Global Warming in the Arctic Means Bad News for Caribou

global-warming-arctic-trouble-caribou
A Porcupine caribou herd mother and calf approach each other on the misty calving grounds of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. (PHOTO CREDIT: Karsten Heuer, Associated Press)

Global warming in the Arctic means earlier and more plentiful mosquitoes in Greenland, and that’s bad news for the country’s already shrinking caribou population, Alaska Dispatch Newsreports.

A new study found that for every degree Celsius the temperature rises in Greenland, mosquitoes take 10% less time to reach full, biting adulthood. And less time spent as larva means more mosquitoes survive into adulthood. The study found that a 5-degree Celsius jump raised mosquito survival rates by 160%.

In 2011, mosquitoes hatched around June 15; in 2012 it was June 1. That shift could mean trouble for caribou and the communities that depend on them. “If the mosquitoes are coming out right around that time, it’s when the herd is the most vulnerable,” researcher Lauren Culler tells ADN.

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SOURCE: USA Today, Newser

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