31 March, 2015
The Other Cost of Climate Change - The New Yorker
The Other Cost of Climate Change - The New Yorker: There’s no doubt that the coming century will be a tough one for wild animals. But, for countless species, including almost all of North America’s birds, the threat is not direct. The responses of birds to acute climatic stress are not well studied, but birds have been adapting to such stresses for tens of millions of years, and they’re surprising us all the time—emperor penguins relocating their breeding grounds as the Antarctic ice melts, tundra swans leaving the water and learning to glean grains from agricultural fields. Not every species will manage to adapt. But the larger and healthier and more diverse our bird populations are, the greater the chances that many species will survive, even thrive. To prevent extinctions in the future, it’s not enough to curb our carbon emissions. We also have to keep a whole lot of wild birds alive right now.