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New issue of the UZH Magazine

Tipping Points, Species Extinction and Sleeping Beauties

Climate change is putting a lot of stress on the Earth’s ecosystems. The potential collapse of these ecosystems will have serious consequences for life on our planet. The latest UZH Magazin explores the links between climate change and biodiversity and how nature’s ingenuity could help us adapt to the changing environment.
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Terraced garden outside of Les Hières, France. (Image Ethan Welty)

Climate change and species loss are among the greatest challenges of our time. And the two issues are closely linked: global warming is putting plant and animal species at risk, while biodiversity loss is speeding up climate warming. These changes are not linear, and scientists have defined so-called global warming tipping points. Reaching such a tipping point will result in fundamental changes in the Earth’s biological systems, with coral reefs dying off or the Amazon basin turning into grassland, for example.

The magazine’s dossier explores the serious consequences for the global climate when ecosystems reach tipping points and how feedback effects can accelerate global warming. It also shines a light on nature’s dormant innovations that spring into action when environmental conditions change.

As always, the UZH Magazin features a wide range of additional topics, including research on personalized stem cells for heart patients and a project to detect habitable planets. A selection of articles from the magazine will be published here in English over the coming weeks. Stay tuned!