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New world map for overcoming climate change
Date:9/16/2013

NEW YORK -- Using data from the world's ecosystems and predictions of how climate change will impact them, scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society, the University of Queensland, and Stanford University have produced a roadmap that identifies the world's most vulnerable and least vulnerable areas in the Age of Climate Change.

The authors say the vulnerability map will help governments, environmental agencies, and donors identify areas where to best invest in protected area establishment, restoration efforts, and other conservation activities so as to have the biggest return on investment in saving ecosystems and the services they provide to wildlife and people alike.

The study appears in an online version of the journal Nature Climate Change. The authors include: Dr James Watson of the Wildlife Conservation Society and the University of Queensland; Dr Takuya Iwamura of Stanford University; and Nathalie Butt of the University of Queensland.

"We need to realize that climate change is going to impact ecosystems both directly and indirectly in a variety of ways and we can't keep on assuming that all adaptation actions are suitable everywhere. The fact is there is only limited funds out there and we need to start to be clever in our investments in adaptation strategies around the world,," said Dr. James Watson, Director of WCS's Climate Change Program and lead author of the Nature study. "The analysis and map in this study is a means of bringing clarity to complicated decisions on where limited resources will do the most good."

The researchers argue that almost all climate change assessments to date are incomplete in that they assess how future climate change is going to impact landscapes and seascapes, without considering the fact that most of these landscapes have modified by human activities in different ways, making them more or less susceptible to climate change.

A vulnerability map produ
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Contact: Stephen Sautner
ssautner@wcs.org
718-220-3682
Wildlife Conservation Society
Source:Eurekalert

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