New world map for overcoming climate change

Sep 16, 2013
Protecting large, intact, climate stable forests is arguably the greatest conservation priority. Credit: Liana Joseph

Using data from the world's ecosystems and predictions of how climate change will impact them, scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society, the University of Queensland, and Stanford University have produced a roadmap that identifies the world's most vulnerable and least vulnerable areas in the Age of Climate Change.

The authors say the vulnerability map will help governments, environmental agencies, and donors identify areas where to best invest in protected area establishment, , and other so as to have the biggest return on investment in saving and the services they provide to wildlife and people alike.

The study appears in an online version of the journal Nature Climate Change. The authors include: Dr James Watson of the Wildlife Conservation Society and the University of Queensland; Dr Takuya Iwamura of Stanford University; and Nathalie Butt of the University of Queensland.

"We need to realize that climate change is going to impact ecosystems both directly and indirectly in a variety of ways and we can't keep on assuming that all adaptation actions are suitable everywhere. The fact is there is only limited funds out there and we need to start to be clever in our investments in adaptation strategies around the world,," said Dr. James Watson, Director of WCS's Climate Change Program and lead author of the Nature study. "The analysis and map in this study is a means of bringing clarity to complicated decisions on where will do the most good."

The researchers argue that almost all climate change assessments to date are incomplete in that they assess how future climate change is going to impact landscapes and seascapes, without considering the fact that most of these landscapes have modified by human activities in different ways, making them more or less susceptible to climate change.

A vulnerability map produced in the study examines the relationship of two metrics: how intact an ecosystem is, and how stable the ecosystem is going to be under predictions of future climate change. The analysis creates a rating system with four general categories for the world's terrestrial regions, with management recommendations determined by the combination of factors.

Ecosystems with highly intact vegetation and high relative climate stability, for instance, are the best locations for future protected areas, as these have the best chance of retaining species. In contrast, ecosystems with low levels of vegetation and high relative climate stability could merit efforts at habitat restoration. Ecosystems with low levels of vegetation intactness and low climate stability would be most at risk and would require significant levels of investment to achieve conservation outcomes.

The new map, the authors say, identifies southern and southeastern Asia, western and central Europe, eastern South America, and southern Australia as some of the most vulnerable regions. The analysis differs from previous climate change exposure assessments based on only climate change exposure which shows the most vulnerable regions as central Africa, northern South America, and northern Australia.

"Effective conservation strategies must anticipate not only how species and habitats will cope with future , but how humans will respond to these challenges," added Dr. John Robinson, Executive Vice President for Conservation and Science. "To that end, maintaining the integrity of the world's ecosystems will be the most important means of safeguarding the natural world and our own future."

Explore further: Global CO2 emissions increase to new all-time record, but growth is slowing down

More information: dx.doi.org/10.1038/nclimate2007

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User comments : 12

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mememine69
1.3 / 5 (26) Sep 16, 2013
Sign on University Wall:
Climate change; an exciting research opportunity or the complete annihilation of the planet Earth.

Fact; the scientists agreed for 28 years now to a consensusof NEVER saying anything beyond "could be" a crisis so why are you believers terrorizing our children saying it will happen to them? Science has NEVER said or agreed it WILL be a crisis or is "inevitable" or "eventual" or "inescapable".Prove me wrong.

Get up to date people, we don't have to love this planet with fear like neocons:
*Occupywallstreet now does not even mention CO2 in its list of demands because of the bank-funded and corporate run carbon trading stock markets ruled by politicians.
richard_stafursky
1.2 / 5 (17) Sep 16, 2013
Triage is not necessarily a good thing. Those things off the triage map are now a free fire zone? Remember, all acres can be returned to the native state of equilibrium. Who is to judge? Twelve years ago I set aside a 75 acre forest in Conway, MA (US) that is not on the TNC triage map. Today, it is wonderful, in spite of land trusts (US) that would not take it as a gift. Toward the end of his 21st century it may be shown that the SPECIES' FOREST, species' grasslands, species' coral reefs, and species' deserts etc. that were "triaged" actually should have been protected.

