International Congress for Conservation Biology logoWhether big cats on U.S. soil or tiny bats around the world, more and more species are being driven toward extinction and crammed into smaller slivers of habitat as a result of unchecked climate change. That’s bad for the diversity of life on Earth and often bad for people, too, according to recent research by conservation biologists and other analysts. But amid the gloom, some promising strategies might protect people from harsher climates while preserving nature.

At the annual conference of the Society for Conservation Biology, held earlier this month in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, 128 of the nearly 1,100 research presentations, posters, and papers dealt exclusively with the impacts of climate change on the Earth’s species. The lesson learned: that this impact is nearly always negative. Perhaps twice as many additional studies considered climate change alongside other major drivers of extinction such as population growth and habitat destruction, making climate change the biggest issue at the conference. Not even 10 years earlier, climate featured heavily in only half as much of the Society’s work.

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