More “Heatwave” Summers Will Affect Animals


Heatwaves similar to those experienced in Europe in 2018 can have a very negative impact on animals.

A new study from Lund University in Sweden shows that overheated birds have smaller offspring, and that those that are born may have lower chances of survival.Researchers were already aware that animals living in very warm regions of the globe are less active during the hottest hours of the day. Now, biologists at Lund University have observed that warm weather and overheating are a problem even in Sweden. The study was conducted at Lake Krankesjön in Skåne.

“If we have more summers like this last one, many animal species are likely to be very negatively affected, as they cannot take optimal care of their offspring”, says Andreas Nord, researcher at the Department of Biology at Lund University.

In spring 2018, he and his colleague Jan-Åke Nilsson presented results showing that small birds can reach a body temperature of over 45 degrees Celsius when working hard. This exceeds their normal temperature by 4 degrees. Now the researchers have continued their investigation and can, for the first time, show that animals that are able to get rid of excess heat more easily have larger and more viable offspring, while their own body condition is not significantly impaired.

Continue reading at Lund University

Image via Andreas Nord