"When people warn that the destruction of nature is contributing to climate
change, the image that often comes to mind is tropical rainforests felled by
chainsaws and fires. Oswald Schmitz would like you to think about something
else as well: wildebeests.
When people talk about both the causes and solutions for the climate crisis
plants are often the centerpiece of conversations when it comes to natural
systems. It makes sense that people would think of plants first, since they
suck CO2 out of the air and turn it into wood and greenery.
For years, Schmitz, a Yale University ecologist, has worked to draw people’s
attention to the under-appreciated ways in which animals are also part of the
carbon equation. A decade ago he helped coin the term “animating the carbon
cycle” to draw attention to this.
Now, writing in Nature Climate Change
, he lays out the case that returning
wild animals to their native habitats—known as “rewilding”—can also make a
sizeable dent in our carbon surplus.
“Wildlife species, throughout their interaction with the environment, are the
missing link between biodiversity and climate,” said Schmitz, who wrote the new
paper with fellow scientists from the U.S., Canada, Europe and South Africa."
Via Rodrigo Mesa, then Susan ✶✶✶✶ and also Kenny Chaffin.
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics