by Taetske | 8:08 pm
(Last Updated On: September 17, 2019)

 

Genetics and Climate, is there a connection?

 

Climate Change is altering the behavior of birds and even genetic changes can be observed. An article recently published in my Spanish newspaper Sur, really makes you think.

 

No more seasons

I have been living in the south of Spain since 1976 and I have observed the changes in the seasons. There is no real spring or autumn anymore. It feels as if one goes straight from summer into the winter. Seasonal clothes hang in the wardrobe year after year without being used. The whole country is suffering from a severe drought and each year there is less water in the reservoirs. Coming back to the article, some disturbing news was shared.

Because of Global Warming, birds are changing their habits. Some of the species do not emigrate anymore, or if they do they don’t go so far south anymore. What is also observed is that new bird species from Africa are now seen here in the south.

The University of Florida also observed genetic changes taking place. The wings and beaks have become shorter. Birds are adapting to their new environmental conditions.

 

Baallows

Barn-Swallows

 

Changes in behavior

The swallow is a bird which comes and goes. They emigrate to warmer regions but they now are returning 1 month earlier than last century. SEO/BirdLife has studied in depth, the effect Global Warming has on birds. Some species have it more difficult while others are quite happy with this change. Because of Climate Change, the swallow is quite happy to spend most of the winter here. as the daytime temperatures are close to 20C it is no surprise.

There are more Herons too. They live and reproduce at close by reservoirs, lakes, and rivers.  There they have found something new to eat, the American crab, who loves to live in those humid areas. As I said before we are lacking rainfall in a big part of the country so I personally wonder how the situation might be let’s say in 10 to 20 years.

 

Heron with a catch

Heron with a catch

 

To find food is most important

Another thing that can change the behavior pattern of birds is obviously how easily they can find a food source. Humans are to be blamed for using pesticides, which in turn kill insects. There is an overall decline in Insects, food source for birds.

Mr.Phillip A. Stevens, the investigator of the University of Durham in England and head of a scientific group, has come to the following conclusion. He worked with data from 1980 to 2010.

Working with data from 1980 to 2010, he studied 340 bird species in the US, and 145 in Europe. Of the 145 species in Europe, 95% live and reproduce here in Spain. He found that of the species living in Spain, 59 species were worse off and 37 species were better off. This big decline in biodiversity is alarming.

 

Couple of Storks on Nest

A couple of Storks on Nest

 

The storks in Spain

In Castilla, the arrival of the storks was a special event. These birds would fly over the Gibraltar Straight into the Sahara and feed on grasshoppers and other insects.  They would come back to Spain to have their babies. Their migration was not driven because of cold temperatures. Storks have a lot of feathers and are insulated from cold. The motive of their migration was because of food.

This behavior has now been changed. The culprit being the many wastes dumps spread over Spanish territory.  Storks can stay here now the whole year round, and I am thinking that their food source has not improved.

Humans, as well as the Flora and Fauna of our Planet, all suffer the effects of Climate Change. What would take decades in old times now seems to only need a few years to manifest. Behavioral and even genetic changes now can happen in one generation.

 

 

Conclusion

The swallow, the heron, and the stork, these are just a few examples of behavior change due to Climate Change, it makes one think don’t you agree?

 

 

Recently I came across this video. I hope you will take the time to look at it. It tells you about our sins to the environments and warns there is not much time left.

 

 

Source; Newspaper Sur, an article from Fernando Minana

Photo Source: Pixabay

 

Perhaps you would like to read my post on insects.

The Worrying Decline of the Insects.

Comments

Vlad

This is actually a pretty interesting viewpoint that I have never even considered before!

Truthfully, I wasn’t aware that birds could change genetically in such short periods of time, so this was certainly an informative read for me.

The connection between behavior and genetics is obvious when you lay it down, but I honestly wouldn’t have assumed it if I didn’t read it for myself.

Cheers,
Vlad

Jan 01.2018 | 08:29 pm

    Taetske

    Good Morning Vlad,

    Thank you for visiting my website. I was also surprised when I found out about this rapid change in genetics. One normally would think it takes like thousands of years for this to happen but there you see it goes much faster. I can only shake my head and wonder about the ignorance when people deny the effects of Global warming. I just ask myself if people will also adapt so rapidly as the animal kingdom seems to do. I have lived in the south of Spain for more than 30 years and I see a big change in climate here. There are no 4 seasons anymore. It is now winter but it seems like spring with 20C during day time.

    Regards, Taetske

    Jan 02.2018 | 07:38 am

Chrissy

Seriously! this really made me think. Right now I’m heavily involved in the science department at the college I attend, but I was looking for an article on current events in geography, somehow I found this and I have to say that we really are concerned (my classmate and I) about the serious impact that climate change and environmental stress is putting on genetics! Thank you for this post.

Apr 02.2018 | 01:32 am

    Taetske

    Good Morning,

    Thank you for visiting my website. There are too many bad things going on and we will all suffer the consequences. I understand you are still young and that is good as you seem to see the seriousnes of this situation. The younger generation will have to clean up the mess we are leaving behind. I write about it and hope it will reach a lot of people.

    Regards, Taetske

    Apr 02.2018 | 06:26 am

Grace

What you shared here is truly alarming! Human has generated too much unnecessary waste and contributed to the global warming. The behavioural changes in the animal is a warning sign for us to mend our ways, but yet nothing much has since been done. 

Thank you our for spending your time writing this post to raise awareness on what is to come. We need more of this to remind us to always be mindful of our duty to the environment. 

Dec 30.2018 | 09:34 am

    Taetske

    Good afternoon Grace,

    Thank you for your visit and leaving a comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    It is very sad that these type of things are happening at such an alarming speed and that is mainly our fault. Each person in his or her daily life can make small changes and that will make an impact in our world. 

