How do we try and predict how sensitive an ecosystem is to global warming?



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    One way to determine how sensitive pants and animals in an ecosystem may be to global warming is to study their habitat range and the mean temperatures at these spots. In Colorado, we have scientists studying wild flower blooming dates at various elevations dating back over a hundred years. They record the blooming dates, elevation, and year to determine if plants are blooming earlier in the year than they have in the past. It is important to study the effects of global warming in this way because it is possible that this could through off the natural rhythm of ecosystems. There may be a break in the relationships of plants and animals if they are cued by different things. For example, if a pollinating insect is cued by day length, and a flower is cued by temperature, then warmer days earlier in the year could negatively affect both species. 

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