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Re: Animals 'hit by global warming'

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  • Mike Neuman
    EU s Policy-makers Told to Help Wildlife Adapt to Climate Change NOW: http://www.defra.gov.uk/news/2005/051006c.htm ... ... conservation ...
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 7 9:21 AM
      EU's Policy-makers Told to Help Wildlife Adapt to Climate Change NOW:
      http://www.defra.gov.uk/news/2005/051006c.htm

      --- In ClimateArchive@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Neuman" <mtneuman@j...>
      wrote:
      >
      > Original Release:
      > http://www.defra.gov.uk/news/2005/051006b.htm
      >
      > Full Report:
      > http://www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-
      > countryside/resprog/findings/climatechange-migratory/index.htm
      >
      > --- In ClimateArchive@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Neuman"
      <mtneuman@j...>
      > wrote:
      > >
      > > Animals 'hit by global warming'
      > > By Tim Hirsch
      > > Environment Correspondent, BBC News
      > >
      > > Climate change could lead to the extinction of many animals
      > including
      > > migratory birds, says a report commissioned by the UK government.
      > > Melting ice, spreading deserts and the impact of warm seas on the
      > sex
      > > of turtles are among threats identified.
      > >
      > > The report is being launched at a meeting of EU nature
      conservation
      > > chiefs in Scotland.
      > >
      > > It says that warming has already changed the migration routes of
      > some
      > > birds and other animals.
      > >
      > > The UK's Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
      (Defra)
      > > commissioned the research, which was led by the British Trust for
      > > Ornithology.
      > >
      > > The meeting, in the Scottish holiday resort of Aviemore, was
      called
      > > to discuss ways in which wildlife might be helped to adapt to
      > global
      > > warming.
      > >
      > > Times already changing
      > >
      > > Scientists have already observed a wide range of changes in the
      > > migration patterns of birds, fish and turtles, apparently in
      > response
      > > to warming which has already taken place.
      > >
      > > Some species normally associated with more southerly countries,
      > such
      > > as the little egret, the loggerhead turtle, and the red mullet,
      are
      > > increasingly seen in and around the UK.
      > >
      > >
      > > Wading birds such as the ringed plover are now spending the
      winter
      > in
      > > the east of Britain rather than on the west coast, and chiff-
      chaffs
      > > are remaining in the UK throughout the year rather than migrating
      > > south.
      > > While many species have been able to adapt to new conditions
      simply
      > > by moving their ranges further towards the poles, the study warns
      > > that this option is not available to other animals, such as polar
      > > bears and seals whose habitat is disappearing rapidly with the
      > > melting of Arctic sea ice.
      > >
      > > Even subtle changes in sea temperature can have dramatic impacts
      on
      > > wildlife with rapid depletion of the tiny plankton organisms
      which
      > > form the base of the food web in the oceans.
      > >
      > > This is thought to have contributed to a recent drastic decline
      in
      > > the breeding success of some Scottish seabirds, as the fish on
      > which
      > > they depend were suddenly deprived of food.
      > >
      > > Some of the other threats from climate change identified in the
      > study
      > > include:
      > >
      > > Increased storminess damaging the breeding colonies of albatross,
      > > already facing heavy pressure from accidental capture on long-
      line
      > > fishing hooks
      > > Sea level rise destroying beach nesting sites for sea turtles -
      for
      > > example, nearly a third of beaches used by turtles in the
      Caribbean
      > > would be lost with the rise anticipated during this century, and
      > > seals and wading birds also face destruction of their coastal
      > > habitats
      > > Warmer seas could lead to some turtle species becoming entirely
      > > female, as water temperature strongly affects the sex ratio of
      > > hatchlings
      > > Growing water scarcity in many regions could further destroy the
      > > wetland areas on which migrating waterfowl depend.
      > > The spreading extent of the Sahara desert could threaten long-
      range
      > > travellers such as the swallow, as they will be unable to "fuel
      up"
      > > in previously fertile regions on the desert's edge.
      > > "Our changing climate is already affecting a wide range of
      > migratory
      > > species," said Humphrey Crick from the British Trust for
      > Ornithology,
      > > one of the report's authors.
      > > "They range from the swallow crossing the Sahara to the
      albatrosses
      > > of the southern oceans; but this report shows that the potential
      > > impacts are really widespread.
      > >
      > > "There is some scope for helping species adapt to climate change,
      > but
      > > we need to find global solutions to help animals that swim, fly
      and
      > > walk thousands of miles each year."
      > >
      > > Too far, too fast
      > >
      > >
      > > Nature has always had to adapt to changing climate conditions.
      > > Indeed, it is one of the driving forces behind the process of
      > > evolution which has produced the staggering variety of life on
      > Earth.
      > >
      > > But the fear is that the changes currently under way are simply
      too
      > > rapid for species to evolve new strategies for survival.
      > >
      > > Their options are also being narrowed by the rapid conversion of
      > > ecosystems such as the draining of wetlands, felling of forests
      and
      > > development of coastlines - so if their existing habitats are hit
      > by
      > > global warming, there is literally no place to go.
      > >
      > > The report has important messages for conservation officials
      > gathered
      > > in Scotland for this meeting convened by Defra.
      > >
      > > They are being urged to make more use of "biological corridors"
      to
      > > widen the options available to migrating species as climate
      change
      > > takes hold.
      > >
      > > The whole approach to conservation may have to be radically
      > changed -
      > > the most perfectly-protected nature reserve could end up being of
      > > little use if the animals breeding there face starvation because
      > they
      > > have nowhere to migrate.
      > >
      > >
      > > Story from BBC NEWS:
      > > http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/science/nature/4313726.stm
      > > http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4313726.stm
      > >
      > > Published: 2005/10/05 23:03:43 GMT
      > >
      > > © BBC MMV
      > >
      >
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