Climate change is already having an impact
on people, nature and the one shared home
we all rely on. This must be the year world
leaders put our planet first.
In this report, we highlight 12 species that are experiencing
the devastating impacts of climate change, and we outline
how their future depends on humanity’s urgent response
to the environmental crisis. Our list includes mammals,
reptiles, amphibians, insects, birds, plants and corals – and
it covers impacts across the globe, from here in the UK to
the frozen wilderness of Antarctica and deep in the Amazon
Despite raised ambitions from political and business leaders
to tackle climate change, the world is not on track to prevent
catastrophic damage. Current climate pledges known as
nationally determined contributions, or NDCs, and net-zero
targets for 2050 will not deliver the Paris Agreement goal of
limiting global warming to 1.5°C. In fact, they are projected
to lead to a temperature rise of 2.4°C above pre-industrial
levels by the end of the century.
And there is hope. The UK’s presidency of the UN climate
conference known as COP26, later this year, provides a
unique opportunity for us to lead the way. We must act to
ensure we can keep global temperature rise to 1.5°C and
make nature our ‘climate hero’.
The world’s average surface temperature has risen by around 1°C since the Industrial Revolution. The impacts of this on people and nature are already measurable and will get a lot worse if we do not act urgently.
The impacts are felt everywhere – from tropical forests to remote mountaintops; from wetlands to the icy wilderness of the polar regions. We are experiencing more extreme events such as prolonged heatwaves and wildfires, warmer oceans and back-to-back coral bleaching events, retreating glaciers and rising sea levels.
Climate change has brought changes to all types of animal and plant life on every continent. Higher temperatures can shift the suitable range for species, disrupt the timing of their life cycle, and increase the frequency and intensity of extreme events that directly affect their natural habitats. These risks will all
escalate as global temperatures rise.
Most species have evolved to survive in a particular environmental niche – and their historical distribution reflects this. Some may be able to adapt to higher heat and altered rainfall patterns. But others will need to shift their range to follow their preferred climates – typically moving to find more suitable cooler homes towards the poles and up hills. In the UK, the ranges of many species, including birds, butterflies, moths and dragonflies, have already shifted northwards over the last four decades. In the ocean, changing conditions have contributed to the range shifts of highly mobile species. A rapid shift in the distribution of the northeast Atlantic mackerel stock towards Greenland waters was seen earlier this century. But other species are unable to move because their habitat is too rare or fragmented, or too hard to reach because they face natural or human-made barriers.
In some parts of the world certain species may, at least temporarily, appear to do better – with more food available or as previously inhospitable areas become more suitable for colonisation. Threats to species are often complex,
meaning different species, and even different populations of the same species, can display different responses. Shifts in temperature affect habitat and food availability dramatically for different species, including exerting a powerful influence over populations and distribution of Antarctica’s penguin species.
In west Antarctica, rapid warming has caused sea ice extent to decrease rapidly. As a result, populations of the ice-adapted Adélie penguin in this region are generally declining, whereas populations of the ice-averse gentoo penguin are increasing.
Increases in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events are putting wildlife under additional pressure, leading to high mortality and reproductive failures. For example, extreme heatwaves have caused massive die-offs in flying fox populations in Australia.
气候变化已经产生影响 关于人、自然和共享家园 我们都依赖。这一定是世界的一年 领导人将我们的星球放在首位。
在本报告中，我们重点介绍了正在经历的 12 个物种
今年晚些时候召开的名为 COP26 的会议提供了一个
确保我们能够将全球气温上升控制在 1.5°C 和
Climate change can make existing habitats unsuitable
and reduce the availability of natural resources such
as water. When habitat and food become scarcer, wild
animals may turn to livestock and crops, increasing the
risk of conflict between people and wildlife.
Climate change is a threat to people and nature, and it
exacerbates existing stresses. Many species cannot cope
with the current rate of climate change, especially when
their resilience has already been reduced by habitat
destruction, overexploitation, disease, pollution and
competition from invasive species. The UN estimates
that one million species are threatened with extinction
globally, many in the coming decades.
We have now entered a sixth mass extinction, and
climate change is accelerating the crisis. The Bramble
Cay melomys was the first species of mammal wiped out
because of human-caused climate change. The small
rat-like rodent, which was endemic to a tiny island at the
northern tip of the Great Barrier Reef, saw its habitat
destroyed by sea-level rise. More species will be pushed
to the brink because of climate change.
