Australian news, and some related international items

Climate change having an unexpected effect on sex.

Climate change is disrupting the birds and the bees, We all know that climate change will cause more extreme weather and rising seas. But it is also having an unexpected effect on sex. BBC, By Claire Asher, 8 August 2017

Our changing climate seems set to disrupt just about everything. From rising sea levels to ocean acidification, the list of negative consequences from climate change is endless. But one area that often goes unmentioned in the climate change discussion is sex.

Over the last two decades, scientists have found that warmer temperatures are quietly spoiling the mood, making it harder for plants and animals to reproduce.

Here are five ways that climate change is ruining sex lives.

It’s a numbers game

While humans and many other animals determine sex genetically, many reptiles and some fish use the incubation temperature of the eggs to set the gender of their offspring. This means that changing global temperatures could alter the ratio of sexes produced, making it harder for these animals to find mates………

Timing is everything

Phenological shifts are common, because many animals use environmental cues like temperature and rainfall to time key events like migration, flowering and breeding. Climate change is changing the timing and strength of the seasons, and as these cues change, the annual ebb and flow of the natural world is being disrupted.

In fact, one of the first pieces of evidence for the effect of climate change on living things was the discovery that plants are flowering earlier and earlier each year………

Bending the rules of attraction

Changing environmental cues might also influence how animals court members of the opposite sex.

The decorations, displays, dances and songs that animals use to attract a mate are all heavily dependent on the environmental conditions the animal lives in. ……..

A mate for life?

Warmer climates seem to have a tendency to make animals less faithful. In a 2012 study, Botero studied monogamy in 122 species of bird. He found that “in places where environments change more frequently and unexpectedly, apparently monogamous females tend to hedge their bets by mating with more than one partner on the side”.

These “extra-pair relationships” become increasingly frequent as annual climatic cycles become more variable. …..

The heat-wave slump

Finally, climate change might even impact on our own sex lives.

A 2015 working paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research found a correlation between hot temperatures and low birth rates in the USA. A single hot day when temperatures went over 26C reduced birth rates nine months later by 0.4%, equating to over 1,100 births. It isn’t clear whether this was due to a reduction in the frequency of sex – after all, sometimes it is too hot to do anything – or due to reduced fertility at high temperatures……..

August 9, 2017 - Posted by | General News

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: