Mammals to Evolve Faster, Get Smaller with Climate Change

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Look, I know we usually cover the innovative solutions that we humans invent here – but when nature itself comes up with a perfect solution to a really big problem; shouldn’t we cover that at Cleantechnica too? Shouldn’t we cover innovative NatureTech too?

The two most overwhelming technological problems of our age are that

  1. Because of the rapidity of climate change; ecosystems and species cannot evolve fast enough to avoid extinction.
  2. Our species uses more than one planet’s resources.

What will be left after just a century or climate change will be something as different from our current climate as the Jurassic period was; but it is happening millions of years faster. Even we humans are not adapted to that whole new climate that we are creating with climate change. Yet.

Image: Atomic Avenue #1 by Glen Orbik

It would be like moving to Mars next month for us. We’re just not adapted yet…

We know the problem: it’s big. And we have thought up some gigantic solutions to these problems we have created. But for a totally different kind of out of the box innovative thinking: — in news today from the BBC:

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Evolution Faster When its Warmer: says BBC.

“Climate could have a direct effect on the speed of “molecular evolution” in mammals, according to a study. Researchers have found that, among pairs of mammals of the same species, the DNA of those living in warmer climates changes at a faster rate. These mutations – where one letter of the DNA code is substituted for another – are a first step in evolution….Such changes, which create differences within a population but do not give rise to new species, are known as “microevolution”.”

Faster evolution would solve the key problem of a rapidly changing climate: that entire ecosystems and species can’t evolve fast enough to avoid extinction.

Based on this research, my inference is that as our climate warms, we will evolve faster to stay sustainable, and now it looks as if the other mammals will be able to evolve along with us, apparently. That’s great. We’ll need cows and pigs. And sheep… And horses; to get around on.

Image: from jeff Austin: Snorkeling with Darwin

But wait. What about the rest of that ecosystem that we’ll need to survive in 2200? We can’t get by on just protein:

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