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The Wacky World of Climate Change Impacts Research

Posted on: June 21, 2018

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The explanation of the oddity that all climate impacts are bad, that all bad things are climate impacts, and that in the science of climate impacts there is no good impact and no attribution failure in the face of large uncertainties is that climate science is not unbiased objective scientific inquiry but agenda driven to provide the rationale needed for a pre-determined climate action agenda. The climate action agenda is not made to fit the science but rather it is the science that has to fit the climate action agenda. IT IS THUS, THAT IN THE AGE OF CLIMATE CHANGE, ALL PROBLEMS – BE IT POLITICAL OR SOCIAL UNREST, WAR, FAMINE, MIGRATION, WILDFIRE, OR DISEASE – CAN BE FRAMED IN TERMS OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND THEN SOLVED SIMPLY BY CUTTING EMISSIONS. 



  1. GREAT TIT THREATENED WITH EXTINCTION BY CLIMATE CHANGE: ECOLOGY LETTERS, 2020: Phenological asynchrony: a ticking time‐bomb for seemingly stable populations?, Emily G. Simmonds Ella F. Cole Ben C. Sheldon Tim Coulson, 25 September 2020 ABSTRACT: Climate change has been shown to induce shifts in the timing of life‐history events. As a result, interactions between species can become disrupted, with potentially detrimental effects. Predicting these consequences has proven challenging. We apply structured population models to a well‐characterised great tit‐caterpillar model system and identify thresholds of temporal asynchrony, beyond which the predator population will rapidly go extinct. Our model suggests that phenotypic plasticity in predator breeding timing initially maintains temporal synchrony in the face of environmental change. However, under projections of climate change, predator plasticity was insufficient to keep pace with prey phenology. Directional evolution then accelerated, but could not prevent mismatch. Once predator phenology lagged behind prey by more than 24 days, rapid extinction was inevitable, despite previously stable population dynamics. Our projections suggest that current population stability could be masking a route to population collapse, if high greenhouse gas emissions continue. The model was simulated 1000 times for each emission scenario, using an equally likely projection of future climate for the period of 2011 to 2100. At each time step of the simulation we calculated the population size (resident breeding females) and the urn:x-wiley:1461023X:media:ele13603:ele13603-math-0033 and urn:x-wiley:1461023X:media:ele13603:ele13603-math-0034 distribution. Values for continuous environmental drivers (spring temperature, spring precipitation, winter temperature, winter precipitation) were chosen from either observed values or weather projections. Beech mast index could not be predicted as the exact drivers of mast years have not yet been identified and therefore was selected semi‐stochastically at each time step based on observed frequency from 1961 to 2010. We did not want to make assumptions into the drivers of this process. Two high mast years could not be allocated concurrently and if four consecutive non‐mast years occur, then the next year is a high mast year (Matthews, 1955). Beech mast values were different for each of the 1000 simulations.
  2. JAMES HANSEN, MICHAEL MANN:  CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES AND EAST COAST HURRICANES OF 2020:  [LINK TO SOURCE DOCUMENT]    At least 31 have died in the largest wildfires in California history. The east is defending itself against twice the usual number of tropical cyclones. And what may be the highest temperature ever recorded on Earth came in August in the United States. It’s a torrid 2020 and it was forecast 32 years ago. In the 1980’s, a NASA scientist named James Hansen discovered that climate change, driven by carbon emissions, was upon us. His graphs, of three decades ago, accurately traced the global rise in temperature to the year 2020. Last week, we had a lot of questions for Hansen. Are these disasters climate change? Do things get worse? Is it too late to do anything? But before we get to the causes, let us show you the effects. Climate scientists on Earth’s two futures.  California smoke blew more than 2,000 miles to the east and drifted over the Pennsylvania farm of retired NASA scientist James Hansen. His 1988 paper on carbon and climate accurately predicted temperatures up to the far-off year of 2020. James Hansen: Yeah, we’re seeing exactly what we expected. But I expected that governments would be wise enough that they would begin to adopt policies to preserve the future for young people. But they haven’t done that yet. Hansen is the father of climate change science. For 32 years he was director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Today, at 79, he runs the program on climate science at Columbia University. Scott Pelley: What is your forecast for the next 30 years? James Hansen: Well, if we don’t change anything, then we’re going to continue to see more and more of these extreme regional events because the physics is quite simple. As you add more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, you increase the heating of the surface. So, at the times and places where it’s dry you get more extreme droughts. The fire seasons become longer. The fires burn hotter. But at the times and places where it’s wet, you get more evaporation of the water. And you get warmer, moist air, which provides greater rainfall. And it’s the fuel for storms. This summer, the Atlantic Basin has soaked beneath 23 tropical storms or hurricanes, double the usual number. Death Valley, California, hit 130 degrees — now being evaluated as a world record. And Los Angeles reached 120. Michael Mann: People ask, are we dealing with a new normal? And the sobering answer is, that’s the best-case scenario. A new normal is the best-case scenario ’cause that sorta means, well, we’ve got a new situation and we just have to learn how to deal with it. But it’s much worse than that. So, there are surprises in store and we’re seeing some of those surprises play out now. Michael Mann is a geophysicist whose work on past climate showed today’s rate of warming began with the Industrial Revolution. Mann is a lightning rod for deniers, but his research has been verified again and again. Mann is director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Question:  But there’ve always been fires in the west. There’ve always been hurricanes in the east. How do we know that climate change is involved in this? Michael Mann: Well, there are a number of independent sort of sources of information, lines of evidence that tell us that this isn’t natural, that this is human-caused. Let’s look at the big picture, the warming of the planet a little less than 2 degrees Fahrenheit warming of the planet since pre-industrial time. Now, people ask, well, couldn’t that happen naturally? Well, it turns out that if you look at the factors that are driving natural changes right now — small but measurable fluctuations in the brightness of the sun, Volcanic eruptions — they tell us that earth should’ve cooled slightly over the past half-century. Here’s what he means. In that yellow line at bottom, NASA has measured a steady decline in heat from the sun since the 1950’s. But the red line, the temperature of the Earth, has only increased. Michael Mann: We can only explain that warming when we include the human factor of increased greenhouse gas concentrations; in particular, carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels. : Well, the president says about climate change, science doesn’t know. Michael Mann: The president doesn’t know. And he should know better. He should know that the world’s leading scientific organizations, our own U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and national academies of every major industrial nation, every scientific society in the United States that’s weighed in on the matter. This is a scientific consensus. There’s about as much scientific consensus about human-caused climate change as there is about gravity. That’s what President Trump heard last month from Wade Crowfoot, head of California’s Natural Resources Agency, which includes fire fighting. Wade Crowfoot to President Trump on 9/14/20: Because if we ignore that science and sort of put our head in the sand and think it’s all about vegetation management, we’re not going to succeed together protecting Californians. President Trump: Okay. It’ll start getting cooler. You just watch. Crowfoot: I wish science agreed with you. President Trump: Well, I don’t think science knows, actually. Wade Crowfoot: Well, with respect, I think he’s wrong and he’s on the wrong side of history. This is the unmasked Wade Crowfoot, who reminded us California emerged from a five-year drought in 2016. In that drought, which we called a mega-droughthasn’t happened at that level in a thousand years. We experienced communities in California literally running out of water. And where California dried out is now the site of the largest single fire in state history, called the Creek Fire. So that’s an existential challenge. We lost over 160 million trees in the Sierra Nevada mountain range as a result of that drought. The fire that burned the hottest and most dangerous, the Creek Fire, was in the epicenter of that tree mortality. It ran so hot that it created a smoke cloud 50,000 feet in the sky. What was the impact of all the smoke? Wade Crowfoot: Fifty million Americans on the West Coast suffered through weeks of the worst air quality on the planet. You didn’t have to live anywhere near the fires to be affected by them. Throughout California the smoke was so bad that our kids couldn’t play outside. And folks were discouraged from even spending any time outdoors. I did my first climate story more than 20 years ago and I remember, at the time, being told that there would be terrible fires and terrible hurricanes in 100 years; that this was a problem for our great-grandchildren. What changed? Michael Mann: what we’re finding is that many of these changes can happen faster than we thought they could. We didn’t really expect to see substantial loss of ice from the two major continental ice sheets, the Greenland Ice Sheet and the Antarctic Ice Sheet. But now, the satellite measurements and in situ measurements tell us that they’re already losing ice. They’re already beginning that process of collapse. It’s already contributing to sea level rise, decades ahead of schedule. Michael Mann: warming can be stopped. Oceans and forests would begin to absorb excess carbon in a matter of years if emissions, principally from coal-fired power plants, are reduced close to zero. Former NASA scientist James Hansen believes the way to do that is for governments to tax cheap fossil fuels to make them more expensive than clean alternatives. They have these wishful thinking agreements like Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement. Every country says, “We’ll try to do better.” That won’t work. What we need is to have an increasing price on the fossil fuels and do it in a way that the public will accept.  At what point does it become too late? James Hansen: It becomes too late if you get to the point that you cannot stop the ice sheet disintegration. That’s the biggest point of no return. We can get to a point where we’re going to get several meters of sea level rise out of our control. That’s too late. We would lose our coastal cities. And more than half of the large cities in the world are on coastlines. If we don’t start to reduce the CO2 in the atmosphere, 50 years from now, someone doing research on this time might look at this interview and I wonder what you would like to say to them. Michael Mann: That– that’s a tough question. I would say we did everything we could and we’re sorry. We’re sorry that we failed. But I don’t think that’s our future. I don’t want that to be our future. That’s a possible future. We have to recognize that. The worst visions that Hollywood has given us of dystopian futures are real possible futures if we don’t act on this problem; the greatest crisis that we face as a civilization.
  3. What Climate Change Does to the Human Body:  Scientific American, [LINK]   ABSTRACT: An ENT physician sees the effects in her patients all the time. By Neelu Tummala on August 29, 2020. The climate crisis has led to a widespread public health crisis. And as an ear, nose and throat physician, I see the effects more and more often. I vividly remember a patient who came in late for her appointment during a July heat wave. When I walked in, she said, “I’m so sorry I’m late, I was up all night walking my grandbaby around the train station.” Without air conditioning at home, the child was sweating through her clothes in the heat of the night, putting her at risk for dehydration. July 2019 was the hottest July on record; September 2019 was the hottest on record; January 2020 was the hottest on record; May 2020 was the hottest on record. This is not a coincidence. It is a pattern. Carbon dioxide, an important greenhouse gas contributing to global warming, has increased by 9 percent since 2005 and by 31 percent since 1950. A U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change special report pointed out that the world has already warmed about one degree Celsius from pre-industrial levels. It stressed the urgency to act to limit warming to 1.5 degrees, and that a two-degree increase will lead to unprecedented extreme heat, water scarcity and food shortages around the globe. Heat affects every part of our body. It can lead to heat exhaustion, heat stroke, anxiety, impaired cognitive function and even premature death from heart and lung disease. Across the country, the health concerns of the climate crisis are increasingly being recognized, pushing thousands of medical providers—doctors, nurses, pharmacists, therapists, medical students—to become advocates for change. In my own practice, I explain to patients how the climate crisis affects their health. For example, apart from contributing to global warming, rising carbon dioxide levels increase the amount of pollen that plants produce as a consequence of higher rates of photosynthesis. This rise in pollen levels can lead to worsening allergy symptoms. Another example is fine particulate matter (known as PM2.5) associated with air pollution, much of it linked to the burning of fossil fuels that help drive the warming. When we breathe in these particles, they travel down the airway and settle in the tiny air sacs called alveoli of the lungs, causing inflammation and potentially worsening asthma symptoms. The explanations are simple, but the health risks are widespread and complex. Ground-level ozone pollution, which is worse in hotter weather, can also harm people with asthma and other respiratory diseases. And that harm falls disproportionately on the poor. Wealthier people living in North America have a per capita carbon footprint that is 25 percent higher than those of lower-income residents, with some affluent suburbs producing emissions 15 times higher than nearby neighborhoods. These carbon emissions contribute to global warming, and the subsequent health consequences are felt far beyond the neighborhood that produces them. Older adults, children, low-income communities and communities of color are less resilient on average to the health impacts of climate change. The climate crisis is thus leading to a disproportionate public health crisis—and worse, it is a threat multiplier. At a time when many Americans are economically challenged, continued heat waves and the higher energy bills they trigger threaten access to water and energy security. The economic benefits of a low-carbon economy are clear. Estimates suggest that without climate investments, the United States will face economic damage from climate change equivalent to 1–3 percent of GDP per year by 2100. The majority of Americans think global warming is happening. The climate crisis has unfairly been labeled as political, when in fact, people recognize that something needs to be done about it. Even for those who are seemingly unaffected, there is increasing global recognition that the safeguards of living in a protected community and affording expert medical care will eventually fail if global warming continues unchecked. Unfortunately, there will be no vaccine in six months or a year for the climate crisis. The only treatment is collective climate action in the present. Climate action is required of our elected leaders, and we must mandate it of ourselves. It can be as simple as educating family and friends, while making sustainable shopping and traveling choices. It includes eating less meat, unplugging electronics and raising a voice against the fossil fuel industry. With a rise in demand for absentee ballots for the election this November, it is crucial to request mail-in ballots right away to make sure our voices are heard. The United States is the second largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and we must vote for green policy. Legislative action and policy change work, as evidenced by the Clean Air Act and its subsequent amendments, which are projected to save 230,000 lives in 2020. The climate crisis is a public health issue, and we must start healing the planet in order to heal each other. Fighting against the climate crisis is one of the most patriotic things we can do right now; it will protect our health and the health of our neighbors across the country and the globe, and will allow all of us to live on this planet, the only home we have.
  4. Eastin, Joshua. “Climate change and gender equality in developing states.” World Development 107 (2018): 289-305. Abstract: It is commonly accepted that women can be more vulnerable than men to the adverse environmental effects of climate change. This paper evaluates whether the unequal distribution of costs women bear as a result of climate change are reflected across broader macro-social institutions to the detriment of gender equality and women’s rights. It argues that gender disparities in climate change vulnerability not only reflect preexisting gender inequalities, they also reinforce them. Inequalities in the ownership and control of household assets and rising familial burdens due to male out-migration, declining food and water access, and increased disaster exposure can undermine women’s ability to achieve economic independence, enhance human capital, and maintain health and wellbeing. Consequences for gender equality include reductions in intra-household bargaining power, as women become less capable of generating independent revenue. Outside the home, norms of gender discrimination and gender imbalances in socio-economic status should increase as women are less able to participate in formal labor markets, join civil society organizations, or collectively mobilize for political change. The outcome of these processes can reduce a society’s level of gender equality by increasing constraints on the advancement of laws and norms that promote co-equal status. I empirically test this relationship across a sample of developing states between 1981 and 2010. The findings suggest that climate shocks and climatic disasters exert a broadly negative impact on gender equality, as deviations from long-term mean temperatures and increasing incidence of climatological and hydro-meteorological disasters are associated with declines in women’s economic and social rights. These effects appear to be most salient in states that are relatively less-democratic, with greater dependence on agriculture, and lower levels of economic development.
  5. Recent declines in salmon body size impact ecosystems and fisheries, K. B. Oke, C. J. Cunningham, P. A. H. Westley, M. L. Baskett, S. M. Carlson, J. Clark, A. P. Hendry, V. A. Karatayev, N. W. Kendall, J. Kibele, H. K. Kindsvater, K. M. Kobayashi, B. Lewis, S. Munch, J. D. Reynolds, G. K. Vick & E. P. Palkovacs
    Nature Communications volume 11, Article number: 4155 (2020)  ABSTRACT:  Declines in animal body sizes are widely reported and likely impact ecological interactions and ecosystem services. For harvested species subject to multiple stressors, limited understanding of the causes and consequences of size declines impedes prediction, prevention, and mitigation. We highlight widespread declines in Pacific salmon size based on 60 years of measurements from 12.5 million fish across Alaska, the last largely pristine North American salmon-producing region. Declines in salmon size, primarily resulting from shifting age structure, are associated with climate and competition at sea. Compared to salmon maturing before 1990, the reduced size of adult salmon after 2010 has potentially resulted in substantial losses to ecosystems and people; for Chinook salmon we estimated average per-fish reductions in egg production (−16%), nutrient transport (−28%), fisheries value (−21%), and meals for rural people (−26%). Downsizing of organisms is a global concern, and current trends may pose substantial risks for nature and people.
  6. News Release 7-JUN-2020: Climate change has degraded productivity of shelf sea food webs. UNIVERSITY OF PLYMOUTH. A shortage of summer nutrients as a result of our changing climate has contributed to a 50% decline in important North East Atlantic plankton over the past 60 years. New research, published in Global Change Biology, shows that larger, nutritious plankton – vital to support fish, seabirds and marine mammals – are being replaced by tiny, primary producers that are of poorer food quality. Changes from cloudier and wetter summers to longer periods of sunshine and drought have led to decreasing iron and nutrient supply to surface waters. This results in an increased period of suboptimal feeding conditions for zooplankton at a time of year when their metabolic demand is at its highest.In some areas, large phytoplankton are being almost completely replaced by picoplankton, especially the cyanobacterium Synechococcus, that flourishes when iron and nitrogen levels in surface waters are very low. However, its small size and lack of essential biomolecules mean it is unable to function in the same way as larger, more nutritious phytoplankton – a vital primary producer of omega-3 – and cannot sustain shelf sea food webs efficiently. Competition for scarce summer nutrients will become a key force in structuring shelf sea food webs. Shelf seas provide around 80% of the world’s wild-captured seafood, and changes in their productivity will have major effects on humans. (With thanks to WUWT )
  7. Decline of the North American Avifauna. Kenneth Rosenberg etal, Science 2019. Abstract: Species extinctions have defined the global biodiversity crisis, but extinction begins with loss in abundance of individuals that can result in compositional and functional changes of ecosystems. Using multiple and independent monitoring networks, we report population losses across much of the North American avifauna over 48 years, including once common species and from most biomes. Integration of range-wide population trajectories and size estimates indicates 30 a net loss approaching 3 billion birds, or 29% of 1970 abundance. A continent-wide weather radar network also reveals a similarly steep decline in biomass passage of migrating birds over a recent 10-year period. This loss of bird abundance signals an urgent need to address threats to avert future avifaunal collapse and associated loss of ecosystem integrity, function and services. 35 One Sentence Summary: Cumulative loss of nearly three billion birds since 1970, across most North American biomes, signals a pervasive and ongoing avifaunal crisis.
