They say that the most precious and valuable things in life are the ones to fade out first. We are presently facing a severe climate change and the first ones to bear the consequences are butterflies, which slowly and irreversibly fade out, depriving us from fascinating displays of beauty. Butterflies are on the verge of extinction due to severe droughts resulting from ongoing global warming. The area with greatest risk is the UK, as some species are especially sensitive to the effects of climate change.
According to expert assessments, six species of butterflies are particularly sensitive to drought and could be lost from several areas of the country by 2050. An extended study published in the Journal Nature Climate Change debates the matter and offers precious insights over the situation.
The ongoing warming of our environment is prone to change nature’s paradigms and first victims are those who are most vulnerable in front of this dramatic metamorphosis. Scientists have based their prediction on a study aimed at analyzing the way butterflies fared in 1995, the driest summer since record keeping began, back in 1776. It seems that similar droughts are expected to become more frequent in the future, following the patterns of our climate change.
For the study analysis, data from 129 habitats for 28 species monitored as part of the UK’s Butterfly Monitoring Scheme was mixed with historic climate data. Computer model projections were also used, for a better and most accurate assessment of the situation.
There are six species which are known to be extremely vulnerable to drought effects, namely the small cabbage white, the cabbage white, the large skipper, the green-veined white, the speckled wood and the ringlet.
The situation is not irreversible, as constant and sustained efforts to restore connections between butterfly habitats, presently fragmented by human activities, could offer us a more optimistic perspective over the issue. If we ignore the perspective, we bear the consequences.
Effective controlling of greenhouse gas emissions could change our shaded future when it comes to extinct species. Greenhouse gas emissions are presently poisoning large areas, where wildlife unfolds. Natural habitats are damaged and many wild animals are facing the danger of extinction. The situation in US is no better, as the Monarch butterfly in North America is thought to be declining as well, due to loss of plants in agricultural environments. Climate change will worsen the issue if it speeds the decline of milkweed plants that are the main source of food for Monarch butterflies.
Image Source: animals.howstuffworks.com