Thursday, June 07, 2012

A Climate Change Noah's Ark

Consider it something like a bomb shelter for species endangered by global warming.   The Nature Conservancy is cataloguing regions best suited to accommodate plant and animal species that might otherwise be rendered extinct by climate change.

The report, Resilient Sites for Terrestrial Conservation, (linked here) identifies large tracts of the North American northeast that appear suitable as a refuge for endangered species.

The idea of a terrestrial ark is controversial.   Introduced species almost invariably disrupt existing ecosystems and frequently lead to extinction of native species either through predation or inability to compete for resources and habitat.

Whether society, itself burdened by the impacts of climate change, will have the means or inclination to undertake the control and management of introduced species in such a centuries-long venture seems hard to imagine.

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