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Global warming may decimate panda habitat

Study shows how climate change may wipe out bamboo understory

Some panda habitat like to be gone by the end of the century. Photo courtesy USFWS.

Some bamboo forests in China likely to disappear as climate warms.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Add climate change to the long list of existential threats facing panda bears. Scientists from Michigan State University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences worked together to show that, even under the most optimistic scenario, global warming is likely to wipe out huge swaths of prime panda habitat by the end of the 21st century.

“Understanding impacts of climate change is an important way for science to assist in making good decisions,” said Jianguo “Jack” Liu, director of MSU’s Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability. “Looking at the climate impact on the bamboo can help us prepare for the challenges that the panda will likely face in the future.”

The scientists studied possible scenarios of climate change in the Qinling Mountains in ShaanxiProvince. At the northern boundary of China’s panda distributional range, the Qinling Mountains are home to around 275 wild pandas, about 17 percent of the remaining wild population. Continue reading

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