Report on the observed climate, projected climate, and projected biodiversity changes for Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Uganda under differing levels of warming

Price, Jeff, Forstenhäusler, Nicole, Graham, Erin, Osborn, Timothy ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8425-6799 and Warren, Rachel ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0122-1599 (2024) Report on the observed climate, projected climate, and projected biodiversity changes for Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Uganda under differing levels of warming. Zenodo.

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Abstract

Critically important for the endangered Mountain Gorilla, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Uganda, is among the top 3% of all non-marine protected areas, globally. Mgahinga is projected to be largely resilient to climate change, even with 4°C warming. As such, business as usual conservation, taking into account changes in the likelihood of extreme events (heat and drought), should largely be adequate. Averaged over the entire area, with 4°C warming (global, above pre-industrial), the area is projected to remain climatically suitable for 86.7% of its terrestrial biodiversity (fungi, plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates), with 97.7% of its area remaining an overall refugia (remaining climatically suitable for >75% of the species) for biodiversity. If warming levels were held to 2°C, 100% of the area would remain a climatic refugia and the area would remain climatically suitable for 96.7% of its terrestrial biodiversity. Between 1961-1990 and 1991-2020 the average monthly temperature has increased by 0.4° – 0.8°C. With warming levels of 1.5°C the new average monthly temperature is equivalent to that only seen 1 in 20 years in 1961-1990 for all months. Seven months have seen declines in precipitation (especially April), and the rest wetter, especially January and October. Models project that April - July and September will become drier and the rest increase. The number of months with severe drought has more than doubled between 1961-1990 and 1986-2015. Biodiversity adaptation options generally only allow for business-as-usual conservation to 4.0°C, taking into account changes in extreme events (especially heat and severe drought). The human population around the park is projected to increase substantially and this could impact on the park needing carefully monitoring. Between 1992 and 2020 areas in the park have already been converted into agricultural land.

Item Type: Book
Uncontrolled Keywords: protected areas, biodiversity, climate change,sdg 13 - climate action,sdg 15 - life on land,sdg 14 - life below water ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/climate_action
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
University of East Anglia Research Groups/Centres > Theme - ClimateUEA
UEA Research Groups: University of East Anglia Schools > Faculty of Science > Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
Faculty of Science > Research Centres > Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Environmental Biology
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Climatic Research Unit
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Centre for Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Centres > Water Security Research Centre
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2024 11:30
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2024 06:30
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/95809
DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.12666771

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