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Climate change and the ecologist

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.

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Figure 1: The main factors, or 'drivers', affecting biodiversity.
Figure 2: The probabilistic approach to forecasting biodiversity.
Figure 3: The complex web of factors affecting human health and well-being, biodiversity and ecosystems.

Further Reading

  1. Díaz, S., Fargione, J., Chapin, F. S. III & Tilman, D. PLoS Biol. 4(8), e277. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0040277 (2006).

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  2. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2007).

  3. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: A Framework for Assessment (Island, Washington DC, 2003)

  4. Parmesan, C. Annu. Rev. Ecol. Evol. Syst. 37, 637–669 (2006).

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  5. Sala, O. E. et al. in Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: Scenarios (eds Carpenter, S. R., Pingali, P. L., Bennett, E. M. & Zurek, M.) 375–408 (Island, Washington DC, 2005).

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  6. Schröter, D. et al. Science 310, 1333–1337 (2005).

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  7. Thuiller, W., Lavorel, S., Araújo, M. B., Sykes, M. T. & Prentice, I. C. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 102, 8245–8250 (2005).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

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Thuiller, W. Climate change and the ecologist. Nature 448, 550–552 (2007).

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