  8. MEDIA REPORTS: New York Times: Birds Are Vanishing From North America. The number of birds in the United States and Canada has declined by 3 billion, or 29 percent, over the past half-century, scientists find [LINK] , Scientific American: Silent Skies: Billions of North American Birds Have Vanished. Though waterfowl and raptor populations have made recoveries, bird populations have declined since 1970 across nearly all habitats. {With thanks to Jim Steele at wuwt [LINK]
  9. BLOGGER’S NOTE: It is unclear whether the reported loss of 2.9 billion is net of gains. We think there are about 300 billion birds in the world with an uncertainty range of plus or minus 100 billion and so a range of 200 billion to 400 billion. If that is true, then the 2.9 billion lost does not show up on the radar. As for the number of species of birds, we think there are 9,500 species give or take 500 although we think we lost about 150 species in the last 500 years but that is not net of species gained. We know that new species of birds have formed but don’t have a handle on the count. It appears that we don’t really know birds very well. 
  10. Kristopher B. etal, Fossil fuel combustion is driving indoor CO2 toward levels harmful to human cognition. 20 April 2020: DOI: ABSTRACT:  Human activities are elevating atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations to levels unprecedented in human history. The majority of anticipated impacts of anthropogenic CO2 emissions are mediated by climate warming. Recent experimental studies in the fields of indoor air quality and cognitive psychology and neuroscience, however, have revealed significant direct effects of indoor CO2 levels on cognitive function. Here we shed light on this connection, and estimate the impact of continued fossil fuel emissions on human cognition. We conclude that indoor CO2 levels may indeed reach levels harmful to cognition by the end of this century, and the best way to prevent this hidden consequence of climate change is to reduce fossil fuel emissions. Finally, we offer recommendations for a broad, interdisciplinary approach to improving such understanding and prediction. (with thanks to wuwt [LINK])
  11. Trisos, Christopher H., Cory Merow, and Alex L. Pigot. “The projected timing of abrupt ecological disruption from climate change.” Nature (2020): 1-6As anthropogenic climate change continues the risks to biodiversity will increase over time, with future projections indicating that a potentially catastrophic loss of global biodiversity is on the horizon1,2,3. However, our understanding of when and how abruptly this climate-driven disruption of biodiversity will occur is limited because biodiversity forecasts typically focus on individual snapshots of the future. Here we use annual projections (from 1850 to 2100) of temperature and precipitation across the ranges of more than 30,000 marine and terrestrial species to estimate the timing of their exposure to potentially dangerous climate conditions. We project that future disruption of ecological assemblages as a result of climate change will be abrupt, because within any given ecological assemblage the exposure of most species to climate conditions beyond their realized niche limits occurs almost simultaneously. Under a high-emissions scenario (representative concentration pathway (RCP) 8.5), such abrupt exposure events begin before 2030 in tropical oceans and spread to tropical forests and higher latitudes by 2050. If global warming is kept below 2 °C, less than 2% of assemblages globally are projected to undergo abrupt exposure events of more than 20% of their constituent species; however, the risk accelerates with the magnitude of warming, threatening 15% of assemblages at 4 °C, with similar levels of risk in protected and unprotected areas. These results highlight the impending risk of sudden and severe biodiversity losses from climate change and provide a framework for predicting both when and where these events may occur.
  1. Javier Pérez-Tris, Javier de la Puente, César Rodríguez, Carolina Remacha. Climate change and maladaptive wing shortening in a long-distance migratory birdThe Auk, 2020; DOI: 10.1093/auk/ukaa012,   Abstract: Nightingales’ average wing length relative to their body size has decreased over the past two decades, becoming less optimal for migration. Shorter-winged birds were less likely to return to their breeding grounds after their first round-trip to Africa. But if this change in wing length is negatively affecting survival, what is driving it?The “migratory gene package” hypothesis predicts that a suite of adaptations related to migration — including a long wingspan as well as a higher resting metabolic rate, larger clutch size, and shorter lifespan — may all be controlled by a set of genes that are linked so that selective pressures on one trait also affect the others. In recent decades, the timing of spring has shifted in central Spain and summer droughts have become longer and more intense, leaving nightingales with a shorter window in which to raise their young. This means the most successful birds may be those that lay smaller clutches of eggs, giving them fewer young to care for. And if natural selection is favoring smaller clutches, it may simultaneously push nightingales away from all of the linked traits in the “migratory gene package.” Natural selection on clutch size that inadvertently leads to shorter wings and, therefore, reduced survival is an example of “maladaptation,” where organisms’ responses to changing conditions end up being harmful instead of helpful. There is much evidence that climate change is having an effect on migratory birds, changing their arrival and laying dates and their physical features over the last few decades. If we are to fully understand how bird populations adapt to new environments in order to help them tackle the challenges of a rapidly changing world, it is important to call attention to the potential problems of maladaptive change.
  2. Wannes Hubau etal, Asynchronous carbon sink saturation in African and Amazonian tropical forests    Nature | Vol 579 | 5 March 2020: Structurally intact tropical forests sequestered about half of the global terrestrial carbon uptake over the 1990s and early 2000s, removing about 15 per cent of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions. Climate-driven vegetation models typically predict that this tropical forest ‘carbon sink’ will continue for decades. Here we assess trends in the carbon sink using 244 structurally intact African tropical forests spanning 11 countries, compare them with 321 published plots from Amazonia and investigate the underlying drivers of the trends. The carbon sink in live above-ground biomass in intact African tropical forests has been stable for the three decades to 2015, at 0.66 tonnes of carbon per hectare per year (95 per cent confidence interval 0.53–0.79), in contrast to the long-term decline in Amazonian forests. Therefore the carbon sink responses of Earth’s two largest expanses of tropical forest have diverged. The difference is largely driven by carbon losses from tree mortality, with no detectable multi-decadal trend in Africa and a long-term increase in Amazonia. Both continents show increasing tree growth, consistent with the expected net effect of rising atmospheric carbon dioxide and air temperature. Despite the past stability of the African carbon sink, our most intensively monitored plotssuggest a post-2010 increase in carbon losses, delayed compared to Amazonia, indicating asynchronous carbon sink saturation on the two continents. A statistical model including carbon dioxide, temperature, drought and forest dynamics accounts for the observed trends and indicates a long-term future decline in the African sink, whereas the Amazonian sink continues to weaken rapidly. Overall, the uptake of carbon into Earth’s intact tropical forests peaked in the 1990s. Given that the global terrestrial carbon sink is increasing in size, independent observations indicating greater recent carbon uptake into the Northern Hemisphere landmass reinforce our conclusion that the intact tropical forest carbon sink has already peaked. This saturation and ongoing decline of the tropical forest carbon sink has consequences for policies intended to stabilize Earth’s climate.  {SUMMARIZED IN THE MEDIA AS: “Tropical forests are taking up less carbon dioxide from the air, reducing their ability to act as “carbon sinks” and bringing closer the prospect of accelerating climate breakdown” even though that assessment was made in terms of of rising sequestration in the higher latitudes. The finding is essentially that the higher latitudes are stealing from the tropics therefore the tropics must have weakened}.
  3. Michalis I. Vousdoukas, Roshanka Ranasinghe, Lorenzo Mentaschi, Theocharis A. Plomaritis, Panagiotis Athanasiou, Arjen Luijendijk. Luc Feyen, “Sandy Coastlines under threat of erosion”, Nature Climate Change, 2020. ABSTRACT: Sandy beaches occupy more than one-third of the global coastline1 and have high socioeconomic value related to recreation, tourism and ecosystem services2. Beaches are the interface between land and ocean, providing coastal protection from marine storms and cyclones3. However the presence of sandy beaches cannot be taken for granted, as they are under constant change, driven by meteorological4,5, geologi-cal6 and anthropogenic factors1,7. A substantial proportion of the world’s sandy coastline is already eroding1,7, a situation that could be exacerbated by climate change8,9. Here, we show that ambient trends in shoreline dynamics, combined with coastal recession driven by sea level rise, could result in the near extinction of almost half of the world’s sandy beaches by the end of the century. Moderate GHG emission mitigation could prevent 40% of shoreline retreat. Projected shoreline dynamics are dominated by sea level rise for the majority of sandy beaches, but in certain regions the erosive trend is counteracted by accretive ambient shoreline changes; for example, in the Amazon, East and Southeast Asia and the north tropical Pacific. A substantial proportion of the threatened sandy shorelines are in densely populated areas, underlining the need for the design and implementation of effective adaptive measures. The coastal zone is among the most developed areas worldwide, containing an abundance of developments, critical infrastructure10 and ecosystems2,3. As a result, population density tends to be higher near the coast11. Most projections indicate that current trends of coastward migration, urbanization and population growth will continue12,13. Of the different beach typologies found worldwide sandy beaches are the most heavily used14 and are among the most geomorphologically complex, with the shoreline (the mean water line along the coast) changing constantly under forcing–response interactions between natural and anthropogenic factors. The global mean sea level has been increasing at an accelerated rate during the past 25 years15 and will continue to do so with cli-mate change16,17. While shoreline change can be the combined result of a wide range of potentially erosive or accretive factors8, there is a clear cause and effect relationship between increasing sea levels and shoreline retreat18, pointing to increased coastal erosion issues9,19. Climate change will also affect waves and storm surges20,21, which are important drivers of coastal morphology4,5,22. Therefore, considering the dynamics of extreme weather patterns is also important in assessing potential climate change impacts beyond that of sea-level rise (SLR) alone. Here, we present a comprehensive global analysis of sandy shoreline dynamics during the twenty-first century. Our probabilistic projections explicitly take into account estimates of future SLR, spatial variations of coastal morphology, ambient shoreline change trends and future changes in meteorological drivers (storm surge and waves). We first evaluate long-term shoreline change dxshoreLT, which is the result of two components: the ambient shoreline change (AC) driven by geological, anthropogenic and other physical factors and the shoreline retreat due to SLR (R). We obtained AC by extrapolating observed historical trends within a probabilistic framework. We computed R by using a modified Bruun rule18 together with a new global dataset of active beach slopes. In addition to the long-term shoreline dynamics we also project how maximum erosion from coastal storms may change with climate change. Shoreline change projections are discussed for the years 2050 and 2100 under representative concentration pathways (RCP) 4.5 and 8.5, relative to the baseline year 2010.Our analysis shows an overall erosive trend of sandy beaches that increases in time and with the intensity of GHG emissions. Assuming that there are no physical limits in potential coastal retreat, by mid-century we project a global average shoreline change ranging from –78.1 to –1.1 m and –98.1 to 0.3 m, under RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5. By the end of the century the erosive trend becomes even more dominant and we project a probable range from –164.2 to –14.8 m and –240 to –35.3 m under RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5, respectively. Moderate GHG emission mitigation could thus prevent 17% of the projected shoreline retreat by 2050 and 40% by the end of the century.
  4. Global warming could have a negative impact on biodiversity generation processes. This is one of the conclusions of an international study focused on the causes of the evolutionary success of Carex, one of the genera of flowering plants with the highest number of species in the world

    UNIVERSIDAD PABLO DE OLAVIDE UPO:  ABSTRACT: In the current climate change scenario, an international team led by researchers from Pablo de Olavide University (UPO) and the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM) has carried out research that suggests global warming could have a negative impact on the processes that generate biodiversity. This is one of the conclusions of a study, recently published in the international scientific Journal of Systematics and Evolution, that focuses on the causes of the evolutionary success of Carex, one of the worlds’ three largest genera of flowering plants. The results suggest that this success is linked to the relatively cold climate of the planet during the last 10 million years, which favoured the colonization of new territories and ecosystems. Carex is a group of herbs belonging to the sedge family (Cyperaceae), a family that includes well-known species as papyrus or tiger nut. More than 2000 Carex species are known throughout the world and inhabit a wide variety of ecosystems, from the poles to the tropics and from the coasts to the highest mountains, although always linked to areas with temperate and cold climates. In many regions, especially in the northern hemisphere, their species are part of certain types of dominant vegetation and play a fundamental ecological role in habitats as varied as tundra, grasslands, wetlands, peat bogs, river and lake borders, or forest understories. In addition, these plants are an important food source for numerous waterfowl and herbivorous mammals, and some of them exhibit medicinal or nutritional properties exploited by humans. The study was focused on the analysis of the causes for the enormous diversity of Carex species, concluding that climate cooling was a key factor behind their speciation. “The study is the first to deal with global distribution patterns and diversification of a megadiverse genus of plants and suggests that not only is climate warming causing the extinction of species, but also could negatively affect the processes that generate them,” says Santiago Martín-Bravo, researcher at UPO’s Botany Area and one of the study’s main co-authors. In this study genetic and fossil information was combined to unravel the causes of Carex global diversification. The work shows that this genus originated in Asia, from where it has been able to colonize regions around the world and remarkably different ecological niches. During this process, Carex has been clearly favoured by the cold global climate sustained for the past 10 million years. This is evidenced by the concurrence of regional cooling events such as the freezing of Antarctica or Pleistocene glaciations and the massive appearance of Carex species in regions affected by these climatic changes, e.g. North America or New Zealand. The conclusions of this work are of broad general interest to understand how, when and why species are generated, as well as the causes of their uneven distribution, and especially the role of the global climate as a driver of the genesis of biodiversity. “These questions are particularly significant in the current context of climate crisis and mass extinction of species, which emphasizes the need to know and understand how nature responds to the climate if we are to preserve and manage it in a sustainable way,” argues Pedro Jiménez-Mejías, researcher of UAM’s Botany Area and another of the main co-authors of the work. The study featured on the cover of November issue of the international scientific journal Journal of Systematics and Evolution. It represents the culmination of more than a decade’s work initiated with Jiménez-Mejías’ postdoctoral project, developed in the United States, and has enabled international collaboration between a group of evolutionary biologists and botanists from institutions in ten countries, among which Spain (with researchers from the universities Pablo de Olavide, Autonomous of Madrid and Seville, as well as the Royal Botanic Gardens in Madrid) and the United States stand out.

  5. Parks, R.M., Bennett, J.E., Tamura-Wicks, H. et al. Anomalously warm temperatures are associated with increased injury deaths. Nat Med 26, 65–70 (2020) doi:10.1038/s41591-019-0721-y  ABSTRACT: Temperatures that deviate from the long-term local norm affect human health, and are projected to become more frequent as the global climate changes1. There are limited data on how such anomalies affect deaths from injuries. In the present study, we used data on mortality and temperature over 38 years (1980–2017) in the contiguous USA and formulated a Bayesian spatio-temporal model to quantify how anomalous temperatures, defined as deviations of monthly temperature from the local average monthly temperature over the entire analysis period, affect deaths from unintentional (transport, falls and drownings) and intentional (assault and suicide) injuries, by age group and sex. We found that a 1.5 °C anomalously warm year, as envisioned under the Paris Climate Agreement2, would be associated with an estimated 1,601 (95% credible interval 1,430–1,776) additional injury deaths. Of these additional deaths, 84% would occur in males, mostly in adolescence to middle age. These would comprise increases in deaths from drownings, transport, assault and suicide, offset partly by a decline in deaths from falls in older ages. The findings demonstrate the need for targeted interventions against injuries during periods of anomalously warm temperatures, especially as these episodes are likely to increase with global climate change.
  6. Mozell, Michelle Renée, and Liz Thach. “The impact of climate change on the global wine industry: Challenges & solutions.” Wine Economics and Policy 3.2 (2014): 81-89. This paper explores the impact of climate change upon the global production of winegrapes and wine. It includes a review of the literature on the cause and effects of climate change, as well as illustrations of the specific challenges global warming may bring to the production of winegrapes and wine. More importantly, this paper provides some practical solutions that industry professionals can take to mitigate and adapt to the coming change in both vineyards and wineries.  (with thanks to Anthony Watts of wuwt).
  7. Bin, Okmyung, et al. “Viewscapes and flood hazard: Coastal housing market response to amenities and risk.” Land economics 84.3 (2008): 434-448.  Coastal amenities and risk are so highly correlated that separate identification within the hedonic framework is potentially challenging. In this study, we construct a three-dimensional measure of ocean view, viewscape, accounting for natural topography and built obstruction that varies independent of risk classification to disentangle these spatially integrated housing characteristics. A spatial autoregressive hedonic model is developed to provide consistent estimates of the willingness to pay for coastal amenities and risk. Our findings suggest that incorporating the GIS-based view measures can be successful in isolating risk factors from spatial amenities. (JEL Q24, Q26)
  8. Betts, Richard A., et al. “Projected increase in continental runoff due to plant responses to increasing carbon dioxide.” Nature 448.7157 (2007): 1037.  In addition to influencing climatic conditions directly through radiative forcing, increasing carbon dioxide concentration influences the climate system through its effects on plant physiology1. Plant stomata generally open less widely under increased carbon dioxide concentration2, which reduces transpiration1,3,4,5,6 and thus leaves more water at the land surface7. This driver of change in the climate system, which we term ‘physiological forcing’, has been detected in observational records of increasing average continental runoff over the twentieth century8. Here we use an ensemble of experiments with a global climate model that includes a vegetation component to assess the contribution of physiological forcing to future changes in continental runoff, in the context of uncertainties in future precipitation. We find that the physiological effect of doubled carbon dioxide concentrations on plant transpiration increases simulated global mean runoff by 6 per cent relative to pre-industrial levels; an increase that is comparable to that simulated in response to radiatively forced climate change (11 ± 6 per cent). Assessments of the effect of increasing carbon dioxide concentrations on the hydrological cycle that only consider radiative forcing9,10,11 will therefore tend to underestimate future increases in runoff and overestimate decreases. This suggests that freshwater resources may be less limited than previously assumed under scenarios of future global warming, although there is still an increased risk of drought. Moreover, our results highlight that the practice of assessing the climate-forcing potential of all greenhouse gases in terms of their radiative forcing potential relative to carbon dioxide does not accurately reflect the relative effects of different greenhouse gases on freshwater resources. [TRANSLATION: WE HAVE NO DATA BECAUSE WE DID NOT TAKE ANY DATA, NEITHER ARE WE BOTANISTS, BIOLOGISTS, OR HYDROLOGISTS; BUT WE KNOW HOW TO RUN CLIMATE MODELS. VOILA!]
