Biota in Danger

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Transcript Biota in Danger

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2001
Under the auspices of
the World Meteorological Organization and
the United Nations Environmental Program
About 100 Nations (Including all Industrial Nations)
have Accepted these Findings
www.ipcc.ch
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Changes in temperature extremes
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IPCC
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Projected for 2100
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IPCC
There are discernible and consistent ecosystem
responses to a warmer world
• Among the 2500 published studies, data for only 533
species/systems met the criteria for two decades of trend
and could be tested for response to documented
temperature changes.
• 80% of the changes in distribution/behavior of organisms
were consistent with changes in local temperature
• Recent regional climate changes, particularly
temperature increases, have already affected many
physical and biological systems
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IPCC
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IPCC analysis of biotic responses
• Over 2500 scientific papers that purported to provide evidence for a
change in the distribution of an organism, the timing of its migrations,
reproduction, etc. were reviewed
• At least two decades of data were required to qualify as a consistent
trend.
• Where there was a plausible temperature dependent hypothesis for
such a change, local/regional temperature data were sought to test the
hypothesis.
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IPCC
The Sound of One Species Clapping
* Humans are responsible for fastest rate of extinction since
dinosaurs
* Human beings continue to dominate "Survivor: Earth,"
voting other species off the island at a blistering pace. "In
effect, we are currently responsible for the sixth major
extinction event in the history of earth, and the greatest
since the dinosaurs disappeared, 65 million years ago,"
sums up the new U.N. Global Biodiversity Outlook report.
* A global goal to significantly reduce biodiversity loss by
2010 appears to be, shall we say, not on track: the current
extinction rate is 1,000 times faster than historical rates of
loss.
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Northern hemisphere continental ice has shrunken
since the last glacial maximum & most of what is
left is on Greenland
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Typical ice in the central Arctic early 1990s
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Typical conditions within 50 miles of the
North Pole, summers of 2000 & 2001
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Climate Change Shattering Marine Food Chain
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Stephen Leahy
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BROOKLIN, Canada, Apr 10 (IPS) - Vast swaths of coral reefs in the Caribbean sea and South Pacific Ocean are dying,
while the recently-discovered cold-water corals in northern waters will not survive the century -- all due to climate
change.
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The loss of reefs will have a catastrophic impact on all marine life.
One-third of the coral at official monitoring sites in the area of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have
recently perished in what scientists call an "unprecedented" die-off.
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Extremely high sea temperatures in the summer and fall of 2005 that spawned a record hurricane season
have also caused extensive coral bleaching extending from the Florida Keys to Tobago and Barbados in the
south and Panama and Costa Rica, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration's Coral Reef Watch.
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High sea temperatures are also killing parts of Australia's 2,000-kilometre-long Great Barrier Reef, the
world's largest living reef formation. As summer ends in the Southern Hemisphere, researchers are now
investigating the extent of the coral bleaching. Up to 98 percent of the coral in one area has been affected,
reported the Australian Institute of Marine Science last week.
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"The Great Barrier Reef has been living on this planet for 18 million years and we've undermined its
existence within our lifetimes," says Brian Huse, executive director of the Coral Reef Alliance, a U.S.-based
NGO dedicated to protecting the health of coral reefs.
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"Twenty percent of Earth's reefs have been lost and 50 percent face moderate to severe threats," Huse told
IPS.
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Healthy Acropora sp.
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Bleached Acropora sp.
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