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Conservation Science for a Healthy Planet

Climate change already dramatically disrupting all elements of nature

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Climate change already dramatically disrupting all elements of nature

Posted: 10 Nov 2016 08:55 AM PST

Global changes in temperature due to human-induced climate change have already impacted every aspect of life on Earth from genes to entire ecosystems, with increasingly unpredictable consequences for humans, according to a new study.

The study found a staggering 80 percent of 94 ecological processes that form the foundation for healthy marine, freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems already show signs of distress and response to climate change.

Impacts to humans include increased pests and disease outbreaks, reduced productivity in fisheries, and decreasing agriculture yields.

“There is now clear evidence that, with only a ~1 degree C of warming globally, very major impacts are already being felt,” said study lead author Dr Brett Scheffers of the University of Florida. “Genes are changing, species’ physiology and physical features such as body size are changing, species are rapidly moving to keep track of suitable climate space, and there are now signs of entire ecosystems under stress.”…

Watson et al. The broad footprint of climate change from genes to biomes to people. Science, November 2016 DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf7671

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