Professor Guy Midgley, a world-leading expert on global change and its impact on biodiversity, in an article published in Science this week, warned that a simplified ecological landscape, with significant biodiversity loss, might be the outcome if a global temperature increase cannot be restricted to 1.5°C above historical pre-industrial levels.

“Warming by more than two degrees will take the world into a temperature state that it hasn’t seen for several millions of years,” he says. With current pledges by nations towards limiting climate change, scientists predict a corresponding warming of about 3.2°C.  “We need to stay as close to 1.5°C as possible. That is really the conclusion from the Warren et al paper. So here is the irony. In order to achieve the 1.5°C target, we may well damage many of the habitats that support biodiversity in order to achieve a target that will save biodiversity.

“We need to find the combinations of options that minimise conflicts between these competing demands. Only if we succeed in solving this nexus between climate security, land use and biodiversity conservation, will we be able to ensure a sustainable future in the long-term,” he concludes. – Stellenbosch University

Watch Professor Guy Midgley below as he talks about Biodiversity: