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Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species, was published on 24 November 1859, almost exactly150 years ago. This seminal book is widely considered to be a scientific landmark, in the way it changed humankind's anthropocentric belief that we were of divine creation and all plants and animals were put here simply for us to rule over.
Darwin was able to demonstrate a more likely proposition. That man was indeed interrelated to all other animals, having also evolved by the law of Natural Selection. This being where those of a species that evolve a stronger, or more adaptive, genetic variation can be more expected to carry forward, compared to those with a less adaptive genetic variation.
An Australian scientist believes that climate change is currently speeding up this creation of new species, through this very process of natural selection. He is referring to the Grolar Bear, a hybrid of both the Polar and Grizzly Bear. first observed in the wild in 2006.
Dr James Watson of The University of Queensland, is of the view that the changing habitat or both Grizzly and Polar Bear is favouring a new species of bear that no longer so specialised, but can survive in the two disparate environments of ice floes and forests.
"There's a lot of evidence now that with the climate changing, a lot of species will have range shifts which are changing in accordance with this," he said.
"We're seeing more and more evidence that different species are being forced together and are genetically quite similar and therefore it's not surprising that there's some inbreeding because of this."
Interviewed for the Sydney Morning Herald, Dr James Watson - a Rhodes scholar, former army signals officer and celebrated biologist believes climate change appears to be the "X-factor" helping to push many previously secure plants and animals to the brink. "The rate of species loss is something like 1000 times greater than what the historical records show are normal levels," he said "Even common species are in a massive state of decline."
Via ABC online