Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Maps show expected redistribution of global species due to climate change

Date:
February 10, 2014
Source:
University of California - Santa Barbara
Summary:
As climate change unfolds over the next century, plants and animals will need to adapt or shift locations to follow their ideal climate. A new study provides an innovative global map of where species are likely to succeed or fail in keeping up with a changing climate.

Fifty-year climate trajectory classes based on global climate models for 2006-2100: a) assumes greenhouse gas emissions stabilize by 2100 and c) assumes emissions continue to increase, showing fewer areas of stability (green & white) and larger areas of species loss (dark blue).
Credit: Image courtesy of University of California - Santa Barbara

As climate change unfolds over the next century, plants and animals will need to adapt or shift locations to follow their ideal climate. A new study provides an innovative global map of where species are likely to succeed or fail in keeping up with a changing climate. The findings appear in the science journal Nature.

Related Articles


As part of a UC Santa Barbara National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) working group, 18 international researchers analyzed 50 years of sea surface and land temperature data (1960-2009). They also projected temperature changes under two future scenarios, one that assumes greenhouse gas emissions are stabilized by 2100 and a second that assumes these emissions continue to increase. The resulting maps display where new temperature conditions are being generated and where existing environments may disappear.

This rare global study, which examines scenarios both on land and in the ocean, demonstrates that climate migration is far more complex than a simple shift toward the poles. "As species move to track their ideal temperature conditions, they will sometimes run into what we call a 'climate sink,' where the preferred climate simply disappears leaving species nowhere to go because they are up against a coastline or other barrier," explained Carrie Kappel, an NCEAS associate and one of the paper's authors. "There are a number of those sinks around the world where movement is blocked by a coastline, like in the northern Adriatic Sea or the northern Gulf of Mexico, and there's no way out because it's warmer everywhere behind."

Australia offers a terrestrial example. There, species already experiencing warmer temperatures have started to seek relief by moving to higher elevations, or farther south. However, some species of animals and plants cannot move large distances, and some cannot move at all.

"Species migration can have important consequences for local biodiversity," said corresponding author Elvira Poloczanska, a research scientist with the Climate Adaptation Flagship of Australia's national science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Brisbane. "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 one of the harshest places on Earth."

The maps generated from the study data not only show areas where plants and animals may struggle to find new homes in a changing climate but also provide crucial information for targeting conservation efforts -- information that could help conservation planners think more strategically about how best to manage biodiversity for future sustainability.

"One of the greatest challenges these days is how to help species survive in the face of climate change," said co-author Ben Halpern, a professor at UCSB's Bren School of Environmental Science & Management. "The maps we produced offer a key tool for helping guide these decisions. For example, where species are likely to face climate traps, we will need to explore less traditional actions, such as assisted migration, where people help move species past barriers into their preferred environment."

"From other work, we know that many species have shifted where they live in ways that match the pattern of temperature change over the last 60 years," Kappel noted. "This gives us confidence that we can base conservation planning on what we've learned about what's already happening."

According to Halpern, it's not a question of whether climate change is happening, but what we can do about it. "The writing is on the wall: species have already started moving in response to climate change," he said. "We can either sit back and watch as species get squeezed out of existence and food webs reshuffle or we can try to be proactive in designing conservation strategies. Our research and maps offer a window into what the future of biodiversity will look like, and we have a chance to improve the view from that window."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Santa Barbara. The original article was written by Julie Cohen. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Michael T. Burrows, David S. Schoeman, Anthony J. Richardson, Jorge Garcνa Molinos, Ary Hoffmann, Lauren B. Buckley, Pippa J. Moore, Christopher J. Brown, John F. Bruno, Carlos M. Duarte, Benjamin S. Halpern, Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Carrie V. Kappel, Wolfgang Kiessling, Mary I. O’Connor, John M. Pandolfi, Camille Parmesan, William J. Sydeman, Simon Ferrier, Kristen J. Williams, Elvira S. Poloczanska. Geographical limits to species-range shifts are suggested by climate velocity. Nature, 2014; DOI: 10.1038/nature12976

Cite This Page:

University of California - Santa Barbara. "Maps show expected redistribution of global species due to climate change." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140210140229.htm>.
University of California - Santa Barbara. (2014, February 10). Maps show expected redistribution of global species due to climate change. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140210140229.htm
University of California - Santa Barbara. "Maps show expected redistribution of global species due to climate change." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140210140229.htm (accessed November 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Baby Okapi Born at Houston Zoo

Raw: Baby Okapi Born at Houston Zoo

AP (Nov. 20, 2014) — The Houston Zoo released video of a male baby okapi. Okapis, also known as the "forest giraffe", are native to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa. Video is mute from source. (Nov. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) — Researchers at the University of Edinburgh found the more complex your job is, the sharper your cognitive skills will likely be as you age. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mysterious Glow Worms Found in the Amazon

Mysterious Glow Worms Found in the Amazon

Buzz60 (Nov. 20, 2014) — Wildlife photographer Jeff Cremer teamed up with entomologist Aaron Pomerantz and others to investigate a predatory glow worm found in the Amazon. Patrick Jones (@Patrick_E_Jones) explains. Video provided by Buzz60
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:

More Coverage


New Maps Reveal Locations of Species at Risk as Climate Changes

Feb. 10, 2014 — An international team of scientists has produced global maps showing how fast and in which direction local climates have ... read more

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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