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The legitimacy of climate change is still not universally agreed upon by members of the public. But scientists seem certain that climate change is occurring, and it will have detrimental effects on certain organisms within a short amount of time. For example, researchers from the United States and South America have recently determined that the natural habitat of two tropical plant eating beetle groups is shrinking in size due to climate change. These endangered beetles include weevils and leaf beetles. Unfortunately for these two insects, climate change has a particularly negative effect on their ability to survive in their natural habitat.

The group of researchers traveled to the Brazilian rainforest in order to assess how climate change affects different types of insects. The Brazilian rainforest is the ideal location for studying how climate change is affecting insects. This is because the Brazilian rainforest contains an astonishing diversity of insect life, and many of these insects have become accustomed to surviving at high altitudes. The researchers found that many different herbivorous beetle groups only dwell at high altitude locations. These different beetle species are at risk of becoming extinct since since they cannot relocate once the temperature at their particular altitude changes. The beetles have evolved to survive at high altitude temperatures. Basically, these beetles are limited to a high altitude habitat that will become unlivable once the earth’s temperature rises.

According to Dr. Peter Mayhew of the University of York’s Department of Biology and member of the research team, insects have been observed moving farther uphill in response to rising temperatures. However, these insects cannot proceed uphill forever, as the amount of livable areas on a mountain will become less abundant as the altitude rises. The many beetle species that are now living at high altitudes will become restricted to smaller and smaller habitats as the increasing global temperatures force these insects to move uphill. The insects will move to higher altitudes as a result of climate change in order to reach cooler areas that are more hospitable, but their extinction is inevitable. Unfortunately, many insect species will become extinct without having ever been documented by scientists. This is due to the inaccessibility of high altitude locations within the vast Brazilian rainforest where so many insects exist.

Do you believe that the increase in global temperatures will ever be significant enough to kill large amounts of mountain dwelling insects?

 

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