Journal Highlights

Climate Change Could Leave Big Mark on Earth’s Landscape

Press Release—

The rapid pace of climate change is making it difficult for species to adapt to changes in temperature, water cycles, and other environmental conditions that affect life on Earth, new research finds.

Climate change will replace land use change as the major driver of changes in Earth’s biosphere in the 21st century if greenhouse gas emissions aren’t curbed, new research suggests.

Historically, human land use change, like urban development and agricultural expansion, has been the primary cause of anthropogenic ecosystem change. For example, more than 4.5 billion hectares (17.4 million square miles) of the planet has been converted into land for growing crops and feeding livestock, roughly 30 percent of Earth’s land surface area.

But now, due to rising greenhouse gas levels, climate change has become a growing threat to ecosystems. The rapid pace of climate change is making it difficult for species to adapt to changes in temperature, water cycles, and other environmental conditions that affect life on Earth....more

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