A warming world is reducing global biodiversity and threatening the provision of ecosystem services that people depend on, say scientists contributing to the report Technical Input to the 2013 National Climate Assessment.
Climate change is causing plant and animal species to shift their geographic ranges, altering the timing of life events and creating new community compositions at a faster rate than scientists had earlier predicted. Species with narrow environmental tolerances and those unable to move or to adjust timing of their migration or reproduction face increased risk of extinction. Also extremely vulnerable are species that already suffer from human-caused stressors such as pollution, exploitation and habitat destruction.
Human populations are at risk if extreme weather events and changes in precipitation patterns overwhelm natural systems.
Climate change is causing natural resource managers to alter their approaches to conservation, according to a press release from the U.S. Geological Survey.
The technical input report provides the scientific basis for the quadrennial assessment. More than 60 scientists from federal agencies, academic institutions and other organizations, including the U.S. Geological Survey, Arizona State University-Tempe and the National Wildlife Federation contributed to the assessment.