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“Biological Annihilation” – global warming’s effect on plant and animal species

Dahr Jamail | Scientists Warn of “Biological Annihilation” as Warming Reaches Levels Unseen for 115,000 YearsJuly 31, 2017By Dahr JamailTruthout | Report Camp 41, Brazilian Amazon –– Less than 30 years ago, the Earth’s tropical rainforests held the carbon equivalent of half of the entire atmosphere. But as atmospheric CO2 has escalated along with the deforestation of so much of the tropics, that is no longer the case. Nevertheless, carbon stored in tropical rainforests is still significant. According to NASA, “In the early 2000s, forests in the 75 tropical countries studied contained 247 billion tons of carbon. For perspective, about 10 billion tons of carbon is released annually to the atmosphere from combined fossil fuel burning and land use changes.” This is one of the countless reasons why losing them would be catastrophic to life on Earth.

I’m writing this dispatch just having emerged from the heart of the Amazon, the most biodiverse place on the planet. I was fortunate enough to spend some time with Tom Lovejoy, known as the “Godfather of Biodiversity,” at the famous Camp 41, which is filled with researchers and scientists. Throughout our conversations, Lovejoy emphasized the staggering amount of biological diversity in the Amazon, which has thousands upon thousands of species of trees, fish, birds, plants and astronomical numbers of insect species.

“We’ve only scratched the surface, and are discovering new species of birds all the time,” said Lovejoy, who was the first person to use the term “biological diversity” in 1980 and made the first projection of global extinction rates in the “Global 2000 Report to the President” that same year……..

Lovejoy warns that as anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD)  progresses and temperature limits continue to be exceeded, we are losing parts of the biosphere that we don’t even know exist……..

Having long since warned that the Sixth Mass Extinction event is already well underway, in a study recently published in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers said that billions of populations of animals have already disappeared from Earth, amid what they called a “biological annihilation,” and admitted that their findings revealed a situation that was worse than they’d previously thought. The study showed that more than 30 percent of all vertebrates are experiencing declining populations, and the prime drivers of the annihilation are human overpopulation and overconsumption, especially by the rich, as well as habitat destruction, pollution and of course, ACD…..

recently published research generated at Cornell University revealed that by 2100, a staggering 2 billion people, or one-fifth of the total global human population, could become ACD refugees due to rising seas alone.

“We’re going to have more people on less land and sooner than we think,” lead author Charles Geisler, professor emeritus of development sociology at Cornell, said. “The future rise in global mean sea level probably won’t be gradual. Yet, few policy makers are taking stock of the significant barriers to entry that coastal climate refugees, like other refugees, will encounter when they migrate to higher ground.”…..

Water: As usual, there is ample evidence of ACD’s impacts across the watery realms…..

Air: Hot temperature records and extreme heat waves continue to be the norm, and they are intensifying…..http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/41425-biological-annihilation-trillion-ton-icebergs-warming-levels-unseen-for-115-000-years

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August 2, 2017 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, environment

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