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E. Understanding How Climate Change Will Affect Plants and Animals

Narrator: This is Science Today. Scientists have been pointing to climate change as a future cause for droughts, floods, and other natural disasters. Now, biologist Kaustuv Roy of the University of California , San Diego says that climate change can also affect the ecology of certain areas.

Roy : Plants and animals shift around on the landscape so you may have built a nature reserve today and you know exactly what you're trying to preserve because they live there, but if the climate changes substantially, some of those plants and animals may move somewhere else.

Narrator: While the study of climate change is relatively new, Roy says that it could be one of the most important problems facing the planet.

Roy : It really doesn't matter which side of the conservation debate you're in. We all need to figure out what the consequences of the climate warming are. If you can't figure out the consequences, you can't even have a good conservation plan or you can't have a good management plan. And, given the trajectory of climate over the next few centuries, the magnitude of that problem is so big that we better pay attention to it.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.