ad info

 
CNN.com  nature
  Editions | myCNN | Video | Audio | Headline News Brief | Feedback  

 

  Search
 
 

 
NATURE
TOP STORIES

New hurdles hamper Galapagos oil spill cleanup

Insight, Prius lead the hybrid-powered fleet

Picture: Indonesia's Merapi volcano erupts

(MORE)

TOP STORIES

Up to 2,000 killed in India quake; fear of aftershocks spreads

Clinton aide denies reports of White House vandalism

New hurdles hamper Galapagos oil-spill cleanup

Two more Texas fugitives will contest extradition

(MORE)

MARKETS
4:30pm ET, 4/16
144.70
8257.60
3.71
1394.72
10.90
879.91
 


WORLD

U.S.

POLITICS

LAW

TECHNOLOGY

ENTERTAINMENT

HEALTH

TRAVEL

FOOD

ARTS & STYLE



(MORE HEADLINES)
*
  E-MAIL:
Subscribe to one of our news e-mail lists.
Enter your address:
Or:
Get a free e-mail account

 DISCUSSION:
 message boards
 chat
 feedback

  CNN WEB SITES:
CNN Websites
 AsiaNow
 En Español
 Em Português
 Svenska
 Norge
 Danmark
 Italian

 FASTER ACCESS:
 europe
 japan

 TIME INC. SITES:
 CNN NETWORKS:
Networks image
 more networks
 transcripts

 SITE INFO:
 help
 contents
 search
 ad info
 jobs

 WEB SERVICES:
CNN e-store


Arctic warming signals dire straits for birds

The emperor goose is one of many Arctic birds that will feel the effects of climate change and habitat loss in the region, researchers say  
ENN



April 5, 2000
Web posted at: 12:24 p.m. EDT (1624 GMT)

Climate change could cut rare Arctic bird populations in half, according to a study released Monday by the Worldwide Fund for Nature.

Using climate models, scientists from the World Conservation Monitoring Centre assessed the effects of temperature and shrinking habitat on water birds in the Arctic region.

During the past century, global mean temperature increased by .9 degrees Fahrenheit. Nowhere on the planet has the warming been more striking than in the Arctic, where average temperatures have risen as much as 2.7 F per decade since the 1960s, the researchers note.

  MESSAGE BOARD
 

In the next 70 to 100 years, scientists predict that the concentration of carbon dioxide in the environment could double. Arctic habitats are expected to be among the first biomes to show the direct impact of climate change.

The report warns that higher temperatures will cause wooded forests to advance northward, replacing the Arctic tundra, an essential breeding area for millions of birds.

Arctic water birds most threatened by the global warming include the critically endangered red-breasted goose, tundra bean goose, spoon-billed sandpiper and emperor goose.

The white-fronted goose is another Arctic bird threatened by global warming  

With a global temperature increase of only 1.7 degrees by 2070, all of these birds would lose more than 50 percent of their habitat, the report notes.

More than two-thirds of all geese and nearly 95 percent of all calidrid waders breed in the Arctic. The study forecasts that a 40 percent to 57 percent loss of tundra in the next 100 years may mean a loss of habitat for 5 million geese and 7.5 million calidrid waders.

While some scientists argue that the birds might adjust to their changing surroundings, others argue that many species such as waders, cannot physically adapt to brushy or tree-like habitats.

"This study once more underlines the urgent need to reduce the emissions of global warming gases to slow the rate of climate change," the researchers write. "In order to facilitate adaptation to a changed climate, we need to seriously consider changes in habitat management."

One possible strategy is the introduction of more grazing animals such as reindeer to the area to keep encroaching forests at bay and preserve the tundra.

The authors will present their findings at the Arctic Science Summit Week in Cambridge, England, which ends April 7.

Copyright 1999, Environmental News Network, All Rights Reserved



RELATED STORIES:
Global warming serves notice for public health
March 28, 2000
Ocean tides found to influence climate
March 27, 2000
Panel to world powers: Pay the price of global warming
March 15, 2000
Texaco quits global warming group
March 1, 2000
Arctic expert unthaws alarming data on ice thinning
January 3, 2000

RELATED ENN STORIES:
Global warming ruffles wildlife, study says
Birds may sing a song of climate change
Wolf response to climate change studied
Gray whales may be starving, expert says
Climate change propels plague, study says

RELATED SITES:
Worldwide Fund for Nature
World Conservation Monitoring Centre
climate change
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change


Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

 Search   


Back to the top   © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.