When many students think of Global Warming, they think of Vice President Al Gore and his film The Inconvenient Truth.
Gore received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for his role of bringing awareness to climate change in the world.
Professor Camille Parmesan, who jointly received the award with him for serving as a lead author of the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), gave students hope for the future on Wednesday with how evolution will play a role in saving many species around the world with the growth of global warming.
Habitat loss is still considered to be the number one reason for species extinction or migration. -Prof. Camille Parmesan
Discussing topics such as glacial retreat, species migration, species adaptation, and species extinction, Parmesan was able to get her message out to the students.
Parmesan’s studies focused on the Quino Checkerspot butterfly and the Edith’s Checkerspot butterfly.
“It’s not just the polar bear,” Parmesan said, “very large numbers of species are showing some kind of response to the climate.”
Parmesan’s lecture detailed how warming climates have forced several species (including the butterflies) to either migrate towards cooler climates or adapt to the changes.
“Habitat loss is still considered to be the number one reason for species extinction or migration,“ Parmesan said.
The Quino Checkerspot is one example of adaptation due to habitat loss. This species lives near and around the San Diego and Los Angeles area in southern California.
Conservationists feared that they would become extinct within 20 years.
“They were wrong!” she exclaimed.
The Quino was discovered to have adapted and changed their host flowers in the higher elevations.
Most scientists are noticing that localized evolution in many species is allowing them to adapt to the warming climate.