Wednesday, 17 October 2012

COP 11 biological diversity: Climate change and global warming will result in the death of a number of plant and animal species, affecting the earth’s vast biological diversity. The UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) estimates that each degree rise in temperature will place an additional 10 per cent of species at increased risks of extinction

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad:  Climate change and global warming will result in the
death of a number of plant and animal species, affecting the earth’s
vast biological diversity. The UN Convention on Biological Diversity
(CBD) estimates that each degree rise in temperature will place an
additional 10 per cent of species at increased risks of extinction

The CBD has also admitted that there is ample scientific evidence that
climate change affects biodiversity. Climate change, according to the
Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, is likely to become the dominant
direct driver of biodiversity loss by the end of the century.

It is already forcing biodiversity to adapt through either changing
habitat, life cycles, or development of new physical traits. This, in
turn, will affect vital ecosystem services for all humans, such as air
and water purification, pollination and production of food,
decomposition and nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration.

“The average global temperature from 1850 to 2005 increased by about
0.76 degrees Celsius. A further increase of 1.4 degrees C to 5.8
degrees C is projected by 2100. The global mean sea level rose by 12
to 22 cm during the last 100 years,” a CBD fact sheet released at the
COP-11 here said.

Conservation of habitats reduces the amount of greenhouse gasses
released into the atmosphere and helps communities adapt to climate
change. Greenhouse gases act like the glass roof of a greenhouse by
trapping heat and warming the planet.

The CBD points out that levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere
are rapidly increasing, warming the Earth’s surface and lower
atmosphere. Higher temperatures lead to climate change and damage to
biodiversity.

Biodiversity can also help reduce the effects of climate change.
Conserving healthy ecosystems can reduce the disastrous impacts of
climate change such as flooding and storm surges while genetic
resources can help people adapt to increased crop disease.
If we act now to reduce emissions and implement ecosystem-based
approaches to adaptation,

“We can address the risk of species extinctions and limit damage to
ecosystems. We can preserve intact habitats and reduce other threats
to biodiversity, especially those sensitive to climate change; improve
our understanding of the climate change-biodiversity relationship; and
view biodiversity as a solution to climate change,” it added.

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