In 2019, a 40-year study by biologist David Willard showed that bird sizes are getting smaller and smaller due to global warming.
Similarly, research by Dr. Josh Van Buskirk of the University of Zurich-Switzerland and two experts Robert Mulvihill-Robert Leberman of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History-USA with 102 bird species between 1961-2007 shows a decline in the number of birds. reductions in body weight and wingspan was observed in 60 spring migratory birds, 75 autumn migratory species, 51 summer migratory species and 20 winter migratory bird species over a 46-year period. five.
Even not just birds, almost every creature on earth is reducing in size to fit in the environment.
A series of studies show that with the current reduction in size, many species will become extinct while the ecosystem is changed, thereby affecting the whole of humanity.
Size and temperature
In ecosystems, Bergmann’s law once showed that the colder the climate, the larger the organism size and vice versa. The reason is that large organisms will easily store heat through fat storage, while increasing temperatures make them smaller because this will dissipate heat faster.
According to Bergmann’s law, the ratio of organism size to their surface area is closely related to habitat temperature. This is also the reason why large chunks of ice take longer to melt than small ones.
Bergmann’s law has contributed to explaining why 56 million years ago, the earth’s temperature increased by 5-8 degrees Celsius within 10,000 years, causing many large species to decrease significantly in size, while a series of large creatures become extinct.
The link between environmental temperature and organisms is evident when many dinosaur species disappear, which is attributed to climate change. With this assessment, the earth’s warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2040 is expected to change the global ecosystem.
From birds to bugs
The Field Museum’s survey of more than 70,000 birds published in 2019 found that 52 common bird species decreased in size by 2.6% between 1978 and 2016.
Similarly, many studies on deer, insects, and rodents also show that their size decreases with increasing temperature. In 2017, a study with Menhaden silverfish found that they have decreased by an average of 15% in size over the past 65 years.
The worrying thing is that fish have nothing to do with keeping heat across their surface size, so they don’t need to get smaller to dissipate heat. Jennifer Sheridan of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History said that global warming has changed the environment and indirectly affects marine life as well as many other species.
For example, toads, whose life cycle from egg to adult has been shortened due to global warming, has resulted in their size becoming smaller as they mature.
According to Associate Professor Brian Weeks of the University of Michigan, if the Earth’s ice age took thousands of years to increase a certain temperature, thereby killing many species, now, the global temperature will go up. 10 times faster than that period.
Please be reminded that reducing the size of a baby bird will erode the birth rate.
“The fact that organisms decrease in size will affect their ability to reproduce, thereby reducing the population of the species. This is why so many people are concerned about such size,” said Dr. Sheridan of the Carnergie Museum emphasized.
Worse, the reduction in size also caused the ecosystem to be rapidly deformed. For example, if a predator (Predator) decreases in size faster than a prey (Prey) then it will need more prey to fill its stomach, or even change position on the food chain.
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