More than 3,000 flying foxes dropped dead, falling from trees in Australia. Giant squid migrated north to commercial fishing grounds off California, gobbling anchovy and hake. Butterflies have gone extinct in the Alps.
While humans debate at U.N. climate change talks in Bali, global warming is already wreaking havoc with nature. Most plants and animals are affected, and the change is occurring too quickly for them to evolve.
Globally, 30 percent of the Earth's species could disappear if temperatures rise 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit — and up to 70 percent, if they rise 6.3 degrees Fahrenheit, a U.N. network of scientists reported last month.
The hardest hit will include plants and animals in colder climates or at higher elevations and those with limited ranges or little tolerance for temperature change, said Wendy Foden, a conservation biologist with the World Conservation Union, which catalogs threatened species.
The carbon dioxide emissions that are a leading cause of global warming also turn oceans more acidic, killing coral reefs and the microscopic plankton that blue whales and other marine mammals depend on for food.
With warmer weather, 60 percent of plant and animal species are migrating, breeding and blooming earlier in the spring, Parmesan said. But not all are, and that could upset relationships between birds and the insects they feed on as well as insects and the flowers they pollinate.
Complete news is here.