TCD International Conference on Climate Change

Posted on: 01 September 2008

An international conference on Climate Change and Systematics hosted by TCD’s  School of Natural Sciences was opened by the Minister of State for Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Michael Kitt today (September 1, 2008). The Minister of State also launched the 6th Scientific Statement on the Impacts of Climate Change on Biodiversity.

The impact of climate change on animals, plants as well as grasses and savannas is being discussed at the conference where delegates will present past responses of species to climate change and predict what will happen in the future.

TCD is a centre of excellence for studies in Climate Change Biology and Systematics and is hosting the three-day conference (September 1-3) on behalf of the Systematics Association and the Linnean Society. Systematics is the science of documenting, describing and explaining the diversity of living organisms. Climate change has influenced the evolution, extinction and geographic distribution of species.

During the conference, delegates heard that climate change would lead to the loss of up to 40% of the suitable climatic areas for Irish peatlands by 2075. A paper on the impact of climate change on biodiversity of Ireland presented by academics from TCD’s Department of Botany led by Professor Mike Jones predicted the loss of almost half the suitable areas for peatlands within 60 years.

The conference is taking place in the Walton Theatre, the Arts Building, TCD

Talks include:

Climate change: teasing out the regional details.  Ray Mc Grath   Met Éireann,

Assessing the effectiveness of a protected area network in the face of climatic change (birds of sub-Saharan Africa). Brian Huntley, Institute of Ecosystem Science, School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Durham University

Origins and extinctions in the fossil record Peter Mayhew   Department of  Biology, University of York.

Lepidoptera and climate change  (butterflies and moths) Tim Sparks  NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Monks Wood, Abbots Ripton, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire

Climate change and rare montane plant communities in the West of Ireland  Rory Hodd & Micheline Sheehy Skeffington  Department of Botany, National University of Ireland Galway, Galway, Ireland

Conserving plant diversity and climate change Peter Wyse Jackson Director of the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland, Glasnevin, Dublin