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Dangers Facing Alpine Ecosystems in 10 Japan Prefectures

Dangers Facing Alpine Ecosystems in 10 Japan Prefectures

   Tokyo, Nov. 27 (Jiji Press)--Alpine animals and plants in 10 of Japan's 47 prefectures such as Hokkaido are likely to lose places to live in the country by the end of the 21st century as global warming worsens, a Japanese research team reported Wednesday.
   As temperatures in their living environments rise gradually due to progress in global warming, living species move northward or to higher altitudes in search of the temperatures they are adapted to.
   Researchers from the Nagano Environmental Conservation Research Institute and other public institutions estimated the velocity of climate change (VoCC), or how fast it is necessary to move to find the same climate conditions, by comparing yearly average temperatures for about one square kilometer between the 1981-2010 period and the 2076-2100 period.
   Then they found that under the scenario of global warming continuing into the 22nd century the average VoCC is the fastest in Okinawa Prefecture, at 2,174 meters per year, followed by Chiba Prefecture, at 738 meters.
   Okinawa, which comprises islands, and Chiba, which has large areas of flat land, have no high-altitude locations in their vicinity, so alpine animals and plants need to travel farther to find places where they can survive, they said.

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