Biodiversity, Temperatures Rising & Wild Fires.
Today we will speak about “wild fires and the influence they have on our biodiversity and on ourselves”.
She does not need US! We need her!
We going to learn from the “CENTER for BOLOGICAL DIVERSITY” Annual Report 2011.
That they made a landmark agreement that will speed protection decisions for 757 struggling animals and plants — a watershed moment in Endangered Species Act history. Other major victories included pushing for a 20-year ban on new Grand Canyon uranium mining, winning 2.2 million acres of critical habitat, beating back an “extinction rider” in Congress that would have slashed the budget for species protection, defending polar bears’ protected status and stopping the killing of Oregon wolves — and we won’t stop there. We’re looking forward to telling you about all our 2012 wins, too.
Wow! Bravo! Without those NGOs we would be in the total darkness of without information on the state of our Earth.
We have a HUGE variety of animals and plants on our planet. Lots of cogs, pullies and wheels (animals, plants and environments) working together. Depending on each other in so many ways. Creating a green, blue healthy world that you, us, everyone depends on.
For food, fuel, medicine and other essentials that we simply cannot live without.
Sure this machine can take some knocks and bruises and it can bounce back. Stretch; Adapt; Mend.
It is part of what makes it so marvelously wonderful.
But we’re beginning to pull and stretch it further than it has ever been stretched before.
We’re entering unknown territory where some of the extinctions we are causing may have deep and profound effects on how we live our lives.
In the grand time scale of our planet, these effects may be currently seen as the equivalent of storm clouds gathering on the horizon.
Rest assured, the storm is coming.
A team of British scientists contends that, within 200 years, Earth’s temperatures may become hot enough to kill off half of all existing plant and animal species.
The researchers from the Universities of York and Leeds in Britain base that dire possibility on a new analysis of the 520-million-year-old fossil record, which links past mass extinctions with cycles of high temperatures.
So scientists Link Extinctions and Rising Temperatures. Benton and his colleagues lay out their findings in a paper that appeared in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
Measuring in ten-million-year increments, the researchers found a correlation between high temperatures and four of five mass extinctions in Earth’s fossil record.
No other research had examined both the entire globe and the entire fossil record, which begins about 540 million years ago. This analysis makes the strongest case yet for a solid link between temperature and changes in the number of species on Earth.
Michael Foote, a paleontologist at the University of Chicago, who was not involved in the study, says: ” This is the first time anyone has studied the diversity of animals at a global scale and went back to estimates of temperature over time.”
According to the research, Earth is in a process, millions of years long, of moving from colder to warmer temperatures—from the “icehouse phase” to the “greenhouse phase.” The Earth will reach the peak of its latest warming phase in the next 60 million years.
Still, the authors say it may be possible to avoid some of the future extinctions if humans work to control temperatures.
“The issue here is that we are creating the climate change, and we are creating the climate change at an unprecedented rate,” said Benton. “So clearly we are creating the events for a climate-related mass extinction that wouldn’t otherwise be happening.”
Those statements echo other controversial ideas. The International Panel on Climate Change, which recently shared ( the Nobel Peace Prize with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, has warned of a possible drop in biodiversity if temperatures rise by three or four degrees.
And last year, experts from 13 countries wrote an article in the journal Nature saying that climate change could push 37 percent of all species to extinction within the next 50 years.
“We are on the verge of a major biodiversity crisis”. “Virtually all aspects of diversity are in steep decline and a large number of populations and species are likely to become extinct this century”.
Understanding the impacts of fire on the environment is important. The ecologically sustainable management of forest ecosystems depends on understanding the processes involved in carbon and nutrient cycling, involvement of organisms in these processes, and how they contribute to biodiversity conservation.
Forests also play important roles in Australia’s carbon budget, through accumulation of carbon, above and below ground. Low intensity fires are used extensively in managed forests in Australia and there is a need to better estimate the impacts of repeated fire on plant and animal communities.
This project focused on nutrient fluxes under different fire regimes, investigated the roles played by mycorrhiza and decomposer fungi; their inter-relationships with plants and invertebrates and likely impacts on ecosystem processes and carbon cycling. The knowledge is helping land managers to protect life and property while maintaining ecological processes essential to ecosystem health and productivity, and improving awareness and understanding of the role of fire in biodiversity management.
Fire serves an important function in maintaining the health of certain ecosystems, but as a result of changes in climate and in human use (and misuse) of fire, fires are now a threat to many forests and their biodiversity.
Forest fires at the global scale, they are a significant source of emitted carbon, contributing to global warming which could lead to biodiversity changes. At the regional and local level, they lead to change in biomass stocks, alter the hydrological cycle with subsequent effects for marine systems such as coral reefs, and impact plant and animal species’ functioning. Smoke from fires can significantly reduce photosynthetic activity (Davies and Unam, 1999) and can be detrimental to health of humans and animals.
The consequence of repeated burns is detrimental because it is a key factor in the impoverishment of biodiversity in rain forest ecosystems. Fires can be followed by insect colonization and infestation, which disturb the ecological balance.
The replacement of vast areas of forest with pyrophytic grasslands is one of the most negative ecological impacts of fires in tropical rain forests. These processes have already been observed in parts of Indonesia and Amazonia (Turvey, 1994; Cochrane et al., 1999; Nepstad, Moreira and Alencar, 1999). What was once a dense evergreen forest becomes an impoverished forest populated by a few fire-resistant tree species and a ground cover of weedy grasses (Cochrane et al., 1999). In North Queensland in Australia, it has been observed that where the aboriginal fire practices and fire regimes were controlled, rain forest vegetation started to replace the fire-prone tree-grass savannahs (Stocker, 1981).
- Smoke from Arctic wildfires may have caused Greenland’s record thaw. Satellite images suggest soot particles settled over ice sheet making it absorb more heat during last year’s extreme melting.
- Wild fires threaten biodiversity hotspot on Canary Islands.
- Fires are destroying the main biodiversity hotspots in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
- Forest fires in Belize.
- Australia adds new color to temperature maps as heat soars. Forecast temperatures are so extreme that the Bureau of Meteorology has had to add a new color to its scale. It is a sign of things to come.
- Extreme weather:We’re gambling with lives at ever worsening odds. The IPCC report on climate change and natural disasters shows clearly the rising risks to lives and livelihoods. Betting on action is the only moral choice. Says the: guardian.co.uk
- With about 20,000 species of vascular plants, a similar number of species of non-vascular plants, 5800 species of vertebrateanimals, over 200,000 species of invertebrates and 250,000 species of fungi, the biodiversity of Australia is immense. Considering that fires may affect most of the land surface of Australia, there are many opportunities for fires affect biodiversity. A number of principles relating fires to biodiversity are known but how fires affect all Australian species is far from well known. Even among vascular plants we have recorded only the crudest type of response to fires for a little over ten per cent of the flora.
- By understanding relationships between organisms of different trophic levels and how fires affect them, rather than studying how fires affect different species at different trophic levels separately, a more comprehensive appreciation of the effects of fires on biodiversity can be obtained.
Fires affect biodiversity – animal and plant, hidden and apparent. There are interactions between plants and fires because plants supply the fuels for fires that, in turn, affect the plants. Animals, too, depend on plants as food, protective cover and nesting or roosting sites. Knowledge of the degree of dependence of fires and animals on plants is important to the understanding of ecosystem function and conservation; it provides a little explored avenue for future research.
Viewed by someone not from our world, it could be seen as one big, finely tuned and ultimately incredible machine. WWF says. Our planet is simply amazing!