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Posted Tue Feb 24 2009: from New Scientist:
Lizards will roast in a warming world
GLOBAL warming is set to make life distinctly uncomfortable for reptiles and other cold-blooded animals. Unable to produce heat, they rely on strategies such as moving from colder to warmer areas to function. Soon that might not be an option for tropical species. Many species will need to adapt to climate change to survive, so Michael Kearney of the University of Melbourne, Australia, and his team designed a model to get an idea of how cold-blooded species, or ectotherms, would fare. They make up the majority of the world's species. The researchers first assessed how an ectotherm's body temperature would change with body shape and colour, and surrounding environment. They then used satellite data to model wind speed, shade and air temperature in a warmer world. For most ectotherms, a body temperature of 30 to 35 degrees C is ideal, with performance declining at higher and lower temperatures. Above 40 degrees C can be lethal. Kearney's model showed that on a summer's day in the shade, a 3 degrees C rise in average temperature - the mid-range estimate for the end of this century - would send the body temperature of ectotherms in Australia's tropical deserts over 40 degrees C for at least an hour...
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'Doc Michael says:
On the plus side... they will have cooked themselves for my dinner!

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