As crazy ants invade the United States, some might wonder whether global warming is to blame.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the false widow spiders invasion in England was blamed on global warming, as well.
Tawny crazy ants are a type of ant that has spread from South America, invading parts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, and Florida. Even NASA fears the Tawny crazy ants, since they could potentially damage the “infrastructure such as electronics, employees’ automobiles, and our facilities.”
So far, no one has specifically linked the spread of Tawny crazy ants to global warming or climate change in general. Tawny crazy ants colonies only spread about 200 meters per year so they’ve mostly been dependent on catching a ride from humans in order to spread at a quicker pace.
Ed LeBrun, a research associate with Brackenridge Field Laboratory in the College of Natural Sciences, says the potential range of the Tawny crazy ants are unknown. They’ve mostly been found in wet environments during mild winters, so it’s hypothesized that the Tawny crazy ants colonies cannot thrive in dry and cold climates. Based upon the available evidence, you would think it should be evident that any global warming affecting North America would allow the crazy ants to spread further.
But the latest UN IPCC reports have some scientists claiming a global warming hoax. Recorded world temperatures have increased at only a quarter of the rate of IPCC claimed when it published its last assessment in 2007. Computer models forecast a decline in Antarctic sea ice but instead it’s actually grown to a new record high. The 2007 report predicted hurricanes would become more intense due to global warming but 2013 has been one of the quietest hurricane seasons in history.
Regardless of arguments over climate change, Tawny crazy ants have not specifically been linked to global warming but other studies on climate change’s effect on ants definitely do so. Fossilized ants from the distant past were found from warmer time periods and they measured over two inches in length, making the crazy ants seem like a mere nuisance in comparison. A US Department of Agriculture report said that the red imported fire ant species alone will have at least 20 percent more suitable habitat available in the United States by 2100.
But another study on the big-headed ant claims climate change could have the opposite effect:
“The models showed that currently, the ants have favorable climactic conditions in 18.5 percent of the global landmass; the best spots are in South America, Australasia and Africa. But this range will shrink by about one-fifth by 2080.”
Pheidole megacephala, or the big-headed ant, has been classified as one of the world’s 100 most invasive species, but ants in general are also “very sensitive to small changes in temperature.”
Do you think the spread of the Tawny crazy ants can be blamed on global warming?