One World SA: Sustained global warming will wipe out an uncountable number of plant and animal species, says a new report based on a path-breaking study of similar climatic changes through the ice age.
“At the end of the last ice age about 10,000 years ago, when temperatures rose at a sustained level of 5 Degree Celsius or so, whole ecosystem patterns shifted, trees became established and a large number of species became extinct,” he said. If warming continues as it has been in recent decades, we could experience a similar shift to a new ecological state resulting in a similar catastrophic loss of species, researchers said.
“However, if we can ensure that it’s just a blip, by bringing temperatures back down quickly, perhaps within a century or two, maybe the consequences for ecosystems won’t be so awful,” said Huntley.
The scientist and his team created a new computer model that takes into account abrupt fluctuations in the Earth’s climate, lasting for just hundreds of years, called Heinrich events, which are believed to have caused armadas of icebergs to break away from a vast northern ice sheet, dumping cold, fresh water into the North Atlantic and disturbing the ocean currents that today wrap Britain in a blanket of warm seas.
When you take those rapid events into account, the computer models begin to agree with the fossil record, said Huntley. Without trees to contend with, smaller plants and shrubs would have thrived, providing an ideal diet for large mammals.
Started in year 2010, ‘Climate Himalaya’ initiative has been working on Mountains and Climate linked issues in the Himalayan region of South Asia. In the last five years this knowledge sharing portal has become one of the important references for the governments, research institutions, civil society groups and international agencies, those have work and interest in the Himalayas. The Climate Himalaya team innovates on knowledge sharing, capacity building and climatic adaptation aspects in its focus countries like Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan. Climate Himalaya’s thematic areas of work are mountain ecosystem, water, forest and livelihood. Read>>