Skip to comments.Warming climate could make us all shrink
Posted on 02/24/2012 8:43:35 AM PST by BlackVeil
Researchers have uncovered a direct link between global temperatures and body size, leading them to conclude that future climate change could mean species getting smaller.
A team led by scientists from the University of Florida and the University of Nebraska followed the evolution of the earliest horses about 56 million years ago, and found that as temperatures increased, their body size decreased.
"Horses started out small, about the size of a small dog like a miniature schnauzer," says Jonathan Bloch, associate curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Florida Museum of Natural History.
"Whats surprising is that after they first appeared, they then became even smaller and then dramatically increased in size, and that exactly corresponds to the global warming event, followed by cooling. It had been known that mammals were small during that time and that it was warm, but we hadnt understood that temperature specifically was driving the evolution of body size."
The earliest-known horse, Sifrhippus, first appeared in North America during the 175,000-year Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, when increased concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and oceans caused average global temperatures to rise 10 to 20 degrees.
The team's traced its evolution from an estimated 12-pound animal to one the size of a domestic cat 130,000 years later. Over the following 45,000 years, it increased in size once again to reach 15 pounds.
"We could immediately see that the shifts in size of horses and temperature were mirror images of each other," says Ross Secord of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The findings raise the obvious questtion of how animals might respond to future rapid climate change.
"Were seeing about a third of the mammals getting smaller and some of them getting a lot smaller, by as much as half of their original body size," says Secord.
(Excerpt) Read more at tgdaily.com ...
Goodbye SunkenCiv. It has always been great - being on the forum with you. But now we are all about to shrink away ...
OH...look around ya....I see more 200 lb people than I ever have in my life...and I’ve been around decades....
There is hope yet. Hope it starts with my gut!!!!! It’s already looking smaller to me. As long as I don’t put on my glasses.
Everytime a globull warming liar speaks... a demon gets his horns.
This is silliness. If anything, warmer climate, better and more abundant food will make creatures bigger.
How do these clown explain the huge dinosaurs during times when there were no polar ice caps?
All climate grant money should be stopped. These morons could conclude a dried turd once played the banjo singing Oh Susana, with enough funding. It was pretty warm during the time of dinasours wasn’t it. So much for their BS
While humans continue to grow larger and larger. Maybe we too will began shrinking and need far less food and water to sustain ourselves. That would solve the global crowding problem some folks have been fretting about.
The little bitty teeney weenie autos they would fit into would burn less fuel too.
Goog news! Good news! Good news! Yippeeeeeeeee!
I, too, notice all the big fatties. But soon, they are going to turn into tiny, tiny little fat people - because of global warming.
When this happens, you won’t be able to reply to my post, because your arms won’t reach the keyboard.
Maybe Peter Gabriel and Genesis had it right:
From “Get ‘Em Out by Friday”
18/9/2012 T.V. FLASH ON ALL DIAL-A-PROGRAM SERVICES:
This is an announcement from Genetic Control-
“It is my sad duty to inform you of a four foot restriction on humanoid height.”
EXTRACT FROM CONVERSATION OF JOE ORDINARY IN LOCAL PUBORAMA:
“I hear the directors of Genetic Control have been buying all the properties that have recently been sold, taking risks oh so bold.
It’s said now that people will be shorter in height, they can fit twice as many in the same building site.
(they say that’s alright),
Beginning with the tenants of the town of Harlow,
in the interest of humanity, they’ve been told they must
I’m 5’10”, so I’m ok for a while.
Global warming means I can no longer reach the keyb
And just exactly what was the purpose of this “study”?
Aside from the fact that when (not if) the climate changes, it will result on species changing along with it?
Welcome to Obvious 101 class.
“this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal, and people stopped shrinking” Obama acceptance speech 2008
Helps explain why horses’ legs break so easily. As an animal doubles in size, the amount of weight it carries per cross-section triples. For the modern horse that means its leg anatomy has to carry perhaps ten times the weight per cross-section as did its earliest ancestors.