Climate Change Is Already Affecting Wildlife, Report Says

Posted: Feb 14 2017, 11:15am CST | by , Updated: Feb 14 2017, 11:24am CST, in News | Latest Science News

 
Climate Change is Already Affecting Wildlife, Report Says
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Impact of climate change on mammals and birds are greatly underestimated

For years, researchers have been taking about the impact of future climate change on Earth's ecosystems and biodiversity. But a new report says that the impact of climate change is seriously underestimated and increasing global temperatures are already affecting large number of bird and animal species in the wild.

Researchers estimate that at least 700 birds and mammal species are threatened by changing climate but only seven per cent of mammals and four per cent of birds have been currently reported feeling the effects of climate change.

“There has been a massive under-reporting of these impacts," said co-researcher James Watson from University of Queensland.

“The results suggested it is likely that around half the threatened mammals (out of 873 species) and 23 per cent of threatened birds (out of 1272 species) have already responded negatively to climate change.”

By reviewing 130 previously published studies, researchers have observed the negative impact of climate change on various animals and have found that a number of threatened species are struggling to withstand climate change, which will eventually lead to the collapse of already fragile ecosystems.

“Our results suggest that populations of large numbers of threatened species are likely to be already affected by climate change, and that conservation managers, planners and policy makers must take this into account in efforts to safeguard the future of biodiversity.” Authors wrote in the study.

Global warming has increased at an alarming rate over the past 50 years and if it continues to accelerate the same way and data from past suggests that it will, we will see more devestating impact on wildlife in the future. Researchers already agree that even small temperature changes can further threaten already struggling species.

Most studies access the impact of climate change on wildlife on global scale. The recent study, however, focuses on individual populations currently impacted by climate change and the extent of these impacts.

To adequately address this crisis, researcher reinforces the need of halting climate change and preparing for the consequence of global warming.

“Nature is extremely resilient if you give it a chance,” said Watson. “But the big thing is acting now, not in 20 to 50 years time. Not making climate change a future threat, but prioritizing climate-smart actions now. Because every day, every minute, that we delay, you lose those opportunities.”

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.

 

 

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