  9. Yann Chavaillaz, Philippe Roy, Antti-Ilari Partanen, Laurent Da Silva, Émilie Bresson, Nadine Mengis, Diane Chaumont & H. Damon Matthews Exposure to excessive heat and impacts on labour productivity linked to cumulative CO2 emissions, Nature Scientific Reports volume 9, Article number: 13711 (2019): Cumulative CO2 emissions are a robust predictor of mean temperature increase. However, many societal impacts are driven by exposure to extreme weather conditions. Here, we show that cumulative emissions can be robustly linked to regional changes of a heat exposure indicator, as well as the resulting socioeconomic impacts associated with labour productivity loss in vulnerable economic sectors. We estimate historical and future increases in heat exposure using simulations from eight Earth System Models. Both the global intensity and spatial pattern of heat exposure evolve linearly with cumulative emissions across scenarios (1% CO2, RCP4.5 and RCP8.5). The pattern of heat exposure at a given level of global temperature increase is strongly affected by non-CO2 forcing. Global non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions amplify heat exposure, while high local emissions of aerosols could moderate exposure. Considering CO2 forcing only, we commit ourselves to an additional annual loss of labour productivity of about 2% of total GDP per unit of trillion tonne of carbon emitted. This loss doubles when adding non-CO2 forcing of the RCP8.5 scenario. This represents an additional economic loss of about 4,400 G$ every year (i.e. 0.59 $/tCO2), varying across countries with generally higher impact in lower-income countries. {RELATED POST:  [LINK]
  10. Cocolas, Nicole, Gabrielle Walters, and Lisa Ruhanen. “Behavioural adaptation to climate change among winter alpine tourists: An analysis of tourist motivations and leisure substitutability.” Journal of Sustainable Tourism 24.6 (2016): 846-865.  Understanding market responses to climate change impacts has important implications for the sustainability of Australia’s winter tourism destinations. Utilising a framework incorporating push–pull tourist motivations and the theory of leisure substitutability, this study sought to explore how winter tourists in Australia will adapt to changes in snow cover in Australia’s alpine regions under future climate change scenarios. The results of a questionnaire completed by 231 respondents indicated that tourist motivations were related to behavioural adaptation, and that there is a general preference among the current winter market for spatial substitution in the event of poor snow. Those motivated by recreation specialisation or snow-related attributes were likely to opt for spatial substitution, while tourists motivated by self-expression and après ski activities displayed resilience to poor snow conditions. The results demonstrate a clear division between leisure-driven tourists who valued participation in sport, and experience-driven tourists, who displayed higher resilience to reduced snow under projected climate change scenarios. These results have practical implications for winter tourism destinations, both in terms of targeting experience-driven tourists in the case of reduced snow as well as the longer term sustainability and viability of winter tourism destinations.
  11. Neumann, James E., et al. “Climate change risks to US infrastructure: impacts on roads, bridges, coastal development, and urban drainage.” Climatic Change 131.1 (2015): 97-109.  Changes in temperature, precipitation, sea level, and coastal storms will likely increase the vulnerability of infrastructure across the United States. Using four models that analyze vulnerability, impacts, and adaptation, this paper estimates impacts to roads, bridges, coastal properties, and urban drainage infrastructure and investigates sensitivity to varying greenhouse gas emission scenarios, climate sensitivities, and global climate models. The results suggest that the impacts of climate change in this sector could be large, especially in the second half of the 21st century as sea-level rises, temperature increases, and precipitation patterns become more extreme and affect the sustainability of long-lived infrastructure. Further, when considering sea-level rise, scenarios which incorporate dynamic ice sheet melting yield impact model results in coastal areas that are roughly 70 to 80 % higher than results that do not incorporate dynamic ice sheet melting. The potential for substantial economic impacts across all infrastructure sectors modeled, however, can be reduced by cost-effective adaptation measures. Mitigation policies also show potential to reduce impacts in the infrastructure sector – a more aggressive mitigation policy reduces impacts by 25 to 35 %, and a somewhat less aggressive policy reduces impacts by 19 to 30 %. The existing suite of models suitable for estimating these damages nonetheless covers only a small portion of expected infrastructure sector effects from climate change, so much work remains to better understand impacts on electric and telecommunications networks, rail, and air transportation systems. In addition, the effects of climate-induced extreme events are likely to be important, but are incompletely understood and remain an emerging area for research.
  12. Stewart, Mark G., Xiaoming Wang, and Minh N. Nguyen. “Climate change impact and risks of concrete infrastructure deterioration.” Engineering Structures 33.4 (2011): 1326-1337.  Atmospheric CO2 is a major cause of reinforcement corrosion in bridges, buildings, wharves, and other concrete infrastructure in Australia, United States, United Kingdom and most other countries. The increase in CO2 levels associated with global warming will increase the likelihood of carbonation-induced corrosion. Moreover, temperature rises will increase corrosion rates. Clearly, the impact of climate change on existing and new infrastructure is considerable, as corrosion damage is disruptive to society and costly to repair. The paper describes a probabilistic and reliability-based approach that predicts the probability of corrosion initiation and damage (severe cracking) for concrete infrastructure subjected to carbonation and chloride-induced corrosion resulting from elevated CO2 levels and temperatures. The atmospheric CO2 concentration and local temperature and relative humidity changes with time over the next 100 years in the Australian cities of Sydney and Darwin are projected based on nine General Circulation Models (GCMs) under (i) high CO2 emission scenario, (ii) medium CO2 emission scenario, and (iii) CO2 emission reduction scenario based on policy intervention. The probabilistic analysis included the uncertainty of CO2 concentration, deterioration processes, material properties, dimensions, and predictive models. It was found that carbonation-induced damage risks can increase by over 400% over a time period to 2100 for some regions in Australia. Damage risks for chloride-induced corrosion increase by no more than 15% over the same time period due to temperature increase, but without consideration of ocean acidity change in marine exposure. Corrosion loss of reinforcement is not significant. The results were most sensitive to increases in atmospheric CO2.
  13. Jaroszweski, David, Lee Chapman, and Judith Petts. “Assessing the potential impact of climate change on transportation: the need for an interdisciplinary approach.” Journal of Transport Geography 18.2 (2010).  The assessment of climate change impact is a fundamental step in highlighting the likely costs of inaction on mitigation policies and providing a guide of how to adapt to the potential impacts. This paper highlights the need to use an interdisciplinary approach to climate change impact assessment. This approach would take into account both climate and socioeconomic scenarios. It would also be mindful that the even the hard infrastructure may change dramatically in a sector as complex and reactive as transportation. In assessing climate change impact, it may be necessary to repeat the analysis for a number of scenarios in order to address this uncertainty.
  14. Rosenberg, Eric A., et al. “Precipitation extremes and the impacts of climate change on stormwater infrastructure in Washington State.” Climatic Change 102.1-2 (2010): 319-349.  The design of stormwater infrastructure is based on an underlying assumption that the probability distribution of precipitation extremes is statistically stationary. This assumption is called into question by climate change, resulting in uncertainty about the future performance of systems constructed under this paradigm. We therefore examined both historical precipitation records and simulations of future rainfall to evaluate past and prospective changes in the probability distributions of precipitation extremes across Washington State. Our historical analyses were based on hourly precipitation records for the time period 1949–2007 from weather stations in and near the state’s three major metropolitan areas: the Puget Sound region, Vancouver (WA), and Spokane. Changes in future precipitation were evaluated using two runs of the Weather Research and Forecast (WRF) regional climate model (RCM) for the time periods 1970–2000 and 2020–2050, dynamically downscaled from the ECHAM5 and CCSM3 global climate models. Bias-corrected and statistically downscaled hourly precipitation sequences were then used as input to the HSPF hydrologic model to simulate streamflow in two urban watersheds in central Puget Sound. Few statistically significant changes were observed in the historical records, with the possible exception of the Puget Sound region. Although RCM simulations generally predict increases in extreme rainfall magnitudes, the range of these projections is too large at present to provide a basis for engineering design, and can only be narrowed through consideration of a larger sample of simulated climate data. Nonetheless, the evidence suggests that drainage infrastructure designed using mid-20th century rainfall records may be subject to a future rainfall regime that differs from current design standards.
  15. Roson, Roberto, and Dominique Van der Mensbrugghe. “Climate change and economic growth: impacts and interactions.” University Ca’Foscari of Venice, Dept. of Economics Research Paper Series 07_10 (2010).  An integrated assessment model (ENVISAGE), including a CGE-based economic module and a climate module, is used to assess the effects of a variety of economic impacts induced by climate change. These impacts include: sea level rise, variations in crop yields, water availability, human health, tourism, energy demand. Two scenarios are compared: a baseline growth path, disregarding any climate change effect, and a counterfactual case, accounting for the impacts. The model assesses the overall magnitude of the impacts, their regional distribution, and the contribution of each specific impact to the overall variation of income and welfare. Results (e.g., on real GDP) show that climate change impacts are substantial, especially for developing countries and in the long run.
  16. Kjellstrom, Tord, Ingvar Holmer, and Bruno Lemke. “Workplace heat stress, health and productivity–an increasing challenge for low and middle-income countries during climate change.” Global health action 2.1 (2009): In countries with very hot seasons, workers are already affected by working environments hotter than that with which human physiological mechanisms can cope. To protect workers from excessive heat, a number of heat exposure indices have been developed. One that is commonly used in occupational health is the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT). We use WBGT to illustrate assessing the proportion of a working hour during which a worker can sustain work and the proportion of that same working hour that (s)he needs to rest to cool the body down and maintain core body temperature below 38°C. Using this proportion a ‘work capacity’ estimate was calculated for selected heat exposure levels and work intensity levels. The work capacity rapidly reduces as the WBGT exceeds 26–30°C and this can be used to estimate the impact of increasing heat exposure as a result of climate change in tropical countries. One result of climate change is a reduced work capacity in heat-exposed jobs and greater difficulty in achieving economic and social development in the countries affected by this somewhat neglected impact of climate change.
  17. Kjellstrom, Tord, et al. “The direct impact of climate change on regional labor productivity.” Archives of Environmental & Occupational Health 64.4 (2009): 217-227.  Global climate change will increase outdoor and indoor heat loads, and may impair health and productivity for millions of working people. This study applies physiological evidence about effects of heat, climate guidelines for safe work environments, climate modeling, and global distributions of working populations to estimate the impact of 2 climate scenarios on future labor productivity. In most regions, climate change will decrease labor productivity, under the simple assumption of no specific adaptation. By the 2080s, the greatest absolute losses of population-based labor work capacity (in the range 11% to 27%) are seen under the A2 scenario in Southeast Asia, Andean and Central America, and the Caribbean. Increased occupational heat exposure due to climate change may significantly impact on labor productivity and costs unless preventive measures are implemented. Workers may need to work longer hours, or more workers may be required, to achieve the same output and there will be economic costs of lost production and/or occupational health interventions against heat exposures.
  18. Larsen, Peter H., et al. “Estimating future costs for Alaska public infrastructure at risk from climate change.” Global Environmental Change 18.3 (2008): 442-457.  This analysis reports on the projected cost of Alaska’s public infrastructure at risk from rapid climate change. Specifically, we coupled projections of future climate with engineering rules of thumb to estimate how thawing permafrost, increased flooding, and increased coastal erosion affect annualized replacement costs for nearly 16,000 structures. We conclude that climate change could add $3.6–$6.1 billion (+10% to +20% above normal wear and tear) to future costs for public infrastructure from now to 2030 and $5.6–$7.6 billion (+10% to +12%) from now to 2080. These estimates take into account different possible levels of climate change and assume agencies strategically adapt infrastructure to changing conditions. In addition to implementing a risk-based economic analysis of climate change impacts, this research effort demonstrates that implementing plausible adaptation strategies could offset impacts by up to 45% over the long-run.
  19. Hübler, Michael, Gernot Klepper, and Sonja Peterson. “Costs of climate change: the effects of rising temperatures on health and productivity in Germany.” Ecological Economics 68.1-2 (2008): 381-393.  The aim of the study is to quantify climate induced health risks for Germany. Based on high resolution climate scenarios for the period 2071 to 2100 we forecast the number of days with heat load and cold stress. The heat frequency and intensity rise overall but more in the south. Referring to empirical studies on heat induced health effects we estimate an average increase in the number of heat induced casualties by a factor of more than 3. Heat related hospitalization costs increase 6-fold not including the cost of ambulant treatment. Heat also reduces the work performance resulting in an estimated output loss of between 0.1% and 0.5% of GDP.
  20. Savonis, Michael, Virginia R. Burkett, and Joanne R. Potter. “Impacts of climate change and variability on transportation systems and infrastructure: Gulf Coast study, phase I.” (2008).  Climate affects the design, construction, safety, operations, and maintenance of transportation. infrastructure and systems. The prospect of a changing climate raises critical questions regarding how alterations in temperature, precipitation, storm events, and other aspects of the climate could affect the nation’s roads, airports, rail, transit systems, pipelines, ports, and waterways. Phase I of this regional assessment of climate change and its potential impacts on transportation systems addresses these questions for the region of the U.S. central
    Gulf Coast between Galveston, Texas and Mobile, Alabama. This region contains multimodal transportation infrastructure that is critical to regional and national transportation services. This report presents the findings of the first phase of a three phase research effort. The ultimate goal of this research is to provide knowledge and tools that will enable transportation planners and managers to better understand the risks, adaptation strategies, and tradeoffs involved in planning, investment, design, and operational decisions. The objective of Phase I was to conduct a preliminary assessment of the risks and vulnerabilities of transportation in the region, after collecting and integrating the range of data needed to characterize the region – its physiography and hydrology, land use and land cover, past and projected climate, current population and trends, and transportation infrastructure. Subsequent phases will conduct more detailed analyses. Phase II will conduct an in-depth assessment of risks to transportation in a selected location, reporting on implications for long-range plans and impacts on safety, operations, and maintenance. This phase will also develop a risk assessment methodology and identify techniques to incorporate environmental and climate data in transportation decisions. Phase III will identify and analyze adaptation and response strategies and develop tools to assess these strategies, while enumerating future research needs.
  21. 2008: Willis, Charles G., et al. “Phylogenetic patterns of species loss in Thoreau’s woods are driven by climate change.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105.44 (2008): 17029-17033. Climate change has led to major changes in the phenology (the timing of seasonal activities, such as flowering) of some species but not others. The extent to which flowering-time response to temperature is shared among closely related species might have important consequences for community-wide patterns of species loss under rapid climate change. Henry David Thoreau initiated a dataset of the Concord, Massachusetts, flora that spans ≈150 years and provides information on changes in species abundance and flowering time. When these data are analyzed in a phylogenetic context, they indicate that change in abundance is strongly correlated with flowering-time response. Species that do not respond to temperature have decreased greatly in abundance, and include among others anemones and buttercups [Ranunculaceae pro parte (p.p.)], asters and campanulas (Asterales), bluets (Rubiaceae p.p.), bladderworts (Lentibulariaceae), dogwoods (Cornaceae), lilies (Liliales), mints (Lamiaceae p.p.), orchids (Orchidaceae), roses (Rosaceae p.p.), saxifrages (Saxifragales), and violets (Malpighiales). Because flowering-time response traits are shared among closely related species, our findings suggest that climate change has affected and will likely continue to shape the phylogenetically biased pattern of species loss in Thoreau’s woods.
  22. Frumhoff, Peter C., et al. “Confronting climate change in the US Northeast: Science, impacts, and solutions.” Confronting climate change in the US Northeast: science, impacts, and solutions. (2007).  This book contains eight chapters focusing on the impacts of two very different future US Northeast climates (under the higher- and lower-emission scenarios) on vital aspects of the region’s life and economy: coastal areas, marine fisheriesforestsagriculturewinter recreation, and human health. Also discussed are the actions that can be taken today in the Northeast to reduce emissions and help avoid the most severe impacts of global warming and to adapt to the unavoidable changes that past emissions have already set in motion.
  23. Gill, Susannah E., et al. “Adapting cities for climate change: the role of the green infrastructure.” Built environment 33.1 (2007): 115-133.  The urban environment has distinctive biophysical features in relation to surrounding rural areas. These include an altered energy exchange creating an urban heat island, and changes to hydrology such as increased surface runoff of rainwater. Such changes are, in part, a result of the altered surface cover of the urban area. For example less vegetated surfaces lead to a decrease in evaporative cooling, whilst an increase in surface sealing results in increased surface runoff. Climate change will amplify these distinctive features. This paper explores the important role that the green infrastructure, i.e. the greenspace network, of a city can play in adapting for climate change. It uses the conurbation of Greater Manchester as a case study site. The paper presents output from energy exchange and hydrological models showing surface temperature and surface runoff in relation to the green infrastructure under current and future climate scenarios. The implications for an adaptation strategy to climate change in the urban environment are discussed.
  24. Patz, Jonathan A., et al. “Impact of regional climate change on human health.” Nature 438.7066 (2005): 310.  The World Health Organisation estimates that the warming and precipitation trends due to anthropogenic climate change of the past 30 years already claim over 150,000 lives annually. Many prevalent human diseases are linked to climate fluctuations, from cardiovascular mortality and respiratory illnesses due to heatwaves, to altered transmission of infectious diseases and malnutrition from crop failures. Uncertainty remains in attributing the expansion or resurgence of diseases to climate change, owing to lack of long-term, high-quality data sets as well as the large influence of socio-economic factors and changes in immunity and drug resistance. Here we review the growing evidence that climate–health relationships pose increasing health risks under future projections of climate change and that the warming trend over recent decades has already contributed to increased morbidity and mortality in many regions of the world. Potentially vulnerable regions include the temperate latitudes, which are projected to warm disproportionately, the regions around the Pacific and Indian oceans that are currently subjected to large rainfall variability due to the El Niño/Southern Oscillation sub-Saharan Africa and sprawling cities where the urban heat island effect could intensify extreme climatic events.
  25. 2002: Walther, Gian-Reto, et al. “Ecological responses to recent climate change.” Nature 416.6879 (2002): 389.  There is now ample evidence of the ecological impacts of recent climate change, from polar terrestrial to tropical marine environments. The responses of both flora and fauna span an array of ecosystems and organizational hierarchies, from the species to the community levels. Despite continued uncertainty as to community and ecosystem trajectories under global change, our review exposes a coherent pattern of ecological change across systems. Although we are only at an early stage in the projected trends of global warming, ecological responses to recent climate change are already clearly visible.
