Do you live in a high-risk area? Find out with this new interactive map.
Climate change is a global problem, which means that it will affect different areas of the world in different ways. While some regions can expect significantly warmer temperatures and widespread melting of glaciers and permafrost, others can expect to see prolonged droughts and rising sea levels.
According to a report from the Huffington Post, a new map developed by scientists at the University of Bergen in Norway that plots the most sensitive areas in the world when it comes to climate change.
Scientists revealed that the prairies of Central Asia and North America, rainforests of Central and South America, and Eastern Australia are among the most sensitive regions on the planet. The map, and an accompanying study, were published in the journal Nature.
According to Dr. Kathy Willis, the director of science from the Royal Botanic Gardens in the U.K. and one of the study’s co-authors, “What this approach now enables us to do is to start to identify the most vulnerable natural capital stocks provided by vegetation, and this in itself provides an important first step to highlight regions of sensitivity, and conversely resilience, for global food security and other important resources that we obtain from plants.”
Plants may have it the worst off when it comes to climate change – they are stationary and thus have no course of actin when it comes to dealing with climate change. As the vegetational makeup of a region changes, it precipitates massive shockwaves throughout an entire ecosystem that can cause devastation to food webs and long-established symbiotic relationships.
Like many climate scientists, the study’s authors said that keeping the average global temperature increase below the 1.5 degrees Celsius range would mitigate some of the most harmful effects of climate change, particularly when it comes to the sensitive ecosystems highlighted by the map.
Ultimately, the changes to these ecosystems will affect human life, so it’s imperative that global leaders take decisive action against climate change.
A press release from the University of Bergen describing the details of the new map can be found here.