Climate change — what else?
We all know the obvious animals directly affected by it — polar bears and penguins (and really anything associated with ice) — but other populations are suffering, too. In a new report, scientists say global warming is wiping out the bumblebees. They found that bees' ranges have diminished by as much as 190 miles since the 1970s.
If you're rejoicing because you're allergic to beestings, rein it in. This is a serious problem for you if you like to eat food, as bees are the main pollinators of many major fruit, seed, and nut crops.
For the study, researchers documented the migration patterns of seven different European and North American bumblebee species over an 110-year span. They found that from 1974 to 2010, the southernmost bumblebees started retreating north at a rate of about three miles per year — a shift that coincides with the spike of global temperatures.
However, some scientists dispute the conclusion that climate change is definitively to blame for the shrinking size of the bee's habitat range. They point out that the study is correlative, not causal, so there could be other factors at play.
Either way, we need the bees, and they're all dying — a buzzkill, indeed.