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NASA Study Predicts Change in Forty Percent of Land Based Ecosystems Due to Climate Change

In a report released earlier this month, NASA, in conjunction with California Institute of Technology at Pasadena concluded that by 2100 nearly 40 percent of land based ecosystems will undergo a change from one type of ecological community to another. Thus, the study concludes the changes in plant and animal life that will occur as a result of these changes will require humans and animals to “adapt and often relocate.”

In a press release describing the study results it was noted:

“In addition to altering plant communities, the study predicts climate change will disrupt the ecological balance between interdependent and often endangered plant and animal species, reduce biodiversity and adversely affect Earth’s water, energy, carbon and other element cycles …. The researchers found a shift of biomes, or major ecological community types, toward Earth’s poles – most dramatically in temperate grasslands and boreal forests – and toward higher elevations. Ecologically sensitive “hotspots” – areas projected to undergo the greatest degree of species turnover – that were identified by the study include regions in the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau, eastern equatorial Africa, Madagascar, the Mediterranean region, southern South America, and North America’s Great Lakes and Great Plains areas.”

-Steven M. Silverberg