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Modern global warming more damaging than in the past

f Zoology, on reptile populations in the Mediterranean at the end of the last ice age. Because of the fragmentation of the islands, the reptiles were stuck in their individual habitats. As temperatures increased, more heat-tolerant reptiles were not able to replace those that died out on the island, and whole populations were lost. These areas experienced a net lost of diversity in marked contrast to the more typical continuous neighboring mainland areas.

Foufopolous says this process of species impoverishment foreshadows what is likely to happen with state parks and protected natural areas in the future, and directly contradict statements that downplay the dangers of global warming. "Human activity has made it very hard for some species to compensate for habitat lost to a changing climate," he says.

Foufopoulos presented his findings at the annual Ecological Society of America (ESA) conference in Savannah, Georgia earlier this month.


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Contact: Lara Magouirk
laram@umich.edu
734-615-0270
University of Michigan
27-Aug-2003


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