Climatic conditions are changing at an unprecedented rate, affecting mainly fish, amphibians and reptiles, ectothermic animals that are unable to generate their own internal heat. With heat waves and rising temperatures, these organisms experience not only increased growth rates and heat stress, but also further ageing.
Until now, insects in the tropics seemed to be the most threatened by climate change by living at the limit of their optimal temperature. An international team of scientists, with Spanish participation, has analysed the existing data and concluded that insects from temperate areas, such as Spain, could be as vulnerable to temperature increases as tropical insects.
Pool frog (Pelophylax lessonae) tadpoles have the amazing ability to grow at different rates depending on changes in temperature. A new study has revealed that this species, which requires relatively warm environments for breeding, speeds up its capacity for growth in Sweden during the warmest time of the year in order to take full advantage of short periods of high temperatures. This trait may be the key to this frog's survival in cold climates.
Spanish and Portuguese researchers have analysed the composition and radiative effect of desert aerosols during two episodes which simultaneously affected Badajoz (Spain) and Évora (Portugal) in August 2012. Results show that the intrusion of dust from the Sahara Desert caused radiative cooling of the Earth’s surface.
The antiquated heating systems in many Spanish churches create abrupt variations in temperature and humidity which can negatively affect the conservation of its artistic heritage, especially in tall ceiling areas. Also, as the heat rises, it takes time for the parishioners below to feel comfortable after the heating systems are turned on. These are the findings of an analysis conducted on a church in Madrid by researchers from the Institute of Geosciences (UCM-CSIC).
Optic fiber is normally used in the field of telecommunications to transmit information using light, but a group of researchers at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) has developed a technique that makes it possible to use optic fiber as a thermometer in extreme industrial environments.