Bat Signals Affected by Climate Change

Geo Beats
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Scientists, concerned and curious about how climate change may affect bats’ echolocation abilities, took a closer look at what will likely happen.

Bats rely on emitting sounds and assessing the echoes to navigate their way around objects when flying in the dark.

They also use the technique, which is called echolocation, to hunt for food.

Scientists, concerned and curious about how climate change may affect colonies’ abilities to sustain themselves, took a closer look at how bats in various climates will likely function.

Humidity, heat, and wind all affect sound waves’ abilities to travel through the air, so the researchers used a range of temperate and tropical climates in their study.

They also factored in the estimates that temperatures over the coming century will increase between 3 and 7 degrees Fahrenheit.

Environmental changes did, indeed, have an impact on how well bats were able to locate and take advantage of nourishment sources, in both positive and negative ways.

It was concluded that select bats living in temperate zones between the tropics and polar circles, will probably end up having a tougher time of it as the sounds they project are in the higher frequency ranges.

Increases in temperature compromise the volume and clarity of the chirps and affects high-frequency sounds more.

On the opposite end, the lower-pitched cries of bats in tropical climates will actually increase their abilities to target and capture plants and insects.

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