  26. 2002: Stachowicz, John J., et al. “Linking climate change and biological invasions: ocean warming facilitates nonindigenous species invasions.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 99.24 (2002): 15497-15500.  The spread of exotic species and climate change are among the most serious global environmental threats. Each independently causes considerable ecological damage, yet few data are available to assess whether changing climate might facilitate invasions by favoring introduced over native species. Here, we compare our long-term record of weekly sessile marine invertebrate recruitment with interannual variation in water temperature to assess the likely effect of climate change on the success and spread of introduced species. For the three most abundant introduced species of ascidian (sea squirt), the timing of the initiation of recruitment was strongly negatively correlated with winter water temperature, indicating that invaders arrived earlier in the season in years with warmer winters. Total recruitment of introduced species during the following summer also was positively correlated with winter water temperature. In contrast, the magnitude of native ascidian recruitment was negatively correlated with winter temperature (more recruitment in colder years) and the timing of native recruitment was unaffected. In manipulative laboratory experiments, two introduced compound ascidians grew faster than a native species, but only at temperatures near the maximum observed in summer. These data suggest that the greatest effects of climate change on biotic communities may be due to changing maximum and minimum temperatures rather than annual means. By giving introduced species an earlier start, and increasing the magnitude of their growth and recruitment relative to natives, global warming may facilitate a shift to dominance by nonnative species, accelerating the homogenization of the global biota.
  27. Hughes, Terry P., et al. “Climate change, human impacts, and the resilience of coral reefs.” science 301.5635 (2003): 929-933.  The diversity, frequency, and scale of human impacts on coral reefs are increasing to the extent that reefs are threatened globally. Projected increases in carbon dioxide and temperature over the next 50 years exceed the conditions under which coral reefs have flourished over the past half-million years. However, reefs will change rather than disappear entirely, with some species already showing far greater tolerance to climate change and coral bleaching than others. International integration of management strategies that support reef resilience need to be vigorously implemented, and complemented by strong policy decisions to reduce the rate of global warming.
  28. 2003: Parmesan, Camille, and Gary Yohe. “A globally coherent fingerprint of climate change impacts across natural systems.” Nature 421.6918 (2003): 37.  Causal attribution of recent biological trends to climate change is complicated because non-climatic influences dominate local, short-term biological changes. Any underlying signal from climate change is likely to be revealed by analyses that seek systematic trends across diverse species and geographic regions; however, debates within the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reveal several definitions of a ‘systematic trend’. Here, we explore these differences, apply diverse analyses to more than 1,700 species, and show that recent biological trends match climate change predictions. Global meta-analyses documented significant range shifts averaging 6.1 km per decade towards the poles (or metres per decade upward), and significant mean advancement of spring events by 2.3 days per decade. We define a diagnostic fingerprint of temporal and spatial ‘sign-switching’ responses uniquely predicted by twentieth century climate trends. Among appropriate long-term/large-scale/multi-species data sets, this diagnostic fingerprint was found for 279 species. This suite of analyses generates ‘very high confidence’ (as laid down by the IPCC) that climate change is already affecting living systems.
  29. 2003: Pearson, Richard G., and Terence P. Dawson. “Predicting the impacts of climate change on the distribution of species: are bioclimate envelope models useful?.” Global ecology and biogeography 12.5 (2003): 361-371. Modelling strategies for predicting the potential impacts of climate change on the natural distribution of species have often focused on the characterization of a species’ bioclimate envelope. A number of recent critiques have questioned the validity of this approach by pointing to the many factors other than climate that play an important part in determining species distributions and the dynamics of distribution changes. Such factors include biotic interactions, evolutionary change and dispersal ability. This paper reviews and evaluates criticisms of bioclimate envelope models and discusses the implications of these criticisms for the different modelling strategies employed. It is proposed that, although the complexity of the natural system presents fundamental limits to predictive modelling, the bioclimate envelope approach can provide a useful first approximation as to the potentially dramatic impact of climate change on biodiversity. However, it is stressed that the spatial scale at which these models are applied is of fundamental importance, and that model results should not be interpreted without due consideration of the limitations involved. A hierarchical modelling framework is proposed through which some of these limitations can be addressed within a broader, scale‐dependent context.
  30. Lewsey, Clement, Gonzalo Cid, and Edward Kruse. “Assessing climate change impacts on coastal infrastructure in the Eastern Caribbean.” Marine Policy 28.5 (2004): 393-409. Expected effects of changes in global climate include warmer temperatures, rising sea levels, and potentially more frequent and severe extreme weather events such as hurricanes and tropical storms. Low-lying states in the Caribbean are especially vulnerable to these effects, posing significant risks to public safety and natural resources. This paper highlights expected trends in the Eastern Caribbean and examines the impacts of urbanization and supporting infrastructure, siting of major structures in high-hazard areas, and negative land-use practices on fragile coastal ecosystems. It focuses on the need to reduce the vulnerability of coastal infrastructure and land uses, arguing for effective linkages between climate change issues and development planning. The paper also provides general recommendations and identifies challenges for the incorporation of climate change impacts and risk assessment into long-term land-use national development plans and strategies.
  31. 2004: Zavaleta, Erika S., and Kristin B. Hulvey. “Realistic species losses disproportionately reduce grassland resistance to biological invaders.” Science 306.5699 (2004): 1175-1177. Consequences of progressive biodiversity declines depend on the functional roles of individual species and the order in which species are lost. Most studies of the biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relation tackle only the first of these factors. We used observed variation in grassland diversity to design an experimental test of how realistic species losses affect invasion resistance. Because entire plant functional groups disappeared faster than expected by chance, resistance declined dramatically with progressive species losses. Realistic biodiversity losses, even of rare species, can thus affect ecosystem processes far more than indicated by randomized-loss experiments.
  32. 2012: Bellard, Céline, et al. “Impacts of climate change on the future of biodiversity.” Ecology letters 15.4 (2012): 365-377. Many studies in recent years have investigated the effects of climate change on the future of biodiversity. In this review, we first examine the different possible effects of climate change that can operate at individual, population, species, community, ecosystem and biome scales, notably showing that species can respond to climate change challenges by shifting their climatic niche along three non‐exclusive axes: time (e.g. phenology), space (e.g. range) and self (e.g. physiology). Then, we present the principal specificities and caveats of the most common approaches used to estimate future biodiversity at global and sub‐continental scales and we synthesise their results. Finally, we highlight several challenges for future research both in theoretical and applied realms. Overall, our review shows that current estimates are very variable, depending on the method, taxonomic group, biodiversity loss metrics, spatial scales and time periods considered. Yet, the majority of models indicate alarming consequences for biodiversity, with the worst‐case scenarios leading to extinction rates that would qualify as the sixth mass extinction in the history of the earth.
  33. 2018: Cianfrani, C., et al. “More than range exposure: Global otter vulnerability to climate change.” Biological Conservation 221 (2018): 103-113.  Climate change impact on species is commonly assessed by predicting species’ range change, a measure of a species’ extrinsic exposure. However, this is only one dimension of species’ vulnerability to climate change. Spatial arrangement of suitable habitats (e.g., fragmentation), their degree of protection or human disturbance, as well as species’ intrinsic sensitivity, such as climatic tolerances, are often neglected. Here, we consider components of species’ intrinsic sensitivity to climate change (climatic niche specialization and marginality) together with components of extrinsic exposure (changes in range extent, fragmentation, coverage of protected areas, and human footprint) to develop an integrated vulnerability index to climate change for world’s freshwater otters. As top freshwater predators, otters are among the most vulnerable mammals, with most species being threatened by habitat loss and degradation. All dimensions of climate change exposure were based on present and future predictions of species distributions. Annual mean temperature, mean diurnal temperature range, mean temperature of the wettest quarter, precipitation during the wettest quarter, and precipitation seasonality prove the most important variables for otters. All species are vulnerable to climate change, with global vulnerability index ranging from −0.19 for Lontra longicaudis to −36,9 for Aonyx congicus. However, we found that, for a given species, climate change can have both positive and negative effects on different components of extrinsic exposure, and that measures of species’ sensitivity are not necessarily congruent with measures of exposure. For instance, the range of all African species would be negatively affected by climate change, but their different sensitivity offers a more (Hydrictis maculicollisAonyx capensis) or less (Aonyx congicus) pessimistic perspective on their ability to cope with climate change. Also, highly sensitive species like the South-American Pteronura brasiliensisLontra provocax, and Lutra perspicillata might face no exposure to climate change. For the AsianLutra sumatrana, climate change would instead lead to an increased, less fragmented, and more protected range extent, but the range extent would also be shifted into areas with higher human disturbances. Our study represents a balanced example of how to develop an index aimed at comparatively evaluating vulnerability to climate change of different species by combining different aspects of sensitivity and exposure, providing additional information on which to base more efficient conservation strategies.
  34. 2018: Xu, Chenchen, Wenxiang Wu, and Quansheng Ge. “Impact assessment of climate change on rice yields using the ORYZA model in the Sichuan Basin, China.” International Journal of Climatology 38.7 (2018): 2922-2939.Understanding how different climate factors interact and impact rice yield is essential for effective agricultural management strategies and policies. However, the potential impacts are less clear at the regional scale. In this work, we used the latest version of the ORYZA crop model to evaluate the impacts of climate change and carbon dioxide (CO2) on rice yields in the Sichuan Basin of China based on high‐quality agricultural experimental, meteorological and soil data and the incorporation of future climate data generated by five general circulation models (GCMs) under three newly released representative concentration pathway (RCP) 2.6, 4.5 and 8.5 scenarios. Considering climate change alone, our modelling results indicated a continuing rice reduction for most stations by 2–17, 4–28 and 1–43% under the RCP2.6, 4.5 and 8.5 scenarios, respectively; when considering the CO2 fertilizer effect, rice yields increased by 3–10, 4–13 and 5–20% under the RCP2.6, 4.5 and 8.5 scenarios, respectively. However, for most stations, the CO2 fertilizer effect could not completely offset the negative impacts of climate change on rice yields. In addition, temperature and radiation were the main climate factors that cause yield variation by affecting the rice maturity periods (DAE), spikelet fertility factor (SPFERT) and spikelet number (NSP). The uncertainty arising from the climate models was less than 10% under the RCP2.6 scenario, 15% under the RCP4.5 scenario and 20% under the RCP8.5 scenario, indicating good consistency in rice yield simulations. These findings offer insight into the physiological mechanisms and the degree of climate change impacts on rice yields, thus informing appropriate adaptive strategies for rice planting in the Sichuan Basin, China.
  35. 2018: Goldsmit, Jesica, et al. “Projecting present and future habitat suitability of ship-mediated aquatic invasive species in the Canadian Arctic.” Biological Invasions 20.2 (2018): 501-517. A rise in Arctic shipping activity resulting from global warming and resource exploitation is expected to increase the likelihood of aquatic invasive species (AIS) introductions in the region. In this context, the potential threat of future AIS incursions at a Canadian Arctic regional scale was examined. Habitat suitability under current environmental conditions and future climate change scenarios was projected for a subset of eight potential invaders ranked as having a high risk of establishment in the Canadian Arctic based on dispersal pathways/donor regions, biological attributes and invasion history: (1) Amphibalanus improvisus, (2) Botrylloides violaceus, (3) Caprella mutica, (4) Carcinus maenas, (5) Littorina littorea, (6) Membranipora membranacea, (7) Mya arenaria and (8) Paralithodes camtschaticus. Habitat modelling was performed using MaxEnt based on globally known native and non-native occurrence records and environmental ranges for these species. Results showed that under current environmental conditions the habitat is suitable in certain regions of the Canadian Arctic such as the Hudson Complex and Beaufort Sea for L. littoreaM. arenaria and P. camtschaticus. Under a future climate change scenario, all species showed poleward gains in habitat suitability with at least some regions of the Canadian Arctic projected to be suitable for the complete suite of species modelled. The use of these models is helpful in understanding potential future AIS incursions as a result of climate change and shipping at large spatial scales. These approaches can aid in the identification of high risk regions and species to allow for more focused AIS monitoring and research efforts in response to climate change.
  36. 2018: Lord, Jennifer S., et al. “Climate change and African trypanosomiasis vector populations in Zimbabwe’s Zambezi Valley: A mathematical modelling study.” PLoS medicine 15.10 (2018): e1002675. Quantifying the effects of climate change on the entomological and epidemiological components of vector-borne diseases is an essential part of climate change research, but evidence for such effects remains scant, and predictions rely largely on extrapolation of statistical correlations. We aimed to develop a mechanistic model to test whether recent increases in temperature in the Mana Pools National Park of the Zambezi Valley of Zimbabwe could account for the simultaneous decline of tsetse flies, the vectors of human and animal trypanosomiasis. The model we developed incorporates the effects of temperature on mortality, larviposition, and emergence rates and is fitted to a 27-year time series of tsetse caught from cattle. These catches declined from an average of c. 50 flies per animal per afternoon in 1990 to c. 0.1 in 2017. Since 1975, mean daily temperatures have risen by c. 0.9°C and temperatures in the hottest month of November by c. 2°C. Although our model provided a good fit to the data, it cannot predict whether or when extinction will occur. The model suggests that the increase in temperature may explain the observed collapse in tsetse abundance and provides a first step in linking temperature to trypanosomiasis risk. If the effect at Mana Pools extends across the whole of the Zambezi Valley, then transmission of trypanosomes is likely to have been greatly reduced in this warm low-lying region. Conversely, rising temperatures may have made some higher, cooler, parts of Zimbabwe more suitable for tsetse and led to the emergence of new disease foci.
  37. 2017: Parsons, Michael H., et al. “Trends in urban rat ecology: a framework to define the prevailing knowledge gaps and incentives for academia, pest management professionals (PMPs) and public health agencies to participate.” Journal of Urban Ecology 3.1 (2017): jux005. City rats are among the most important but least-studied wildlife in urban environments. Their presence, compounded by the rate of human urbanization and effects of climate change, frequently bring potentially infectious organisms into contact with people and other wildlife. Urban rat control, however, is ineffective, largely because so little is known about their ecology. It is therefore, essential that we exploit new research avenues if we are to better understand and manage these risks. The hallmark of robust science includes replication at the level of the individual and urban landscape, allowing researchers to study behaviors and populations over time. However, unlike most wildlife, urban rats are confined to environments where there are numerous incentives to exterminate, but few reasons to study them. Thus, gaining access to rats presents an exceptional challenge for researchers. To address this problem, we first identified prevailing knowledge gaps in the literature and then used a five-step ‘wicked problem’ framework to define the issues, identify stakeholders, and systematically examine options for remediation. We discuss pest management professionals (PMPs) as an important conduit between private enterprise and the research community and suggest that businesses supporting research be rewarded through part-compensation, or allowances (credits) from the health department. This allows urban rats to be studied like all other ecological research subjects—in the field, while animals are alive. Appropriate incentives could enable scientists and PMPs to work together toward ‘smart’ ecologically based rodent management, hereby enhancing options for control while preparing for the challenges of continued urbanization.
  38. 2018: Kelly A. Hopping el al., “The demise of caterpillar fungus in the Himalayan region due to climate change and overharvesting,” PNAS (2018). A prized caterpillar fungus in the Himalayas, nicknamed the Himalayan Viagra, is seen as a wonder drug. It is becoming harder to find due to climate change. People in China and Nepal have been killed in clashes over the fungus Ophiocordyceps sinensis, thought to cure everything from impotence to cancer. The fungus is a crucial source of income for hundreds of thousands of its collectors. The fungus has skyrocketed in popularity and prices have soared in line with its growing scarcity. While overharvesting may explain its scarcity, researchers found that its long term decline may be driven by warmer winters in the Himalayas brought on by climate change.
  39. 2018: Farrell, Aidan D., et al. “Climate adaptation in a minor crop species: is the cocoa breeding network prepared for climate change?.” Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems(2018): 1-22. Plant breeding has undoubtedly been successful in increasing the yield of high value commodity crops. In recent decades, efforts have been made to repeat this success in ‘orphan crops’ through a network of regional and national organizations largely composed of public and not-for-profit institutions. Adapting to climate change is a key challenge for these networks. Here we seek to analyze the particular challenges that characterize efforts to develop climate-smart varieties in minor crops, using the example of cocoa. Cocoa is a high-value commodity with a global research network; however, to date it has not received sustained attention from major global research centers. We estimate that globally <100 new cocoa varieties have been released since 2000, and our analysis suggests that this low number is constrained not by a limited availability of germplasm, but by limitations in the infrastructure focused on the final stages of breeding. We conclude that selecting minor crops for a future climate requires a long-term, regional approach that exploits modern technologies, integrates participatory selection, and is managed through a centrally funded network.
  40. 2015: Negev, Maya, et al. “Impacts of climate change on vector borne diseases in the Mediterranean Basin—implications for preparedness and adaptation policy.” International journal of environmental research and public health 12.6 (2015): 6745-6770. The Mediterranean region is vulnerable to climatic changes. A warming trend exists in the basin with changes in rainfall patterns. It is expected that vector-borne diseases (VBD) in the region will be influenced by climate change since weather conditions influence their emergence. For some diseases (i.e., West Nile virus) the linkage between emergence and climate change was recently proved; for others (such as dengue) the risk for local transmission is real. Consequently, adaptation and preparation for changing patterns of VBD distribution is crucial in the Mediterranean basin. We analyzed six representative Mediterranean countries and found that they have started to prepare for this threat, but the preparation levels among them differ, and policy mechanisms are limited and basic. Furthermore, cross-border cooperation is not stable and depends on international frameworks. The Mediterranean countries should improve their adaptation plans, and develop more cross-sectoral, multidisciplinary and participatory approaches. In addition, based on experience from existing local networks in advancing national legislation and trans-border cooperation, we outline recommendations for a regional cooperation framework. We suggest that a stable and neutral framework is required, and that it should address the characteristics and needs of African, Asian and European countries around the Mediterranean in order to ensure participation. Such a regional framework is essential to reduce the risk of VBD transmission, since the vectors of infectious diseases know no political borders.
