Protecting and enhancing wildlife populations could be a global warming game changer
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Global Rewilding Alliance
New science published today reveals that protecting and enhancing the populations of even a limited number of wildlife species could help to keep rising global temperatures below the critical 1.5 °C threshold

GENEVA - eMusicWire -- New science published today reveals that protecting and enhancing the populations of even a limited number of wildlife species could help to keep rising global temperatures below the critical 1.5 °C threshold, while simultaneously reversing biodiversity decline and offering multiple other benefits.

These are the findings of a new paper published today in the leading journal Nature Climate Change.

The paper, co-authored by 15 scientists from eight countries, outlines how the restoration of such populations would "supercharge" ecosystem carbon sinks, thereby helping to keep rising global temperatures below the critical 1.5°C threshold.

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Rewilding animal populations to enhance natural carbon capture and storage, which is known more popularly as "Animating the carbon cycle" (ACC), is probably the best nature-based climate solution available to mankind.

Wild animal populations play a critical role controlling the carbon cycle in terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems through a wide range of processes. The new paper presents data which shows that protecting or restoring populations of nine wildlife species (or groups of species) - marine fish, whales, sharks, grey wolf, wildebeest, sea otter, musk ox, African forest elephants, and American bison - could collectively facilitate the additional capture of 6.41 billion tons of carbon dioxide (GtCO2) annually. This is more than 95% of the amount needed every year (6.5 GtCO2) to meet the global target of removing 500 GtCO2 from the atmosphere by 2100, which would keep global warming below the 1.5oC threshold.

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"Allowing key animal species to reach ecologically meaningful densities as part of dynamic landscapes and seascapes would probably shorten the time taken to reach the 500 GtCO2 target," says the Yale School of the Environment's Professor Oswald Schmitz, lead author of the paper.

"Taking key wildlife species and the potentially game-changing impact of ACC into account, the time has come for a paradigm shift in how we mobilise nature for the benefit of climate and society," says Dr Magnus Sylvén, Director of Science-Policy-Practice at the Global Rewilding Alliance and co-author of the paper.

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Notes for Editors

The Global Rewilding Alliance

The Alliance is a network of currently 130+ organisations working across Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America, North America and globally to rewild more than 100 million hectares of land and sea in 90+ countries.

Contact Magnus Sylvén: magnus@wild.org  / + 41 78 629 75 11

Contact
Magnus Sylven
***@bluewin.ch


Source: Global Rewilding Alliance

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