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Climate change and those whose job it is to talk about current and future climate impacts are often classed as the "harbingers of doom". For the world's biodiversity, the predictions are grim - loss of species, loss of pollination, dying coral reefs.
The reality is that without human intervention, ecosystems will reshape themselves in response to climate change, what we can think of as "autonomous adaptation". For us humans—we need to decide if we need or want to change that course.
Systems - Job - Description - Climate - Change
For those who look after natural systems, our job description has changed. Until now we have scrambled to protect or restore what we could fairly confidently consider to be "natural". Under climate change knowing what that should look like is hard to decide.
If the Great Barrier Reef still has a few pretty fish and coral in the future, and only scientists know they are different species to the past, does that matter? It's an extreme example, but it is a good analogy for the types of decisions we might need to make.
Queensland - Government - Biodiversity - Ecosystem - Climate
In Queensland, the government has just launched the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Climate Adaptation Plan for Queensland focused on what is considered important for making these decisions. The plan is high level, but is an important first step toward preparing the sector for the future.
For the rest of Queensland's ecosystems the story is much the same as the Great Barrier Reef. There are the obvious regions at risk. Our coastal floodplains and wetlands are potentially under threat from both sides, with housing and development making a landward march and the sea pushing in from the other side. These ecosystems literally have nowhere to go in the crush.
Story - Species - Specialise - Cool - Altitude
It's a similar story for species and ecosystems that specialise on cool, high altitude mountaintops. These small, isolated populations rely on cool conditions. As the...
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