Tuesday, 1 April 2014

IPCC report: climate impacts on wildlife

Plants, animals and entire ecosystems are on the move as rising temperatures force species to seek out cooler climes

Jessica Aldred

theguardian.com, Monday 31 March 2014 12.31 BST

One focus of the latest report from the UN panel on climate change is the impact on Earth's ecosystems. The report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says that in recent decades, many plant and animal species have moved their range, changed numbers or shifted their seasonal activities as a result of warmer temperatures.

Moving on up
Species are matching temperature rises by increasingly shifting their range (the geographic area to which their activity is confined) towards the cooler poles or higher altitudes – sometimes three times faster than previously thought. Species that already inhabit the upper limit of their habitat – such as the polar bear, snow leopard or dotterel – literally have nowhere left to go.

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