Climate Change and Terrestrial Biodiversity

Rachel Warren, Jeff Price, Rhosanna Jenkins

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

7 Citations (Scopus)


The earth's climate has a profound influence on the earth's ecosystems and biodiversity. Climate change is already resulting in changes in terrestrial species distributions and phenology. It is also increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, and increases in floods, heatwaves, drought, and fire are also affecting ecosystems. If global warming is not limited to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels, future projections show large and accelerating risks to biodiversity. Effects include large scale geographic range loss of over 50% for large proportions of widespread and common species of plants, animals and insects, accelerating risks of extinction, and large-scale disruption of ecosystem functioning. Biodiversity underpins the functioning of ecosystems and its loss threatens services that ecosystems provide to humans such as flood prevention, soil conservation, water purification, crop pollination, food provision, tourism, amenity, and human wellbeing. Some types of land-based climate change mitigation methods could themselves compete with biodiversity conservation. To address these risks, climate change mitigation policies would need to be aligned with carbon sequestration in terrestrial ecosystems, by eliminating deforestation and restoring ecosystems of all types.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Impacts of Climate Change
Subtitle of host publicationA Comprehensive Study of Physical, Biophysical, Social and Political Issues
EditorsTrevor Letcher
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)9780128223734
ISBN (Print)9780128223734
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Biodiversity
  • Climate change
  • Climate change mitigation
  • Ecosystem
  • Ecosystem services
  • Extinction

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