Climate change is poised to become a serial killer. With rapid temperature swings around the world, ecosystems have been thrown into flux, exacerbating problems such as habitat loss that have already pushed many plant and animal species to the brink. Some biologists argue that Earth is on the verge of another major extinction event. The big question is whether plants and animals can adapt quickly enough to outpace climate change.

We often think of evolution as something that happens slowly, but that’s not always the case. If the selection pressures are strong enough, evolution can happen over mere decades. For instance, an experiment growing brewer’s yeast in environments with deadly concentrations of salt showed that the microbe population took a hit but then bounced back thanks to rapid changes in a couple genes over just 25 generations.

Identifying genetic adaptations in response to climate change can be tricky. Long-term data sets can tell us the most about whether a species is truly evolving, but it’s hard to tell if any genetic differences were selected for climate reasons alone. What’s more, not all genetic adaptations may be beneficial in the long term. And some species may not even need to evolve to survive. Physical or behavioral modifications made during an individual’s lifetime may help enough members within a species thrive in a changing world.

Here are 10 species that may already be adapting to climate change—for better or worse:

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October 24th, 1926 – The Death of Houdini


Procter & Gamble is dumping Duracell.

The consumer goods giant plans to split off the battery brand, one of the world’s largest by market share. It’s likely the biggest part of a plan to shed as many as 100 sluggish product lines, slim down the company, and focus on businesses with growth potential.


restless area


Resentment and economic envy in Europe.

  The UK economy slowed slightly in the third quarter, but its 3% growth remains the envy of Europe. Meanwhile, British and Dutch officials are incensed at an unexpected call to stump up extra cash for the European Union budget; they say this amounts to punishment for economic success, and is likely to embolden those who want to leave the EU for good.

Think tank Open Europe has a good explainer of the controversy over EU budget contributions. Its conclusion:

While this does not necessarily seem to be a political stitch up from the EU there is no doubt that it is unreasonable and politically irresponsible. Retroactively taxing someone over 20 years is fundamentally unfair. The fact that the UK and Netherlands are being punished for doing better than expected and better than others almost encapsulates everything that is wrong with the EU’s approach – particularly when the Eurozone economy is struggling to find any growth.