"Plants and animals are responding up to three times faster to climate change than previously estimated, as wildlife shifts to cooler altitudes and latitudes, researchers said on Thursday."
"Scientists have reported this decade on individual species that moved toward the poles or uphill as their traditional habitats shifted due to global warming, but this study analyzed data on over 2,000 species to get a more comprehensive picture.
In this analysis, researchers found that on average, wildlife moved to higher elevations at the rate of about 40 feet per decade.
They are moving toward the poles at an average rate of 10.31 miles a decade, scientists reported in the journal Science.
The altitude shift is twice what scientists had estimated as recently as 2003, according to Chris Thomas, a professor of conservation biology at the University of York in Britain, and the leader of the project."
Deborah Zabarenko reports for Reuters August 19, 2011.