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Latest News

Progress with 2016 atlasing in Hessequa by Johan Van Rooyen

Sensational September for SABAP2

The power of citizen science: spinning dials in October

Six million records in the SABAP2 database

SABAP2 at 70% in South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland

Northern Cape reaches 40% – congratulations to all involved

Only 99 left! Claim yours now

SABAP2 priotrities: October to December 2014

2014 could easily be SABAP2's best year for data collection!

Greater Kruger National Park Challenge – 2014 – the mid-year progress report says "Outstanding"

Two-thirds coverage in 2014 of the Four Degrees of Greater Gauteng reached on 5 July

DAY 1 of YEAR 8 of SABAP2

UCT planned maintenance this weekend: 09h00 Saturday 21 June – 17h00 Sunday 22 June

Colour Rings on Swift Terns

SABAP2 doing awesomely in 2014; today we celebrate the milestone of a "MiniProject"

There is one thing that SABAP2 does better than any similar project, anywhere on this planet

You are awesome, Team SABAP2. You have made 20000 checklists for the Western Cape

Citizen Science Week : Saturday 8 March to Sunday 16 March

SABAP2 up to the end of February, 2014

SABAP2 at the end of the first half of February 2014

One hundred thousand checklists in the SABAP2 database: awesome milestone, well done, Team

Be part of the "Kruger Green Team"

These Four Degrees are on the cusp of a lot of milestones

Increasing in abundance, but not in range – Dark-capped Bulbul

How did we get along in the first half of November?

SABAP1 vs SABAP2: the Rock Dove aka Feral Pigeon

How to submit records to the Virtual Museums

SABAP2 strides ahead in October

Five million records

Project progress, first half of October

THIS COUNTDOWN CLOCK IS NOW BELOW 100

September progress with SABAP2

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report released

Barberspan conference 28 November – 3 December 2013

Weaver Wednesday [66]: Sao Tome Weaver

Weaver Wednesday [65]: Black-necked Weaver

Sappi TREE TUESDAY, and today we are featuring the Knobbly Creeper

Today is Sappi TREE TUESDAY! The Weeping Sage Buddleja auriculata

Weaver Wednesday: Village Weaver

Public Lecture Wednesday 18 September "The metamorphosis of the butterfly atlas"

2000 up on Facebook

"Citizens who advance science"

This part of South Africa is especially important for annual coverage!

SpringMAP 2013

Weaver Wednesday: Cinnamon Weaver

Bring the trumpets out of the cupboard! Sound the fanfare

Virtual Museum records

Twenty years of CWACing the Bot River Estuary

Atlas bash to Loeriesfontein, Northern Cape, 8-11 August 2013

Save the date: 20-21 July 2013, SABAP2 workshop, Port Elizabeth

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report released

IPCC reporetOn Friday 27 September 2013, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the first part of its Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) on global climate change. The first part of AR5, the Working Group I contribution, was complied by a team of 259 lead authors and over 600 contributing authors from 39 countries. The report, published as Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis, provides a comprehensive assessment of the most upto date evidence and science behind the physical science basis of global climate change. According to a press release by BirdLife International, calling for ambitious respone to climate change, the report "states with greater confidence and authority than ever that climate change is happening, and that human influence on climate is clear. The evidence is stronger, thanks to more and better observations, an improved understanding of the climate system’s response, and improved climate models".

As may be expected, the report has been met with mixed reactions. According to George Monbiot, Environmental Columnist for the Gaurdian newspaper (UK) "Already, a thousand blogs and columns insist the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's new report is a rabid concoction of scare stories whose purpose is to destroy the global economy". But, the report is the concensus output of over 850 expert contributors, recieved input from more than 1000 expert reviewers and 1855 comments from 32 governments. As George Monbiot goes on to note in his article, it is "perhaps the biggest and most rigorous process of peer review conducted in any scientific field, at any point in human history" and "there are no radical departures in this report from the previous assessment, published in 2007". It is just that the evidence is now becoming overwhelming that warming and purterbation in the Earth’s climate system is unequivocal and the signature of human-driven change undeniable.

For global biodiversity, the predictions are dire. Global surface temperature change for the end of the 21st century is likely to exceed 1.5°C relative to 1850-1900 and unless emissions are cut radically there is little chance of staying below 2°C, the upper limit to prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system agreed by the United Nations Environment Programme. Heat waves are very likely to occur more frequently and last longer. Wet regions of the earth will recieve more rain, dry regions less. As the ocean warms, and glaciers and ice sheets reduce, global mean sea level will continue to rise, at an ever faster rate.

In the marine environment, global climate change in likely to lead to changes in water temperatures, circulation, sratification, nutrient input, oxygen content and ocean acidification as the oceans absorb carbon dioxide. So far, CO2 concentrations have increased by 40% since pre-industrial times, primarily from fossil fuel emissions and the ocean has absorbed about 30% of the emitted anthropogenic carbon dioxide. These changes, because of physical intolerance in many species to new environmental conditions, will lead to altered species distributions, reduced structure and diversity in marine communities and changes in species interactions. Many of these impacts are already evident and are set to get worse. For penguins, which are already amongst the most threathened groups of birds in the world, climate change is a big concern. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) currently recognises 18 species of penguin and "climate change" or "ocean warming" are recognised as current or potential threats to 10 of them on the IUCN Red List.

To find out more about how you can help the call for action, check out the responses of global NGOs like WWF and BirdLife International. The summary (36 pages) of the IPCC AR5 Working Group I contribution can be read here and the full report will be released on Monday.


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