  41. 2018: Bradford C. Lister and Andres Garcia, Climate-driven declines in arthropod abundance restructure a rainforest food web, PNAS October 15, 2018, A number of studies indicate that tropical arthropods should be particularly vulnerable to climate warming. If these predictions are realized, climate warming may have a more profound impact on the functioning and diversity of tropical forests than currently anticipated. Although arthropods comprise over two-thirds of terrestrial species, information on their abundance and extinction rates in tropical habitats is severely limited. Here we analyze data on arthropod and insectivore abundances taken between 1976 and 2012 at two midelevation habitats in Puerto Rico’s Luquillo rainforest. During this time, mean maximum temperatures have risen by 2.0 °C. Using the same study area and methods employed by Lister in the 1970s, we discovered that the dry weight biomass of arthropods captured in sweep samples had declined 4 to 8 times, and 30 to 60 times in sticky traps. Analysis of long-term data on canopy arthropods and walking sticks taken as part of the Luquillo Long-Term Ecological Research program revealed sustained declines in abundance over two decades, as well as negative regressions of abundance on mean maximum temperatures. We also document parallel decreases in Luquillo’s insectivorous lizards, frogs, and birds. While El Niño/Southern Oscillation influences the abundance of forest arthropods, climate warming is the major driver of reductions in arthropod abundance, indirectly precipitating a bottom-up trophic cascade and consequent collapse of the forest food web.
  42. 2016: Ramsfield, T. D., et al. “Forest health in a changing world: effects of globalization and climate change on forest insect and pathogen impacts.” Forestry 89.3 (2016): 245-252. Forests and trees throughout the world are increasingly affected by factors related to global change. Expanding international trade has facilitated invasions of numerous insects and pathogens into new regions. Many of these invasions have caused substantial forest damage, economic impacts and losses of ecosystem goods and services provided by trees. Climate change is already affecting the geographic distribution of host trees and their associated insects and pathogens, with anticipated increases in pest impacts by both native and invasive pests. Although climate change will benefit many forest insects, changes in thermal conditions may disrupt evolved life history traits and cause phenological mismatches. Individually, the threats posed to forest ecosystems by invasive pests and climate change are serious. Although interactions between these two drivers and their outcomes are poorly understood and hence difficult to predict, it is clear that the cumulative impacts on forest ecosystems will be exacerbated. Here we introduce and synthesize the information in this special issue of Forestry with articles that illustrate the impacts of invasions of insects and pathogens, climate change, forest management and their interactions, as well as methods to predict, assess and mitigate these impacts. Most of these contributions were presented at the XXIV IUFRO World Congress in 2014.
  43. 2018: Di Lena, Bruno, et al. “Impact of climate change on the possible expansion of almond cultivation area pole-ward: a case study of Abruzzo, Italy.” The Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology 93.2 (2018): 209-215. Climate warming is causing an advance of the latest spring frosts and a consequent decrease of spring freeze risk during flowering. Cultivation areas of early blooming tree crops, such as almond, could be shifted pole-ward as consequence of global warming. On the other hand, warming winters and springs can cause an advance of the flowering period. The aim of the present work was to estimate which was the impact of climate change in the past six decades on the spring freeze damage risk during the almond blooming period in the Abruzzo region of Italy. According to our analysis a reduction of spring freeze risk due to the mitigation of springtime temperatures was counterbalanced by advanced almond blooming leaving the risk of spring freeze damage unchanged. These results suggest that the adaptation of almond phenology to changing climates could continue to limit the northward expansion of almond in Italy. Finally, these results may suggest that the loss of suitable areas due to loss of chilling units in the warmest climate areas cannot be compensated for by a pole-ward shift of almond plantings.
  44. 2018: Darcan, Nazan Koluman, and Nissim Silanikove. “The advantages of goats for future adaptation to Climate Change: A conceptual overview.” Small Ruminant Research 163 (2018): 34-38. The economic importance of goat production has been increased during the last decades all over the world, predominantly in countries that are routinely exposed to harsh environment. Goats have numerous advantages that enable them to maintain their production under extreme climate conditions. Principally, goats have higher capacity than other farm raised ruminants to effectively convert some feed sources into milk and meat. In addition, goats emit less methane than other domestic ruminants. Based on these advantages, we came to the conclusion that goat breeding will play an important role in mitigating and adapting to Climate change (CC) in harsh environments. The impacts of CC on goat production can be analyzed by considering direct or indirect effects of CC. The direct effects take into account goat’s physiology and their interaction with ambient conditions, as well as issues such as the optimal use of natural resource and waste management. Indirect effects consider limitations on goat production from political, social and economic considerations, which are mainly intended for decreasing the greenhouse gas emission effect. In this paper the advantages of goats for future adaptation to CC will be considered.
  45. 2018: Purola, Tuomo, et al. “Production of cereals in northern marginal areas: An integrated assessment of climate change impacts at the farm level.” Agricultural Systems 162 (2018): 191-204. Crop production in northern regions is projected to benefit from longer growing seasons brought on by future climate change. However, production also faces multiple challenges due to more frequent and intense extreme weather phenomena, and uncertain future prices of agricultural inputs and outputs. Extensive studies have been conducted to investigate the impacts of climate change on cereals yield change, but integrated assessments that also consider the management and economy of cereal farms have been rare so far. In this study, the effects of climate change-driven crop productivity change on farm level land use dynamics, input use, production management and farm income were considered from the point of view of dynamic decision making of a rational risk-averse farmer. We assessed whether a farmer can gain from improved crop yields when using adapted cultivars and managing the farm accordingly. We incorporated crop yield estimates from a process-based large area crop model (MCWLA) run with two climate scenarios into a dynamic economic model of farm management and crop rotation (DEMCROP) to investigate future input use, land use with crop rotation, economic gross margins and greenhouse gas emissions. A time span of 30 years was considered. The model accounts for the yield responses to fertilisation, crop protection, liming of field parcels, and yield losses due to monoculture. The approach resulted in a novel and necessary analysis of farm management, production and income implications of climate change adaptation under different climate and socio-economic scenarios. We analysed the effects of different climate and price scenarios at a typical cereal farm in the North Savo region, which is currently a marginal area for crop production in Finland due to its harsh climate. Crop modelling results suggest a 19–27% increase of spring cereal yields and 11–19% increase of winter wheat yields from the current level until 2042–2070. According to our economic farm level simulations, these yield increases would incentivise farmers towards more intense input use resulting in additional increase of yields by 3–8% at current prices. More land is allocated to barley and wheat, less to set-aside and oat. The economic gross margin would increase significantly from the current low levels. Greenhouse gas emissions from farms were estimated to increase with increasing production, but emissions per quantity produced (measured as feed energy units) would decrease. There is potential for sustainable intensification (SI) of crop production in the region.
  46. 2010: Page, Lisa A., and L. M. Howard. “The impact of climate change on mental health (but will mental health be discussed at Copenhagen?).” Psychological Medicine 40.2 (2010): 177-180. Climate change will shortly be assuming centre stage when Copenhagen hosts the United Nations Climate Change Conference in early December 2009. In Copenhagen, delegates will discuss the international response to climate change (i.e. the ongoing increase in the Earth’s average surface temperature) and the meeting is widely viewed as the most important of its kind ever held ( International agreement will be sought on a treaty to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. At the time of writing it is not known whether agreement will be reached on the main issues of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and financing the impacts of climate change, and it appears that the impact of climate change on mental health is unlikely to be on the agenda. We discuss here how climate change could have consequences for global mental health and consider the implications for future research and policy.
  47. 2010: Berry, Helen Louise, Kathryn Bowen, and Tord Kjellstrom. “Climate change and mental health: a causal pathways framework.” International journal of public health 55.2 (2010): 123-132. Climate change may affect mental health directly by exposing people to trauma. It may also affect mental health indirectly, by affecting (1) physical health (for example, extreme heat exposure causes heat exhaustion in vulnerable people, and associated mental health consequences) and (2) community wellbeing. Within community, wellbeing is a sub-process in which climate change erodes physical environments which, in turn, damage social environments. Vulnerable people and places, especially in low-income countries, will be particularly badly affected. Different aspects of climate change may affect mental health through direct and indirect pathways, leading to serious mental health problems, possibly including increased suicide mortality. We propose that it is helpful to integrate these pathways in an explanatory framework, which may assist in developing public health policy, practice and research.
  48. 2011: Reser, Joseph P., and Janet K. Swim. “Adapting to and coping with the threat and impacts of climate change.” American Psychologist 66.4 (2011): 277. This article addresses the nature and challenge of adaptation in the context of global climate change. The complexity of “climate change” as threat, environmental stressor, risk domain, and impacting process with dramatic environmental and human consequences requires a synthesis of perspectives and models from diverse areas of psychology to adequately communicate and explain how a more psychological framing of the human dimensions of global environmental change can greatly inform and enhance effective and collaborative climate change adaptation and mitigation policies and research. An integrative framework is provided that identifies and considers important mediating and moderating parameters and processes relating to climate change adaptation, with particular emphasis given to environmental stress and stress and coping perspectives. This psychological perspective on climate change adaptation highlights crucial aspects of adaptation that have been neglected in the arena of climate change science. Of particular importance are intra-individual and social “psychological adaptation” processes that powerfully mediate public risk perceptions and understandings, effective coping responses and resilience, overt behavioral adjustment and change, and psychological and social impacts. This psychological window on climate change adaptation is arguably indispensable to genuinely multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research and policy initiatives addressing the impacts of climate change.
  49. 2008: Fritze, Jessica G., et al. “Hope, despair and transformation: climate change and the promotion of mental health and wellbeing.” International journal of mental health systems 2.1 (2008): 13.The authors argue that: i) the direct impacts of climate change such as extreme weather events will have significant mental health implications; ii) climate change is already impacting on the social, economic and environmental determinants of mental health with the most severe consequences being felt by disadvantaged communities and populations; iii) understanding the full extent of the long term social and environmental challenges posed by climate change has the potential to create emotional distress and anxiety; and iv) understanding the psycho-social implications of climate change is also an important starting point for informed action to prevent dangerous climate change at individual, community and societal levels.
  50. 2011: Doherty, Thomas J., and Susan Clayton. “The psychological impacts of global climate change.” American Psychologist66.4 (2011): 265. An appreciation of the psychological impacts of global climate change entails recognizing the complexity and multiple meanings associated with climate change; situating impacts within other social, technological, and ecological transitions; and recognizing mediators and moderators of impacts. This article describes three classes of psychological impacts: direct (e.g., acute or traumatic effects of extreme weather events and a changed environment); indirect (e.g., threats to emotional well-being based on observation of impacts and concern or uncertainty about future risks); and psychosocial (e.g., chronic social and community effects of heat, drought, migrations, and climate-related conflicts, and postdisaster adjustment). Responses include providing psychological interventions in the wake of acute impacts and reducing the vulnerabilities contributing to their severity; promoting emotional resiliency and empowerment in the context of indirect impacts; and acting at systems and policy levels to address broad psychosocial impacts. The challenge of climate change calls for increased ecological literacy, a widened ethical responsibility, investigations into a range of psychological and social adaptations, and an allocation of resources and training to improve psychologists’ competency in addressing climate change–related impacts.
  51. 2008: Fritze, Jessica G., et al. “Hope, despair and transformation: climate change and the promotion of mental health and wellbeing.” International journal of mental health systems 2.1 (2008): 13. There is an extensive body of evidence showing the ways in which extreme weather events can lead to psychological and mental health outcomes associated with loss, disruption and displacement as well as cumulative mental health impacts from repeated exposure to natural disasters [10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16]. Disaster response and emergency management have been a focus of government and agencies over the past decade, with an increasing emphasis on psychological and psychosocial interventions [17].
  52. 2009: Swim, Janet, et al. “Psychology and global climate change: Addressing a multi-faceted phenomenon and set of challenges. A report by the American Psychological Association’s task force on the interface between psychology and global climate change.” American Psychological Association, Washington (2009). Addressing climate change is arguably one of the most pressing issues facing our planet and its inhabitants. In bio and geophysical terms, climate change is defined as changes over time in the averages and variability of surface temperature, precipitation, and wind as well as associated changes in Earth’s atmosphere, oceans and natural water supplies, snow and ice, land surface, ecosystems, and living organisms (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPCC], 2007b). What is unique about current global climate change, relative to historical changes, is the causal role of human activity (also called anthropogenic forcing) and the current and projected dramatic changes in climate across the globe. Our primary aim in our report is to engage members of the psychology community (teachers, researchers, those in practice, and students) in the issue of climate change. To this end, this American Psychological Association (APA) task force report describes the contributions of psychological research to an understanding of psychological dimensions of global climate change, provides research recommendations, and proposes policies for APA to assist psychologists’ engagement with this issue.
  53. 2014: Challinor, Andrew J., et al. “A meta-analysis of crop yield under climate change and adaptation.” Nature Climate Change 4.4 (2014): 287.  Feeding a growing global population in a changing climate presents a significant challenge to society1,2. The projected yields of crops under a range of agricultural and climatic scenarios are needed to assess food security prospects. Previous meta-analyses3 have summarized climate change impacts and adaptive potential as a function of temperature, but have not examined uncertainty, the timing of impacts, or the quantitative effectiveness of adaptation. Here we develop a new data set of more than 1,700 published simulations to evaluate yield impacts of climate change and adaptation. Without adaptation, losses in aggregate production are expected for wheat, rice and maize in both temperate and tropical regions by 2 °C of local warming. Crop-level adaptations increase simulated yields by an average of 7–15%, with adaptations more effective for wheat and rice than maize. Yield losses are greater in magnitude for the second half of the century than for the first. Consensus on yield decreases in the second half of the century is stronger in tropical than temperate regions, yet even moderate warming may reduce temperate crop yields in many locations. Although less is known about interannual variability than mean yields, the available data indicate that increases in yield variability are likely.
  54. 2014: Rosenzweig, Cynthia, et al. “Assessing agricultural risks of climate change in the 21st century in a global gridded crop model intercomparison.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111.9 (2014): 3268-3273. Agriculture is arguably the sector most affected by climate change, but assessments differ and are thus difficult to compare. We provide a globally consistent, protocol-based, multimodel climate change assessment for major crops with explicit characterization of uncertainty. Results with multimodel agreement indicate strong negative effects from climate change, especially at higher levels of warming and at low latitudes where developing countries are concentrated. Simulations that consider explicit nitrogen stress result in much more severe impacts from climate change, with implications for adaptation planning.
  55. 2015: Asseng, Senthold, et al. “Rising temperatures reduce global wheat production.” Nature Climate Change 5.2 (2015): 143. Crop models are essential tools for assessing the threat of climate change to local and global food production1. Present models used to predict wheat grain yield are highly uncertain when simulating how crops respond to temperature2. Here we systematically tested 30 different wheat crop models of the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project against field experiments in which growing season mean temperatures ranged from 15 °C to 32 °C, including experiments with artificial heating. Many models simulated yields well, but were less accurate at higher temperatures. The model ensemble median was consistently more accurate in simulating the crop temperature response than any single model, regardless of the input information used. Extrapolating the model ensemble temperature response indicates that warming is already slowing yield gains at a majority of wheat-growing locations. Global wheat production is estimated to fall by 6% for each °C of further temperature increase and become more variable over space and time.
  56. 2012: Huggel, Christian, John J. Clague, and Oliver Korup. “Is climate change responsible for changing landslide activity in high mountains?.” Earth Surface Processes and Landforms37.1 (2012): 77-91. Climate change, manifested by an increase in mean, minimum, and maximum temperatures and by more intense rainstorms, is becoming more evident in many regions. An important consequence of these changes may be an increase in landslides in high mountains. More research, however, is necessary to detect changes in landslide magnitude and frequency related to contemporary climate, particularly in alpine regions hosting glaciers, permafrost, and snow. These regions not only are sensitive to changes in both temperature and precipitation, but are also areas in which landslides are ubiquitous even under a stable climate. We analyze a series of catastrophic slope failures that occurred in the mountains of Europe, the Americas, and the Caucasus since the end of the 1990s. We distinguish between rock and ice avalanches, debris flows from de‐glaciated areas, and landslides that involve dynamic interactions with glacial and river processes. Analysis of these events indicates several important controls on slope stability in high mountains, including: the non‐linear response of firn and ice to warming; three‐dimensional warming of subsurface bedrock and its relation to site geology; de‐glaciation accompanied by exposure of new sediment; and combined short‐term effects of precipitation and temperature. Based on several case studies, we propose that the following mechanisms can significantly alter landslide magnitude and frequency, and thus hazard, under warming conditions: (1) positive feedbacks acting on mass movement processes that after an initial climatic stimulus may evolve independently of climate change; (2) threshold behavior and tipping points in geomorphic systems; (3) storage of sediment and ice involving important lag‐time effects. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
  57. 2004: Soldati, Mauro, Alessandro Corsini, and Alessandro Pasuto. “Landslides and climate change in the Italian Dolomites since the Late glacial.” Catena 55.2 (2004): 141-161. The paper deals with the relationship between the temporal occurrence of landslides and climatic changes in the Italian Dolomites since the Late glacial. After an introduction on the state of the art, with particular reference to the Alpine region, the results of recent investigations in the two study sites are illustrated. At Cortina d’Ampezzo, several landslides were dated mainly by the radiocarbon method. The most ancient landslide event there involved large rock slides, which affected the dolomitic slopes following the withdrawal of glaciers after the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), and also slides and flows mainly occurring in pelitic materials of the valley floors (from 13,000 to 10,000 cal BP). A later series of flows occurred between 5500 and 2500 cal BP. In the Upper Badia Valley (Alta Badia), the most ancient events go back to 10,000 and 9000 cal BP, and correspond with earth flows that followed vast rotational slides affecting the bedrock up to a depth of about 50 m. More recent earth flows, involving more modest amounts of material, took place between 6500 and 2300 cal BP.By analysing the dates from the two study areas, it was possible to correlate the recorded increase of landslide activity with the climatic changes occurring at the boundary between the Late glacial and the Holocene and between the Atlantic and the Subboreal, and to compare the results with those derived from other European regions. The types and causes of landslides taking place in these two periods were substantially different, reflecting the different morphoclimatic conditions that existed in the two areas when these mass movements were triggered. Finally, notwithstanding the importance of non-climatic causes, such as geological–structural factors and possible human influences, it is concluded that many of the dated landslides can be considered as indicators of climatic change.
