Only 3% of the ecosystems are intact: the rest is climate crisis. Congo, Amazonia, parts of the Sahara, Siberan and Canadian tundra are the last intact. The new estimate is the result of a scientific study published in Frontiers in Forests and Global Change, which proposes a solution to improve the biodiversity of these areas and expand them.
To reverse the trend and help ecosystems to restore themselves, the authors of the study suggest reintroducing a small number of species that can have a profound and positive impact on the entire habitat. Each situation is obviously a case in itself.
But the study gives some examples. This new work goes down to earth and argues that what appears intact from space is actually not. The problem is that many fundamental animal species are missing, which puts these ecosystems in a dangerous imbalance.
The new assessment combines maps of human damage to habitats with other maps, which show regions where animal species have disappeared from their original ranges. Or where they are too few in number to keep an ecosystem healthy.
Antarctica towards collapse
A third of Antarctica's glaciers are already collapsing. The Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii said the average daily atmospheric CO2 concentration is 421.21 parts per million. University of Reading said instead that if we fail to contain the rise in temperatures, a third of the surface of the Antarctic ice shelf could collapse into the sea.
This could lead to rising sea levels with all the direct consequences. Ella Gilbert, of the University of Reading, said: "Ice shelves are important buffers that prevent glaciers on earth from flowing freely into the ocean and contributing to sea level rise.
When they collapse, it is as if a giant cork from a bottle allowing unimaginable quantities of water from glaciers to flow into the sea. We know that when melted ice builds up on the surface of ice shelves, it can cause them to fracture and collapse.
Previous research has given us the bigger picture in terms of predicting the decline of the Antarctic ice shelf, but our new study uses the latest modeling techniques with more specific detail to provide more accurate predictions.
The findings underscore the importance of limiting global temperature rise as set out in the Paris Agreement if we are to avoid the worst consequences of climate change, including sea level rise." In the study published in Geophysical Research Letters, the researchers warn us, through the use of forecasting models and climatic details, that in the event of a 4 ° C increase in global temperatures, 34% of the area of all Antarctic ice shelves would be at risk of collapse.
There is talk of half a million square kilometers of ice that could destabilize. According to experts, being able to limit the temperature rise to 2 ° C instead of 4 ° C would be key to halving the risk area and potentially avoid a significant rise in sea level.
The study published in Geophysical Research Letters said that if global temperatures rise by 4 ° C, 34% of the area of all Antarctic ice shelves would be at risk of collapse.