lecture series

lecture series

2014 - Prof Camille Parmesan - Biodiversity and Climate Change

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The first Annual Plymouth Linnean Lecture was held on Wednesday 19th March 2014 at Plymouth University by Professor Camille Parmesan and was entitled "Biodiversity and Climate Change - Connecting the Past to the Future". This video acts as a permanent record of the Linnean Lecture Series and we welcome your comments and feedback. The lecture was presented jointly by Plymouth University and the Linnean Society of London. It was hosted by Dr Malcolm Scoble (Scientific Secretary to the Linnean Society of London) and this video includes his introduction and a Q&A with the audience. With greenhouse gas emissions continuing to rise, Earth is rapidly approaching a climate regime not experienced for millennia; however, previous scientific studies can provide vital clues as to the potential impact this current episode could have on wildlife, with records showing many species shifted where they live, sometimes by more than 1000km, as glaciers moved in and out during the Pleistocene. To determine if modern species are also now moving in response to the warming of their environments due to climate change, we access recordings from amateur naturalists that detail the locations of species over time, building on Linné's simple system of classification, which recorded birds, butterflies and flowering plants from the 1760s and can be directly compared to current distributions. Using this method, we can show that some 40-50% of plants and animals have shifted their ranges towards the poles and up mountains, attempting to track the shifting climate