  58. 2007: Gruber, S., and W. Haeberli. “Permafrost in steep bedrock slopes and its temperature‐related destabilization following climate change.” Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface 112.F2 (2007). Permafrost in steep bedrock is abundant in many cold‐mountain areas, and its degradation can cause slope instability that is unexpected and unprecedented in location, magnitude, frequency, and timing. These phenomena bear consequences for the understanding of landscape evolution, natural hazards, and the safe and sustainable operation of high‐mountain infrastructure. Permafrost in steep bedrock is an emerging field of research. Knowledge of rock temperatures, ice content, mechanisms of degradation, and the processes that link warming and destabilization is often fragmental. In this article we provide a review and discussion of existing literature and pinpoint important questions. Ice‐filled joints are common in bedrock permafrost and possibly actively widened by ice segregation. Broad evidence of destabilization by warming permafrost exists despite problems of attributing individual events to this phenomenon with certainty. Convex topography such as ridges, spurs, and peaks is often subject to faster and deeper thaw than other areas. Permafrost degradation in steep bedrock can be strongly affected by percolating water in fractures. This degradation by advection is difficult to predict and can lead to quick and deep development of thaw corridors along fractures in permafrost and potentially destabilize much greater volumes of rock than conduction would. Although most research on steep bedrock permafrost originates from the Alps, it will likely gain importance in other geographic regions with mountain permafrost.
  59. 2003: Bürki, Rolf, Hans Elsasser, and Bruno Abegg. “Climate change-impacts on the tourism industry in mountain areas.” 1st International Conference on Climate Change and Tourism. 2003. Mountain areas are sensitive to climate change. Implications of climate change can be seen, for example, in less snow, receding glaciers, melting permafrost and more extreme events like landslides. Furthermore, climate change will shift mountain flora and fauna. Second order impacts will occur in mountain agriculture, mountain hydropower and, of course, mountain
    tourism. Clearly, it should be emphasised that climate is only one of many factors influencing snow tourism. However, less snow threatens the winter tourism industry in mountain areas. Good snow conditions are a necessity, although that is not the only prerequisite for a financially viable mountain cable-way company. Without enough snow, however, profitable ski tourism will scarcely be possible. Mountains without snow are like summer without a sea. Apart from having sufficient snow at the right time and particularly during the Christmas/New Year holidays a key role is also played by the weather conditions (predominantly at the weekends). Since weekend and day guests are planning their trips at ever-shorter notice, it is not just the actual weather conditions that are a growing factor of influence.
  60. 1997: Koenig, Urs, and Bruno Abegg. “Impacts of climate change on winter tourism in the Swiss Alps.” Journal of sustainable tourism 5.1 (1997): 46-58. This paper examines the impacts of three consecutive snow-deficient winters at the end of the 1980s on the winter tourism industry in Switzerland. It is shown that ski areas in lower areas suffered severe consequences. Ski areas at higher altitudes (in particular glacier ski resorts) on the other hand increased their transport figures and therefore profited from the lack of snow in lower areas. The snow-reliability of all Swiss ski fields under current climate conditions and under a 2″C warming are investigated. Under current climate conditions 85% of all Swiss ski areas are snow-reliable. This number would drop to 63% if temperatures were to rise by 2″C. This is likely to threaten the regionally balanced economic growth which winter tourism has provided. Possible strategies for the winter tourism industry to adopt if climate change occurs are presented.
  61. 2018: Regos, Adrián, et al. “Wildfire–vegetation dynamics affect predictions of climate change impact on bird communities.” Ecography 41.6 (2018): 982-995. Community‐level climate change indicators have been proposed to appraise the impact of global warming on community composition. However, non‐climate factors may also critically influence species distribution and biological community assembly. The aim of this paper was to study how fire–vegetation dynamics can modify our ability to predict the impact of climate change on bird communities, as described through a widely‐used climate change indicator: the community thermal index (CTI). Potential changes in bird species assemblage were predicted using the spatially‐explicit species assemblage modelling framework – SESAM – that applies successive filters to constrained predictions of richness and composition obtained by stacking species distribution models that hierarchically integrate climate change and wildfire–vegetation dynamics. We forecasted future values of CTI between current conditions and 2050, across a wide range of fire–vegetation and climate change scenarios. Fire–vegetation dynamics were simulated for Catalonia (Mediterranean basin) using a process‐based model that reproduces the spatial interaction between wildfire, vegetation dynamics and wildfire management under two IPCC climate scenarios. Net increases in CTI caused by the concomitant impact of climate warming and an increasingly severe wildfire regime were predicted. However, the overall increase in the CTI could be partially counterbalanced by forest expansion via land abandonment and efficient wildfire suppression policies. CTI is thus strongly dependent on complex interactions between climate change and fire–vegetation dynamics. The potential impacts on bird communities may be underestimated if an overestimation of richness is predicted but not constrained. Our findings highlight the need to explicitly incorporate these interactions when using indicators to interpret and forecast climate change impact in dynamic ecosystems. In fire‐prone systems, wildfire management and land‐use policies can potentially offset or heighten the effects of climate change on biological communities, offering an opportunity to address the impact of global climate change proactively.
  62. 2018: Prusty, Raunak Manoranjan, Aparna Das, and Kanchu Charan Patra. “Climate change impact assessment under CORDEX South-Asia RCM scenarios on water resources of the Brahmani and Baitarini River Basin, India.” (2018). This study attempts to assess the impact of climate change on Brahmani and Baitarini river basin using a GIS-based semi-distributed model Soil and Water Analysis Tool (SWAT). The SWAT model uses various physiographic features such as slope, soil and land use classes to estimate the various water balance components of the river basin for the baseline period (1980-2010) and future climate scenarios (2071-2100). Sensitivity analysis has been carried out to identify the most critical parameters of the model. The model was calibrated(1980-2000) and validated (2001-2010) using the observed average daily discharge data. The model performance was evaluated using the coefficient of determination (R2), Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency (ENS). The data from CORDEX South Asia RCM model for RCP 4.5 and 8.5 scenarios developed by IITM was used in the SWAT model to evaluate changes in various water balance components. Overall the SWAT model performed satisfactorily having Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency value of 0.72 and 0.65 for calibration and validation respectively. Results show an increase in average annual temperature (3.1°C), average rainfall (+10.7 mm/year).This corresponds to the increase in in the annual streamflow (110%-117%%), evapotranspiration (48%%) and water yield (159%). FULL TEXT
  63. 2018: Stefan H. Doerr, Cristina Santín, “Global trends in wildfire and its impacts: perceptions versus realities in a changing world“, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B Biological Sciences, Published 23 May 2016.DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2015.0345. Wildfire has been an important process affecting the Earth’s surface and atmosphere for over 350 million years and human societies have coexisted with fire since their emergence. Yet many consider wildfire as an accelerating problem, with widely held perceptions both in the media and scientific papers of increasing fire occurrence, severity and resulting losses. However, important exceptions aside, the quantitative evidence available does not support these perceived overall trends. Instead, global area burned appears to have overall declined over past decades, and there is increasing evidence that there is less fire in the global landscape today than centuries ago. Regarding fire severity, limited data are available. For the western USA, they indicate little change overall, and also that area burned at high severity has overall declined compared to pre-European settlement. Direct fatalities from fire and economic losses also show no clear trends over the past three decades. Trends in indirect impacts, such as health problems from smoke or disruption to social functioning, remain insufficiently quantified to be examined. Global predictions for increased fire under a warming climate highlight the already urgent need for a more sustainable coexistence with fire. The data evaluation presented here aims to contribute to this by reducing misconceptions and facilitating a more informed understanding of the realities of global fire. Link to full text: FULL TEXT ONLINE
  64. 2018: Marshall Burke, Felipe González, Patrick Baylis, Sam Heft-Neal, Ceren Baysan, Sanjay Basu & Solomon Hsiang, Higher temperatures increase suicide rates in the United States and Mexico, Nature Climate Change (2018), Linkages between climate and mental health are often theorized but remain poorly quantified. In particular, it is unknown whether the rate of suicide, a leading cause of death globally, is systematically affected by climatic conditions. Using comprehensive data from multiple decades for both the United States and Mexico, we find that suicide rates rise 0.7% in US counties and 2.1% in Mexican municipalities for a 1 °C increase in monthly average temperature. This effect is similar in hotter versus cooler regions and has not diminished over time, indicating limited historical adaptation. Analysis of depressive language in >600 million social media updates further suggests that mental well-being deteriorates during warmer periods. We project that unmitigated climate change (RCP8.5) could result in a combined 9–40 thousand additional suicides (95% confidence interval) across the United States and Mexico by 2050, representing a change in suicide rates comparable to the estimated impact of economic recessions, suicide prevention programmes or gun restriction laws.
  65. 2018: Evans, Gary W. “Projected behavioral impacts of global climate change.”Higher temperatures increase suicide rates in the United States and Mexico Marshall Burke, Felipe González, Patrick Baylis, Sam Heft-Neal, Ceren Baysan, Sanjay Basu & Solomon Hsiang, Nature Climate Change (2018) Annual review of psychology 0 (2018). The projected behavioral impacts of global climate change emanate from environmental changes including temperature elevation, extreme weather events, and rising air pollution. Negative affect, interpersonal and intergroup conflict, and possibly psychological distress increase with rising temperature. Droughts, floods, and severe storms diminish quality of life, elevate stress, produce psychological distress, and may elevate interpersonal and intergroup conflict. Recreational opportunities are compromised by extreme weather, and children may suffer delayed cognitive development. Elevated pollutants concern citizens and may accentuate psychological distress. Outdoor recreational activity is curtailed by ambient pollutants. Limitations and issues in need of further investigation include the following: lack of data on direct experience with climate change rather than indirect assessments related to projected changes; poor spatial resolution in environmental exposures and behavioral assessments; few rigorous quasi-experimental studies; overreliance on self-reports of behavioral outcomes; little consideration of moderator effects; and scant investigation of underlying psychosocial processes to explain projected behavioral impacts.
  66. 2007: Hawkes, L. A., et al. “Investigating the potential impacts of climate change on a marine turtle population.” Global Change Biology 13.5 (2007): 923-932. Recent increases in global temperatures have affected the phenology and survival of many species of plants and animals. We investigated a case study of the effects of potential climate change on a thermally sensitive species, the loggerhead sea turtle, at a breeding location at the northerly extent of the range of regular nesting in the United States. In addition to the physical limits imposed by temperature on this ectothermic species, sea turtle primary sex ratio is determined by the temperature experienced by eggs during the middle third of incubation. We recorded sand temperatures and used historical air temperatures (ATs) at Bald Head Island, NC, to examine past and predict future sex ratios under scenarios of warming. There were no significant temporal trends in primary sex ratio evident in recent years and estimated mean annual sex ratio was 58% female. Similarly, there were no temporal trends in phenology but earlier nesting and longer nesting seasons were correlated with warmer sea surface temperature. We modelled the effects of incremental increases in mean AT of up to 7.5°C, the maximum predicted increase under modelled scenarios, which would lead to 100% female hatchling production and lethally high incubation temperatures, causing reduction in hatchling production. Populations of turtles in more southern parts of the United States are currently highly female biased and are likely to become ultra‐biased with as little as 1°C of warming and experience extreme levels of mortality if warming exceeds 3°C. The lack of a demonstrable increase in AT in North Carolina in recent decades coupled with primary sex ratios that are not highly biased means that the male offspring from North Carolina could play an increasingly important role in the future viability of the loggerhead turtle in the Western Atlantic.
  67. 2009: Hulin, Vincent, et al. “Temperature-dependent sex determination and global change: are some species at greater risk?.” Oecologia 160.3 (2009): 493-506. In species with temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD), global climate change may result in a strong sex ratio bias that could lead to extinction. The relationship between sex ratio and egg incubation at constant temperature in TSD species is characterized by two parameters: the pivotal temperature (P) and the transitional range of temperature that produces both sexes (TRT). Here, we show that the proportion of nests producing both sexes is positively correlated to the width of the TRT by a correlative approach from sex ratio data collected in the literature and by simulations of TSD using a mechanistic model. From our analyses, we predict that species with a larger TRT should be more likely to evolve in response to new thermal conditions, thus putting them at lower risk to global change.
  68. 2003: Pearson, Richard G., and Terence P. Dawson. “Predicting the impacts of climate change on the distribution of species: are bioclimate envelope models useful?.” Global ecology and biogeography 12.5 (2003): 361-371. Modelling strategies for predicting the potential impacts of climate change on the natural distribution of species have often focused on the characterization of a species’ bioclimate envelope. A number of recent critiques have questioned the validity of this approach by pointing to the many factors other than climate that play an important part in determining species distributions and the dynamics of distribution changes. Such factors include biotic interactions, evolutionary change and dispersal ability. This paper reviews and evaluates criticisms of bioclimate envelope models and discusses the implications of these criticisms for the different modelling strategies employed. It is proposed that, although the complexity of the natural system presents fundamental limits to predictive modelling, the bioclimate envelope approach can provide a useful first approximation as to the potentially dramatic impact of climate change on biodiversity. However, it is stressed that the spatial scale at which these models are applied is of fundamental importance, and that model results should not be interpreted without due consideration of the limitations involved. A hierarchical modelling framework is proposed through which some of these limitations can be addressed within a broader, scale‐dependent context.
  69. 2003: Hughes, Terry P., et al. “Climate change, human impacts, and the resilience of coral reefs.” science 301.5635 (2003): 929-933. The diversity, frequency, and scale of human impacts on coral reefs are increasing to the extent that reefs are threatened globally. Projected increases in carbon dioxide and temperature over the next 50 years exceed the conditions under which coral reefs have flourished over the past half-million years. However, reefs will change rather than disappear entirely, with some species already showing far greater tolerance to climate change and coral bleaching than others. International integration of management strategies that support reef resilience need to be vigorously implemented, and complemented by strong policy decisions to reduce the rate of global warming.
  70. 1994: Rosenzweig, Cynthia, and Martin L. Parry. “Potential impact of climate change on world food supply.” Nature 367.6459 (1994): 133-138. While some countries in the temperate zones may reap some benefit from climate change, many
    countries in the tropical and subtropical zones appear more vulnerable to the potential impacts of global climate change.
  71. 2017: Haile, Mekbib G., et al. “Impact of climate change, weather extremes, and price risk on global food supply.” Economics of Disasters and Climate Change 1.1 (2017): 55-75. We analyze the determinants of global crop production for maize, wheat, rice, and soybeans over the period 1961–2013. Using seasonal production data and price change and price volatility information at country level, as well as future climate data from 32 global circulation models, we project that climate change could reduce global crop production by 9% in the 2030s and by 23% in the 2050s. Climate change leads to 1–3% higher annual fluctuations of global crop production over the next four decades. We find strong, positive and statistically significant supply response to changing prices for all four crops. However, output price volatility, which signals risk to producers, reduces the supply of these key global agricultural staple crops—especially for wheat and maize. We find that climate change has significant adverse effects on production of the world’s key staple crops. Especially, weather extremes— in terms of shocks in both temperature and precipitation— during crop growing months have detrimental impacts on the production of the abovementioned food crops. Weather extremes also exacerbate the year-to-year fluctuations of food availability, and thus may further increase price volatility with its adverse impacts on production and poor consumers. Combating climate change using both mitigation and adaptation technologies is therefore crucial for global production.017:
  72. 2018: Michelle Tigchelaar etal: Future warming increases probability of globally synchronized maize production shocks, PNAS June 26, 2018. 115 (26) 6644-6649; Here, we use global datasets of maize production and climate variability combined with future temperature projections to quantify how yield variability will change in the world’s major maize-producing and -exporting countries under 2 °C and 4 °C of global warming. We find that as the global mean temperature increases, absent changes in temperature variability or breeding gains in heat tolerance, the coefficient of variation (CV) of maize yields increases almost everywhere to values much larger than present-day values. This higher CV is due both to an increase in the SD of yields and a decrease in mean yields. For the top four maize-exporting countries, which account for 87% of global maize exports, the probability that they have simultaneous production losses greater than 10% in any given year is presently virtually zero, but it increases to 7% under 2 °C warming and 86% under 4 °C warming. Our results portend rising instability in global grain trade and international grain prices, affecting especially the ∼800 million people living in extreme poverty who are most vulnerable to food price spikes. They also underscore the urgency of investments in breeding for heat tolerance.
  73. 2007: Morton, John F. “The impact of climate change on smallholder and subsistence agriculture.” Proceedings of the national academy of sciences 104.50 (2007): 19680-19685. Some of the most important impacts of global climate change will be felt among the populations, predominantly in developing countries, referred to as “subsistence” or “smallholder” farmers. Their vulnerability to climate change comes both from being predominantly located in the tropics, and from various socioeconomic, demographic, and policy trends limiting their capacity to adapt to change. However, these impacts will be difficult to model or predict because of (i) the lack of standardised definitions of these sorts of farming system, and therefore of standard data above the national level, (ii) intrinsic characteristics of these systems, particularly their complexity, their location-specificity, and their integration of agricultural and nonagricultural livelihood strategies, and (iii) their vulnerability to a range of climate-related and other stressors. Some recent work relevant to these farming systems is reviewed, a conceptual framework for understanding the diverse forms of impacts in an integrated manner is proposed, and future research needs are identified.
  74. 2010: Schlenker, Wolfram, and David B. Lobell. “Robust negative impacts of climate change on African agriculture.” Environmental Research Letters 5.1 (2010): 014010. There is widespread interest in the impacts of climate change on agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), and on the most effective investments to assist adaptation to these changes, yet the scientific basis for estimating production risks and prioritizing investments has been quite limited. Here we show that by combining historical crop production and weather data into a panel analysis, a robust model of yield response to climate change emerges for several key African crops. By mid-century, the mean estimates of aggregate production changes in SSA under our preferred model specification are − 22, − 17, − 17, − 18, and − 8% for maize, sorghum, millet, groundnut, and cassava, respectively. In all cases except cassava, there is a 95% probability that damages exceed 7%, and a 5% probability that they exceed 27%. Moreover, countries with the highest average yields have the largest projected yield losses, suggesting that well-fertilized modern seed varieties are more susceptible to heat related losses.