The climate crisis is not simply about the disappearance
of certain animals and plants from particular places,
but about profound changes to ecosystems that provide
vital services to hundreds of millions of people. Half of
the world’s warm-water coral reefs have already been
lost, with impacts on other marine life and coastal
communities. Sea levels have risen by 16cm since the
start of the 20th century, and the continuing trend
threatens the existence of entire communities in coastal
and low-lying areas.
The increasing frequency and intensity of extreme events
such as heatwaves, floods, droughts and wildfires driven
by climate change is having a devastating effect on
food security and livelihoods, with losses of crops and
livestock production. Least developed countries are the
With 2021 a critical year for climate action, world leaders
must step up to deliver on ambitious targets that will
put our planet on the path to recovery – protecting the
health, wealth and security of future generations. These
actions must be achieved without leaving anyone behind.
气候危机不仅仅是关于消失来自特定地方的某些动植物，但关于生态系统的深刻变化为数亿人提供重要服务。一半世界上的温水珊瑚礁已经消失，对其他海洋生物和沿海生物造成影响社区。自今年以来海平面上升了 16 厘米20世纪初，以及持续的趋势威胁沿海地区整个社区的存在和低洼地区。极端事件的频率和强度不断增加
WHY DOES 1.5ºC MATTER?
Half a degree might sound insignificant, but the projected harm to unique and threatened systems increases enormously between a 1.5°C limit and higher temperature rises. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C highlights many differences in climate risks at 1.5°C, 2°C and higher levels of warming on land and in the oceans.
Risks from droughts and heavy precipitation events are projected to increase. Vulnerable communities who depend on agricultural or coastal livelihoods are likely to suffer impacts and increasingly face food insecurity. They will clearly benefit from a strict implementation of the Paris targets. For example, at 1.5°C, there will still be reductions in the yields of maize, rice, wheat and other cereal crops, but they are projected to be smaller than at 2°C, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, south-east Asia and Latin America.
半度可能听起来微不足道，但在 1.5°C 的限制和更高的温度升高之间，对独特和受威胁系统的预计危害会大大增加。 这政府间气候变化专门委员会 (IPCC) 关于全球升温 1.5°C 的特别报告强调了 1.5°C、2°C 和更高升温水平下气候风险的许多差异在陆地和海洋中。
预计干旱和强降水事件的风险将会增加。 依赖农业或沿海生计的弱势社区可能会受到影响并日益面临粮食不安全。 他们显然将从严格执行巴黎目标中受益。 例如，在 1.5°C 时，玉米的产量仍然会下降，稻、小麦和其他谷类作物，但预计低于 2°C，特别是在撒哈拉以南非洲、东南亚和拉丁美洲。
Low-lying and coastal communities are highly vulnerable to sea-level rise. Global sea-level rise by 2100 is projected to be 10cm higher at 2°C than if we keep to 1.5°C. Such a difference would expose up to 10 million more people to risks.
A half-degree increase would also permanently damage a variety of ecosystems and lead to the extinction of even more species across the globe. For example, warm-water coral reefs are projected to decline by a further 70-90% at 1.5°C warming but would be virtually lost under a 2°C scenario. If emissions keep rising as they are today, all known emperor penguin colonies will decline and most will be quasiextinct by the end of the century – but if we keep to 1.5°C their future can be secured. A global assessment analysed the potential effects of climate change on the range sizes of more than 105,000 terrestrial species.
It found that keeping temperature rise to 1.5°C rather than 2°C would halve the proportion of plants and vertebrates that are projected to lose more than 50% of their geographical range. Under the same scenario, the number of insects facing such range loss would decrease by two-thirds.Time is of the essence. To save humanity’s crucial life-support systems, the global community must act now. If we fail to limit global warming to 1.5°C, we will face even greater risks of a global decline of functioning ecosystems and an irreversible and catastrophic loss of species.
