Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New maps reveal locations of species at risk as climate changes

10.02.2014
An international team of scientists has produced global maps showing how fast and in which direction local climates have shifted.

In research published today in the journal Nature, CSIRO and an international team of scientists revealed global maps showing how fast and in which direction local climates are shifting. This new study points to a simpler way of looking at climatic changes and their likely effects on biodiversity.


Speed and direction of climate shifts over the past 50 years in Australia.

As climate change unfolds over the next century, plants and animals will need to adapt or shift locations to track their ideal climate.

“The maps show areas where plants and animals may struggle to find a new home in a changing climate and provide crucial information for targeting conservation efforts,” CSIRO's Dr Elvira Poloczanska said.

The study analysed 50 years of sea surface and land temperature data (1960-2009) and also investigated two future scenarios for marine environments (‘business as usual’ and a 1.75°C temperature increase).

The new maps show where new thermal environments are being generated and where existing environments may disappear.

“The maps show us how fast and in which direction temperatures are shifting, and where climate migrants following them may hit barriers such as coastlines. Our work shows that climate migration is far more complex than a simple shift towards the poles,” ecological geographer with the project Kristen Williams said.

“Across Australia, species are already experiencing warmer temperatures. In terrestrial habitats, species have started to seek relief by moving to higher elevations, or further south. However, some species of animals and plants cannot move large distances, and some not at all.”

Species migration can have important consequences for local biodiversity. For example, the dry, flat continental interior of Australia is a hot, arid region where species already exist close to the margin of their thermal tolerances.

Some species driven south from monsoonal northern Australia in the hope of cooler habitats may perish in that environment.

“In the oceans, warming waters and a strengthening of the East Australian Current have mobilised the Long-spined Sea Urchin (Centrostephanus rodgersii), previously only found as far south as southern NSW, to invade the eastern Tasmania coast. This has resulted in the decline of giant kelp forests with knock-on effects for commercially-fished rock lobsters,” Dr Poloczanska said.

CSIRO and University of Queensland’s Anthony Richardson said the study cannot be used as a sole guide as to what to do in the face of climate change.

“Biological factors such as a species’ capacity to adapt and disperse need to be taken into consideration,” Professor Richardson said.

“But in an unprecedented period of climate change, economic development and fast growing demand on an already pressured planet, we need to act fast to make sure as much of the world’s living resources survive that change.”

The study was undertaken by CSIRO's Dr Elvira Poloczanska and Associate Professor Anthony Richardson and Dr Kristen Williams with a team of 18 international researchers from Australia, Canada, Germany, Spain, UK and USA.

Chris Johnson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.csiro.au
http://www.csiro.au/Portals/Media/New-maps-reveal-locations-of-species-at-risk-as-climate-changes.aspx

Further reports about: Australia CSIRO climatic change marine environment warming waters

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Study offers new insights on hurricane intensity, pollution transport
03.08.2015 | University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science

nachricht Glaciers melt faster than ever
03.08.2015 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Glaciers melt faster than ever

Glacier decline in the first decade of the 21st century has reached a historical record, since the onset of direct observations. Glacier melt is a global phenomenon and will continue even without further climate change. This is shown in the latest study by the World Glacier Monitoring Service under the lead of the University of Zurich, Switzerland.

The World Glacier Monitoring Service, domiciled at the University of Zurich, has compiled worldwide data on glacier changes for more than 120 years. Together...

Im Focus: Quantum Matter Stuck in Unrest

Using ultracold atoms trapped in light crystals, scientists from the MPQ, LMU, and the Weizmann Institute observe a novel state of matter that never thermalizes.

What happens if one mixes cold and hot water? After some initial dynamics, one is left with lukewarm water—the system has thermalized to a new thermal...

Im Focus: On the crest of the wave: Electronics on a time scale shorter than a cycle of light

Physicists from Regensburg and Marburg, Germany have succeeded in taking a slow-motion movie of speeding electrons in a solid driven by a strong light wave. In the process, they have unraveled a novel quantum phenomenon, which will be reported in the forthcoming edition of Nature.

The advent of ever faster electronics featuring clock rates up to the multiple-gigahertz range has revolutionized our day-to-day life. Researchers and...

Im Focus: Superfast fluorescence sets new speed record

Plasmonic device has speed and efficiency to serve optical computers

Researchers have developed an ultrafast light-emitting device that can flip on and off 90 billion times a second and could form the basis of optical computing.

Im Focus: Unlocking the rice immune system

Joint BioEnergy Institute study identifies bacterial protein that is key to protecting rice against bacterial blight

A bacterial signal that when recognized by rice plants enables the plants to resist a devastating blight disease has been identified by a multi-national team...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

3rd Euro Bio-inspired - International Conference and Exhibition on Bio-inspired Materials

23.07.2015 | Event News

Clash of Realities – International Conference on the Art, Technology and Theory of Digital Games

10.07.2015 | Event News

World Conference on Regenerative Medicine in Leipzig: Last chance to submit abstracts until 2 July

25.06.2015 | Event News

 
Latest News

“Seeing” molecular interactions could give boost to organic electronics

03.08.2015 | Materials Sciences

Stroke: news about platelets

03.08.2015 | Life Sciences

Molecular Spies to Fight Cancer - Procedure for improving tumor diagnosis successfully tested

03.08.2015 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>