  75. 2006: Scott, Daniel, and Brenda Jones. “The impact of climate change on golf participation in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA): a case study.” Journal of Leisure Research 38.3 (2006): 363-380 {Golf is identified as a large recreation industry that is particularly sensitive to weather and climate, yet research assessing the direct relationship between them is extremely limited. Consequently, the potential implications of climate change for the industry remain largely unexamined. This case study presents findings of an analysis of the influence of weather conditions on the number of rounds played at a golf course in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) of Southern Ontario (Canada). An empirical relationship between daily rounds played and weather variables, derived through multiple regression analysis, was then used to examine the potential impacts of two climate change scenarios on the length of the golf season and the number of rounds played in the 2020s, 2050s and 2080s. The model projected that as early as the 2020s the average golf season could be one to seven weeks longer and with much improved shoulder seasons annual rounds played could increase 5.5% to 37.1%. The model results for the warmer long-term climate change scenario (2080s) were very similar (average golf season within 3% and average rounds played within 2%) to a spatial climate analogue (Columbus, Ohio)}
  76. 2007: Scott, Daniel, and Brenda Jones. “A regional comparison of the implications of climate change for the golf industry in Canada.” The Canadian Geographer/Le Géographe canadien 51.2 (2007): 219-232 {Golf is a recreation industry particularly sensitive to climate, yet the potential implications of climate change for the industry remain largely unexamined. This study presents findings of the first known impact assessment to compare the regional impacts of projected changes in the climate on the golf industry in Canada (or internationally). Empirical relationships between daily rounds played and four weather variables were defined through multiple regression analysis and then used to examine the potential impacts of two climate change scenarios on the length of the golf season and the number of rounds played in three regions of Canada (West Coast, Great Lakes, East Coast). Regionally, the West Coast region was projected to benefit the least from projected climate change, as golf courses that are currently open year round experienced only slight projected increases in rounds played in the 2020s and 2050s. Golf courses in the Great Lakes region could experience a 10‐ to 51‐day longer average golf season and a 21 percent to 3 percent increase in rounds as early as the 2020s, and an even more pronounced increase in the 2050s. East Coast golf courses were projected to benefit the most under both climate change scenarios, experiencing larger gains in average operating seasons (25 to 45 days in the 2020s) and a 40 percent to 48 percent increase in rounds played by as early as the 2020s}
  77. 2007: Scott, Daniel, and Geoff McBoyle. “Climate change adaptation in the ski industry.” Mitigation and adaptation strategies for global change 12.8 (2007): 1411. {The characteristics of ski areas with higher adaptive capacity are identified. Considering the highly competitive nature of the ski industry and the generally low climate change risk appraisal within the industry, climate change adaptation is anticipated to remain individualistic and reactive for some time. With only a few exceptions, the existing climate change literature on winter tourism has not considered the wide range of adaptation options identified in this paper and has likely overestimated potential damages. An important task for future studies is to develop methodologies to incorporate adaptation so that a more accurate understanding of the vulnerability of the international ski industry can be ascertained}
  78. 2001:Agnew, Maureen D., and David Viner. “Potential impacts of climate change on international tourism.” Tourism and hospitality research 3.1 (2001): 37-60 {Global temperatures rose by over 0.5°C during the 20th century and current estimates suggest that they will continue to rise at between 0.2 and 0.3°C per decade during the course of the 21st century. This increasing trend towards warmer temperatures could have major consequences for the tourism industry, which is heavily dependent on present climatic and environmental conditions. The ecosystems of many international holiday destinations are potentially vulnerable to climate change. This paper reviews the potential impacts of climate change for ten international tourist destinations. The most serious impacts will result from the effects of sea-level rise on small island states. Other impacts likely to affect tourism include coral bleaching, outbreaks of fire, changed migration patterns of animals and birds, flooding, the spread of vector-borne diseases and shorter skiing seasons. Without appropriate adaptive measures, climate change could produce a shift in the comparative attractiveness of tourist destinations around the globe}
  79. 2008: Shaw, W. Douglass, and John B. Loomis. “Frameworks for analyzing the economic effects of climate change on outdoor recreation.” Climate Research 36.3 (2008): 259-269 {Climate change is increasingly recognized as a major factor that may influence the recreational use of outdoor environments. Despite awareness of the pervasive effects of climate change, its effects on outdoor recreation have only recently been studied in detail. In this study we consider an economic framework that allows the modeling of the direct and indirect effects of climate change on users of recreation resources, via the impacts on natural resources upon which outdoor recreation depends. We also present a brief summary of selected empirical results bearing on climate-sensitive recreational activities. With the relatively small increases in temperature that are likely from near-term climate change, the number of people partaking in certain outdoor recreational activities—such as boating, golfing and beach recreation—is expected to increase by 14 to 36%. Numbers partaking in other activities—most notably snow sports like skiing—will likely fall. We discuss critical areas of future research that are needed to provide more detailed estimates of changes in recreation activities (along with associated economic effects) that are likely to arise from climate change in the future}
  80. 2018: Newbold, T. (2018) Future effects of climate and land-use change on terrestrial vertebrate community diversity under different scenarios, Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, doi:10.1098/rspb.2018.0792 {Land-use and climate change are among the greatest threats facing biodiversity, but understanding their combined effects has been hampered by modelling and data limitations, resulting in part from the very different scales at which land-use and climate processes operate. I combine two different modelling paradigms to predict the separate and combined (additive) effects of climate and land-use change on terrestrial vertebrate communities under four different scenarios. I predict that climate-change effects are likely to become a major pressure on biodiversity in the coming decades, probably matching or exceeding the effects of land-use change by 2070. The combined effects of both pressures are predicted to lead to an average cumulative loss of 37.9% of species from vertebrate communities under ‘business as usual’ (uncertainty ranging from 15.7% to 54.2%). Areas that are predicted to experience the effects of both pressures are concentrated in tropical grasslands and savannahs. The results have important implications for the conservation of biodiversity in future, and for the ability of biodiversity to support important ecosystem functions, upon which humans rely}
  81. 2017: Pecl, Gretta T., et al. “Biodiversity redistribution under climate change: Impacts on ecosystems and human well-being.” Science 355.6332 (2017): eaai9214. {The geographical range limits of species are dynamic but climate change is causing redistribution of life on Earth. The first response to changing climate is often a shift in location, to stay within preferred climate conditions. At the cooler extremes of their distributions, species are moving poleward, whereas range limits are contracting at the warmer range edge, where temperatures are no longer tolerable. On land, species are also moving to cooler, higher elevations; in the ocean, they are moving to colder water at greater depths. Because different species respond at different rates and to varying degrees, key interactions among species are often disrupted, and new interactions develop. These idiosyncrasies can result in novel biotic communities and rapid changes in ecosystem functioning, with pervasive and sometimes unexpected consequences. Human population growth and human caused climate change taken together put stresses on biodiversity and cause a redistribution of Earth’s species. Human activities must be changed accordingly}
  82. 2015: Kerr, Jeremy T., et al. “Climate change impacts on bumblebees converge across continents.” Science 349.6244 (2015): 177-180. {Responses to climate change have been observed across many species. There is a general trend for species to shift their ranges poleward or up in elevation. Not all species, however, can make such shifts, and these species might experience more rapid declines. Kerr et al. looked at data on bumblebees across North America and Europe over the past 110 years. Bumblebees have not shifted northward and are experiencing shrinking distributions in the southern ends of their range. Such failures to shift may be because of their origins in a cooler climate, and suggest an elevated susceptibility to rapid climate change}
  83. 2014: Bonebrake, Timothy C., et al. “From global change to a butterfly flapping: biophysics and behaviour affect tropical climate change impacts.” Proc. R. Soc. B 281.1793 (2014): 20141264 {Difficulty in characterizing the relationship between climatic variability and climate change vulnerability arises when we consider the multiple scales at which this variation occurs, be it temporal (from minute to annual) or spatial (from centimetres to kilometres). We studied populations of a single widely distributed butterfly species, Chlosyne lacinia, to examine the physiological, morphological, thermoregulatory and biophysical underpinnings of adaptation to tropical and temperate climates. Microclimatic and morphological data along with a biophysical model documented the importance of solar radiation in predicting butterfly body temperature. We also integrated the biophysics with a physiologically based insect fitness model to quantify the influence of solar radiation, morphology and behaviour on warming impact projections. While warming is projected to have some detrimental impacts on tropical ectotherms, fitness impacts in this study are not as negative as models that assume body and air temperature equivalence would suggest. We additionally show that behavioural thermoregulation can diminish direct warming impacts, though indirect thermoregulatory consequences could further complicate predictions. With these results, at multiple spatial and temporal scales, we show the importance of biophysics and behaviour for studying biodiversity consequences of global climate change, and stress that tropical climate change impacts are likely to be context-dependent}
  84. 2013: Thomas, Chris D. “The Anthropocene could raise biological diversity.” Nature News 502.7469 (2013): 7. {Human activity changes the environment, as last week’s release of a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reminds us. But not all change is bad. One way in which animals and plants respond to warming temperatures, for example, is to move beyond their historical distributions, just as they do when they are transported to new regions by humans. The response of people who find themselves ‘invaded’ by such ‘displaced’ species is often irrational. Deliberate persecution of the new — just because it is new — is no longer sustainable in a world of rapid global change. It is true that some invasive species damage ecosystems and can eradicate resident species. As a result, the European Commission, for example, is planning laws to control the ‘adverse’ impacts of species introduced through human activities, albeit without quite saying how those impacts should be defined. But the same process can also increase ecological diversity. On average, less than one native species dies out for each introduced species that arrives. Britain, for instance, has gained 1,875 established non-native species without yet losing anything to the invaders. Human development, dubbed the age of the Anthropocene, boosts biodiversity in other ways too}
  85. 2014: Dornelas, Maria, et al. “Assemblage time series reveal biodiversity change but not systematic loss.” Science344.6181 (2014): 296-299. {The extent to which biodiversity change in local assemblages contributes to global biodiversity loss is poorly understood. We analyzed 100 time series from biomes across Earth to ask how diversity within assemblages is changing through time. We quantified patterns of temporal α diversity, measured as change in local diversity, and temporal β diversity, measured as change in community composition. Contrary to our expectations, we did not detect systematic loss of α diversity. However, community composition changed systematically through time, in excess of predictions from null models. Heterogeneous rates of environmental change, species range shifts associated with climate change, and biotic homogenization may explain the different patterns of temporal α and β diversity. Monitoring and understanding change in species composition should be a conservation priority}
  86. 2015: Pacifici, Michela, et al. “Assessing species vulnerability to climate change.” Nature Climate Change 5.3 (2015): 215. {The effects of climate change on biodiversity are increasingly well documented, and many methods have been developed to assess species’ vulnerability to climatic changes, both ongoing and projected in the coming decades. To minimize global biodiversity losses, conservationists need to identify those species that are likely to be most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. In this Review, we summarize different currencies used for assessing species’ climate change vulnerability. We describe three main approaches used to derive these currencies (correlative, mechanistic and trait-based), and their associated data requirements, spatial and temporal scales of application and modelling methods. We identify strengths and weaknesses of the approaches and highlight the sources of uncertainty inherent in each method that limit projection reliability. Finally, we provide guidance for conservation practitioners in selecting the most appropriate approach(es) for their planning needs and highlight priority areas for further assessments}
  87. 2012: Bonebrake, Timothy C., and Curtis A. Deutsch. “Climate heterogeneity modulates impact of warming on tropical insects.” Ecology 93.3 (2012): 449-455 {Evolutionary history and physiology mediate species responses to climate change. Tropical species that do not naturally experience high temperature variability have a narrow thermal tolerance compared to similar taxa at temperate latitudes and could therefore be most vulnerable to warming. However, the thermal adaptation of a species may also be influenced by spatial temperature variations over its geographical range. Spatial climate gradients, especially from topography, may also broaden thermal tolerance and therefore act to buffer warming impacts. Here we show that for low‐seasonality environments, high spatial heterogeneity in temperature correlates significantly with greater warming tolerance in insects globally. Based on this relationship, we find that climate change projections of direct physiological impacts on insect fitness highlight the vulnerability of tropical lowland areas to future warming. Thus, in addition to seasonality, spatial heterogeneity may play a critical role in thermal adaptation and climate change impacts particularly in the tropics}
  88. 2010: Bonebrake, Timothy C., and Michael D. Mastrandrea. “Tolerance adaptation and precipitation changes complicate latitudinal patterns of climate change impacts.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107.28 (2010): 12581-12586 {Global patterns of biodiversity and comparisons between tropical and temperate ecosystems have pervaded ecology from its inception. However, the urgency in understanding these global patterns has been accentuated by the threat of rapid climate change. We apply an adaptive model of environmental tolerance evolution to global climate data and climate change model projections to examine the relative impacts of climate change on different regions of the globe. Our results project more adverse impacts of warming on tropical populations due to environmental tolerance adaptation to conditions of low interannual variability in temperature. When applied to present variability and future forecasts of precipitation data, the tolerance adaptation model found large reductions in fitness predicted for populations in high-latitude northern hemisphere regions, although some tropical regions had comparable reductions in fitness. We formulated an evolutionary regional climate change index (ERCCI) to additionally incorporate the predicted changes in the interannual variability of temperature and precipitation. Based on this index, we suggest that the magnitude of climate change impacts could be much more heterogeneous across latitude than previously thought. Specifically, tropical regions are likely to be just as affected as temperate regions and, in some regions under some circumstances, possibly more so}
  89. 2006: Rodrigues, Ana SL, et al. “The value of the IUCN Red List for conservation.” Trends in ecology & evolution 21.2 (2006): 71-76. {The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is the most comprehensive resource detailing the global conservation status of plants and animals. The 2004 edition represents a milestone in the four-decade long history of the Red List, including the first Global Amphibian Assessment and a near doubling in assessed species since 2000. Moreover, the Red List assessment process itself has developed substantially over the past decade, extending the value of the Red List far beyond the assignation of threat status. We highlight here how the Red List, in conjunction with the comprehensive data compiled to support it and in spite of several important limitations, has become an increasingly powerful tool for conservation planning, management, monitoring and decision making}
  90. 2012: Bellard, Céline, et al. “Impacts of climate change on the future of biodiversity.” Ecology letters 15.4 (2012): 365-377. {the majority of models indicate alarming consequences for biodiversity, with the worst‐case scenarios leading to extinction rates that would qualify as the sixth mass extinction in the history of the earth}
  91. 2012: Reed, David H. “Impact of climate change on biodiversity.” Handbook of Climate Change Mitigation. Springer US, 2012. 505-530. {climate change will cause serious disruptions to Earth’s ecological systems, resulting in an overall loss of biodiversity and a reduction in the goods and services provided to humans. Extinction rates in the future are difficult to predict. However, with immediate and decisive action to mitigate climate change, losses of biodiversity can be minimized and humans can continue to reap many of the benefits nature provides. Business as usual scenarios will likely lead to the loss of >50% of all plant and animal species on Earth and the collapse of many ecosystems}
  92. 2003: Pearson, Richard G., and Terence P. Dawson. “Predicting the impacts of climate change on the distribution of species: are bioclimate envelope models useful?.” Global ecology and biogeography 12.5 (2003): 361-371. {Bioclimate Envelope Models can provide a useful first approximation of the impact of climate change on biodiversity but at the spatial scale at which these models are applied model results should not be interpreted without consideration of model limitations}
  93. 2009: Cheung, William WL, et al. “Projecting global marine biodiversity impacts under climate change scenarios.” Fish and fisheries 10.3 (2009): 235-251 {A newly developed dynamic Bioclimate Envelope Model shows that climate change may lead to local extinctions of marine life in the sub‐polar regions, the tropics and semi‐enclosed seas. Species invasion is projected to be most intense in the Arctic and the Southern Ocean. Together, they result in dramatic species turnover of over 60% of the present biodiversity}
  94. 2004: Thomas, Chris D., et al. “Extinction risk from climate change.” Nature 427.6970 (2004): 145. {15–37% of species in our sample of regions and taxa will be ‘committed to extinction’ by the year 2050. Minimal climate-warming scenarios produce lower projections of species committed to extinction (18%) than mid-range (24%) and maximum-change (35%) scenarios. These estimates show the importance of rapid implementation of technologies to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and strategies for carbon sequestration}
  95. 2009: Heller, Nicole E., and Erika S. Zavaleta. “Biodiversity management in the face of climate change: a review of 22 years of recommendations.” Biological conservation 142.1 (2009): 14-32. {Species ranges and ecological dynamics are already responding to recent climate shifts, and current reserves will not continue to support all species they were designed to protect}
  96. 2005: Araújo, Miguel B., et al. “Validation of species–climate impact models under climate change.” Global Change Biology 11.9 (2005): 1504-1513. {Increasing concern over the implications of climate change for biodiversity has led to the use of species–climate envelope models to project species extinction risk under climate‐change scenarios. However, recent studies have demonstrated significant variability in model predictions and there remains a pressing need to validate models and to reduce uncertainties}
  97. 2014: Sharafi, Saeed, etal “Impacts of climate change on biodiversity.” (2014). {Climate change impacts on biodiversity through habitat loss and fragmentation, invasive species, species exploitation and nutrient enrichment. Distributions tend to shift down temperature gradients. The direction of shifts vary considerably among species depending on which bioclimatic variables are most important in the models for each species}
  98. 2007: Thuiller, Wilfried. “Biodiversity: climate change and the ecologist.” Nature 448.7153 (2007): 550. {The evidence for rapid climate change now seems overwhelming. Global temperatures are predicted to rise by up to 4 °C by 2100, with associated alterations in precipitation patterns. Assessing the consequences for biodiversity, and how they might be mitigated, is a Grand Challenge in ecology}
  99. 2007: Barnett, Jon, and W. Neil Adger. “Climate change, human security and violent conflict.” Political geography 26.6 (2007): 639-655. {Climate change undermines human security by reducing access to, and the quality of, natural resources that are important to sustain livelihoods. Climate change is also likely to undermine the capacity of states to provide the opportunities and services that help people to sustain their livelihoods. These changes may in turn increase the risk of violent conflict}
  100. 2003: Schwartz, Peter, and Doug RandallAn abrupt climate change scenario and its implications for United States national security. CALIFORNIA INST OF TECH PASADENA JET PROPULSION LAB, 2003. {Once temperature rises above some threshold, adverse weather conditions could develop relatively abruptly, with persistent changes in the atmospheric circulation causing drops in some regions of 5-10F in a single decade. An abrupt climate change scenario could destabilize the geopolitical environment, leading to skirmishes, battles, and even war due to resource constraints such as food shortages due to decreases in net global agricultural production, decreased availability and quality of fresh water in key regions due to shifted precipitation patters, causing more frequent floods and droughts, and disrupted access to energy supplies due to extensive sea ice and storminess}
  101. 2007: Zhang, David D., et al. “Global climate change, war, and population decline in recent human history.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104.49 (2007): 19214-19219. {long-term fluctuations of war frequency and population changes followed the cycles of temperature change such that cooling impeded agricultural production, which brought about price inflation, war, famine, and population decline}
  102. 2007: Brown, Oli, Anne Hammill, and Robert McLeman. “Climate change as the ‘new’security threat: implications for Africa.” International affairs 83.6 (2007): 1141-1154. {Projected climatic changes for Africa suggest a future of increasingly scarce water, collapsing agricultural yields, encroaching desert and damaged coastal infrastructure. Such impacts, should they occur, would undermine the ‘carrying capacity’ of large parts of Africa, causing destabilizing population movements and raising tensions over dwindling strategic resources. In such cases, climate change could be a factor that tips fragile states into socio‐economic and political collapse}
  103. 2010: Buhaug, Halvard, Nils Petter Gleditsch, and Ole Magnus Theisen. “Implications of climate change for armed conflict.” Social dimensions of climate change: Equity and vulnerability in a warming world (2010): 75-101. {Climate change has far-reaching implications for international relations and for personal, national and regional security. Tremendous strides have been made in improving scientific understanding of the human processes driving global climate change and the likely impacts on socio-economic systems – what the consequences will be for society, and how best to address them. The World Bank convened an international workshop in March, 2008, with the participation of community activists, former heads of state, leaders of Indigenous Peoples, representatives of non-governmental organizations, international researchers, and staff of the World Bank and other international development agencies.}
  104. 2005: Patz, Jonathan A., et al.Impact of regional climate change on human health.” Nature 438.7066 (2005): 310. {There is growing evidence that climate–health relationships pose increasing health risks under future projections of climate change and that the warming trend over recent decades has already contributed to increased morbidity and mortality in many regions of the world. Warming and precipitation trends due to anthropogenic climate change of the past 30 years has claimed more that 150,000 lives per year}
  105. 2006: Haines, Andy, et al. “Climate change and human health: impacts, vulnerability and public health.” Public health 120.7 (2006): 585-596. {Climate change affects health as a result of increased frequency and intensity of heat waves, reduction in cold related deaths, increased floods and droughts, changes in the distribution of vector-borne diseases and effects on the risk of disasters and malnutrition. The overall balance of effects on health is likely to be negative and populations in low-income countries are likely to be particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects}
  106. 2006: McMichael, Anthony J., Rosalie E. Woodruff, and Simon Hales. “Climate change and human health: present and future risks.” The Lancet 367.9513 (2006): 859-869. {Epidemiological evidence shows that climate variations and trends affect various health outcomes. Recent global warming has already affected some health outcomes due to thermal stress, extreme weather events, and infectious diseases, regional food yields and prevalence of hunger}
  107. 1993: Kalkstein, L. S., and K. E. Smoyer. “The impact of climate change on human health: some international implications.” Experientia 49.11 (1993): 969-979. {Heat-related mortality is will rise significantly if the earth warms, with the greatest impacts in China and Egypt. The most sensitive areas are those with intense but irregular heat waves. In the United States, air pollution does not appear to impact daily mortality significantly when severe weather is present but has an influence when weather conditions are not stressful}
  108. 2012: Shindell, Drew, et al. “Simultaneously mitigating near-term climate change and improving human health and food security.” Science 335.6065 (2012): 183-189. {Tropospheric ozone and black carbon (BC) contribute to both degraded air quality and global warming. Targeting methane and BC emissions that reduce projected global mean warming ~0.5°C by 2050 avoids 0.7 to 4.7 million annual premature deaths from outdoor air pollution and increases annual crop yields by 30 to 135 million metric tons due to ozone reductions in 2030 and beyond. Benefits of methane emissions reductions are valued at $700 to $5000 per metric ton, which is well above typical marginal abatement costs (less than $250). The selected controls target different sources and influence climate on shorter time scales than those of carbon dioxide–reduction measures. Implementing both substantially reduces the risks of crossing the 2°C threshold}
  109. 2005: Epstein, Paul R. “Climate change and human health.” New England Journal of Medicine 353.14 (2005): 1433-1436. {Heat waves like the one that hit Chicago in 1995, killing some 750 people and hospitalizing thousands, have become more common.1 Hot, humid nights, which have become more frequent with global warming, magnify the effects. The 2003 European heat wave — involving temperatures that were 18°F (10°C) above the 30-year average, with no relief at night — killed 21,000 to 35,000 people in five countries. But even more subtle, gradual climatic changes can damage human health. During the past two decades, the prevalence of asthma in the United States has quadrupled, in part because of climate-related factors. For Caribbean islanders, respiratory irritants come in dust clouds that emanate from Africa’s expanding deserts and are then swept across the Atlantic by trade winds accelerated by the widening pressure gradients over warming oceans. Increased levels of plant pollen and soil fungi may also be involved. When ragweed is grown in conditions with twice the ambient level of carbon dioxide, the stalks sprout 10 percent taller than controls but produce 60 percent more pollen. Elevated carbon dioxide levels also promote the growth and sporulation of some soil fungi, and diesel particles help to deliver these aeroallergens deep into our alveoli and present them to immune cells along the way. The melting of the earth’s ice cover has already become a source of physical trauma. Alaska Inuits report an increase in accidents caused by walking on thin ice}
  110. 2003: Hughes, Terry P., et al. “Climate change, human impacts, and the resilience of coral reefs.” science 301.5635 (2003): 929-933. {Projected increases in carbon dioxide and temperature over the next 50 years exceed the conditions under which coral reefs have flourished over the past half-million years but reefs will change rather than disappear entirely, with some species already showing far greater tolerance to climate change and coral bleaching than we thought was possible}
  111. 2007: Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove, et al. “Coral reefs under rapid climate change and ocean acidification.” science 318.5857 (2007): 1737-1742. {Warming and ocean acidification will compromise carbonate accretion, with corals becoming increasingly rare on reef systems. The result will be less diverse reef communities and carbonate reef structures that fail to be maintained. Climate change will drive reefs toward the tipping point for functional collapse. There will be serious consequences for reef-associated fisheries and tourism}
  112. 2008: Carpenter, Kent E., et al. “One-third of reef-building corals face elevated extinction risk from climate change and local impacts.” Science 321.5888 (2008): 560-563. {The proportion of corals threatened with extinction has increased dramatically in recent decades and exceeds that of most terrestrial groups. The Caribbean has the largest proportion of corals in high extinction risk categories, whereas the Coral Triangle (western Pacific) has the highest proportion of species in all categories of elevated extinction risk. Our results emphasize the widespread plight of coral reefs and the urgent need to enact conservation measures}
  113. 2008: Baker, Andrew C., Peter W. Glynn, and Bernhard Riegl. “Climate change and coral reef bleaching: An ecological assessment of long-term impacts, recovery trends and future outlook.” Estuarine, coastal and shelf science 80.4 (2008): 435-471. {Bleaching episodes have resulted in catastrophic loss of coral cover in some locations, and have changed coral community structure in many others, with a potentially critical influence on the maintenance of biodiversity in the marine tropics. Bleaching has also set the stage for other declines in reef health, such as increases in coral diseases, the breakdown of reef framework by bioeroders, and the loss of critical habitat for associated reef fishes and other biota. Secondary ecological effects, such as the concentration of predators on remnant surviving coral populations, have also accelerated the pace of decline in some areas}
  114. 2010: Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove, and John F. Bruno. “The impact of climate change on the world’s marine ecosystems.” Science328.5985 (2010): 1523-1528. {Rapidly rising greenhouse gas concentrations are driving ocean systems toward conditions not seen for millions of years, with an associated risk of fundamental and irreversible ecological transformation. The impacts of anthropogenic climate change so far include decreased ocean productivity, altered food web dynamics, reduced abundance of habitat-forming species, shifting species distributions, and a greater incidence of disease}
  115. 2007: Hughes, Terence P., et al. “Phase shifts, herbivory, and the resilience of coral reefs to climate change.” Current Biology17.4 (2007): 360-365. {Many coral reefs worldwide have undergone phase shifts to alternate, degraded assemblages because of the combined effects of overfishing, declining water quality, and the direct and indirect impacts of climate change}
  116. 1999: Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove. “Climate change, coral bleaching and the future of the world’s coral reefs.” Marine and freshwater research 50.8 (1999): 839-866. {Sea temperatures in many tropical regions have increased by almost 1°C over the past 100 years, and are currently increasing at ~1–2°C per century. Coral bleaching occurs when the thermal tolerance of corals and their photosynthetic symbionts (zooxanthellae) is exceeded. Mass coral bleaching has occurred in association with episodes of elevated sea temperatures over the past 20 years and involves the loss of the zooxanthellae following chronic photoinhibition. Mass bleaching has resulted in significant losses of live coral in many parts of the world}
  117. 2004: Edwards, Martin, and Anthony J. Richardson. “Impact of climate change on marine pelagic phenology and trophic mismatch.” Nature 430.7002 (2004): 881. {Using long-term data of 66 plankton taxa during the period from 1958 to 2002, we investigated whether climate warming signals4 are emergent across all trophic levels and functional groups within an ecological community. Here we show that not only is the marine pelagic community responding to climate changes, but also that the level of response differs throughout the community and the seasonal cycle, leading to a mismatch between trophic levels and functional groups}
  118. 2007: Brander, Keith M. “Global fish production and climate change.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104.50 (2007): 19709-19714. {There are strong interactions between the effects of fishing and the effects of climate because fishing reduces the age, size, and geographic diversity of populations and the biodiversity of marine ecosystems, making both more sensitive to additional stresses such as climate change. Inland fisheries are additionally threatened by changes in precipitation and water management. The frequency and intensity of extreme climate events is likely to have a major impact on future fisheries production in both inland and marine systems. Reducing fishing mortality in the majority of fisheries, which are currently fully exploited or overexploited, is the principal feasible means of reducing the impacts of climate change}
  119. 2006: Sims, David. “Impacts of climate change on fish.” Marine Climate Change Impacts Annual Report Card (2006). {There is substantial global evidence that climate change has impacted marine fish populations and communities. Significant fluctuations in fish abundance acting through reproduction, phenology, rExpected declines in northerly distributed species with recent warming remains equivocal. Boreal species may have retracted north in some regions but not in others. Current
    understanding suggests climate effects on fish reflect species-specific responses in addition to complex interactions between species (e.g. predatorprey relationships). Although climate influences marine fish assemblages, the precise mechanisms underlying most observed changes remain unclear}
  120. 2013: Simpson, Stephen D., J. L. Blanchard, and M. G. Genner. “Impacts of climate change on fish.” (2013). {The shelf seas surrounding the British Isles have warmed four times faster than the global average over the last 30 years. Recent warm conditions are unlike anything in the last 20,000 years. Recent warming has caused some cold-water demersal (bottom-dwelling) species to move northwards and into deeper water (e.g. cod, whiting, monkfish), and has caused some warm-water demersal species to become more common or “invade” new areas (e.g. John dory, red mullet). Pelagic (blue-water) species are showing distributional shifts, with mackerel now extending into Icelandic and Faroe Island waters (with consequences for management), sardines and anchovies invading Irish and North Sea environments, and anchovies establishing breeding populations in the southern North Sea. But we don’t know if that’s due to the North Atlantic Oscillation, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation or Global Warming}
  121. 2009: Rijnsdorp, Adriaan D., et al. “Resolving the effect of climate change on fish populations.” ICES journal of marine science66.7 (2009): 1570-1583. {Global warming results in a shift in abundance and distribution (in patterns of occurrence with latitude and depth) of fish species. Pelagic species exhibit clear changes in seasonal migration patterns related to climate-induced changes in zooplankton productivity. Lusitanian species have increased in recent decades (sprat, anchovy, and horse mackerel), especially at the northern limit of their distribution areas, while Boreal species decreased at the southern limit of their distribution range (cod and plaice), but increased at the northern limit (cod). Although the underlying mechanisms remain uncertain, available evidence suggests climate-related changes in recruitment success to be the key process, stemming from either higher production or survival in the pelagic egg or larval stage, or owing to changes in the quality/quantity of nursery habitats}
  122. 2008: Dulvy, Nicholas K., et al. “Climate change and deepening of the North Sea fish assemblage: a biotic indicator of warming seas.” Journal of Applied Ecology 45.4 (2008): 1029-1039. {North Sea winter bottom temperature has increased by 1·6 °C over 25 years, with a 1 °C increase in 1988–1989 alone. During this period, the whole demersal fish assemblage deepened by ~3·6 m decade−1 and the deepening was coherent for most assemblages. The latitudinal response to warming was heterogeneous, and reflects (i) a northward shift in the mean latitude of abundant, widespread thermal specialists, and (ii) the southward shift of relatively small, abundant southerly species with limited occupancy and a northern range boundary in the North Sea. Synthesis and applications. The deepening of North Sea bottom‐dwelling fishes in response to climate change is the marine analogue of the upward movement of terrestrial species to higher altitudes. The assemblage‐level depth responses, and both latitudinal responses, covary with temperature and environmental variability in a manner diagnostic of a climate change impact. The deepening of the demersal fish assemblage in response to temperature could be used as a biotic indicator of the effects of climate change in the North Sea and other semi‐enclosed seas}
  123. 2009: Cheung, William WL, et al. “Projecting global marine biodiversity impacts under climate change scenarios.” Fish and fisheries 10.3 (2009): 235-251. {We investigate the global patterns of impacts by projecting the distributional ranges of a sample of 1066 exploited marine fish and invertebrates for 2050 using a newly developed dynamic bioclimate envelope model. Our projections show that climate change may lead to numerous local extinction in the sub‐polar regions, the tropics and semi‐enclosed seas. Simultaneously, species invasion is projected to be most intense in the Arctic and the Southern Ocean. Together, they result in dramatic species turnovers of over 60% of the present biodiversity, implying ecological disturbances that potentially disrupt ecosystem services}
  124. 2004: Lal, Rattan. “Soil carbon sequestration impacts on global climate change and food security.” science 304.5677 (2004): 1623-1627. {Strategies to increase the soil carbon pool include soil restoration and woodland regeneration, no-till farming, cover crops, nutrient management, manuring and sludge application, improved grazing, water conservation and harvesting, efficient irrigation, agroforestry practices, and growing energy crops on spare lands. An increase of 1 ton of soil carbon pool of degraded cropland soils may increase crop yield by 20 to 40 kilograms per hectare (kg/ha) for wheat, 10 to 20 kg/ha for maize, and 0.5 to 1 kg/ha for cowpeas. As well as enhancing food security, carbon sequestration has the potential to offset fossil fuel emissions by 0.4 to 1.2 gigatons of carbon per year, or 5 to 15% of the global fossil-fuel emissions}
  125. 2008: Lobell, David B., et al. “Prioritizing climate change adaptation needs for food security in 2030.” Science 319.5863 (2008): 607-610. {An analysis of climate risks for crops in 12 food-insecure regions was conducted to identify adaptation priorities, based on statistical crop models and climate projections for 2030 from 20 general circulation models. Results indicate South Asia and Southern Africa as two regions that, without sufficient adaptation measures, will likely suffer negative impacts on several crops that are important to large food-insecure human populations}
  126. 2007: Schmidhuber, Josef, and Francesco N. Tubiello. “Global food security under climate change.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104.50 (2007): 19703-19708. {Of the four main elements of food security, i.e., availability, stability, utilization, and access, only the first is routinely addressed in simulation studies. To this end, published results indicate that the impacts of climate change are significant, however, with a wide projected range (between 5 million and 170 million additional people at risk of hunger by 2080) strongly depending on assumed socio-economic development. The likely impacts of climate change on the other important dimensions of food security are discussed qualitatively, indicating the potential for further negative impacts beyond those currently assessed with models}
  127. 2013: Wheeler, Tim, and Joachim Von Braun. “Climate change impacts on global food security.” Science 341.6145 (2013): 508-513. {Climate variability and change will exacerbate food insecurity in areas currently vulnerable to hunger and undernutrition. Likewise, it can be anticipated that food access and utilization will be affected indirectly via collateral effects on household and individual incomes, and food utilization could be impaired by loss of access to drinking water and damage to health. The evidence supports the need for considerable investment in adaptation and mitigation actions toward a “climate-smart food system” that is more resilient to climate change influences on food security}
  128. 2005: Gregory, Peter J., John SI Ingram, and Michael Brklacich. “Climate change and food security.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences360.1463 (2005): 2139-2148. {Climate change may affect food systems in several ways ranging from direct effects on crop production (e.g. changes in rainfall leading to drought or flooding, or warmer or cooler temperatures leading to changes in the length of growing season), to changes in markets, food prices and supply chain infrastructure. The relative importance of climate change for food security differs among regions. In southern Africa, climate is among the most frequently cited drivers of food insecurity because it acts both as an underlying, ongoing issue and as a short-lived shock. The low ability to cope with shocks and to mitigate long-term stresses means that coping strategies that might be available in other regions are unavailable or inappropriate. In other regions, though, such as parts of the Indo-Gangetic Plain of India, other drivers, such as labour issues and the availability and quality of ground water for irrigation, rank higher than the direct effects of climate change as factors influencing food security}
  129. 2008: Brown, Molly E., and Chris C. Funk. “Food security under climate change.” (2008). {Climate change impacts on farmers will vary by region, depending on their use of technology. Technological sophistication determines a farm’s productivity far more than its climatic and agricultural endowments. Food insecurity, therefore, is not solely a product of “climatic determinism” and can be addressed by improvements in economic, political, and agricultural policies at local and global scales. In currently food-insecure regions, farming is typically conducted manually, using a hoe and planting stick with few inputs. The difference between the productivity of these farms and those using petroleum-based fertilizer and pesticides, biotechnology-enhanced plant varieties, and mechanization is extreme (5). Not only will climate change have a differential effect on ecosystems in the tropics due to their already warmer climates, but also poor farmers in the tropics will be less able to cope with changes in climate because they have far fewer options in their agricultural system}
  130. 1994: Rosenzweig, Cynthia, and Martin L. Parry. “Potential impact of climate change on world food supply.” Nature 367.6459 (1994): 133-138. {Doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide will lead to a small decrease in global crop production but developing countries will bear  the brunt of the problem. Simulations of the effect of adaptive measures by farmers imply that these will do little to reduce the disparity between rich and poor countries}


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