低洼和沿海社区极易受到海平面上升的影响。 到 2100 年，全球海平面上升预计在 2°C 时比保持在 1.5°C 时高 10 厘米。 这种差异将使多达 1000 万人面临风险。
预计在升温 1.5°C 时将进一步下降 70-90%，但在 2°C 情景下几乎会消失。 如果排放量像今天这样继续上升，所有已知的帝企鹅
一项全球评估分析了气候变化对超过 105,000 种陆地物种分布范围的潜在影响。
研究发现，将温度上升保持在 1.5°C 而不是 2°C 将使预计将失去 50% 以上地理范围的植物和脊椎动物的比例减半。 在同样的情况下，面临这种射程损失的昆虫数量将减少三分之二。时间至关重要。 为了拯救人类至关重要的生命支持系统，全球
社区必须立即行动。 如果我们不能将全球变暖限制在 1.5°C，我们将面临更大的全球气温下降风险
GLOBAL STATE OF PLAY
Greenhouse gas emissions from human activities are the dominant cause of the climate crisis. The main drivers are carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels for energy (for example in industry, transport and to heat buildings) and from releasing carbon stored in vegetation and soils (for example through deforestation to clear land for agriculture). Agriculture also contributes large amounts of the greenhouse gases methane and nitrous oxide.
To tackle climate change and its negative impacts, 196 countries (together with the EU) adopted the Paris Agreement on climate change in 2015. They agreed to pursue efforts to limit global temperature rises to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. All pathways to 1.5°C include rapid and deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, together with protecting and
enhancing natural carbon sinks such as forests, soils and wetlands.
However, despite political statements and
action to date, the world is not on track to slow
climate change. Short-term country climate
pledges – known as nationally determined
为应对气候变化及其负面影响，196 个国家（连同欧盟）于 2015 年通过了关于气候变化的《巴黎协定》。他们同意努力将全球气温上升限制在工业化前水平之上 1.5°C。达到 1.5°C 的所有途径都包括快速和深度减少温室气体排放，以及保护和加强森林、土壤和湿地等自然碳汇。
1. ATLANTIC PUFFIN
Sometimes called the ‘clown of the sea’, the Atlantic puffin may not delight bird lovers for much longer if ocean temperatures continue to rise. They lead a solitary life at sea, feeding and travelling. They return to land for a few months per year to breed. The UK provides vital nesting habitat for them in the summer.
Europe is home to over 90% of the Atlantic puffin population, but their numbers have been crashing in the last two decades.
Puffins face multiple threats. Overfishing has already severely reduced their food source. And since they are diving to catch fish, puffins are at risk of becoming entangled themselves in fishing gear.
Now climate change is driving drastic declines in puffin and other seabird numbers. Global warming leads to more severe and frequent weather events, which affects the puffins that spend most of their time at sea. High winds and heavy rainfall affect the birds’ ability to dive and find food. During the breeding season, extreme weather chills the eggs while storms destroy nests with chicks.
All elements of the marine ecosystem are inter-connected, and rising sea surface temperatures disrupt the entire marine food web the birds rely on for their survival. Puffins eat a mix of small pelagic fish, such as herrings, sprats, capelins and sandeels. Sandeels eat tiny crustaceans called copepods that
form dense swarms in certain places at specific times.Timing is everything, and sandeel larvae conveniently hatch close to the start of one such bloom in the spring. With plenty of food to eat, the baby sandeels can grow and become the meal of their top predators, puffins, who feed the nutritious fish to their growing chicks during nesting season.
Warmer waters trigger this food chain to be out of sync. In what scientists call a ‘trophic mismatch’, copepods are blooming before sandeels hatch. This results in fewer sandeels for the puffins to feed their young, causing the failure of entire colonies. Between 2000 and 2016, the mismatch between sandeels and copepods was estimated to be 19.8 days, and this will increase with higher temperatures. If we want to keep puffins and other seabird species afloat, we need to act now and limit the rise in global temperatures.
2. MOUNTAIN HARE
WRONG COAT FOR THE CLIMATE
As the UK’s only true native hares, mountain hares living in the Highlands of Scotland have evolved a brilliant strategy to escape predators. In the summer, they display a brown pelage that blends in with the environment. In October, they moult and switch to a white coat that keeps them well camouflaged in
the snow. Then in March, they moult again and revert back to their summer outfit. But the strategy is not working so well in a warming climate. Annual snow cover in the Scottish Highlands has declined by over 37 days on average between 1960 and 2016.
