Ever get the "climate blues"? Yeah, me too. But don't fret - there's good news.
As everyone knows, the careless destruction of species and ecosystems is giving our Mother a seriously hard time, and our heating things isn't helping any. While it is important to reduce carbon emissions, it's even more important to preserve and restore Terra's life systems so that she can better adapt to the changing climate. For this reason, innumerable conservation projects and programs have been launched.
And the good news is they seem to be working. A recent study published in Biological Conservation gathered all the conservation literature out there, took a good hard look at it, and determined which ones investigated the impact of conservation efforts on species resilience to climate change . Out of the thousands of studies surveyed, they found 77. Of the 77, 62 (81%) confirmed at least one beneficial response to conservation.
The study also estimated that the most successful programs targeted individual species. However, broader-scope efforts such as planting native vegetation and establishing protected habitats that aid a large number of species are also crucial in helping Terra adapt to the changing climate. "Targeted adaptation may help the most vulnerable species persist in a changing climate, whilst promoting effective protected area networks and improving the condition of degraded habitats is likely to benefit large numbers of species," explains Professor James Pearce-Higgins, who oversaw this research project. Study co-author Dr. Wendy Foden remarks that more research is needed in the tropics and Southern Hemisphere.
The reason species-targeted conservation efforts work so well likely has to do with the fact that they preserve and promote biodiversity. After all, biodiversity is crucial for helping fight climate change and keeps both Terra and humans healthy (Shaw, 2018).
So yes, you can cheer up now. Conservation really does work. And you can help increase biodiversity too, starting with your own backyard!