Guest essay by Eric Worrall
According to the BBC cockroaches will survive, but Pandas and humans won’t make it. Reptiles are also doomed because they can’t regulate their body temperature.
The animals that will survive climate change
With one in every four species facing extinction, which animals are the best equipped to survive the climate crisis? (Spoiler alert: it’s probably not humans).
By Christine Ro
5 August 2019
“I don’t think it will be the humans. I think we’ll go quite early on,” says Julie Gray with a laugh. I’ve just asked Gray, a plant molecular biologist at the University of Sheffield, which species she thinks would be the last ones standing if we don’t take transformative action on climate change. Even with our extraordinary capacity for innovation and adaptability, humans, it turns out, probably won’t be among the survivors.
This is partly because humans reproduce agonisingly slowly and generally just one or two at a time – as do some other favourite animals, like pandas. Organisms that can produce many offspring quickly may have a better shot at avoiding extinction.
Another source of uncertainty has to do with life forms’ capacity to adapt. Take ectotherms (cold-blooded animals like reptiles and amphibians), which have historically been slower to adapt to climatic change than endotherms. For one thing, they are less able to adjust their body temperatures. But there are exceptions, like the American bullfrog, which may actually find more habitable environments as a consequence of warming.
The historical record does point to the tenacity of cockroaches. These largely unloved critters “have survived every mass extinction event in history so far”, says Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, a soil biogeochemist at the University of California, Merced. For instance, cockroaches adapted to an increasingly arid Australia, tens of millions of years ago, by starting to burrow into soil.
…Read more: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20190730-the-animals-that-will-survive-climate-change
Anyone who thinks reptiles have a problem with warm temperatures has never visited Australia. And I’m not just talking about our politicians.