    Our environment is so important because it is where we live. Hopefully there is still a beautiful planet left for future generations.

    Regards, Taetske

    Dec 30.2018 | 02:12 pm

Tarun

wow! just an eye opener!

I too have noticed that the traditional 4 seasons have also become more 2 longer seasons of summer and winter.

evolution is a slow process and I believe we may have not noticed it but future generations will look back and say ours was the one that evolved to deal with intense heat and extreme cold!

Dec 30.2018 | 09:36 am

    Taetske

    Good Morning Tarun,

    Thank you for visiting my website and leaving a comment. I hope you have downloaded your free PDF?

    At this moment I am experiencing another mild winter here in the south of Spain with temperatures from 15 to 20C. I do hope that humans will wake up to the threat of Global Warming as big pieces of land will disappear and that is only one of the many changes we will suffer.

    Regards, Taetske

    Dec 31.2018 | 08:21 am

Tarun

Hi, 

there is an article from Futurity.org about climate changes genes.It was posted by BEVERLY JAMES-FLORIDA

It shows Global climate change has already impacted every aspect of life on Earth, from genes to entire ecosystems, according to a new study in Science. And this was back in 2016! 

so you can only imagine how much more has happened in the 2 years since thanks to global warming!

Dec 30.2018 | 10:51 am

    Taetske

    Good Morning Tarun,

    Nice to see you again, Thank you for telling me about Futurity.org. I had a look and they are good, I will sign up for their newsletter. It is always good to have a new source of information. There are so many things happening in our world that it is not easy to keep up with it but I am doing my best.

    Regards, Taetske

    Jan 01.2019 | 07:52 am

RoDarrick

Very nice content you have in this post. This is an alarming issue raised which requires total attention from us all. Everyone has in one way or the other contributed to the global warming which has caused genetic reactions and changes from the animals used as examples here. I must reiterate that, this issue demands high level of attention because I think this might just be a form of red light to us all to amend. Though if you didn’t talk about this in your post, I wouldn’t have been more grinded in this knowledge, thanks

Apr 26.2019 | 06:59 pm

    Taetske

    Good Morning Ro,

    Nice to see you again. Thank you for your comment.

    I started with my 2 websites in January of 2017. Since then I have come across many unusual, worrying, and interesting things. A lot of them, as you call them, are red lights. Our world is full of red lights. Just imagine a world map with these lights and connect them, the whole world would be red. 

    We are the creators of this situation. I hope there will be a collective wake up before it is too late.

    Regards, Taetske

    Apr 27.2019 | 06:54 am

Owillz

You are practically right. Just a few weeks ago, I was talking with a friend of mine about how some natural experience we use to have then as kids or when we were younger are no more seen now or in best case, an insignificant amount of it is seen in this present day. Some animals I fear won’t be in existence no more in few years to come. 

Apr 26.2019 | 07:00 pm

    Taetske

    Good Morning Owillz,

    I also remember when I was a kid in Holland more than 60 years ago our garden was full of life. Now I live on an organic farm in the south of Spain and am blessed with nature which is alive. As my neighbor with his avocado farm is also organic now this spot is like a safe haven for birds, insects, and small mammals.

    But I do notice a difference compared to 30 years ago. In those years a fox would be dancing in the field next to my property. Because of construction in the area over the years, the fox had to move up to the mountains.

    Things change over time and not always for the better.

    Regards, Taetske

    Apr 27.2019 | 07:04 am

Nate MC

This is actually concerning. It seems like it’s happening relatively quickly too. I assume that if birds’ are experiencing genetic changes due to climate change, then eventually humans will, or it’s already happening.

Hopefully more solutions and action is taken to tackle climate change. I don’t think I’ll be around if major positive changes finally do happen. 

Apr 26.2019 | 07:24 pm

    Taetske

    Good Morning Nate,

    Nice to see you. Thank you for your comment.

    When you look at the human race of 100 or 50 years ago and compare to what we look nowadays I think one can see a change. Remember the film of the little robot WALL-E? that is a good example of what might happen to us. It is not a pretty picture.

    Regards, Taetske

    Apr 27.2019 | 07:09 am

NelSazon

My kids will probably never know what Spring feels like. I barely know because I live in Florida. Yes, our winters aren’t as cold, but they are getting shorter and we barely have what’s considered our Spring weather before it’s scorching hot over 90 degrees again. It’s either too hot or too cold. Sad to hear that birds in Spain aren’t behaving like they used to. Global warming is real and we all feel it. 

Apr 26.2019 | 07:40 pm

    Taetske

    Good Morning Nel,

    Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    Spain is also getting hotter. These last winters were around 20C and in summertime, it gets to 38C where I live. Inland there can be real heatwaves with 45C and people die from it. Then there is also a lack of rain. It is predicted that Spain will turn into a desert. To think it is all our own fault and still, we do not stop with our stupid and harmful actions.

    Regards, Taetske

    Apr 27.2019 | 07:14 am

Mehedi

WOW, Great scientific article and also explain excellently. I really appreciate your article. Before reading your article I don’t know that birds could change genetically in such short periods of time. Really,  I am surprised out about this fast change in genetics.

Thank you so much for sharing an informative article.

Apr 26.2019 | 08:25 pm

    Taetske

    Good Morning Mehedi,

    Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    Things are changing very fast in our modern world. Things that took thousands or even much longer to be created we change in a couple of generations. 

    I find it very strange and sad that the human race as a whole does not take care of the environment as that after all is our habitat, ours and of future generations. Our actions have consequences and often you cannot repair the damage anymore.

    Regards, Taetske

    Apr 27.2019 | 07:20 am

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