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A new review of more than 140 studies explores the physiological dangers that climate change will likely have on animal life, including humans. The review is published in the journal Physiology.
2018 was the fourth-warmest year on record, according to NASA scientists, and the majority of the hottest days on record occurred in the past decade. These data point to a trend of warmer temperatures and an increasing frequency and severity of heat waves well into the 21st century. The growing intensity of global warming increases the likelihood of heatstroke and related illnesses in people, as well as heat stress in animals on land, in the sea and in the air.
Populations - Frequency - Severity - Heat - Waves
"Animal populations are likely to respond to increased frequency and severity of heat waves by several different modes: movement, adjustment and death (or selection)," wrote Jonathon Stillman, Ph.D., author of the review. Stillman describes how species—including humans—are adjusting migration patterns, behavior and physiological characteristics to cope with an increasingly hotter climate.
Migration: Many species alter their seasonal patterns of movement—also known as migration—to avoid locations that are too hot. Some migratory species of birds and fish may settle in areas that, due to global warming, are no longer too cold.
Behavioral - Changes - Shifts - Response - Heat
Behavioral changes: "Behavioral shifts in response to extreme heat in endothermic homeotherms (i.e., birds, mammals) are most likely to increase the time spent evaporatively cooling (e.g., sweating, panting, gular fluttering, swimming), with an [accompanying] increase in water demands,"...
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