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Study States that Biodiversity Loss Can Be Restored
International, 9/29/2015

The journal Nature published in a recent issue a new study that provides a comprehensive approach to this damage, which dates since the year 1500. This shows that for the year 2005, the change of the use of land worldwide had led to a reduction of 14% the average number of species found in local ecosystems. Most of this loss occurred in the past 100 years.

The research authors believe that some of this damage can be reversed, however this would require global action to combat climate change, specifically creating a strong carbon market where high biodiversity habitats give them an economic value.

The study is the first global analysis of human impacts on local biodiversity. It was made possible by collaboration between the Museum of Natural History, the United Nations Environment Program and World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), and British universities.

The scientists presented data from more than 70 countries and considered 26,593 species, adding more than 1.1 million records to the PREDICE (Projecting Responses of Ecological Diversity in Changing Terrestrial Systems) survey database.

To forecast how human activity would affect biodiversity in the future, the team modelled their data with four scenarios of climate change mitigation developed by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).

Most scenarios brought bad news. If the excessive of human activity continues without adopting measures to combat climate change, another 3.4 percent of local species would be lost on average worldwide.

The report concludes that, "if we continue as we are, the number of species will fall by nearly 3.5 percent on average for the year 2100. But, if society takes concerted action, and reduces climate change by valuing forests properly, then by the end of the century we can undo 50 years of damage to biodiversity on land."

Source: http://phys.org/news/2015-04-major-biodiversity-losses-reversed.html
 

Topic(s):    Biodiversity