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Posts Tagged ‘extreme temperatures’

Let’s face it, for a large part of the country, the polar vortex has been a huge pain. Freezing temperatures ranged into dangerous territory as businesses, heating systems, shelters, public transportation, and more, strained under the pressure. While the extreme temperatures seem to be on their way out, for now, it seems about the right time to look at one of the potentially positive outcomes of the deep freeze.

Invasive species, particularly those from the southern United States, have been working their way north as temperatures have risen during the past century. Insects like the woolly adelgid and the southern pine beetle have been wreaking havoc on local tree populations. Population management of these species has been the concern of entomologists for some time, but this week, mother nature has stepped in to do her part.

For non-native insect species like the woolly adelgid and the southern pine beetle, temperatures below 5 degrees Fahrenheit represent a fatal environment. Even for native species, like deer ticks, the cool down represents natural population control, and a break from the negative side effects of an ecosystem that is out of balance.

Unfortunately, insect experts are quick to point out that this is likely only a temporary impact as not all of the invasive species populations will be eliminated and the general warming trend is expected to continue. Despite this, the natural “reset” by the extreme cold won’t hurt in the larger effort to minimize ecosystem damage.

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