A new research has warned that animals may shrink in size as global warming continues on its course, affecting various life forms on the planet.
Nearly 54 million years ago, an ancient horse that was the about the size of a dog dwarfed to the size of a cat after Earth suddenly got hotter. A team of researchers led by University of New Hampshire’s Abigail D’Ambrosia has warned that man-made global warming could lead to further shrinkage of mammals in the future.
Making the alarming prediction, D’Ambrosia said, “It’s something we need to keep an eye out for. The question is how fast we are going to see these changes.”
The conclusion is based on an analysis of fossilized teeth and jaw unearthed from northwestern Wyoming’s Bighorn Basin, which is located roughly 80 miles east of Yellowstone National Park.
D’Ambrosia discovered the ancient mammal dwarfing that occurred as many as 56 million years ago, when Earth witnessed a temperature rise of 9 degrees Fahrenheit or even more. Mammals shrank when CO2 levels jumped and temperatures increased to unprecedented levels.
Climate scientists warn that even if all nations cease emissions of greenhouse gases right now, the world is on track to warm by over 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels by 2050.
Meanwhile, a study published in the journal Science Advances has cautioned that Earth is on track to warm by more than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit above pre-industrial levels by 2050 even if all countries stop emissions of greenhouse gases right now.