Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Climate change beats biodiversity as a press, scientific, and funding priority

Date:
June 11, 2014
Source:
American Institute of Biological Sciences
Summary:
A study that compared coverage of biodiversity and of climate change in newspapers, scientific articles, and research funding decisions shows that climate change eclipsed biodiversity loss as a priority in the mid-2000s, according to several measures. Since both trends threaten essential ecosystems, biodiversity researchers should seek to emulate the ascendancy of climate change and increase their efforts on research that addresses both trends.

As climate change has become a more prominent public concern, some scientists have worried that it might distract attention from related environmental problems, such as the global loss of biodiversity. In an article to be published in the July issue of BioScience, Diogo Verνssimo of the University of Kent in England and his colleagues examine that idea by analyzing coverage of those issues in US and UK newspapers, as well as in scientific journals, over the past quarter-century. The researchers also examine changes in the funding priorities of the World Bank and of the US National Science Foundation.

The indicators that the authors examined "substantiate some of these fears," they write. For newspapers, they looked at USA Today, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal in the United States, and The Guardian, The Independent, The Times, and the Financial Times in the UK. Press attention devoted to biodiversity has remained stable since 1990, but the proportion of climate change reports rose before 2007 and has stayed substantially higher than biodiversity since 2005.

In scientific journals, papers on biodiversity loss and conservation have increased at a steady pace, but publication of papers on climate change accelerated markedly around 2006 and overtook them. Papers with a dual focus are less common, but their numbers are increasing. Funding by the World Bank shows no evident change over the past 20 years, with climate change projects funded at a much greater rate than biodiversity projects. The US National Science Foundation's investments directed toward climate change research have increased substantially since 1987, but biodiversity expenditures have increased much less and have held steady since 2004. Dual-focus projects are being funded more often, but Verνssimo and his coauthors write that "this rise is relatively small and does not mitigate the plateauing expenditure on biodiversity research."

To prevent biodiversity from becoming a declining priority, conservationists need to "analyze the discourse surrounding climate change and determine how it has become the predominant environmental topic," the authors suggest. In addition, given that many human influences are driving both climate change and biodiversity loss, researchers should look for "win-win" solutions wherever possible. The authors hold up the United Nations program REDD+ (an extension of the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation program) as an example of such a win-win solution: It protects forests while also creating benefits for local communities and biodiversity.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Institute of Biological Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. D. Verissimo, D. C. MacMillan, R. J. Smith, J. Crees, Z. G. Davies. Has Climate Change Taken Prominence over Biodiversity Conservation? BioScience, 2014; DOI: 10.1093/biosci/biu079

Cite This Page:

American Institute of Biological Sciences. "Climate change beats biodiversity as a press, scientific, and funding priority." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140611131853.htm>.
American Institute of Biological Sciences. (2014, June 11). Climate change beats biodiversity as a press, scientific, and funding priority. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140611131853.htm
American Institute of Biological Sciences. "Climate change beats biodiversity as a press, scientific, and funding priority." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140611131853.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) — An animal rescue in Washington state receives an influx of orphaned squirrels, keeping workers busy as they nurse them back to health. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Volcano Erupts on Papua New Guinea

Raw: Volcano Erupts on Papua New Guinea

AP (Aug. 29, 2014) — Several communities were evacuated and some international flights were diverted on Friday after one of the most active volcanos in the region erupts. (Aug. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Small Volcanic Eruption in Iceland

Raw: Small Volcanic Eruption in Iceland

AP (Aug. 29, 2014) — Icelandic authorities briefly raised the aviation warning code to red on Friday during a small eruption at the Holuhraun lava field in the Bardabunga volcano system. (Aug. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
As Drought Continues LA "water Police" Fight Waste

As Drought Continues LA "water Police" Fight Waste

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) — In the midst of a historic drought, Los Angeles is increasing efforts to go after people who waste water. Five water conservation "cops" drive around the city every day educating homeowners about the drought. Duration: 02:17 Video provided by AFP
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