UC Berkeley Biologists Say Cold-Blooded Animals Find it Hard to Adjust to Global Warming

Cold-blooded and other animals that are unable to regulate their internal temperature may have a hard time tolerating global warming, according to an analysis by biologists from the University of California, Berkeley, and San Francisco State University.

As Earth warms, these animals will be “living at temperatures much closer to their limit,” said the study’s lead author, Alex Gunderson, a postdoctoral fellow at UC Berkeley and SF State’s Romberg Tiburon Center. This means that they are less likely to be able to survive yearly temperature swings, which themselves may become more extreme with climate change.

He and co-author Jonathon Stillman, a UC Berkeley assistant adjunct professor of integrative biology and SF State professor of biology, will publish their analysis online May 20 in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The study was funded by the Berkeley Initiative for Global Change Biology and SF State.

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