Climate change encompasses temperature increases ("global warming"), sea-level rise, changes in precipitation patterns, and increased frequencies of extreme weather events. In particular, recent findings by the scientific community suggest that global warming is causing shifts in species spatial distribution. Entire regions are also suffering from the effects of global warming, in particular mountain and polar ecosystems.
In the past, climate changes have had dramatic repercussions, including large numbers of extinctions and extensive shifts in species ranges. As human-induced climate change accelerates, scientists and policymakers involved with biodiversity conservation need authoritative information in order to design effective plans and responses.