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The biodiversity crisis: Worse than climate change
Date:1/19/2012

Biodiversity is declining rapidly throughout the world. The challenges of conserving the world's species are perhaps even larger than mitigating the negative effects of global climate change. Dealing with the biodiversity crisis requires political will and needs to be based on a solid scientific knowledge if we are to ensure a safe future for the planet. This is the main conclusion from scientists from University of Copenhagen, after 100 researchers and policy experts from EU countries were gathered this week at the University of Copenhagen to discuss how to organise the future UN Intergovernmental Panel for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, IPBES - an equivalent to the UN panel on climate change (IPCC).

Biodiversity is declining rapidly throughout the worldSpecies extinction and the degradation of ecosystems are proceeding rapidly and the pace is accelerating. The world is losing species at a rate that is 100 to 1000 times faster than the natural extinction rate.

Mass extinctions of species have occurred five times previously in the history of the world last time was 65 million years ago when the dinosaurs and many other species disappeared. Previous periods of mass extinction and ecosystem change were driven by global changes in climate and in atmospheric chemistry, impacts by asteroids and volcanism. Now we are in the 6th mass extinction event, which is a result of a competition for resources between one species on the planet humans and all others. The process towards extinction is mainly caused by habitat degradation, whose effect on biodiversity is worsened by the ongoing human-induced climate change.

"The biodiversity crisis i.e. the rapid loss of species and the rapid degradation of ecosystems is probably a greater threat than global climate change to the stability and prosperous future of mankind on Earth. There is a need for scientists, politicians and government authorities to closely collaborate if we are to solve t
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Contact: Carsten Rahbek
crahbek@bio.ku.dk
01-145-409-63967
University of Copenhagen
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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