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Intact ecosystems provide best defence against climate change

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https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160128113840.htm

January 28, 2016  Wildlife Conservation Society

Worldwide responses to climate change could leave people worse off in the future according to a recent study conducted by CSIRO, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the University of Queensland. The paper, “Intact ecosystems provide the best defense against climate change,” published in Nature Climate Change, discusses how certain adaptation strategies may have a negative impact on nature which in turn will impact people in the long-term.

“In response to climate change, many local communities around the world are rapidly adjusting their livelihood practices to cope with climate change, sometimes with catastrophic implications for nature,” according to CSIRO’s principal research scientist Dr. Tara Martin…

…The paper states that intact native forests have been shown to reduce the frequency and severity of floods, while coral reefs can reduce wave energy by an average of 97 per cent, providing a more cost-effective defense from storm surges than engineered structures.

Likewise, coastal ecosystems such as mangroves and tidal marshes are proving to be a more cost-effective and ecologically sound alternative to buffering storms than conventional coastal engineering solutions….

Tara G. Martin, James E. M. Watson. Intact ecosystems provide best defence against climate change. Nature Climate Change, 2016; 6 (2): 122 DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2918

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