19 Aug '11, 11am

Tracking Species as They Flee Ever Higher

Tracking Species as They Flee Ever Higher

Parmesan and Singer An Edith’s Checkerspot butterfly in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. In the early nineties, a young PhD student at the University of Texas in Austin spent four and a half years following a small black butterfly with red and yellow spots up and down the west coast, from southern California in March to Canada in August. In 1996 she published the results of her laborious fieldwork in a paper titled “Climate and Species Range” in the journal Nature. The PhD student’s name was Camille Parmesan, and her paper offered one of the first documented examples of a species’ having shifted its range in response to climate change. Dr. Parmesan’s work (she is now an associate professor at the university) showed that over the previous 100 years, the entire range of the butterfly, the Edith’s Checkerspot , had moved northward and to higher elevations. In fact, 80 percent of ...

Full article: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/19/tracking-specie...

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