Quantifying the benefit of early climate change mitigation in avoiding biodiversity loss

Warren, R., Vanderwal, J., Price, J., Welbergen, J. A., Atkinson, I., Ramirez-Villegas, J., Osborn, T. J., Jarvis, A., Shoo, L. P., Williams, S. E. and Lowe, J. (2013) Quantifying the benefit of early climate change mitigation in avoiding biodiversity loss. Nature Climate Change, 3 (7). pp. 678-682. ISSN 1758-678X

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Abstract

Climate change is expected to have significant influences on terrestrial biodiversity at all system levels, including species-level reductions in range size and abundance, especially amongst endemic species1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. However, little is known about how mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions could reduce biodiversity impacts, particularly amongst common and widespread species. Our global analysis of future climatic range change of common and widespread species shows that without mitigation, 57±6% of plants and 34±7% of animals are likely to lose =50% of their present climatic range by the 2080s. With mitigation, however, losses are reduced by 60% if emissions peak in 2016 or 40% if emissions peak in 2030. Thus, our analyses indicate that without mitigation, large range contractions can be expected even amongst common and widespread species, amounting to a substantial global reduction in biodiversity and ecosystem services by the end of this century. Prompt and stringent mitigation, on the other hand, could substantially reduce range losses and buy up to four decades for climate change adaptation.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: biodiversity and ecosystems,conservation,policy
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > Tyndall Centre for Climatic Change
Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2013 12:28
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2019 10:37
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/43673
DOI: 10.1038/nclimate1887

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