Animating the Carbon Cycle

Climate change is commonly viewed as causing collateral damage to biodiversity. Wildlife species, particularly animals, are widely perceived as unwitting victims - passengers trapped aboard a ship on an ill-fated voyage. In reality, animals play a critical role in determining the course of the climate ship. From elephants to grasshoppers, sharks to sea otters, species of all descriptions, habitats, and climate zones impact global carbon exchange in different ways. Within a complex web of interactions, some have a greater impact than others, while the impact of the same species may vary from ecosystem to ecosystem. This report provides 10 case studies that showcase the diversity and complexity of the relationship between animals and the global carbon cycle, both in terrestrial and marine environments. They also demonstrate just how important it is to protect and restore wildlife populations as we look to address climate change.

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