Today, Earthwatch renewed its pledge to support conservation field research, in light of the recently published study in the journal Nature into the consequences of increasing temperatures on the natural world.
Earthwatch is addressing the issue of climate change in many of its projects around the world. Teams of volunteers work alongside scientists to collect substantial quantities of important data, much of which is directed at mitigating the predicated disastrous loss of more than one million species by 2050.
Roger Mitchell, Chief Scientist at Earthwatch said, "The realisation that the impact of climate change could potentially result in a quarter of land animals and plants becoming extinct over the next 50 years should be a huge wake-up call for everyone. While it is clear that a drastic global reduction in greenhouse gases is the number one solution, Earthwatch believes that individuals can also play an important part in combating the effects.
Earthwatch funds scientists on over 140 projects across 50 countries, many of which address the effects of climate change and the threat posed to species, habitats and ecosystems.
Dr. Steve Williams heads up the 'Climate Change in the Ra info rest' project in Queensland, Australia, where 50% of the 73 species of vertebrates found here, and nowhere else in the world, are likely to become extinct during the course of the 21 st century. Earthwatch volunteers on this project collect vital data that will be used to predict the effects of climate change on this fragile habitat and hopefully give us the knowledge to help minimise these impacts and decline.
Roger Mitchell further commented, "We expect the results of this project to have many uses in conservation planning and sustainable management of the natural resources of this region, as well as tropical ecosystems around the world, such as planning refuges and corridors connecting fragmented habitats. Much of the research into the effects of global warming will be collected by members of the public and their contribution to saving species from extinction will be in line with the Earthwatch mission of engaging people worldwide for a sustainable environment ."
Earthwatch is committed to conserving the diversity and integrity of life on earth to meet the needs of current and future generations. By engaging people in field research projects like this, we aim to change attitudes and behaviour, and motivate people to conserve the species, habitats and eco-systems where they live, work and play.