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STUDY: Plants & Animals Rapidly Migrating due to Climate Change

19 Aug 2011  |   Emma Brown

Plants and animals worldwide are increasingly migrating away from the equator at a much more rapid pace than in past decades due to climate change, a new study published in the peer-reviewed Journal Science found.

The study, which examined roughly 2,000 species, found plants and animals are moving 15 feet per day North or about a mile per year—a rate much faster than in previous decades.  Species migrated more rapidly from areas most heavily impacted by climate change.

The study comes in the wake of two of the hottest years on record—2010 and 2005—and underscores the reality that climate change is happening now. It's already affected the entire planet's wildlife," Chris D. Thomas, the lead researcher in the study said in a phone interview with the Associated Press. "It's not a matter that might happen in the lifetime of our children and our grandchildren. If you look in your garden you can see the effects of climate change already."

View the report.



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