There have been many problems due to the subsequent rise of climate change over this past century. Climate change has caused many problems over the years concerning the environment and our health, but there has been one problem concerning animals that has been going on for a while, but wasn’t as noticeable. According to researchers of the National University of Singapore, Jennifer Sheridan and David Bickford, many living things will start to shrink due to the host of changes in the environment as well as the direct effects of warming. Cold-blooded animals have been directly affected by the changes in temperature causing an increase in their metabolic rates, which means that they need more food to maintain their body sizes, or they will shrink. The temperature has also amped up their development rates, which are causing the animals to reach maturity at smaller sizes.
(photo courtesy of Polar Bear International)
While climate change is expected to increase the growing and feeding season in high-latitude areas, allowing other organisms to grow, there have been a lot of polar bears shrinking along the Artic sea ice. However, there have been a lot of polar bears shrinking in size who live along the Arctic sea ice. Sheridan & Bickford (2011) believe that a continuation of climate change will likely favor smaller individuals, and that the size of organisms will continue to decrease over the coming centuries. More information can be found here.