Climate Change – One of our strengths

One of the greatest challenges that humanity faces is climate change because of the extreme events that it implies (droughts, floods, etc.).

his challenge is even greater in the tropics where human welfare is threatened by the impact of these changes and its characteristic great biodiversity is put at risk.

Since 1996, Dr. J. Alan Pounds, Scientist in Residence at the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Preserve belonging to the TSC is conducting an investigation program on climate change and its biological impacts with his results published in various media.

Pounds and his collaborators have made the following contributions:

  • Evidence of the impact that global warming had on diverse ecosystems during the 80’s that caused an abrupt and sharp climate change around the world.
  • The first analysis of different organisms in different parts of the world demonstrate a coherent response to climate change.
  • Evidences that the warming is altering the cloud formations in tropical mountains that reduces low cloud cover and mist and putting the cloud forest in danger.
  • The firs report from the tropics that demonstrates differences on an altitudinal level and the reduction of species of birds, reptiles and amphibians in Monteverde, product of climate change.
  • The first tests that support the hypothesis of epidemics associated with climate change formulated to explain the amphibian decline in wilderness; the Harlequin Frogs (genus Atelopus) of Central and South America, for example.
  • The first evidence that vinculate the extinction of certain species to climate change, such as the Golden Toad (Incilius periglenes) of Monteverde and various species of Harlequin Frogs.
  • The formulation of the hypothesis that rising temperatures provokes a proliferation of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidisthat promotes an outbreak of this pathogen implie in the various declines in amphibians.

In the TSC, we continue the effort to understand how climate change manifests in local climates of tropical mountains and its implications:  we put up to date the panorama of animals (birds, reptiles and amphibians) and we experiment with orchids, since epiphytes are the essence of cloud forests. Great Green Macaw

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