A review in Science co-authored by INTAROS researcher dr. scient. Finn Danielsen warns that communities and economies from the tropics to the poles are being affected as species are already responding to climate change. Previous studies have shown that land based species are moving polewards by an average of 17 km per decade, and marine species by 72 km per decade.
The new study demonstrates how these changes are affecting worldwide ecosystems and human health and culture in the process. For instance, fish, forests, and crops are at risk as their environments change. Tensions are emerging as species move between economic zones, or due to disputes over competing land uses. Threats such as insect-borne diseases are becoming more prevalent as rising temperatures allow the poleward spread of disease-carrying insects into regions where people have not had prior exposure. Changes in distribution of fish and reindeer are impacting food security and traditional knowledge systems of Arctic peoples. The study concludes that additional action is needed to better consider species range-shifts in the formulation of goals, policies and management actions at local to international scales. One way to shorten the distance from observation to action, recommended by the study, is to increase the involvement of citizens and local community members in observing the environment.
Check out the full article "Biodiversity redistribution under climate change: Impacts on ecosystems and human well-being", in Vol. 355, Issue 6332 of SCIENCE published on 31 March 2017.
8 May 2017