- Climate Change And Its Impact On Biodiversity
- How Does Climate Change Affect Biodiversity?
- Q&a: Could Climate Change And Biodiversity Loss Raise The Risk Of Pandemics?
- Tackling Climate Change And Biodiversity Loss Together
Climate Change And Its Impact On Biodiversity – Earth’s land and ocean act as natural carbon sinks, absorbing large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. Conserving and restoring natural areas and their biodiversity is essential to limit emissions and adapt to climate impacts.
Biodiversity – or biodiversity – is the diversity of all living things on Earth, from genes and bacteria to entire ecosystems such as forests or coral reefs. The biodiversity we see today is the result of 4.5 billion years of evolution largely influenced by humans.
Climate Change And Its Impact On Biodiversity
Biodiversity forms the web of life that we rely on for many things like food, water, medicine, sustainable climate, economic growth. More than half of the world’s GDP depends on nature. More than 1 billion people depend on forests for their livelihoods. And land and ocean absorb more than half of all carbon emissions.
How Does Climate Change Affect Biodiversity?
But nature is in crisis. One million species are at risk of extinction, over several decades. Deforestation is turning irreplaceable ecosystems, such as parts of the Amazon rainforest, from carbon sinks to carbon sources. And 85 percent of wetlands, salt marshes, and mangrove swamps that absorb large amounts of carbon have disappeared.
The main driver of biodiversity loss is human use of land – primarily for food production. Human activities have already changed more than 70 percent of the ice-free land. When land is converted for agriculture, some animal and plant species may lose their habitat and become extinct.
But climate change is playing a very important role in biodiversity loss. Climate change has transformed the world’s marine, terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. This caused the loss of native species, increased disease, and mass die-offs of plants and animals, resulting in the first climate-driven extinctions.
On Earth, higher temperatures have forced animals and plants to move to higher altitudes or higher latitudes, many moving toward Earth’s poles, with far-reaching consequences for ecosystems. The risk of species extinction increases with each level of warming.
How Does Climate Change Affect Biodiversity?
In the ocean, rising temperatures can cause irreversible damage to marine and coastal ecosystems. For example, live coral reefs have nearly halved in the last 150 years, and further warming threatens to destroy all remaining reefs.
Overall, climate change affects the health of ecosystems, influencing changes in the distribution of plants, viruses, animals and human habitats. This can create greater opportunities for animals to spread diseases and for viruses to spread to humans. Human health is also affected by reduced ecosystem services, such as the loss of food, medicine and livelihoods provided by nature.
When human activities produce greenhouse gases, half of the emissions remain in the atmosphere, while the other half is absorbed by the land and ocean. These ecosystems – and the biodiversity they contain – are natural carbon sinks, so-called nature-based solutions to climate change.
Protecting, managing and restoring forests, for example, provides about two-thirds of the total mitigation potential of all nature-based solutions. Despite massive and ongoing losses, forests still cover more than 30 percent of the planet’s land.
Climate Change And Biodiversity: ‘how To Support Climate Action And Biodiversity’ Infographic
Peatlands – wetlands and wetlands – make up only 3 percent of the world’s land, but they store twice as much carbon as all forests. Conserving and restoring peatlands means keeping them moist so carbon doesn’t oxidize and float into the atmosphere.
Oceanic habitats such as seagrasses and mangroves also absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere four times higher than terrestrial forests. Their ability to capture and store carbon makes mangroves extremely valuable in the fight against climate change.
Conserving and restoring natural spaces on land and in water is essential to limit carbon emissions and adapt to an already changing climate. One-third of the required greenhouse gas emission reductions could be achieved over the next decade by improving nature’s ability to absorb emissions.
Climate change and biodiversity loss (as well as pollution) are part of the interconnected triple planetary crisis facing the world today. We must tackle them together if we are to advance the Sustainable Development Goals and have a viable future on this planet.
Q&a: Could Climate Change And Biodiversity Loss Raise The Risk Of Pandemics?
Governments deal with climate change and biodiversity through two different international agreements, the Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), established at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit.
Similar to the historic Paris Agreement of the FCCC der 2015, Parties to the Convention on Biodiversity in December 2022 adopted a treaty for nature, known as the Kming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, which was adopted in 2010 with the Aichi Biodiversity Target.
