Earth Science News  





. Sweeping Changes To Global Climate Seen By 2100

The trend poses the greatest threat to areas of rich, but threatened, animal and plant life, in regions such as the Himalayas, the Philippines and African and South American mountain ranges. The changes could threaten some species with extinction and also displace or fragment local human populations.
by Staff Writers
Chicago (AFP) March 26, 2007
Many of the world's climate zones will vanish entirely by 2100, or be replaced by new, previously unseen ones, if global warming continues as expected, a study released Monday said.

Rising temperatures will force existing climate zones toward higher latitudes and higher elevations, squeezing out climates at the colder extremes, and leaving room for unfamiliar climes around the equator, the study predicted.

The sweeping climatic changes will likely affect huge swaths of land from the Indonesian rainforest to the Peruvian Andes, including many known hotspots of diversity, disrupting local ecological systems and populations.

"Our findings are a logical outcome of global warming scenarios that are driven by continued emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases," said Jack Williams, a professor of geography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and author of the paper.

"The warmest areas get warmer and move outside our current range of experience and the colder areas also get warmer and so those climates disappear."

Williams and colleagues from the University of Wyoming based their predictions on computer models that translate carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions into climate change. The emissions' estimates were taken from a report issued by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in February.

The models suggest that the climate zones covering as much as 48 percent of the earth's landmass could disappear by 2100.

By that point, close to 40 percent of the world's land surface area would also have a "novel" or new climate, according to the climate models.

Even if emission rates slowed due to mitigation strategies, the changes would still affect up to 20 percent of the earth's landmass in each scenario, the authors said.

As a geographic phenomenon, the disappearing climates would likely affect tropical highlands and regions near the poles including the Colombian and Peruvian Andes, Central America, African Rift Mountains, the Zambian and Angolan Highlands.

The trend poses the greatest threat to areas of rich, but threatened, animal and plant life, in regions such as the Himalayas, the Philippines and African and South American mountain ranges. The changes could threaten some species with extinction and also displace or fragment local human populations.

As for new or novel climate zones, the phenomenon will largely affect the tropics or sub-tropics, such as the Amazonian and Indonesian rainforests, where even subtle temperature variations can have far-reaching effects, Williams said.

The study is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Source: Agence France-Presse

Email This Article

Related Links
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Learn about Climate Science at TerraDaily.com

Himalayan Glacier Melting Observed From Space
Paris, France (SPX) Mar 28, 2007
The Himalaya, the "Roof of the World", source of the seven largest rivers of Asia are, like other mountain chains, suffering the effects of global warming. To assess the extent of melting of its 33 000 km2 of glaciers, scientists have been using a process they have been pioneering for some years.

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  



  • Life Or Death A Matter Of Luck In Japanese Quake
  • Japanese Earthquake Victims Spend Restless Night
  • Cyclone Kills 36 Displaces 50000 In Madagascar
  • Birth And Rebirth In New Orleans

  • Sweeping Changes To Global Climate Seen By 2100
  • Himalayan Glacier Melting Observed From Space
  • Smart Sunglasses And Goggles Let Users Adjust Shade And Color
  • Could Global Warming Melt All Ice On Earth

  • DMCii To Launch New Higher-Resolution Satellite Imaging Service
  • First Greenhouse Gas Animations Produced Using Envisat SCIAMACHY Data
  • GeoEye Acquires Leading Aerial Imagery Provider From GE Oil And Gas
  • Take A Closer Look At Our Planet At The Palais De La Decouverte In Paris

  • US Automakers Press Bush On Ethanol
  • Russian Diplomat Declares Ministry Committed To Energy Security
  • Consumer Electronics Firms Seek Edge By Going Green
  • Energy Club Is Not An OPEC Clone

  • Antibiotic Resistance In Plague
  • Researchers Find Best Way To Detect Airborne Pathogens
  • Bird Flu Found In Endangered Japanese Eagle
  • Genome Sequence Shows What Makes Bacteria Dangerous For Troops In Iraq

  • Monster Toad Found In Australia
  • Iron In Northwest Rivers Fuels Phytoplankton And Fish Populations
  • Science Of Metagenomics Will Transform Modern Microbiology
  • Researchers Figure Out What Makes A Simple Biological Clock Tick

  • Plastic That Degrades In Seawater Could Be Boon For Cruise Industry And Others
  • Visions Of A Green China Lost In The Haze
  • China Backs Away Fom Green Plan
  • Global Shipping Must Curb 'Unchecked' Pollution

  • The Mother Of All Tooth Decay
  • Man's Earliest Direct Ancestors Looked More Apelike Than Previously Believed
  • Hebron Settlers Spread Out
  • Moral Judgment Fails Without Feelings

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement