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The impact of climate change on marmot survival differs between seasons

Many animals have evolved life cycles and strategies (patterns of survival and reproduction) in line with predictable seasonal variation in environmental conditions. Short and mild summers produce bursts of vegetation and food, the perfect time to give birth to young. Long, harsh winters when food is scarce have shaped animals to largely depend on fat reserves for energy, and in extreme cases, to hibernate or migrate.

However, climate change is altering these seasonal conditions to which many species are adapted. Temperatures are increasing, winter snowfall is declining, snow is melting earlier, summers are extending, and the frequency of extreme events (e.g., droughts, floods) are on the rise.

Publication date: 7 July 2020

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