Climate change deepens threat to Pacific island wildlife

July 13, 2017 by Marlowe Hood
Climate change poses a serious threat to Pacific island wildlife, such as on the Marshall Islands, pictured in March 2016 when the islands flooded, from storms

Land mammals and reptiles in the Pacific islands facing extinction due to habitat loss, hunting and other threats could be decimated by climate change, a study published Thursday said.

Ocean-bound wildlife is particularly vulnerable to environmental pressures, especially endemic living on only one or a handful of . Among other things, this remoteness makes migrating to another land mass nearly impossible.

Dozens of species—especially birds—have also been wiped out over the last century by invasive species and disease brought by human settlers.

For most Pacific island vertebrates—animals with a backbone—the current risk of extinction has been measured and catalogued in the Red List of threatened species, maintained by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Scientists, however, had not systematically looked at the added threat posed of rising seas and megastorms brought on by .

Impacts due to an increase in temperature of only one degree Celsius (1.6 degrees Fahrenheit) since the mid-19th century have already begun to wreak havoc in dozens of small island nations.

Lalit Kumar and Mahyat Shafapour Tehrany of the University of New England in Armidale, Australia, matched the Red List conservation status of 150 mammals and reptiles against two scenarios for future that assume either weak or moderate efforts in curtailing .

A specific breed of fruit bat, which is already "critically endangered," faces a triple threat of extinction with the added effects of global warming on Pacific islands

Triple threat

One would result in global warming of about 4 C (7.2 F) by century's end, and the other roughly 3 C (5.4 F).

The question they asked for each species was simple: to what extent will a hotter world increase the danger of extinction?

"Projected increases in and ... wave heights, together with more intense tropical cyclones, are likely to exacerbate these vulnerabilities and result in signficant habitat destruction," the researchers concluded.

Eighteen animals—including Bulmer's fruit bat, half-a-dozen species of gecko, and several lizards—faced a triple threat.

Not only are they already listed as "critically endangered", the last step before the category "extinct in the wild", they are also unique to this part of the world and exist on a single island, though mostly larger ones.

"These species are only found in this region, and so deserve extra attention since a loss of any of these species will mean global extinction," the authors warned.

The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, could help conservationists and policy makers outline strategies for preventing the disappearance of these creatures from the face of the Earth, they added.

The 196-nation Paris Agreement has set a goal of holding global warming to "well below" 2 C, a goal that many scientists say may be out of reach.

Explore further: Over half of Med's shark and ray species 'at risk of extinction'

More information: Lalit Kumar et al. Climate change impacts on the threatened terrestrial vertebrates of the Pacific Islands, Scientific Reports (2017). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-05034-4

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Benni
1.8 / 5 (10) Jul 13, 2017
"Projected increases in sea level rise and ... wave heights, together with more intense tropical cyclones, are likely to exacerbate these vulnerabilities and result in signficant habitat destruction," the researchers concluded."

Don'tcha just gotta love these "researchers"? Every conclusion is preceded by some catch phrase like "projected". The same researchers are probably right now trying to measure how much the ocean levels will rise due to "Trillion-tonne iceberg breaks off Antarctica". I guess they've never heard of the problem of sinking islands in the same region.

Bart_A
2.5 / 5 (11) Jul 13, 2017
If you keep looking for the negatives, you will find them.
If you start looking for the positives, you will find them, too.

Relates to so many things in life, not just "global warming".
MR166
2.3 / 5 (9) Jul 13, 2017
Does anyone notice the increase in apocalyptic papers lately? One can only guess that the climate scientists are the ones if fear of extinction under Trump. OMG, they might have to leave the cloisters and get a real job out in industry. Oh the horror of it all !
TrollBane
3.9 / 5 (11) Jul 13, 2017
Nothing original. Nothing credible. It's the Benni, Bart and MR Show! (again)
Benni
1.9 / 5 (9) Jul 13, 2017
Nothing original. Nothing credible. It's the Benni, Bart and MR Show! (again)


