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

 

Wine: 20% Of Marlborough Storage Tanks Damaged By Quake

An estimated 20 percent of wine storage tanks in the Marlborough region, the country’s largest wine producing area, have been damaged by the impact of the recent Kaikoura earthquake. More>>

ALSO:

ACC: Levy Recommendations For 2017 – 2019 Period

• For car owners, a 13% reduction in the average Motor Vehicle levy • For businesses, a 10% reduction in the average Work levy, and changes to workplace safety incentive products • For employees, due to an increase in claims volumes and costs, a 3% increase in the Earners’ levy. More>>

Women's Affairs: Government Accepts Recommendations On Pay Equity

The Government will update the Equal Pay Act and amend the Employment Relations Act to implement recommendations of the Joint Working Group on Pay Equity. More>>

ALSO:

Immigration: Increase In Seasonal Workers For RSE

The current cap will be increased by 1,000 from 9,500 to 10,500 RSE workers for the 2016-17 season. Mr Woodhouse says the horticulture and viticulture industry is New Zealand’s fourth largest export industry, producing almost $5 billion in exports. More>>

ALSO:

Hurunui: Crown Irrigation Invests Up To $3.4m In North Canterbury

Crown Irrigation Investments will invest up to $3.4m in the Hurunui Water Project, an irrigation scheme that will be capable of irrigating up to 21,000 hectares on the south side of the Hurunui River in North Canterbury. More>>

ALSO:

Not So Great:Butterfly Eradication Success

The invasive pest great white butterfly has been eradicated from New Zealand in a world-first achievement, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and Conservation Minister Maggie Barry say. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Government’s Tax Cuts Fixation

Long before the earthquake hit, the dodginess of the government tax cuts programnme was evident in the language of its packaging. It is being touted as a “tax cuts and family care” package... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news