No living thing will survive 3.5 degrees of warming

No living thing will survive 3.5 degrees of warming

Some bacteria living in the Southern Ocean cannot adapt to temperatures even 2°C higher than they normally live in, and other organisms may face similar limitations in adapting to higher temperatures.

Even the species of bacteria living in the coastal waters of Antarctica are unable to adapt to temperatures a few degrees higher than they can normally tolerate. The discovery suggests that there is a serious limit to the adaptive capacity of organisms in adapting to heat waves and long-term higher temperatures caused by climate change. And yet, it is the bacteria that, as evolutionary Houdini, are able to withstand even the heaviest environmental pressure. This is mostly due to their large number and the fact that the new generations adapt, grow and develop quickly. On the other hand, larger organisms with smaller populations and living at temperatures closer to their upper thermal limit are thus even more likely to die out during extreme heat waves.The models predict that if global warming reaches 3.5°C by the end of the 21st century, the length, intensity and frequency of marine heat waves will increase, reaching an average duration of 112 days and a maximum sea surface temperature of 2 .5°C. The aim of a team of researchers was to assess the evolutionary potential of populations to rapidly modify their upper temperature limits, for example in connection with marine heat waves. The upper thermal limit here refers to the thermal reproductive limit, which is expected to be lower than the critical thermal limit, which is the mortality threshold. Their experiments were designed to make evolutionary rescue as easy as possible: they chose a gradually changing environment, a large population, and a species that already lives directly below its upper thermal tolerance. But as it turned out, even under such favorable conditions, they were only able to push the upper temperature limit by 1°C, which according to forecasts may not be enough if global warming reaches 3.5°C. Hardware, software, tests, interesting and colorful news from the world of IT by clicking here!

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