Well trollguy, somebody needs to at least acknowledge the vapid emptiness of the silly stuff that gets written up as if what they're writing about is the real world. I look at stuff like this for it's entertainment value, not for scientific endeavor.
MR166
1 / 5 (6) Jul 13, 2017
Yea, it makes Star News look like something penned by Einstein.
MR166
2.2 / 5 (10) Jul 13, 2017
I really don't think they care how vapid the paper is. They got their grant money and are applying for the next one as we type. Thus, they are not the stupid ones we the taxpayers are.
24volts
3.3 / 5 (7) Jul 13, 2017
If I lived there I would be looking to emigrate somewhere else pretty soon. The water level is not going to be going back down for thousands of years regardless of how much we reduce our creation of co2 at this point. Many of those low level islands are going to totally disappear in the next 100 years if it takes that long. Personally I doubt it will take than long.
aksdad
2.3 / 5 (10) Jul 13, 2017
Impacts due to an increase in temperature of only one degree Celsius (1.6 degrees Fahrenheit) since the mid-19th century have already begun to wreak havoc in dozens of small island nations.

Nowhere in the study do the authors make that claim. That is the opinion of the journalist who wrote this article.

We know for a fact that sea levels were 4 to 6 meters higher 125,000 years ago at the peak of the prior interglacial (warm) period that preceded the last ice age (glacial period). It shouldn't be a surprise if sea levels rise for a while longer as glaciers continue the melt that started about 12,000 years ago.

At the current rate of about 1.7 mm per year (tide gauges), it will take another 2,900 years for global sea levels to rise 5 meters.

https://climate.n...a-level/

Not much to worry about.
Benni
1.5 / 5 (8) Jul 13, 2017
At the current rate of about 1.7 mm per year (tide gauges), it will take another 2,900 years for global sea levels to rise 5 meters.


"rise 5 meters"?

Is there enough melting glacial ice on the planet for that to happen? To get 5 meters the entire polar regions would need to become ICE FREE, and what's the likelihood of that happening? Yeah, zippo.

This climate change stuff is mostly written up for purposes of entertainment value. Making movies about apocalyptic events is a big draw at the cinemas, makes a lot of money for the few & soaks the gullible for the exhorbitant prices the gullible pay for movie tickets to watch science fiction.

Shootist
2.3 / 5 (9) Jul 13, 2017
Evolution and adaptation: It isn't as if the climate never changes.
rrrander
1 / 5 (6) Jul 14, 2017
In the scheme of things, does it really matter? The Asiatics are overpopulating everywhere they are, you can't stop it and animals always face pressure from hoards of people. Stop blaming climate, start blaming rabbit-multiplying humans.
Ojorf
3.5 / 5 (6) Jul 14, 2017
Wow, another record, a dozen posts and only one with any merit!
Benni
2.1 / 5 (7) Jul 14, 2017
Wow, another record, a dozen posts and only one with any merit!


......and the "merit" in yours was what? There was nothing in this post of yours that had anything to do with the discussion contained within the article.

You like reading about apocalyptic stuff don't you, then go read some religious books, that's where the ideas for all this nonsense comes from, the Church of the Holy Hockey Stick.
antialias_physorg
4 / 5 (8) Jul 14, 2017
Nothing original. Nothing credible. It's the Benni, Bart and MR Show! (again)

Yep. You know it's good when you come to the comment sections and basically every single one is on your ignore list.
Ojorf
3.7 / 5 (3) Jul 14, 2017
......and the "merit" in yours was what? There was nothing in this post of yours that had anything to do with the discussion contained within the article.


At least it points out that 11 of the 12 posts above mine have absolutely no merit whatsoever, that must count for something?
antigoracle
2 / 5 (8) Jul 14, 2017
More utter bullshit from the AGW Cult.
I wonder how these animals survived the 1930s when it was hotter.
greenonions1
4.3 / 5 (6) Jul 14, 2017
Benni
Well trollguy, somebody needs to at least acknowledge the vapid emptiness of the silly stuff that gets written up
Referring to your comments I assume. Last week you were saying that melting ice sheets from Greenland don't contribute to sea level rise. I posted some science that showed how wrong you were - so move on to the next article and post some more rubbish. There was news out this week that the Russians are paying trolls to surf the internet - and post fake news on comments boards - http://www.huffin...e3b8d5c4 Makes you wonder....
Benni
1 / 5 (6) Jul 14, 2017
Last week you were saying that melting ice sheets from Greenland don't contribute to sea level rise.


