In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report which highlights and adds an exclamation point to the news that most conservation scientists accepted long ago: the Earth’s climate is changing, and it’s because of human activity.
Specifically, the IPCC – a group of scientists convened by the United Nations – reported unequivocally the following findings:
- Human activities have increased greenhouse gases to their highest level in the atmosphere in 650,000 years, outweighing all other factors in causing global warming;
- Global temperatures have risen to their warmest level in 500 to 1,000 years;
- Climate change is causing more extreme weather events, such as severe storms and droughts; and
- Climate change threatens ecosystems and human-well being.
That last point, that climate change poses one of the greatest threats to people and nature, is a reality that has worried The Nature Conservancy for many years.
After more than five decades of using our science-driven selection process to conseve some of the world’s finest plant and animal habitat, the Conservancy now faces the knowledge that the places we protect may one day no longer harbor the species they were designed to.
The Conservancy is fighting back. With the help of our partners and using the best available science, we’re tackling climate change in three ways:
- We are mobilizing governments to enact legislation that addresses the causes of climate change.
- We are working to create global incentives to reduce deforestation emissions through policyand partnerships.
- We are analyzing the impacts of global warming and seeking innovative conservation solutions that will enable natural areas to cope with and adapt to what may be unavoidable effects of climate change.
In addition to efforts to establish U.S. and international climate change policies, the Conservancy is addressing climate change at more than 20 sites in 10 countries. By taking action now we can avert the extreme impacts of climate change.