“As we’ve developed genomic methodologies, we’re finding that organisms are exchanging genes with other species,” Michael Arnold, a professor of genetics at the University of Georgia, said. “Genetic exchange due to organisms coming together from climate change is the rule rather than the exception.”
But the rate at which species interbreed is accelerating because of climate change, researchers say. As habitats and animal ranges change and bleed into one another, species that never before would have encountered one another are now mating.
Warmer temperatures have allowed grizzly bears and polar bears to venture to habitats they don’t usually occupy and mate to form a hybrid: the pizzly or grolar bear. Similar trends have been observed between golden-winged warblers and blue-winged warblers.