Climate change has brought about a rapid and dramatic shift in Britain’s landscape, according to a new report published today. Rising temperatures have allowed species such as orchids and ferns to flourish in the north, while other species retreat to cooler conditions on high land and mountainsides.“It’s easy to pick out the species that have fared well because they have moved into new areas, but the losers are harder to spot,” say Katherine Stewart of Plantlife. “We know plants that flourish in moist, cooler conditions, such as moorland and mountain species, are likely to suffer. They may retreat further north or up mountainsides, but some may hang on for a while and then go suddenly.”
One surprising aspect of the report is the speed with which plants have responded to climate change. “We are going to see a lot of extinctions, particularly of species that are not able to move quickly enough,” said Ms Stewart told the Guardian.
I wonder how many extinctions it will take before we really sit up and take notice.