Butterflies might disappear by 2050 because of changes in the climate. A recent study suggests that six species of butterflies in the United Kingdom might go extinct by 2050 because of prolonged droughts and climate change. Regrettably, other species may suffer the same thing, including small birds, beetles and moths.
The team of scientists said that butterflies might be saved if the local authorities could drastically reduce the emission of greenhouse gases and restore the natural habitats of the small creatures and the access points that have been destroyed by humans. Researchers said that both of these solutions should be focused upon.
Nearly 75 percent of the butterfly populations are facing a serious decline in the United Kingdom. The small creatures are not important only for how they look and the memories we associate with them. They pollinate flowers and are a crucial part of the environment. If the number of pollinators declines, crops will be affected and so will the food chain.
An ecology expert from the University of Notre Dame, Dr. Jessica Hellman said that we might lose an important fraction of biodiversity. Dr. Hellman was not involved in the study.
She also said that we shouldn’t take for granted the animals around us. We might soon see them disappear because of the current state of matters. She said that we should be aware that the issues the butterflies in the United Kingdom are facing reflect a larger problem caused by climate change.
Scientists analyzed data regarding around 30 species of butterflies living in over 120 places. The information was gathered through a project meant to track butterflies ever since the 1970s, called the U.K. Butterfly Monitoring Scheme.
The authors of the study also analyzed the historic records regarding weather changes and then compared the two data sets. They discovered that droughts, such as the one that happened in 1955 (and which was the worst in over two centuries) have a huge impact on species that are sensitive to drought.
The scientists discovered that six butterfly species in the United Kingdom face the most increased risk of extinction because of extreme heat. The researchers put all of the gathered data inside a database and used a model on a computer to figure out what the fates of these butterflies might be should the temperature get any warmer. The model revealed that the six species of butterflies might disappear by 2050 if the current pace of global warming doesn’t change.