More than half of common plant species and a third of animals could see a serious decline in their habitat range because of climate change.
New research suggests that biodiversity around the globe will be significantly impacted if temperatures rise more than 2C. But the scientists say that the losses can be reduced if rapid action is taken to curb greenhouse gases. The paper is published in the journal, Nature Climate Change.
An international team of researchers looked at the impacts of rising temperatures on nearly 50,000 common species of plants and animals.
They looked at both temperature and rainfall records for the habitats that these species now live in and mapped the areas that would remain suitable for them under a number of different climate change scenarios.
The scientists projected that if no significant efforts were made to limit greenhouse gas emissions, 2100 global temperatures would be 4C above pre-industrial levels.
In this model, some 34% of animal species and 57% of plants would lose more than half of their current habitat ranges.
According to Dr Rachel Warren from the University of East Anglia, this would have major impacts for everyone on the planet.
"Our research predicts that climate change will greatly reduce the diversity of even very common species found in most parts of the world. This loss of global-scale biodiversity would significantly impoverish the biosphere and the ecosystem services it provides," she said.
"There will also be a knock-on effect for humans because these species are important for things like water and air purification, flood control, nutrient cycling, and eco-tourism."
The projected impacts on species will be felt more heavily in some parts of the world such as sub-Saharan Africa, Central America, the Amazon region and Australia.
However the researchers say that if global emissions of greenhouse gases are cut rapidly then the impact on biodiversity could be significantly curbed. If global emissions reach their peak in 2016 and temperature rises are held to 2C, then losses could be cut by 60%.
The River Murray system is being reconnected, with native fish, waterbirds and plants set to benefit from increased flows and reduced salt.
One hundred and fifty gigalitres of environmental water is now being delivered within the River Murray to June 2013, with key benefits for the River Murray channel, Coorong and Lower Lakes.
The environmental benefits of watering throughout the system and down into the Lower Lakes and Coorong include assisting native fish spawning and movement, improving the health of native vegetation, supporting waterbirds and increasing food sources for native animals.
Commonwealth environmental water will increase the export of salt and nutrients out to sea through the Murray mouth.
Without the environmental water, barrage flows into the Coorong would cease and salinity levels in the Coorong South Lagoon would be expected to increase, making it difficult for native fish populations and native vegetation to thrive.
Commonwealth environmental water is being managed in a way that connects the rivers of the southern Murray-Darling Basin, including the Goulburn River, the lower Darling River and the River Murray channel from Hume Dam. This River Murray watering will be complemented by additional flows that have been delivered through the Goulburn system and into the River Murray.
The Basin Plan's environmental watering plan has specific objectives to support ecosystem recovery within the Coorong and Lower Lakes.
A major tourism destination in western Nepal faces increased risk of natural disasters following a devastating flood last year, experts have warned.
They say the sudden flood on the Seti river, which killed more than 60 people, has brought changes in the course and flow-pattern of the river. These changes are now threatening human settlements in and around Nepal's second-largest city Pokhara.
The changes may set the stage for serious effects on tourism in the area.
A scenic city and a gateway to Nepal's most-trekked region, Pokhara is located close to towering Himalayan mountains like Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Machhapuchhre.
During a recent visit by the BBC to the foothills of the Annapurna range, where the Seti river originates, several locals' houses and tourist restaurants upstream of Pokhara already appeared to be at risk.
In the northern outskirts of Pokhara, at least half a dozen houses have been swept away in subsequent floods because of the changes in the river's course after the sudden flooding, which occurred one year ago on Sunday.
Geographers and hydrologists say deposition of a great deal of mud, pebbles, sand and boulders by the flood at several sections of the waterway is responsible for the changed river-course.
Some houses have been deserted because the edges they stand on have been collapsing due to erosion; a few metres away, a highway that connects with a newly built road reaching the Tibet border is threatened.
"With the river having changed its course after last year's flood, several sections of the riverbanks that people thought were safe for human settlements earlier have now been eaten up by the river," said engineer Dhurbaraj Poudel, who heads the Nepali government's water-induced disaster management office in Pokhara.
Although the reason for the flood is still debated, some believe it was an avalanche-induced rock failure on the flanks of the Annapurna mountain, which in turn hit a temporary mud-dam 2,000 metres below.
They think the collapse of the dam formed by previous landslides caused the impounded water to burst out.
A number of villages and markets were wiped out as floodwaters hurtled towards Pokhara, sweeping away people and livestock. The debris deposited by the flood is as high as 20 metres at places.
But people are now more concerned about monsoon-driven floods, rather than the kind of sudden flooding last year.
"That unusual flood set a dangerous stage like this," said Thakur Prasad Wagle, a local leader.
"These people had never imagined that the river that flowed on the other side of the basin would come to their doorstep one day."
Prof Krishna KC, who heads the geography department at the Prithvi Narayan Campus in Pokhara, agreed about the risks to settlements, but thinks that the main tourist centre in Pokhara does not face immediate threat because it is relatively far from the waterway.
"But if there is a really huge flood, then you never know, and I don't want to imagine that now."
Formation of this valley itself is linked to gravel deposition following outbursts of huge glacial lakes from this section of the Himalayas thousands of years ago.
A hybrid farmland grass, developed by a team of UK researchers, could help reduce flooding, a study has shown.
A team of plant and soil scientists said tests showed the new cultivar reduced run-off by 51%, compared with a variety widely used to feed livestock.
They added that rapid growth and well developed root systems meant that more moisture was retained within the soil rather than running into river systems.
The findings appear in the journal Scientific Reports.
The novel grass is a hybrid of perennial ryegrass (Lollium perenne) - which is widely planted by farmers for grazing livestock - and meadow fescue (Festuca pratensis), which has environmental stress-resistant characteristics.
Co-author Kit Macleod, senior research scientist at the James Hutton Institute based in Aberdeen, said a long-term project had been developing novel forage grasses but their environmental benefits had not really been tested.
"So I had the idea to... set up an experiment to look at how these novel grasses could be good for not only production from a farmer's perspective but also reducing run-off," he told BBC News.
"There is a lot of interest in how we manage agricultural landscapes to produce multiple benefits - particularly in relation to environmental stresses, such as changing precipitation and temperature patterns."
Over a two-year period at the Rothamsted Research site in North Devon, the team found that the hybrid grass reduced run-off by up to 51% compared with perennial ryegrass and by 43% compared with meadow fescue.
"We think that how [the runoff was reduced] was to do with changes in the soil structure, and how this grass changed that," Dr Macleod explained.
"It creates more storage capacity for water. Over a two-year experiment, we saw that there was a change in the soil structure as a result of a wetting and drying of the soil in clay-rich soils, and that can increase the amount of structure and hence storage of water.
"But also the rapid growth of the roots, which these Festuca are well known for, suggested that it had created extra structure to increase the storage capacity."
However, he was keen to stress that the grass was not a "magic bullet" that could prevent flooding; it would only help reduce the volume of run-off from grazing meadows into flood-prone areas of river systems.
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