Today’s Video of the Day from the European Space Agency features the Tana River, which flows across 1,000 kilometers in Kenya from the Aberdare Mountains to the Indian Ocean.
According to ESA, the river is known for its extraordinary biodiversity and provides water for wild animals and agricultural purposes.
A recent study from the University of East Anglia revealed that wildlife on the Tana River Basin will struggle to survive the current rate of global warming.
On the other hand, if the world could meet the climate goals that were established at the Paris Agreement, however, many of these species could still be saved.
“This research provides the first assessment of the combined effects of development plans and climate change on biodiversity of the Tana River Basin, including identifying potential areas for restoration, and contributes to a greater understanding of biodiversity protection and adaptation options in Kenya,” explained the study authors.
Climate and land use changes are the two biggest threats to biodiversity worldwide. The experts report that land degradation increases the vulnerability of biodiversity on the Tana River Basin. Here, 36 percent of the land has been converted for agriculture.
The researchers say that some ecosystem restoration may be necessary to best protect species in a changing climate.
“This research shows how many species within Kenya’s Tana River Basin will be unable to survive if global temperatures continue to rise as they are on track to do,” said study lead author Rhosanna Jenkins.
“But remaining within the goals of the Paris Agreement, which aims to keep global warming well below 2°C, ideally at 1.5°C, would save many species. This is because large areas of the basin act as refugia from climate change.”
Video Credit: ESA
By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer