A study on climate change and its impact on the environment and the ecosystems is showing that six species of butterflies in the U.K. are in danger to get extinct in the near future.
Climate changes have led to changes in the weather that make more occurrences of climatic extremes of heat and cold more often than ever before. These rapid changes are negatively affecting the earth's biosphere. Several populations of vegetation and animals have suffered the effects. This is a consequence of global warming.
What is even more alarming for the experts in climate and environment is the fact that the severity of climate change has become chronic. This means that Earth's ecosystem and the species living on the planet may be unable to withstand the shock to the system. Extinction might become the final outcome of their struggle for survival.
A new study led by Dr. Tom Oliver from the Center for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), in collaboration with other colleagues from CEH, the University of Exeter and the charity Butterfly Conservation was recently published in the scientific journal Nature Climate Change on Monday.
According to the study, several species of butterflies in the U.K. are in danger to meet a similar fate due to climate change. Severe droughts have devastating effects on the butterfly populations of Great Britain. Six species that are at higher risk have already started to suffer tragic consequences.
These butterflies are undergoing increased fragmentation while their habitat is getting destroyed. The six species could vanish forever by the year 2050, according to the study. This would have further consequences on the ecosystem and would represent a huge loss of biodiversity.
Human intervention could forestall the extinction since it works both ways. Our activities can be both destructive as well as constructive. With the proper measures in place, the butterfly populations may get saved from the pitfalls of climate change.
According to the lead author Dr. Oliver, the researchers are worried by the results of their study. Until they started this research, they did not quite realize the potential impacts and the magnitude of environmental effects from climate change. Especially for the drought-sensitive butterflies, these consequences could be fatal and widespread population extinctions is expected by the year 2050.
Dr. Oliver cited, in order to limit these losses, reduction of CO2 emissions and habitat restoration could have their role. He added that a combination of both is the best approach. By reducing greenhouse gas emissions, these butterflies could get stopped from extinction. This is not an impossible task the efforts are already underway.