute of Science said the blistering pace of climate change is going to force animals to scramble, sometimes for miles, looking for relief.
The study, which was published Wednesday in the scientific journal Nature, found that animals and plants - depending on whether they live in the flatlands or mountains - will have to travel anywhere from 50 feet to 6 miles every year between now and 2100 to find habitat similar to what they currently enjoy.
"Adapt, move or go extinct. Those are the three options," said Healy Hamilton, a conservation biologist at San Francisco's Academy of Sciences and a co-author of the paper.
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