Does Apple face extinction in the future?
Drought and fires in our forests, cuttlefish and sea bream in our North Sea
Temperatures that have been rising for decades are an indisputable fact. Thousands of animal and plant species have set themselves in motion around the world and have already migrated many kilometers towards the poles, uphill or into deeper water. The climate system is very sluggish, and it harbors pitfalls and tipping points that are still not understood today. Two dry years were enough to seriously damage the German forest. What happens, should more follow? And what consequences will it have if natural cycles collapse, for example when fish hatch because the water temperature rises but there is no food, since phytoplankton only multiply as the days get longer? In order to limit the consequences of climate change that are already threatening the very existence of large parts of humanity and to prepare for the new circumstances, we need to know how animals and plants react to climatic changes.
1. Off to the poles / 2. New animals, new plants / 3. A hungry world / 4. Mismatch / 5. Too warm - physiological reactions / 6. Regime shifts - effects on ecosystems / 7. Pandora's icebox - Arctic and Antarctica / 8. The Blob / 9. Forests and vegetation / 10. Disease, new infectious deseases / 11. Extinction
Questions to Bernhard Kegel:
"Why should we be interested in a book about the effects of climate change on flora and fauna?"
BK: "Clean air, clean water, food, organic raw materials, intact soils, quiet and recreational areas ... If we do not understand how important all this is for us and derive concrete action from it, nature will give us the brutal method teach."
"What will happen to the ecosystems as we know them, such as the ocean, the forest or the Arctic?"
BK: "All ecosystems will change because animal and plant species have to react individually and specifically to climate change in order to survive. The tropics and especially the polar regions will be hit particularly hard. But our forests will also be as we know it, will not persist. Droughts and fires on an unprecedented scale show that a wide variety of forests around the world are already under stress. "
"Why can't living beings from warmer climates just immigrate to us?"
BK: "They are already doing that. Around the world, thousands of animal and plant species have set themselves in motion, have already migrated many kilometers towards the poles, uphill or in deeper water. In Europe we will be confronted with new diseases and carriers, but also with beauties like The bee-eater or fire dragonflies. Squids, sardines and sea bream are increasing in the North Sea. Mullets cavort in the Baltic Sea. Many warmth-loving species already live among us, especially in urban areas. They will spread. "
"Do we still have a chance to prevent the worst?"
BK: "The climate system is very sluggish and it harbors pitfalls, tipping points that are still not understood today. We are in a phase of transition, the changes will continue. It will take hundreds of years for the temperature and climate conditions to become established Even if we wouldn't release a single fossil carbon atom into the atmosphere as of today, we would still have to be prepared for significant changes in our environment, but it looks more like decades before we can do without fossil fuels. What that means, no one can answer with certainty today. And I'm afraid we would not like the answer either. "
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