10 Jan '12, 4pm

New research shows that climate change is reshaping the alpine ecosystems of Europe. #climate

New research shows that climate change is reshaping the alpine ecosystems of Europe. #climate

It seems obvious: As the average temperatures of alpine climates increase, cold-loving plant and animal species are forced to move up to higher elevations to find the conditions they are best suited for. New research, however, has found a surprise in this simple process—that it's happening much faster than previously thought. By analyzing plant samples from 60 summits in 13 European nations, researchers found that the phenomenon is continental in scale. Michael Gottfried, a researcher with the Austria-based Global Observation Research Initiative in Alpine Environments, explained that the team "expected to find a greater number of warm-loving plants at higher altitudes, but we did not expect to find such a significant change in such a short space of time "Many cold-loving species are literally running out of mountain," he continued , "in some of the lower mountains in Europ...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/climate-change/climate-change-p...

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