Climate Change is Shrinking Arctic Butterflies
As the Arctic warms, butterflies use more energy, and are decreasing in size
But a new study by Dr. Joseph Bowden, a Canadian post-doctoral researcher at The Arctic Research Centre at Aarhus University in Denmark, has found that two species of butterfly - the Arctic Fritillary and the Northern Clouded Yellow - are getting smaller. Warmer temperatures are resulting in a greater metabolic cost for the butterflies; consequently, their wingspan has decreased by as much as 5 percent since the mid-1990's.
With smaller wings, the butterflies cannot cover as much area, which is leading to a reduction in the gene pool. This trend will likely continue, but the end result is not well understood at this point.