Greeno, as usual you're making things up.

That I made statements even resembling "melting ice sheets from Greenland don't contribute to sea level rise" is a statement that is simply your personal vendetta version of FAKE NEWS. When melting land ice is replaced by an equal creation of land ice somewhere else on the planet, there is no new net ocean rise that can occur.

You see, I know the difference of volumetric displacement of water draining into an open reservoir versus ice displacement that co-existed within that body of water, you didn't start learning this difference until you had been reading my posts & thereupon with the effect of having gotten you worked up into a heightened state of being pissed off that somebody would bring this 6th grade science to your novice attention.

greenonions1
5 / 5 (4) Jul 14, 2017
Here is the quote for your Benni
all this melting Arctic Ice is not raising ocean levels
From https://phys.org/...ger.html
greenonions1
5 / 5 (4) Jul 14, 2017
So Benni - here is the article I referenced for you - https://www.scien...tic-ice/
The title of the article is - "How Is Worldwide Sea Level Rise Driven by Melting Arctic Ice?" And the article goes on to explain the answer to this question - including the section I quoted
Rignot and Dutton say that in the Arctic, the Greenland Ice Sheet poses the greatest risk for ocean levels because melting land ice is the main cause of rising seas—and "most of the Arctic's land ice is locked up in Greenland

So - I asserted that you were claiming that "melting ice sheets from Greenland don't contribute to sea level rise" In response - you accuse me of "making things up" But in the same coment as you accuse me of "making things up" - you state " When melting land ice is replaced by an equal creation of land ice somewhere else on the planet, there is no new net ocean rise that can occur."
Cont.
greenonions1
5 / 5 (2) Jul 14, 2017
Cont. So I hope you can see the problem you have created for yourself (you probably can't - but it is pretty clear to any one who can read). Either you are saying that melting Arctic ice does not contribute to rising sea level (in contradiction to the science). In which case - why call me a liar for asserting that is what you are saying? Or you are saying melting Arctic ice does not contribute to sea level rise - in which case you are pitting yourself against the scientific evidence - and as usual - make assertions - but provide no support for said assertions. Either way - you look pretty foolish. The Dunning Kruger is pretty blatant on this kind of exchange.
greenonions1
5 / 5 (2) Jul 14, 2017
cont. Ok I got tongue tied on that last paragraph - should read - Either you are saying that melting Arctic ice does not contribute to rising sea level (in contradiction to the science). In which case - why call me a liar for asserting that is what you are saying? Or you are saying melting Arctic ice does contribute to sea level rise - in which case - why say this "all this melting Arctic Ice is not raising ocean levels" and this "When melting land ice is replaced by an equal creation of land ice somewhere else on the planet, there is no new net ocean rise that can occur." Either way - the Dunning Kruger is blatant.
Benni
1 / 5 (5) Jul 14, 2017
Ok I got tongue tied on that last paragraph
......the story of your AGW life, again making things up.
greenonions1
5 / 5 (4) Jul 14, 2017
the story of your AGW life, again making things up.
Great response there Benni. Don't actually address the facts behind the reality that you said something, then when you were called on it - you denied saying it, then when presented with the verbatim quote - you go off in left field about 6th grade physics - but never admit that you were wrong. Same thing happened with claiming that Tesla uses recycled car batteries in their power wall. Big deal right? Except that you are the one who lectures everyone on DE, and how you are a genius compared to the mere mortals here. Except that you clearly cannot differentiate fact from fiction. Perhaps you are paid to do it - we will never know.
TrollBane
5 / 5 (4) Jul 16, 2017
"Don't actually address the facts..." Why would Benni start doing that now after establishing such a record of consistency in absurdity?

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