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Showing posts from August, 2018

Butterflies and Moths 2018

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I owe it to the cold winter and Mediterranean-type summer of 2018, that I could spend so much time on butterflies. Warming over the Arctic led to unexpectedly cold European weather in late winter; rapid heating of the Arctic over summer directed the weakened jet stream abnormally far to the north. Some climate experts now believe that this represents the tipping point and that we are now witnessing the effects of climate change in real time. Throughout June and July, Sussex experienced near constant sunshine, little or no rainfall and daytime temperatures ranging from 26 °C - 34 °C . The 1976 drought led to the collapse of butterfly populations, as food sources went to seed and caterpillars were unable to pupate or survive over winter. Butterflies are inherently sensitive to even moderate changes in weather and as such, they are recognised by the UK government as key indicators of biodiversity. I worryingly predict that 2019 is going to be a disaster for most species.  One would ha