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Sea level rise threatens biodiversity in the Pacific

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-4-10 9:48:45

The predicted rise in sea level in the Pacific in future will lead to heavy losses of habitat that will threaten numerous species, a new study showed on Tuesday.

Conducted by researchers from the Veterinary University of Vienna in conjunction with Yale University, the study is based on model calculations for the Southeast Asian and Pacific Region and is published in the journal Global Change Biology.

The Veterinary University said its model calculations showed a sea level rise of about a meter by the end of the century, and up to 5.5 meters by the year 2500. It also examined more than 12,000 islands and 3,000 vertebrate animal species in the Southeast Asian and Pacific region.

The findings showed that a sea level rise in the region of only one meter would result in the loss of about one percent of land, which would in turn mean 14.7 percent of primarily small islands in the region would be completely flooded, threatening local species.

Should the sea level rise by up to 5.5 meters by 2500 as predicted, a loss of 9.3 percent of habitat in the region would occur, which poses a very significant threat to numerous species including those already endangered, and those who only live on certain islands.

Researchers said their results also reflected the threat a sea level rise poses to island and coastal animal species across the world, the Austrian Press Agency reported.

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