Biodiversity and Climate Change

Topics: Global warming, Carbon dioxide, Atmosphere Pages: 6 (1705 words) Published: April 10, 2013
ENV 107
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Professor Dr. S.M. Atiqul Islam

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Biological diversity, or biodiversity, refers to the variety of life on Earth. As defined by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, it includes diversity of ecosystems, species and genes, and the ecological processes that support them. Natural diversity in ecosystems provides essential economic benefits and services to human society—such as food, clothing, shelter, fuel and medicines—as well as ecological, recreational, cultural and aesthetic values, and thus plays an important role in sustainable development. Biodiversity is under threat in many areas of the world. Concern about global biodiversity loss has emerged as a prominent and widespread public issue. We recognize the importance of biodiversity conservation and support it through our values, performance, and communication and engagement.

Types of biodiversity
Genetic diversity - the genetic variability within a species. Species diversity - the variety of species within a community. Ecosystem diversity - the organization of species in an area into distinctive plant and animal communities Why Is Biodiversity Important? Who Cares?

Why is Biodiversity important? Does it really matter if there aren’t so Biodiversity boosts ecosystem productivity where each species, no matter how small, all have an important role to play. For example, a larger number of plant species means a greater variety of crops; greater species diversity ensures natural sustainability for all life forms; and healthy ecosystems can better withstand and recover from a variety of disasters. And so, while we dominate this planet, we still need to preserve the diversity in wildlife. Loss of Biodiversity and Extinctions

It has long been feared that human activity is causing massive extinctions. Despite increased efforts at conservation, it has not been enough and biodiversity losses continue. The costs associated with deteriorating or vanishing ecosystems will be high. However, sustainable development and consumption would help avert ecological problems.

Ecological effects of biodiversity
The diversity of species and genes in ecological communities affects the functioning of these communities. These ecological effects of biodiversity in turn affect both climate change through enhanced greenhouse gases, aerosols and loss of land cover, and biological diversity, causing a rapid loss of ecosystems and extinctions of species and local populations. The current rate of extinction is sometimes considered a mass extinction, with current species extinction rates on the order of 100 to 1000 times as high as in the past.[1] The two main areas where the effects of biodiversity on ecosystem function have been studied are the relationship between diversity and productivity, and the relationship between diversity and community stability. More biologically diverse communities appear to be more productive (in terms of biomass production) than are less diverse communities, and they appear to be more stable in the face of perturbations.

Climate Change:
Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average weather conditions, or in the distribution of weather around the average conditions (i.e., more or fewer extreme weather events). Climate change is caused by factors that include oceanic processes (such as oceanic circulation), variations in solar radiation received by Earth, plate tectonics and volcanic eruptions, and human-induced alterations of the natural world; these latter effects are currently causing global warming, and "climate change" is often used to describe human-specific impacts.

Climate Change Effects on Biodiversity
Rapid global warming can affect ecosystems...
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