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

 

Our Fresh Water: Monitoring Report Confirms Serious Challenges For Rivers

• nitrogen levels are getting worse at 55 percent and getting better at 28 percent of monitored river sites across New Zealand • phosphorus levels are getting better at 42 percent and getting worse at 25 percent of monitored river sites across New Zealand More>>

ALSO:

Stats: Wind And Geothermal Emerge As Significant Sources Of Energy

Geothermal’s contribution to New Zealand’s total renewable energy generation increased from 11.5 percent in 2007 to 21 percent in 2015.... The value of wind jumped from $238 million (2 percent of total renewable energy generation) in 2007 to $884 million (6 percent) in 2015. More>>

Errors Found: Electricity Authority Dumps Transmission Pricing Modelling

The Electricity Authority is ditching the cost-benefit analysis at the heart of its controversial attempt to find a new way to divide up costs for the national grid after finding an expanding range of serious computational errors in the work by Australian consultancy Oakley Greenwood. More>>

ALSO:

New Record: Migrant Arrivals At 129,500 A Year

Annual net migration has been steadily increasing since 2012. "This was mainly due to the rising number of migrant arrivals to New Zealand," population statistics senior manager Peter Dolan said. "Fewer migrant departures also contributed to the increase in net migration." More>>

ALSO:

Launched: NASA's Super Pressure Balloon Takes Flight From NZ

NASA successfully launched its football-stadium-sized, heavy-lift super pressure balloon (SPB) from Wanaka, New Zealand, at10:50 a.m. Tuesday, April 25 (6:50 p.m. April 24 in U.S. Eastern Time), on a mission designed to run 100 or more days floating at 110,000 feet (33.5 km) about the globe in the southern hemisphere's mid-latitude band. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news