cfsmtb in low earth orbit

Friday, September 10, 2004

Do Genes Respond To Global Warming?

Scientists continue to argue the extent that human activities drive global warming, but few would argue that it exists. The International Panel on Climate Change predicts that greenhouse gases will increase global temperatures by 3.6 degrees F by 2100--a rise unprecedented over the past 10,000 years. While the effects of climate change on species' geographic range and population dynamics are increasingly understood, scientists know little about how species respond to climate change at the genetic level. Now it appears that climate change can shape genetic diversity. Elizabeth Hadly and colleagues have analyzed three different dynamic processes--environmental change, population response, and gene diversity fluctuations--and report that climate change influences variation in genetic diversity.