As climate change alters habitats and disrupts ecosystems, where will animals move to survive? And will human development prevent them from getting there?
Scientists predict that global warming will initiate a chain reaction of micro and macro effects in many different areas of life on our planet. For example, it will trigger the migration of animals, who will have to move to cooler or more suitable habitats in order to survive over the next century.
An amazing mapping project called Migrations in Motion visualizes the trajectories that species are expected (or indeed forced) to take in the coming decades as the climate changes. Researchers at The University of Washington and The Nature Conservancy modeled potential habitat for 2954 species using climate change projections and the climatic needs of each species. The effect is the origin destination matrix connecting current habitats with their projected locations under climate change.
Below is an animation of expected migration routes in South America. For an interactive version including North America, click here.