ReduceGHGs
4.1 / 5 (13) Sep 16, 2013
The only rational thing to do at this point is curb our emissions. Business as usual is certainly dangerous, irrational, and immoral. The most effective tool we have is our U.S. Congress. Contact your reps. Insist they work harder to reduce global emissions. If they drag their feet or deny there's a problem have their feet drug out of office in the next election.
ryggesogn2
2 / 5 (24) Sep 16, 2013
Instead of protecting the poor, end their poverty.
How do the 'researchers' know what is an normal eco-system?
Red squirrels from Texas were introduced onto Mt. Graham AZ for hunting decades ago.
UA wanted to build a telescope on Mt. Graham but protested claimed the local red squirrel would be endangered.
Horses were reintroduced to American over 500 years ago and there are efforts in the west to save the mustangs.
Where/when is the line for 'normal' in an eco-system?
Egleton
1.4 / 5 (21) Sep 17, 2013
Normal is when the planet is in the middle of the Goldilocks zone.
Where is it now?
Does anyone know?
What I do know is that the sun converts hydrogen into helium. Helium is a greenhouse gas for the sun. The sun has increased its output 35% in the 4.5 Billion years it has been alight.
The Goldilocks Zone must be drifting away from the sun.
Where is the centre of the Goldilocks zone now?
Does any Ape/pig hybrid out there know?
Or care?
EnricM
2.5 / 5 (16) Sep 17, 2013
LOL, I just saw "Climate Change"and I came directly to read the fun answers of people.
So, Egleton, Helium is a greenhouse gas eh?

Sure, this proofs that the Climate is a great swindle and all the scientists should be shot XD

ROFLMAO.

no fate
4.1 / 5 (9) Sep 17, 2013
How do the 'researchers' know what is an normal eco-system?
Red squirrels from Texas were introduced onto Mt. Graham AZ for hunting decades ago.
UA wanted to build a telescope on Mt. Graham but protested claimed the local red squirrel would be endangered.
Horses were reintroduced to American over 500 years ago and there are efforts in the west to save the mustangs.
Where/when is the line for 'normal' in an eco-system?


The word "normal" isn't mentioned once in this piece, they use the words stable and vulnerable which most people wouldn't find confusing. This is a very logical means of assessing the areas which will require alot of help or just a little for the next generations...the people who are most impacted by what our generation does. It's good work based on good science.

@mememine - What can you state with absolutely no uncertainty about tomorrow?
GuruShabu
1.2 / 5 (17) Sep 18, 2013
Predictions on global warming trends may not be as accurate as at first their studies suggest.
A new study in the journal Nature Climate Change looked at 117 climate predictions made in the 1990's to the actual amount of warming.
Out of 117 predictions, only three were accurate. The other 114 overestimated the amount by which the Earth's temperature rose.
The predictions were roughly twice the amount of global warming than had actually occurred.

Read more: http://www.dailym...fIJNvmNB
VendicarE
3.5 / 5 (8) Sep 19, 2013
"Instead of protecting the poor, end their poverty." - RyggTrad

Why not do both? TardieBoy.
VendicarE
3.5 / 5 (8) Sep 19, 2013
From GuruShabuTard's link. First sentence of the Nature article.

"Global mean surface temperature over the past 20 years (1993–2012) rose at a rate of 0.14 ± 0.06 °C."

The authors of the study are using climate models to try to predict weather.

Stupid.

The long term trend line has a reasonably linear rise of 0.5'C over 40 years, or about .11'C per decade is easily seen here.

http://www.woodfo...70/trend

GuruShabu
1.5 / 5 (17) Sep 19, 2013
The point Vendicar is in 117 climate predictions 114 lost the target completely!
All 114 pointed towards AGW.
Period.
If you keep preaching otherwise and being unkind calling everyone that disagree with you a "tard", stupid, etc., it's just the only way you can relate to others.
It's a limitation in yourself you must correct if you want to have any credit amongst educated people.
Step back and try again mate in a way your parents tried to teach you but apparently have failed.
Neinsense99
3.4 / 5 (5) Oct 17, 2013
Sign on University Wall:
Climate change; an exciting research opportunity or the complete annihilation of the planet Earth.

Fact; the scientists agreed for 28 years now to a consensusof NEVER saying anything beyond "could be" a crisis so why are you believers terrorizing our children saying it will happen to them? Science has NEVER said or agreed it WILL be a crisis or is "inevitable" or "eventual" or "inescapable".Prove me wrong.

Get up to date people, we don't have to love this planet with fear like neocons:
*Occupywallstreet now does not even mention CO2 in its list of demands because of the bank-funded and corporate run carbon trading stock markets ruled by politicians.

The one-note orchestra regurgitates another 'masterpiece' again... and again...and again.... It's almost as if a monkey had discovered the copy/paste key combo....
https://www.googl...2Bcrisis

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