Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Climate change risk to islands under-estimated

Climate change risk to islands under-estimated.

Decades of work to create safe island havens for some of the world’s rarest species could be undone if sea levels rise as high as climate scientists predict, according to a new study.

Decades of work to create safe island havens for some of the world’s rarest species could be undone if sea levels rise as high as climate scientists predict, according to a new study.

Researchers say conservation projects on islands involving pest eradications and translocation of endangered species could be undone because many are low-lying and in danger of being submerged by sea level rises of up to 2.3 m by 2100.

The study estimates up to 20,000 islands globally could be entirely submerged threatening hundreds of endemic species with extinction. Of 604 islands where invasive species have been eradicated, 26 are predicted to be completely inundated at a sea level rise of 1m.

“New Zealand has led the world in pest eradications and translocations for decades, but with impending climate change, we will need to shift our focus to conservation programmes on larger islands such as Rakiura (Stewart I) and Aotea (Great Barrier I), and the New Zealand mainland,” says Dr James Russell of the University of Auckland’s School of Biological Sciences, co-author of the study involving researchers from the University of Paris Sud and Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

As well as rising sea levels, vulnerable species face a predicted increase in the number and intensity of cyclones, greater tidal ranges – causing more seawater flooding – and changing climatic conditions leading to habitat loss. And unlike their mainland counterparts, island species have nowhere to go.

“It may be that eventually we will be faced with some tough decisions about whether we move species in order to save them or whether we do nothing and let them go extinct,” Dr Russell says. “But one of the things we need to start thinking about now is which species are most at risk from rising sea levels and the options for saving them.”

Climate change and the looming threat from rising sea levels will need to be a key consideration for future island restoration work and it may be that larger islands at less risk of submersion will have to become a higher priority for invasive species eradication, the study concludes. The paper appears in this month’s issue of the prestigious international journal Trends in Ecology & Evolution. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2014.01.001

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Maritime: Navigation Safety Review Raises Big Issues For The Govt

Shipping Federation: "The reports makes it clear that the ratification of the Maritime Labour convention (MLC) is long overdue. Only when the MLC is ratified will Maritime NZ be able to inspect and enforce the labour conditions on international ships visiting our ports." More>>

ALSO:

100 Years After Einstein Prediction: Gravitational Waves Found

For the first time, scientists have observed ripples in the fabric of spacetime called gravitational waves, arriving at the earth from a cataclysmic event in the distant universe. This confirms a major prediction of Albert Einstein’s 1915 general theory of relativity and opens an unprecedented new window onto the cosmos. More>>

ALSO:

Farming: Alliance Plans To Start Docking Farmer Payments

Alliance Group, New Zealand's second-largest meat cooperative, plans to start withholding some stock payments to its farmers from next week to bolster its balance sheet and force suppliers to meet their share requirements. More>>

ALSO:

Gambling: SkyCity First Half Profit Rises 30%, Helped By High Rollers

SkyCity anticipates the Auckland business will benefit from government gaming concessions which were triggered on Nov. 11 in recognition of SkyCity’s $470 million Convention Centre development. Morrison said the concessions would allow the Auckland business to lift its activity during peak period, noting it had a record revenue week over the Christmas and New Year period. More>>

ALSO:

Money For Light: Kiwi Scientists Secure Preferential Access To Synchrotron

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce today announced a three-year investment of $2.8 million in the Australian Synchrotron, the largest piece of scientific infrastructure in the Southern Hemisphere, to secure preferential access for Kiwi scientists. More>>

Telco Industry Report: Investment Hits $1.7 Bln A Year

Investment in the telecommunications sector is $1.7 billion a year, proportionately one of the highest levels in the OECD, according to a report released today on the status of the New Zealand sector. More>>

ALSO:

PGPs: New Programme Sets Sights On Strong Wool

A new collaboration between The New Zealand Merino Company (NZM) and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), announced today, aims to deliver premiums for New Zealand's strong wool sector... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news