If mountain hares could adapt to the change by moulting later in the autumn and earlier in the spring they would better match the change in snow cover.So far, the evidence shows this hasn’t been happening, as climate change is occurring at a faster rate than the hares can adapt. They still keep their white coat on for roughly the same amount of time in the winter.
This means the hares’ camouflage is now mismatched to their environment for more than a month each year longer compared to 1960. During that time, they exhibit striking white fur against a snowless background, which leaves them more vulnerable to predators who can spot them more easily on the dark mountainside.
The mismatch is dangerous not just for hares in Scotland: it is a risk for many species that rely on seasonal changes in coat as an adaptation to avoid predators. In North America, a study showed that the weekly survival of snowshoe hares decreased by up to 14% when they were mismatched against their surroundings. Mountain hare numbers have also fallen in parts of Norway, linked to increased predation in areas with fewer snow days.
The climate change threat is not limited to a coat colour mismatch. Hares thrive in cold conditions. Warmer temperatures will push them to move higher, into smaller and more fragmented territories. Researchers who have been tracking hares in the Swiss Alps have found that their alpine habitat will reduce by around 35% by 2100. Warmer weather at a critical time of year will shrink the environment suitable for successful reproduction.
It is essential to limit further temperature increases to maintain suitable hare habitat and so that the animals get more time to develop a climateadapted wardrobe.
SPRING BLOOM OUT OF SYNC
With deep blue colours and an enchanting perfume, bluebell woods in full bloom are one of most magical experiences associated with springtime in the UK. But the sight may become rarer in the future. With a warming climate, the bluebells, along with other countryside plant species, may have a hard time. Under the projection of global temperatures rising to 2°C, large parts of southern and central England are likely to be become inhospitable for bluebells.
A member of the lily family, the bluebell overwinters as a bulb and emerges in the spring to flower between mid-April and late May. Temperature controls plant development and flowering. In the spring and early summer, drought can reduce their growth. Warmer temperatures can impede germination and can shift timing of flowering to become out of sync with the seasons. A study based on 200,000 observations of seasonal cycles recorded by nature enthusiasts for the Woodland Trust revealed that the first leafing or flowering dates for bluebells and 21 other plant species across the UK were affected by warmer spring temperatures. For each 1°C temperature increase, the plants were leafing or flowering between three and eight days earlier than they used to.
Plants have an optimum time and conditions for developing leaves and flowers which give them the best chance to grow and reproduce. With warmer temperatures and drier conditions, their future may be compromised. Bluebells take advantage of the open canopy in early spring, growing and flowering before the canopy closes over as the leaves of beech, oak and other trees expand. If bluebells cannot time their growth and development to coincide with the changing seasons, they may lose out.
The native British bluebell is already under threat from pollution, the destruction of woodland habitat through urban development, and the invasion of the introduced Spanish bluebell varieties that are less colourful and fragrant than the native flowers, but more vigorous. If we do not limit the rise in global temperatures, climate change could make our beloved native bluebells only a countryside memory in parts of the UK.