“An ambitious and effective post-2020 global biodiversity framework, with clear targets and benchmarks, can put nature and people back on track,” said the Secretary-General, adding, “This framework should work together with the Paris Agreement on climate change, and other multilateral agreements on forests, desertification and oceans.”
In December 2022, governments meeting in Montreal, Canada agreed on a new framework to achieve an ambitious and transformative global plan to set humanity on a path to living in harmony with nature.
Tackling Climate Change And Biodiversity Loss Together
“Delivering on the Framework contributes to the climate agenda, but full delivery of the Paris Agreement is essential for the Framework to succeed,” said Inger Andersen, head of the Environment Programme. “We cannot act alone if we are to end the triple planetary crises.”
Read the Secretary-General’s speech at the September 2022 Catdown to COP15: Leaders’ Event for a Nature-Positive World and his remarks at the December 2022 Biodiversity Conference and Press Conference.
Elizabeth Mrema, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, talks about the interrelationships between climate change and biodiversity loss.
“Indigenous peoples are the solution, we are not the only victims of climate change,” said Hindu Ibrahim, an SDG advocate and indigenous rights activist.
Climate Change And Its Impact On Ecosystem Services And Biodiversity In Arid And Semi Arid Zones (hardcover)
Chief Economist Elliott Harris introduced a ground-breaking change in assessing nature as a way to make more informed decisions about economies, climate action and biodiversity conservation.
The ocean is central to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. Here are just a few reasons why protecting the ocean is our best ally for climate solutions.
Derived from abundant and continuously replenished natural resources, renewable energy is critical to a safe, clean and sustainable world. Explore common sources of renewable energy here.
Fossil fuels are the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change, which poses many dangers to all forms of life on Earth. Many of the world’s most biodiverse regions are located in Africa, the poorest and second most populous continent; A continent facing extraordinary challenges. Africa is expected to quadruple its population by 2100, and increasingly severe climate change and environmental conflict—all of which will destroy biodiversity. Here we assess the conservation threats facing Africa and examine how these threats are affected by human population growth, economic expansion and climate change. We assess the current capacity and infrastructure available to conserve the continent’s biodiversity. We examine four key questions essential to the future of African conservation: (1) how to build social support for conservation efforts in Africa; (2) how to build Africa’s education, research and management capacity; (3) how to finance conservation efforts; and (4) Is conservation through development the right approach for Africa? While the challenges are great, the way forward is clear and we offer ideas on how progress can be made. Given Africa’s current modest capacity to address Africa’s biodiversity crisis, additional international funding is needed, but estimates of the cost of conserving Africa’s biodiversity are available. The will to act must build on the empathy for conservation that is evident in Africa, but this requires building educational capacity on the continent. Considering Africa’s rapidly growing population and associated huge economic needs, there is a need to more effectively explore options other than conservation through development. Despite the gravity of the situation, we believe that collective efforts can successfully halt biodiversity loss in Africa in the coming decades.
Ways Climate Change Poses A Threat To Biodiversity: Exploring Impacts On Species, Habitats, And Ecosystems
Humanity is facing unprecedented environmental challenges. Nowhere are these challenges greater than in Africa, the poorest and second most populous continent (UN, 2015). Twenty percent of Africa’s land surface (6.6 million km
) is degraded, an area twice the size of India (Archer et al., 2018), Africa’s population is expected to quadruple by 2100 (UN, 2015), the effects of climate change are severe (Niang et al., 2014), and environmental conflict is expected to increase greatly (Lawrence et al., 2014). These changes will seriously affect not only biodiversity but also the lives and livelihoods of Africans. For example, by 2100, more than half of Africa’s bird and mammal species may be lost, and the productivity of Africa’s lakes may decrease by 20–30% (Archer et al., 2018).
Combating these challenges requires new approaches to conservation, increased effort, better integration of fields of inquiry and, most importantly, public will to enact meaningful change. Conservation scientists and managers have moved away from project-based schemes focused on specific protected areas or endangered species. They are adopting more holistic strategies that couple social and environmental dynamics (Gardner et al., 2009; Sayer).
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