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Climate Change May Destroy The Reproductive Systems Of Male Insects

November 14th, 2018

Most experts agree that climate change is a reality, and many of them claim that the consequences of climate change are already being felt. You would think that a global temperature increase of one or two degrees fahrenheit would not result in climatic catastrophes, but there is good evidence to suggest that global warming is a contributing factor to the decreasing global insect population. Experts have been aware of the global honey bee population decrease for more than a decade now, and last summer researchers confirmed that insects in general are decreasing around the globe, and not just honey bees. Unfortunately, climate change may have a negative impact on surviving insects as well, as a recent study has found that climate change can decrease the fertility rates of male insects by at least half. This is very bad news for both insects and humans, as insects are responsible for pollinating many of the crops that keep the world fed and the ecosystem balanced.

Many modern climatic catastrophes have been blamed on climate change. The increased rate of devastating hurricanes during recent years is probably the most well known of all the alleged consequences of climate change, but increasingly intense heat waves are also being blamed on climate change. According to Kirs Sales, a postgraduate researcher at the University of East Anglia, these increasingly frequent and progressively hotter heat waves are having a devastating effect on the reproductive fitness of male insects. Heat waves have long been known to decrease male fertility, but now scientists know that successive heat waves basically render a male insect sterile. The decrease in the global insect population could have been driven partly by the negative effect that heat waves have on the fertility rates of male insects. One of the more troubling aspects of this recent study was the tendency for male insects to father male offspring that inherited their father’s low fertility levels. This suggests that the increasingly intense heat waves that are being caused by climate change may have negative effects that will remain permanent, and therefore, biodiversity could forever be changed for the worse.

Do you believe that more heatwaves are causing all insect species to produce fewer offspring?

 

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