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Perubahan Suhu Dingin Untuk Kaji Perubahan Iklim

Perubahan suhu dingin membuat makhluk amfibia -- hewan bertulang belakang (vertebrata) yang hidup di air dan daratan misalnya katak – lebih rentan atau mudah terpengaruh terhadap fase campuran air-NaCl (road salt) tetapi kurang rentan terhadap parasit-parasit. Hasil riset ini menyingkap manfaat pengetahuan dan pertimbangan tentang perubahan suhu dingin dan bukan hanya suhu panas ketika mengevaluasi dan mengkaji dampak gangguan perubahan iklim di seluruh dunia akhir-akhir ini (Binghamton University, 20/2/2019).

Begitu hasil riset dan kajian kolaborasi tim ahli antara lain asisten profesor sains biologi, Jessica Hua, dan asisten profesor studi lingkungan, George Meindl, dari Binghamton University; Matthew Wersebe dari University of Oklahoma; Paradyse Blackwood, Ying Tong Guo, Jared Jaeger dari Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Dyllan May, Sean Ryan dari University of Connecticut, dan Vivian Wong di Amerika Serikat. Hasil riset itu dirilis oleh jurnal Ecology and Evolution, edisi Februari 2019.  (Matthew Wersebe, Paradyse Blackwood, Ying Tong Guo, Jared Jaeger, Dyllan May, George Meindl, Sean N. Ryan, Vivian Wong, Jessica Hua, “The effects of different cold-temperature regimes on development, growth, and susceptibility to an abiotic and biotic stressor”,  Ecology and Evolution, 2019).

“There is a lot of misconception that global climate change only refers to an increase in warming temperatures. We feel that the research in this paper is important because it highlights that global climate change is more complex than just an increase in average temperature. In fact, global climate change is also predicted to increase the prevalence of extreme cold temperature events, as well as increase the amount of variation in temperature fluctuations,” ungkap asisten profesor Jessica Hua (Binghamton University, 20/2/2019).

Hasil riset itu antara lain menyimpulkan bahwa perubahan suhu-suhu dingin memicu dampak tertentu terhadap pertumbuhan makhluk amfibian dan responsnya terhadap kontaminasi dan parasit. Masih sulit diukur manfaat dan risiko perubahan suhu dingin terhadap makhluk amfibian (Science Daily, 20/2/2019).

“In some cases, exposure to cold temperatures was harmful. For instance: exposure to cold temperatures during the egg phase made young tadpoles more susceptible to road salt. However, if we allowed these tadpoles to grow older, we found that exposure to cold temperatures during the egg stage no longer mattered for their susceptibility to road salt (i.e. older tadpoles were able to overcome the negative effect of embryonic exposure to cold). Exposure to cold also made amphibians smaller--this is potentially harmful to amphibian populations because smaller amphibians have fewer offspring and this can over time potentially contribute to populations declines. Amphibian populations are declining globally, so considering the effects of cold temperatures may be important in understanding how to protect this imperiled group of animals” papar Matthew Wersebe.

Riset lanjutan diharapkan dapat meneliti dan menganalisa spesies amfibi lain guna mengetahui alasan suhu dingin membuat amfibi lebih rentan terhadap garam selama fase telur.  “We initially predicted that exposure to cold temperatures would be stressful to developing embryos. As a consequence, we expected that exposure to stressful conditions early in life would make amphibians less able to deal with other stressors later in life (i.e. parasites). We were also surprised because past studies have found that cooler temperatures can increase amphibian susceptibility to another parasite (the fungus, chytrid). In this case, the negative effects of the cooler temperatures on amphibians are driven by the fact that the fungus survived better in cooler temperatures,” ungkap asisten profesor Jessica Hua (Binghamton University, 20/2/2019). 

Oleh: Servas Pandur