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2015-07-09. Climate Change Is Shrinking Where Bumblebees Range, Research Finds.

posted Jul 10, 2015, 8:40 AM by Alan Gould
By Nicholas St. Fleur, The New York Times. For GSS Climate Change chapter 8. Excerpt: Climate change has narrowed the range where bumblebees are found in North America and Europe in recent decades, according to a study published Thursday. The paper, published in the journal Science, suggests that warming temperatures have caused bumblebee populations to retreat from the southern limits of their travels by as much as 190 miles since the 1970s. Logic would suggest that the northern reaches of their home turf would shift to higher latitudes by a corresponding distance. But that has not happened, leading researchers to think that the more northern habitats may be less hospitable to them. “Bumblebee species across Europe and North America are declining at continental scales,” Jeremy T. Kerr a conservation biologist at the University of Ottawa in Canada who was the lead author of the report, said at a news conference. “And our data suggest that climate change plays a leading, or perhaps the leading, role in this trend.” Not all entomologists agree with the findings, saying that the paper offers evidence of a correlation between climate change and waning bumblebee population ranges, but does not make the case that warming temperatures are the main cause. Instead, they say that a multitude of factors contribute to the bumblebees’ shrinking borders, and that a changing climate may be just one factor.... http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/10/science/bumblebees-global-warming-shrinking-habitats.html