Ecosystems

Warming would cause major shifts in the areas of natural ecosystem types such as temperate or boreal forest, prairie and tundra. At the IPCC projected levels of warming the boundaries of biomes could shift towards the poles by several hundred kilometers.

A particularly sensitive indicator of warming might be coral in the marine ecosystem. Corals undergo bleaching when the reef temperatures rise by even a 1-2°C over their normal maximum of 28-29°C. Massive bleaching of corals has been reported [10] from many parts of the world including the Caribbean and the Philippines. Taken along with the rate of retreat of the western alpine glaciers, these phenomena can be very sensitive indirect indicators global warming.

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