Maine

leads to local famine and cholera outbreaks. Madagascar's western coast, mangrove forests are particularly susceptible to any increase in sea levels. Although warmer ocean temperatures caused by global climate change have been recorded in northern Madagascar, the effects of this change on the coral reefs in the region have been mitigated, at least temporarily, by cooler water from deep ocean currents. Madagascar's unique flora and fauna are also susceptible to climate change. For example, reduced rainfall has negatively affected endangered sifaka lemur populations. The impact of climate change and global warming in Madagascar is exacerbated by deforestation resulting from increased population and unsustainable swidden farming and logging that has reduced forest cover and increased desertification, causing higher temperatures, lower humidity, and diminishing annual rainfall.

Efforts to reduce the effect of climate change and global warming on Madagascar's flora and fauna include the U.S. Agency for International Development's attempt to reduce brush fires, which, in addition to destroying vegetation, release carbon into the atmosphere. The Wildlife Conservation Society, Conservation International, and the government of Madagascar's Makira Forest Project seek to protect over 300,000 hectares of rainforest in northeastern Madagascar. It is hoped that the Makira Forest will offset 9.5 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) over 30 years through carbon sequestration, preserve habitat for threatened species, and provide economic opportunities for local indigenous communities.

sEE ALsO: Carbon Sequestration; Cyclones; Deforestation; Desertification; El Niño and La Niña; Indian Ocean; Sea Level, Rising.

bibliography. J.C. Ingram and T.P. Dawson, "Climate Change Impacts and Vegetation Response on the Island of Madagscar," Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society (v.363, 2005); S.J. King, et al., "From the Cover: Dental Senescence in a Long-lived Primate Links Infant Survival to Rainfall," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (v.102, 2005); Claire Kremen, et al., "Economic Incentives for Rain Forest Conservation Across Scales," Science (v.288/5472, 2000).

Douglas William Hume University of Connecticut

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