A virtual consensus has now been reached among scientists on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC: http://www.ipcc.ch) that greenhouse gases released into our atmosphere through human industry are causing the global climate to warm. Using bird survey data and models of future climate scenarios, researchers at the Centre for Tropical Biodiversity and Climate Change have shown that many species face a drastic reduction in their range, and some unique rainforest species like the Golden Bowerbird are at risk of extinction. As the climate warms over the next 50 to 100 years, their ranges are predicted to shrink upwards to isolated mountain tops and may eventually disappear altogether.
Our current understanding of human impacts the global climate system is firmly based in scientific evidence, as is our understanding of the risk to biodiversity and ecosystems that is posed by Climate Change. The irony is that scientific research itself can be a highly carbon-intensive operation. Our research in some spectacular and remote locations in the rainforests of far north queensland and encounters with some of Australia’s rarest and most vulnerable bird species have led us to recognise an urgent need to address not only the gaps in scientific knowledge about the role of climate in biodiversity processes, but also the need to address the issues of carbon emission-reduction on a community level… What better way to do this than to start with our own backyard?