Not too late to reverse dramatic declines in biodiversity

Blue Channel 24 Not too late to reverse dramatic declines in biodiversity

Just days after the Mauna Loa observatory recorded the first exceedance of 400 ppm carbon dioxide in earth’s atmosphere, a report in the journal Nature Climate Change describes what we can expect if climate change continues unmitigated.

Living spaces cut in half

Dr. Rachel Warren, of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia, led a study that assessed 50,000 common species around the globe. The study’s models showed more than half (57%±6%) of flora and one third (34%±7%) of fauna “are likely to lose ≥50% of their present climatic range by the 2080s.”

What does this mean? Basically, the study assumes that as things warm up, plants and animals will move to a more suitable climate. It estimates an envelop of parameters for just how quickly each species can relocate itself. So the halving of a species range is not based on simply eliminating parts of their current range that heat up too much.

The models bring to light a a number of factors in such a global climate-driven migration. For example, more mobile species, like birds, will travel to new climes more quickly. But a group will disperse in many directions to find a more suitable home, leading to a high rate of deaths in the groups that select their new territory incorrectly.

The model does not account for direct impacts to species due to higher CO2 levels, for example earlier stomatal closing, which could affect how a species thrives or fails.

The effect of biodiversity loss due to climate change on humans remains a big question mark. We are also codependent on many of these species for cleaning our air and water, for nurturing the foods we consume, and other beneficial.

Source: Christine Lepisto | Tree Hugger

A researcher in Colombia’s Titi Nature Reserve has discovered a new population of the critically endangered Colombian Spider Monkey. During a daytime survey last month, Juliett Gonzalez, a project scientist with ProAves, found 21 individuals, including adults, juveniles and infants. Read More

This part of the western Andes mountain range ecosystem preserves endemic plant species such as the ivory nut-producing palm and a species of cherimoya fruit in danger of extinction. Read More

A team of scientists searching for remnant populations of the Critically Endangered grey-breasted parakeet (pyrrhura griseipictus) has found a small group nesting in a small crevice on the top of a rugged mountain ridge in north-east Brazil. Read More

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.