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Bumblebees victims of climate change

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — A study that gives the bumblebee: the populations of this insect in Europe and North America have declined sharply due to the rise in temperatures due to climate change, and some species could even disappear, according to Canadian researchers .

“Populations are disappearing in places where temperatures are rising. If the decline continues at this rate, many of these species may become extinct forever within a few decades,” commented the study’s lead author, Peter Soroye, of the University of Ottawa.

These conclusions are all the more worrying in terms of biodiversity as the bumblebee plays an important role as a pollinator.

To arrive at this observation, the researchers took into account more than 500,000 data on 66 species of bumblebees in Europe and North America, covering the period 1901-1974 then 2000-2014.

They compared the geographic distribution and diversity of these populations with changes in temperature and precipitation.

Conclusion: the probability of seeing a site occupied by bumblebees is significantly lower in the 2000-2014 period than in the 1901-1974 period. This drop amounts to 46% in North America and 17% in Europe.

“We can expect an even greater decline for bumblebees in terms of land use and biodiversity in places where climate change exceeds what the species can tolerate,” write the researchers.

In recent years, other studies have highlighted the threats to a multitude of animal species. It is however complicated to determine the share of responsibility for climate change and that of environmental problems (pesticides, etc.).

According to scientists, heat waves are an unequivocal marker of global warming and these heat waves are expected to further multiply, lengthen and intensify.

In addition, with global warming, the intensity and frequency of drought episodes is likely to increase even if the world manages to limit the rise in temperatures to + 1.5 ° C compared to the pre-industrial era.

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