Evergreen State College Professor Examines Global Warming Influence on the Wet Tropics

October 14, 2008

Evergreen Professor Jack Longino joined a team of researchers in publishing a report in the October 9 issue of Science. The article, Global Warming, Elevational Range Shifts, and Lowland Biotic Attrition in the Wet Tropics examines the impact of global warming in the wet tropics – an area encompassing a large fraction of the planet. The authors study new data on plants and insects, evaluating projections for global warming and what this will mean for species. The authors conclude that tropical lowland areas may face a distinct attrition of species and that many species in the area under study will face declining habitat under climate change scenarios, particularly in the lowlands of Costa Rica.

John “Jack” Longino, a nationally recognized specialist in Neotropical Myrmecology, the scientific study of ants, joined researchers from the University of Connecticut, the Friedrich-Schiller Universitaet of Jena, Germany; and the University of California in providing this analysis. The Neotropic zone includes more tropical rainforest than any other ecozone, extending from southern Mexico through Central America and northern South America to southern Brazil, including the Amazon rainforest. This geographic area contains the vast majority of terrestrial biological diversity.