The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Monday, September 23, 2019

Butterflies on the brink, scientists reported in the journal Nature Climate Change
An Owl butterfly is seen during a photocall in the Natural History Museum's 'Sensational Butterflies' outdoor butterfly house in London on March 31, 2015. AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL

By: Marlowe Hood

PARIS (AFP).- Only aggressive efforts to rein in global warming coupled with a rethinking of the British countryside will save many native species of butterfly, according to a study published Monday.

"Widespread, drought-sensitive butterfly population extinction could occur as early as 2050," scientists reported in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Under a business-as-usual scenario of continued greenhouse gas emissions, the odds that certain British Isles species will make it beyond mid-century are "around zero," the study concludes. 

Protecting wilderness areas -- and especially reducing the fragmentation of natural habitats -- would give some of these gossamer creatures at least a slim chance of survival.

Such measures combined with a two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) cap on global warming would boost their odds to about 50 percent, the researchers said.

The two-degree target, benchmarked to pre-industrial times, has been embraced by the 195-nation UN forum tasked with delivering a climate-saving pact in Paris in December.

Nowhere, perhaps, have butterflies been more intensely scrutinised over the last century than in Britain.

Scientists led by Tom Oliver of the NERC Centre of Ecology and Hydrology in Britain examined some of the resulting data from 129 sites to see how 28 species responded to a severe drought in 1995.

The researches suspected that occasional bouts of drought were at least as devastating to some species as gradually rising temperatures.

While 1995 was the worst on record, such hot-and-dry spells are predicted to become more common as global warming sets in. 

More than a fifth of the species, they found, experienced major population collapses during that period. 

Among those hit hardest were the Ringlet, the Speckled Wood and the Large Skipper.

As critical, the researchers discovered a direct link between landscape and recovery: the more fragmented the habitat, the longer it took for populations to revive.

"Conservationists increasingly recognise the importance of reducing fragmentation of natural habitats rather than simply managing protected 'islands' in a hostile landscape of intensive farming," Oliver told AFP by email.

Butterflies in other countries with a high degree of industrial farming that face similar climate change scenarios may also be in danger.

In areas "that are already hotter and drier, the impacts of drought may be much more severe," said Oliver.

The significance of the findings goes beyond the intrinsic beauty of butterflies and their value as part of Earth's natural heritage.

Butterflies are frequently used as a "canary-in-the-coal-mine" indicator for other types of insects.

If warming-enhanced drought has a similar impact on other species such as bees, dragonflies and beetles, Oliver said, a significant slice of our biodiversity could be under threat.

"Many of these other species provide essential functions for humans such as pollinating crops, eating pests, and decomposing waste."

The three other butterfly species that experienced population collapse in 1995 were the Small and Large Cabbage Whites, along with the Green-veined White.

© 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse

Today's News

August 13, 2015

A year after discovery, no answers to a possible resting place of Alexander the Great

Exhibition in Liverpool will see three key European art museums united to bring together over 60 major artworks

Guggenheim advances contemporary Chinese art initiative with appointment of curators

During mass extinction, no species safe: Study by professor at the University of Leeds

Bonhams announces a strong lineup for the upcoming Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian Art Sale

New Princess Diana wedding photographs up for auction at RR Auctions in Boston

Butterflies on the brink, scientists reported in the journal Nature Climate Change

New faces at Bonhams to present two revolutionary modern and contemporary art auctions

Japan's Group of Seven summit host city Shima under fire over 'obscene' mascot

Norman Rockwell Museum to launch new, comprehensive online illustration history resource

Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft announces major renovation, complete spring 2016

Art collectors can use their extra mileage points to support artists and acquire contemporary art

Indianapolis Museum of Art appoints new Deputy Director for Marketing and External Affairs

Columbus Museum of Art names Tyler Cann Curator of Contemporary Art

The fantastic thirteen: Chris Evans' cars offered at Bonhams Goodwood Revival Sale

Must have this summer: Art-Bikes by Stefan Szczesny and Urbike

Last chance to see the monumental mobile by Alexander Calder at Dominique Lévy, London

Song Dong's first major solo exhibition on view at the Groningen Museum

The walls have eyes: Kabul's anti-corruption graffiti

After Babel: Modern Museet announces major thematic exhibition this summer

Ars Electronica Center Linz opens a new attraction: Stunning images at new Deep Space 8K

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Holocaust 'masterpiece' causes uproar at Venice film festival

2.- To be unveiled at Sotheby's: One of the greatest collections of Orientalist paintings ever assembled

3.- Bender Gallery features paintings by up and coming Chicago artist Michael Hedges

4.- Lévy Gorvy exhibits new and historic works by French master in his centenary year

5.- Artificial Intelligence as good as Mahler? Austrian orchestra performs symphony with twist

6.- Fascinating new exhibition explores enduring artistic bond between Scotland and Italy

7.- Exhibition explores the process of Japanese-style woodblock production

8.- Robert Frank, photographer of America's underbelly, dead at 94

9.- The truth behind the legend of patriot Paul Revere revealed in a new exhibition at New-York Historical Society

10.- Hitler bust found in cellar of French Senate

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful