Photo credit: tauntingpanda via Flickr/CC BY
Seeing as how it's Friday, I figured I'd just go ahead and rain on everyone's parade a little bit: Climate change and deforestation are going to more or less wipe out tropical rainforests as we know them in about 90 years. Yes, according to a recent study, 70-80% of rainforests in South America and Africa stand to suffer severe changes in biodiversity by 2100. Tropical forests in Asia and in the Pacific Islands are in for 60-77% changes. Happy Friday!According to the study, between 18-45% of animal and plant species in these areas will remain as we know them today in their current habitats. The report bluntly states "the combined effect of climate change, forest clear cutting, and logging may force them to adapt, move, or die."
The Telegraph quotes report lead author Greg Asner, of the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology:
"This is the first global compilation of projected ecosystem impacts for humid tropical forests affected by these combined forces. For those areas of the globe projected to suffer most from climate change, land managers could focus their efforts on reducing the pressure from deforestation, thereby helping species adjust to climate change, or enhancing their ability to move in time to keep pace with it.
Conservation of World's Plants & Animals Depends on Steep Reductions in Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Daniel Nepstad, senior scientist at the Woods Hole Research Center, notes the importance of this study: "This study is the strongest evidence yet that the world's natural ecosystems will undergo profound changes--including severe alterations in their species composition--through the combined influence of climate change and land use,"
And the way to prevent it: "Conservation of the world's biota, as we know it, will depend upon rapid, steep declines in greenhouse gas emissions."
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