Climate change might affect hibernation

February 5, 2008

A U.S. study suggested global warning and its associated environmental changes could affect the survival of hibernating species, such as ground squirrels.

A Colorado State University study led by Professor Greg Florant, in collaboration with Penn State University Professor Stam Zervanoshas, found changes in snowfall, summer precipitation and ambient temperatures might be altered by climate change.

"We do know that there are definite changes in torpor patterns among the animals in their natural environments," Florant said. "The question now is: Will we see these changes in the lab?"

Torpor is a period of reduced physical activity, body temperature and metabolism.

The primary aim of the new study is to determine the impact warmer conditions will have on the amount of time spent hibernating. If animals were to increase their metabolism before plants have begun to sprout, they could die from starvation, the scientists said.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Political polarization? Don't blame the web, study says

September 19, 2017

Despite the popular narrative that the web is to blame for rising political polarization, a study by a Brown University economist has found that recent growth in polarization is greatest for demographic groups in which individuals ...

New quasar discovered by astronomers

September 19, 2017

(Phys.org)—A team of astronomers led by Jacob M. Robertson of the Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee has detected a new quasi-stellar object (QSO). They found the new quasar, designated SDSS J022155.26-064916.6, ...

Nonlinear physics bridges thoughts to sounds in birdsong

September 19, 2017

The beautiful sound of birdsongs emerging from the trees is a wonderful example of how much nature can still teach us, even as much about their origins are still mysterious to us. About 40 percent of bird species learn to ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.