"Global climate change doesn’t only cause the melting of polar ice caps, rising
sea levels and extreme weather events. It also has a direct effect on many
tropical habitats and the animals and plants that inhabit them. As fossil fuel
emissions continue to drive climate change, large areas of land are forecast to
become much hotter and drier by the end of this century.
Many ecosystems, including tropical forests, wetlands, swamps and mangroves,
will be unable to cope with these extreme climatic conditions. It is highly
likely that the extent and condition of these ecosystems will decline. They
will become more like deserts and savanna.
The island nation of Madagascar is of particular concern when it comes to
climate change. Of Madagascar’s animal species, 85% cannot be found elsewhere
on Earth. Of its plant species, 82% are unique to the island. Although a global
biodiversity hotspot, Madagascar has experienced the highest rates of
deforestation anywhere in the world. Over 80% of its original forest cover has
already been cleared by humans.
This has resulted in large population declines in many species. For example,
many species of lemurs (Madagascar’s flagship group of animals) have undergone
rapid population decline, and over 95% of lemur species are now classified as
threatened on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red
Drier conditions brought about by climate change have already resulted in
widespread bush fires throughout Madagascar. Drought and famine are
increasingly severe for the people living in the far south and south-western
regions of the island.
Madagascar’s future will likely depend profoundly on how swiftly and
comprehensively humans deal with the current climate crisis."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics