The last time climate change affected the earth's vegetation with remarkable intensity was about 21,000 years ago, in the aftermath of the last ice age. According to a new study, something similar happens to our planet, and there is a chance that the changes may manifest within the next 100 to 150 years and ultimately affect Earth's ecosystems without exception.
In a study published Thursday in the journal Science, a multinational team of researchers studied fossil data and analyzed data from nearly 600 websites to get a detailed analysis of how the earth's vegetation changed since the last ice age. According to the Weather channelThis was done to predict how climate change could play a role as ecosystems change as a result of the impact of the greenhouse effect, as scientists have compiled together what has been described as the "most comprehensive" data on global ecosystems from the last ice age to the pre-industrial era.
Live Science Using the methodologies that the researchers used in their analysis, including classifying the changes they saw in two categories. Compound changes were defined as those that affected the plant species of a specific location, while major structural changes were those that had a wider impact, such as deciduous forests that became evergreen forests, or tundra that became a kind of forest. The researchers then classified the changes on the basis of their impact level and called them & # 39; large & # 39 ;, & # 39; moderate & # 39; or & # 39; layer & # 39 ;.
To further refine their analysis, the researchers classified the different sites on the basis of how global warming would have affected the changes. If Live Science explained, this involved determining whether major changes were caused by, for example, human activity or the presence of live animals.
What does the continuous, heating-driven global transformation of vegetation and ecosystems mean for AZ & the SW? It is already happening, it is being aggravated by invasive plants. It can be much worse, but with serious action we can slow down and stop. https://t.co/JyCAKOpy3W
– Jonathan Overpeck (@TucsonPeck) September 2, 2018
Based on their findings, the researchers saw a correlation between temperature and vegetation changes, and noted that the areas where the temperature was most changed were typically those areas where the vegetation had changed considerably over the years. The impact was felt most strongly on the mid to high latitudes of the northern hemisphere, and also in the southern part of South America, Australia, New Zealand, Oceania, the Indo-Pacific and tropical and temperate parts of southern Africa.
Researcher Connor Nolan, a doctoral candidate from the University of Arizona and co-author of the new study, said in a press release on the school's website that research during the period in question "major changes" in all parts of the world brought.
"About 70 percent of those sites have undergone major changes in the species that were there and what the vegetation looked like."
Speak with AZCentral in a report published on Saturday, co-author Jonathan Overpeck, dean of the School of Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan, said that Arizona could be the "canary in the mine shaft" and the perfect example of what could be happen if climate change impacts our planet vegetation. He explained that the gradual transition from Arizona from forest to grassland to an area known for its deserts is "just the kind of structural change" that could occur in the future.
As quoted by Live ScienceOverpeck also warned that achieving the targets set in 2015 during the climate conference in Paris would not be enough to reverse the major structural changes on a global scale, because only half of our planet's vegetation could be positively affected. Moreover, Overpeck said that if the aforementioned goals are not met, this could result in "much broader" and more unpredictable changes across the planet.