This Is The Craziest Effect Of The Climate Crisis On

This is the craziest effect of the climate crisis on most animals

A study explains why ectothermic animals, which are those that regulate their body temperature based on the environment, reduce their size as a result of global warming.

Study indicates that most animals reduce size due to global warming.

A study by the University of Granada (Spain) and the Pontifical University of Chile shows that most animals reduce its size as a consequence of global warming, since the metabolic restrictions implied by the increase in temperature limit its development and prevent them from reaching large sizes.

Researchers have explained why ectothermic animals, which are the ones that regulate their body temperature based on the environment, reduce their size as a result of global warming.

This work, published by the magazine Nature Climate Change and which the University of Granada has reported in a statement, offers for the first time a physiological explanation to the observed general reduction in the size of organisms as a consequence of global warming.

The study has pointed out that the metabolic restrictions that implies the increase in temperature limits the development of animals that cannot achieve large sizes.

The first author of the work, Ignacio Peralta-Maraver, from the Department of Ecology at the University of Granada, has detailed that ectothermic animals depend almost necessarily on the ambient temperature to regulate your metabolism.

“Bearing in mind that metabolism increases proportionally with size, How are animals of such disparate sizes going to deal with global warming?“, Peralta-Marver wondered.

amphibians and reptiles

Over nearly three years, researchers have analyzed hundreds of scientific papers and museum collections and collected 637 empirical measurements of thermal tolerance and size including annelids, molluscs, arthropods, fish, amphibians and reptiles.

With these data, and considering both the intensity and the duration of the thermal stress to which the organisms were subjected, the researchers have formulated an equation that allows quantifying tolerance to heat in ectotherms.

“This equation describes that large and small animals respond differently to thermal stress as a result of the interaction between size and thermal sensitivity”, pointed out the researcher, who added that the small animals have a higher tolerance to extreme heat than the big ones.

The discovery of these researchers has important ecological implications, since it helps to understand how this type of animal will respond to global warming. Furthermore, by combining this framework with well-established equations from metabolic theory, the team has shown mathematically that metabolic limits also scale with size.

“Relatively large animals will see their development and growth capacity in scenarios of thermal increase”, the authors have concluded.