Review

Scenarios for Global Biodiversity in the 21st Century

Science  10 Dec 2010:
Vol. 330, Issue 6010, pp. 1496-1501
DOI: 10.1126/science.1196624

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Abstract

Quantitative scenarios are coming of age as a tool for evaluating the impact of future socioeconomic development pathways on biodiversity and ecosystem services. We analyze global terrestrial, freshwater, and marine biodiversity scenarios using a range of measures including extinctions, changes in species abundance, habitat loss, and distribution shifts, as well as comparing model projections to observations. Scenarios consistently indicate that biodiversity will continue to decline over the 21st century. However, the range of projected changes is much broader than most studies suggest, partly because there are major opportunities to intervene through better policies, but also because of large uncertainties in projections.

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