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With climate change, US ecosystems have shifted hundreds of miles north.

bird on a tree limb

Researchers in Nebraska analyzed 46 years’ worth of bird data collected for the North American Breeding Bird Survey, a program designed to track bird populations. The survey discovered the areas where specific species of birds lived had changed across the United States.

Researchers found that coinciding with climate change, the habitats of birds have shifted. The northernmost ecosystem shifted more than 366 miles north – the length of an entire state. The southernmost boundary moved about 160 miles northward. The northernmost ecosystem shifted more than the southernmost area because of a well-known phenomenon known as Arctic amplification. Arctic amplification, or polar amplification, is a phenomenon that any change in the balance of solar radiation across the plant tends to produce a larger change near the earth’s poles.

As climate change continues, we’ll likely see animal habitats adjust and shift around the country. Right now, scientists think the animal movement will be more pronounced in northern areas of the world.

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