Tuesday, July 22, 2008

How To Minimize The Impacts Of Climate Change On Ecosystems

Climate change is threatening forests, rivers, wetlands, and coral reefs as well as the valuable, life-sustaining services that these ecosystems provide. A report released by the U.S. EPA suggests tools, some of which are already in use, to minimize the impact of climate change by making the ecosystems more resilient to disturbances.

The report, Preliminary Review of Adaptation Options for Climate-Sensitive Ecosystems and Resources, is one in a series of 21 such reports commissioned by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, an interagency program that studies climate-related environmental changes.

By studying federally protected landscapes—including national parks, estuaries, and marine protected areas—and the management goals set for each, the authors developed a set of strategies to help policy makers and natural-resource managers take action.

Pollution, nutrient runoff, and habitat destruction have already threatened the health of many ecosystems; in some cases the ecosystems have been pushed toward large-scale, sometimes irreversible, changes.


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