Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Global Warming: Research Shows Need For Protected Areas

Date:
April 4, 2007
Source:
Conservation International
Summary:
On April 6, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will release a report on how climate change will accelerate extinctions of species. New research in the journal Frontiers in Environment and Ecology concludes that protected areas are necessary for preventing the loss of species due to climate change. It is the first research on the relevancy of protected areas -- a mainstay of conservation efforts -- in adapting to climate change.

On April 6, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will release a report entitled Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability that focuses on how climate change is affecting the planet.

One finding is an accelerated rate of species extinctions, with estimates of up to 1 million species at risk in coming decades. However, new research shows that protected areas can be an effective tool for preventing such extinctions.

The study by a team of international scientists published March 30 in the journal Frontiers in Environment and Ecology (FREE) concludes that protected areas are necessary for preventing the loss of species due to climate change -- provided that shifts in species' ranges are factored into early analysis of whether to expand current protected areas or create new ones. It is the first research on the relevancy of protected areas -- a mainstay of conservation efforts -- in adapting to climate change.

"Extinctions due to climate change are not inevitable -- this research shows that new protected areas can greatly reduce the risk faced by species that help sustain us," said Lee Hannah, a Conservation International (CI) climate scientist and the study's lead author. "Areas set aside for nature are an important tool to combat climate change extinctions, and one that is well-tested and can be deployed immediately."

The study by scientists from the United States, South Africa, United Kingdom, Spain and Mexico found that existing protected areas cover the ranges of many species as climate changes, but additional area is required to cover all species. Creating new protected areas based on climate change would cover the ranges of most species.

As the climate changes, species adapt by moving beyond their traditional ranges, potentially traveling out of current protected areas such as national parks. The study found that existing protected areas remain effective in the early stages of climate change, while adding new protected areas or expanding current ones would maintain species protection in future decades and centuries. It also shows that anticipating the need for new protected areas and getting them created in the short term will be less expensive than waiting until the impacts of climate change become more significant.

The new study measures the continued effectiveness of protected areas as the global climate changes, unlike previous studies that modeled species range shifts without considering new protected areas or focused on existing impacts of climate change without considering the long-term future.

"Existing conservation plans have assumed that species distributions change relatively slowly, unless they are directly affected by human activities," said Miguel Araϊjo, a co-author of the study. "However, our study shows that these strategies must anticipate the impacts of climate change if extinctions are to be reduced."

The study's authors also warned that protected areas would fail in the long run unless climate change is stopped.

"Stopping climate change and dealing with the impacts that are now inevitable must go hand-in-hand," Hannah said. "No conservation strategy can cope with the levels of change that will be experienced if we continue at the current pace of climate change."

Three regions used as models for the study were Mexico (birds and mammals), and Western Europe and the Cape Floristic Region of Africa (plants). Species distribution models were used for a total of 1,695 species in the three regions. Because the three highly varied regions represent many of the world's ecosystems, it is likely that new protected areas must be created in most parts of the world.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Conservation International. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Conservation International. "Global Warming: Research Shows Need For Protected Areas." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 April 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070402153321.htm>.
Conservation International. (2007, April 4). Global Warming: Research Shows Need For Protected Areas. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070402153321.htm
Conservation International. "Global Warming: Research Shows Need For Protected Areas." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070402153321.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Iceland Lowers Aviation Alert on Volcano

Iceland Lowers Aviation Alert on Volcano

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) — Iceland has lowered its aviation alert on its largest volcano after a fresh eruption on a nearby lava field prompted authorities to enforce a flight ban for several hours. Duration: 01:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lightning Hurts 3 on NYC Beach

Lightning Hurts 3 on NYC Beach

AP (Sep. 1, 2014) — A lightning strike injured three people on a New York City beach on Sunday. The storms also delayed flights and interrupted play at the US Open tennis tournament. (Sept. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thailand Totters Towards Waste Crisis

Thailand Totters Towards Waste Crisis

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) — Fears are mounting in Bangkok that poor planning and lax law enforcement are tipping Thailand towards a waste crisis. Duration: 01:21 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Melting Ice Shelves Drive Rapid Antarctic Sea Level Rise

Melting Ice Shelves Drive Rapid Antarctic Sea Level Rise

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) — A study of almost 20 years' worth of satellite images shows Antarctic sea levels are on the rise as ice shelves continue to melt. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins