Lecture4a

Information about Lecture4a

Published on March 15, 2008

Author: Teresa1

Source: authorstream.com

Content

Why is our commitment to strong sustainability so weak?:  Why is our commitment to strong sustainability so weak? Is improved environmental awareness the key? Who are the best educated people in the world regarding environmental issues? Floating face down in our own hypocrisy: even conservationists have excessive footprints Yet there are some clear solutions . . . . Eco-optimism and epic solutions How does our footprint translate into the extinction crisis? :  How does our footprint translate into the extinction crisis? Slide3:  Predicting the extinction rate Slide5:  Predicting the extinction rate, where z = 1 Slide6:  Whom should we blame? 6 million projected extinctions (if z = 0.25) 9.5 million (if z = 1.0) If Americans are responsible for 20% of total footprint, then we could be responsible for (0.2)(9.5 million) = 1.9 million extinctions. Ohioans: (12 million/330 million)(1.9 million extinctions) = ~70,000 extinctions Per capita Buckeye responsibility: 0.006 Combined impact of ~160 people translates into one extinction Tragedy of the commons Slide7:  Need for immediate action: Protect parks from encroachment Identify biodiversity hotspots Pinpoint mega-diversity countries Epic Solutions: Defuse the population bomb Reduce wasteful consumption Relieve poverty Eliminate perverse subsidies (RECONCILIATION) [Rosenzweig] (Steady State Revolution) [Czech] How to conserve remaining biodiversity How to conserve remaining biodiversity:  How to conserve remaining biodiversity Need for immediate action: Protect parks from encroachment Identify biodiversity hotspots Pinpoint mega-diversity countries Epic Solutions: Defuse the population bomb Reduce wasteful consumption Relieve poverty Eliminate perverse subsidies (Reconciliation) (Steady State Revolution) These are the most interesting (and challenging) times in human history:  These are the most interesting (and challenging) times in human history We are in the opening stages of a human-caused biotic holocaust — a wholesale elimination of species. That’s the worst news. The better news: this horrifying destruction still lies mostly ahead of us. There is time, though just enough, to slow . . . the process. — N. Myers 1999 Reckless alarmism or reckless optimism? :  Reckless alarmism or reckless optimism? Initial (under)estimate (Myers 1979): 1 extinction per day (due to tropical deforestation) Revised estimate (Pimm): 140 per day = 6 per hour = 50,000 per year Rosenzweig: 4 that . . . Why so much interest in tropical forests? 1 ha can contain >500 tree species ~½ of all species on Earth Rapid conversion Why so much emphasis on species?:  Rates of population extinction (Jennifer Hughes) — 32,000 extinctions per day: >11 million extinctions per year Why so much emphasis on species? How to conserve remaining biodiversity:  How to conserve remaining biodiversity Need for immediate action: Protect parks from encroachment Identify biodiversity hotspots Pinpoint mega-diversity countries Immediate action #1: Protect parks from encroachment:  Immediate action #1: Protect parks from encroachment Triple protected land/marine habitat Protect areas that are only protected on paper In tropics, 1/3 of parks are subject to encroachment by “shifting cultivators” 200 million people squeezed out of traditional farmlands in past few decades Widely appealing suggestion: parks and reserves! Immediate action #2: Identify biodiversity hotspots:  Immediate action #2: Identify biodiversity hotspots Invest heavily in areas offering highest payoffs: Tropical forests, coral reefs, wetlands Focus on HOTSPOTS Conservation International has identified 25 (now 34) areas (2% of land) containing: ~1/2 of plant species >1/4 of terrestrial vertebrates ~1/3(?) of insects & other invertebrates >2/3 of all threatened land species Also identified: 15 marine hotspots Set priorities for establishing new reserves Slide15:  Three criteria of hotspots: 1) number of species present 2) number of those species found exclusively in one ecosystem 3) degree of threat they face Slide16:  Data (100 km2 units): human census bird species (1921) mammal species (940) snake species (406) amphibian species (618) Positive correlation between species richness and human population density. Hotspots and human population density Balmford et al. (2001) Science 291:2616-2619. Immediate action #3: Focus on mega-diversity countries:  Immediate action #3: Focus on mega-diversity countries 17 countries contain 70% of all land species Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Congo, India, China, Indonesia, Australia . . . Prioritize spending (concentrate on countries with most to lose) Corollary: too few $$ spent on conservation beyond rich countries’ borders PERILOUS ROOT CAUSES: Establishing more reserves is no panacea:  PERILOUS ROOT CAUSES: Establishing more reserves is no panacea Reserve ecology is not enough: building sandcastles below the high tide line The incoming tide — Human population growth Overconsumption (ecofootprint) Climate change Poverty Why reserves are not enough: a case study:  Why reserves are not enough: a case study Cape Peninsula (South Africa) size of New York City (180 mi2) Global center of species richness >2,285 plant species (1/7th as many as in USA+Canada) Density of plant species = 6000 higher on Cape Peninsula >>200 are narrowly endemic Climate change may shift species ranges – southward … Climate change and extinction in Fynbos Biome:  Climate change and extinction in Fynbos Biome Midgley et al. 2002 Aims: Project extinction risk for endemic Proteaceae Develop method to detect early warning signs Modeled Fynbos biome, using limits of 5 parameters critical for plant growth and survival, at present and at 2050 according to climate scenario generated by HadCM2n.:  Modeled Fynbos biome, using limits of 5 parameters critical for plant growth and survival, at present and at 2050 according to climate scenario generated by HadCM2n. Present 2050 Leucospermum tomentosum populations predicted to fall within (open) and outside (filled) their environmental limits, by 2010. Limiting factors: 1) mean min. temp. of coldest month (Tmin) 2) heat units (annual sum of days >18°C [HU18]) 3) annual potential evaporation (PE) 4) winter soil moisture days (SMDwin) 5) summer soil moisture days (SMDsum):  Leucospermum tomentosum populations predicted to fall within (open) and outside (filled) their environmental limits, by 2010. Limiting factors: 1) mean min. temp. of coldest month (Tmin) 2) heat units (annual sum of days >18°C [HU18]) 3) annual potential evaporation (PE) 4) winter soil moisture days (SMDwin) 5) summer soil moisture days (SMDsum) Key projections:  Key projections Biome-level analysis: 51-65% loss of Fynbos biome by 2050 10% of (330) Proteacea species will lose entire range Species-by-species analysis: 120 species could suffer complete range dislocation 95% of species predicted to lose >1/3 of range Detectable within 10 years Slide24:  Conclusions Biome-level approach underestimates risk Reason: many narrow-range endemics suffer complete range dislocation Recommendation: Monitor targeted vulnerable species: For early warning signs To test predictions and to intervene Implications for reserve ecology Slide27:  Diagnostic fingerprint found for 279 species – Consistent directional effects: Advancement of spring events (2.3 days/decade) phenological mismatches Poleward range shifts (6.1 km/decade) reduced abundance along trailing edge local extinctions  global extinctions? Slide29:  Hoard rot hypothesis – Late onset of winter = benign for most wintering birds, but gray jays depend on cold storage …. Warm autumns, especially when followed by cold late winter, should lead to: Delayed breeding Reduced RS (divorce) ~~~ Ecological trap ~~~ Jays may seem “pre-adapted” for warming. Energetic demands relaxed in warm autumns. And this extends the hoarding season. But if it’s so warm that hoards rot, they may be trapped. Elaborate winter-survival strategy protects them against cold, not heat. Slide31:  Unsupplemented territories Indirect evidence that jays are food limited Median first-egg date …despite their enormous hoards and prolonged hoarding season in recent autumns Slide32:  More evidence for food limitation Mean clutch size Slide33:  Has climate warming set a trap by inducing a shift in mating system? Demographic meltdown Widespread local population declines, extinctions, and poleward range shift? hoard rot  social dysfunction? Slide34:  Evidence for increasing re-mating rate Slide35:  Additional facts – Confirmed divorces have become more common in recent years. Re-mating is more likely following reproductive failure (39 v. 22%). Breeding failure is more likely for mated pairs that include a yearling (62 v. 31%). Yearling breeders have become more common. Slide36:  0.3  || < 0.4 Was divorce a rational mating strategy under prevailing ecological conditions? Slide37:  Climate warming threatens food security, induces rapid re-mating, serial divorce and premature breeding Demographic meltdown Widespread local population declines, extinctions, and poleward range shift? hoard rot + social dysfunction Slide38:  Other (recent) attempts to link climate change and mating systems in vertebrates Climate change & the opportunity for sexual selection – Increasing protandry in migratory birds? Decreasing polygamy in gray seals? Slide39:  Climatic variation may intensify sexual selection (Twiss et al. 2006) Local weather predicts between-year changes in degree of polygamy Annual proportion of males contributing to Ne varies (<60%) Within a cohort, broader range of males will contribute genetically Implications for conservation genetics gray seal (Halichoerus grypus) Slide40:  Is the demise of the Algonquin population a diagnostic symptom of widespread local extinction, divorce, and a poleward range shift? Matthews, Corey & Waite (in progress) Slide41:  Evolutionary ways to escape the ecological trap set by climate change Winter-survival strategies: Hoard even more food (intensively in late Autumn) Increase selectivity: hoard less perishable food Increase antimicrobial properties of saliva Hoard only in spruce Forego rotten hoards (discard rather than re-hoard) Increase immunocompetence relative to food-borne diseases Mating strategies: Don’t be so quick to divorce Don’t fall into the trap of breeding too early Flexibly adjust clutch size (to compensate for hoard rot) Mate assortatively and share hoards Migratory strategy: Get one Shift toward commensal relationship with humans Human intervention: Provision jays throughout winter, especially following warm autumns Slide42:  Conclusions and plans – Experimental/empirical needs: Does experimental supplementation of hoard improve RS & mate fidelity? Do hoards really rot faster in warmer autumns? Do individuals suffer from lower nutritional condition or suppressed immunocompetence following warm autumns? Does divorce rate really increase near trailing edge? Theoretical needs: Effects of global warming on social evolution (mating systems, sociality, cooperative breeding, etc.) Warm autumns may simply covary with real underlying cause of food limitation (e.g., unfavorable conditions during preceding growing season). Slide43:  Climate warming threatens food security, induces serial divorce, and causes demographic meltdown DOING THE RIGHT THING:  DOING THE RIGHT THING Why should we take action? ___Reasons other than saving species (e.g., economic, health) ___Philosophical reasons ___Psychic income Nursing home metaphor Biblical inspiration How to conserve remaining biodiversity:  How to conserve remaining biodiversity Epic Solutions: Defuse the population bomb Reduce wasteful consumption Relieve poverty Eliminate perverse subsidies (Reconciliation) (Steady State Revolution) EPIC SOLUTION #1: Defuse human population bomb:  EPIC SOLUTION #1: Defuse human population bomb 20% (150 million) of women in developing countries would prefer to have no more kids. CONTRACEPTION is a BARGAIN Could cut eventual human population by 1 BILLION Could save populations, species, ecosystem services Yet, congress in 1995 slashed population component of foreign-aid budget by 35% (SAVINGS = $1 per taxpayer). Outcome: 4 million unwanted pregnancies (1.9 million births) EPIC SOLUTION #2: Reduce wasteful consumption:  EPIC SOLUTION #2: Reduce wasteful consumption Recall: average American footprint >10 ha Fair Earthshare = 1.9 ha Britain’s population increases at 0.2% per year (120,000) Bangladesh: 1.9% (2.4 million; 20x Britain) CO2 emissions per Brit 50 greater than per Bangladeshi Annual increase in fossil fuel consumption 2.5 higher in Britain Most of excess in American footprint is related to travel by automobile (and jet) 57 cars per 100 persons in USA (0.2 in India) EPIC SOLUTION #3: Relieve poverty in lesser-developed countries:  EPIC SOLUTION #3: Relieve poverty in lesser-developed countries ~1.5 billion people alive today have $1 per day ~3 billion have <$3 per day To survive, some of these people convert rainforests In USA, if each taxpayer paid $1 per week, many species could be protected (indirectly) Cost per USA taxpayer to double wealth of poorest 1.5 billion people: $10 per day EPIC SOLUTION #4: Get rid of perverse subsidies :  EPIC SOLUTION #4: Get rid of perverse subsidies Artificial pricing of gasoline: GASOLINE in USA costs less than bottled water! Hidden costs make it much more expensive. For every $1 of subsidy for wind/solar energy, we pay $10 for fossil fuels. True price = >$10 per gallon (Europeans pay ~$6) Example: Americans pay ~$2500 per year to fund fossil fuels, road transportation, agriculture, water, and fisheries Then same taxpayer pays another ~$2500 to “fix” problems Some hidden costs of gasoline:  Some hidden costs of gasoline pollution road congestion (new road construction) traffic accidents military force in Persian Gulf impending costs of global warming Why cut back on perverse subsidies :  Why cut back on perverse subsidies Would allow economically viable alternatives to appear overnight? Would increase productivity of American economy? But is this desirable? Would protect world from harm of global warming? Would slash global extinction rate? Myers’ boldly optimistic claims Slide52:  Getting rid of perverse subsidies could strengthen the American economy. Is this benefit consistent with the goal of global biodiversity conservation? ~~~~~ _____ Not at all _____ Somewhat _____ Yes Recent technical review on economic growth adopted by The Wildlife Society The Last Hurrah:  The Last Hurrah “We have it in our hands to save millions of species that without our help will disappear into oblivion. And — here’s the clincher — we are the sole generation to face such an extreme yet glorious prospect. People in the past have never enjoyed our chance because today’s problems have simply never arisen before. Nor will any generation of the future have our chance, because if we do not get on with the job, our descendants will be left with nothing but to pick up the pieces.” — N. Myers Walking north on a southbound train Shoveling fuel for a runaway train

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