欧洲拥有超过 90% 的大西洋海雀种群，但在过去的二十年里，它们的数量一直在急剧下降。
温暖的海水会导致这条食物链失去同步。在科学家所说的“营养不匹配”中，桡足类在沙鳗孵化之前就已经开花了。这导致海雀喂养幼崽的沙鳗数量减少，导致整个殖民地的失败。在 2000 年到 2016 年之间，沙鳗和桡足类之间的不匹配估计为 19.8 天，并且随着温度的升高而增加。如果我们想让海雀和其他海鸟物种继续生存，我们需要立即采取行动，限制全球气温上升。
作为英国唯一真正的本土野兔，生活在苏格兰高地的山地野兔已经进化出一种出色的策略来逃避掠食者。在夏天，它们呈现出与环境融为一体的棕色毛皮。十月，它们换羽并换上一件白色外套，让它们在雪。然后在三月，他们再次蜕皮并恢复他们的夏季服装。但该策略在气候变暖的情况下效果不佳。从 1960 年到 2016 年，苏格兰高地的年积雪平均减少了 37 天以上。
这意味着与 1960 年相比，野兔的伪装现在与环境不匹配的时间比 1960 年增加了一个多月。在那段时间里，它们在无雪的背景下展现出引人注目的白色皮毛，这使它们更容易受到更容易发现它们的捕食者的攻击轻松地在黑暗的山腰上。
气候变化威胁不仅限于毛色不匹配。野兔在寒冷的环境中茁壮成长。气温升高将推动它们向更高处移动，进入更小、更分散的地区。一直在瑞士阿尔卑斯山追踪野兔的研究人员发现，到 2100 年，它们的高山栖息地将减少约 35%。一年中关键时期的温暖天气将缩小适合成功繁殖的环境。
深蓝色和迷人的香水，盛开的风信子树林是英国春天最神奇的体验之一。但未来这种景象可能会变得更加罕见。随着气候变暖，风信子以及其他乡村植物物种可能会遇到困难。在全球气温上升至 2°C 的预测下，英格兰南部和中部的大部分地区可能会变得不适合蓝铃花生长。
作为百合科的一员，风信子以球茎的形式越冬，并在春季出现，在 4 月中旬至 5 月下旬之间开花。温度控制植物的发育和开花。在春季和初夏，干旱会减少它们的生长。较高的温度会阻碍发芽，并可能改变开花时间，使其与季节不同步。一项基于自然爱好者为 Woodland Trust 记录的 200,000 次季节性周期观察的研究表明，第一次生叶或开花英国各地的风信子和其他 21 种植物物种的日期受到春季气温升高的影响。温度每升高 1°C，植物的生叶或开花时间就会比它们提前 3 到 8 天。习惯了。
TOO WARM FOR THE FUZZY POLLINATORS
Among the most important pollinators, bumblebees can generate heat while flying and their fuzzy bodies act as a warm coat. With these special adaptations, they thrive in cold climates. But they are susceptible to overheating and a
warming world is pushing them to temperatures they cannot tolerate.
A recent study of over half a million observations of 66 bumblebee species around the world, going back for more than a century, shows where the insects used to live and where they are found today – with evidence of rapid and widespread declines. The researchers discovered that the chances of spotting a bumblebee in any given area in North America have dropped by almost half from 1901-1974 to 2000-2014 and by 17% in Europe on average. Their disappearance from a region means they have either moved elsewhere or died. Bumblebees have been hit the hardest in warmer places, including Mexico and Spain, where they cannot cope with increasing temperatures. But even in relatively cool regions such as the UK, bumblebees have also been declining.
While some bumblebees have responded to the hotter temperatures by colonising cooler, more northerly regions, this has not been enough to compensate for the losses. The extent of their range expansion is far smaller than the extent of range lost, which could push some bumblebee species towards extinction.
Approximately 250 species of bumblebees exist in the world, and climate change is not the only factor driving their widespread decline. Bumblebees face multiple threats to their existence, including the destruction of habitat due to intensive agriculture and land-use changes, the spread of diseases, the use of harmful pesticides such as neonicotinoids, and the release of non-native bees for commercial pollination. For example, great yellow bumblebees used to be found throughout the UK. In the last century their population has declined by 80% because of climate change, pesticides, the loss of flower-rich meadows and the intensification of farming. They are now restricted to the northern Highlands and the islands of Scotland.
Bumblebees pollinate many types of wild plants as well as agricultural crops such as tomatoes, aubergines and blueberries. The loss of the important ecosystem services they provide threatens food security and overall biodiversity. If we do not act now to limit global temperatures, climate change could be the final straw for some bumblebee species
最近一项对全球 66 种大黄蜂超过 50 万次观测的研究可以追溯到一个多世纪前，该研究显示了这些昆虫过去生活的地方以及它们今天的发现地——有证据表明它们正在迅速而广泛地减少。研究人员发现，从 1901-1974 年到 2000-2014 年，在北美任何特定地区发现大黄蜂的机会几乎下降了一半，在欧洲平均下降了 17%。他们从一个地区消失意味着他们要么搬到别处，要么死去。大黄蜂在温暖的地方受到的打击最为严重，包括墨西哥
世界上大约有 250 种大黄蜂，气候变化并不是导致大黄蜂普遍衰退的唯一因素。大黄蜂的生存面临多重威胁，包括由于集约化农业和土地利用变化导致栖息地破坏、疾病传播、使用新烟碱类等有害杀虫剂，以及释放非本地蜜蜂进行商业授粉。例如，大黄蜂曾经是