Something new has been added to the effects of climate change: shrinking species. The Green Blog reports on the report:
ut the shrinking among species in general is noticeable, Dr. Sheridan said — at least to scientists studying them. And in the long run, she suggests, changes in species sizes could have major implications for crop production and the availability of protein sources like fish.
Judging from the fossil record, creatures like beetles, spiders and pocket gophers shrank during periods of warming in the past like the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum about 55.8 million years ago, the researchers write. Scientists are increasingly relying on fossils to predict what the planet might anticipate over the next century.
Although climate change is now unfolding at a much faster rate than in past periods of warming, the researchers write, the basic message is the same: warmer temperatures equals smaller animals.