Australia: The Land Where Time Began

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A World that has Warmed by 2oC Will Not Be Safe For the European Alps Ecosystem System Services

The objective of International efforts to limit dangerous climate impacts is to limit global temperature rise to 2oC. According to the authors1 under such a scenario it is largely unknown what the regional response of terrestrial ecosystems, and the services provided by them, will be. In this paper the authors1 focus on mountain forests in the European Alps, evaluating a range of services provided by ecosystems that are projected to be impacted by a 2oC rise in global temperature, by the use of 4 novel regional climate scenarios, employing 3 complementary forest models in assessing a wide range of ecosystem services (ES) in 2 case study regions that contrast climatically. They evaluated if and when ES will deviate beyond status quo boundaries, that are based on current system variability, within each climate scenario. It was suggested by their results that mountain forest sensitivity to a 2oC warmer global temperature depends to a large extent on the current climatic conditions of a region, the strong elevation gradients within a region, as well as the specific ES in question. It is projected by their simulations that there will be large negative impacts at low and intermediate elevations in regions that are initially warm-dry, where negative drought-related impacts on forest ES as a result of climate shifts that are relatively small. At higher elevations, and in initially cool-wet regions, forest ES will be comparatively resistant to a 2oC rise in temperature. A considerable amount of variation was also shown in the vulnerability of forest ES to a changing climate, with some services such as protection against rockfall and avalanches being sensitive to a 2oC rise, though other services, such as the storage of carbon, are reasonably resistant. The authors1 say that though their results indicate a heterogeneous response to climate change by mountain forest ES, the projected substantial reduction of some dry region forest ES suggest a global mean increase of 2oC cannot be seen, according to the authors1, as a universally 'safe' boundary for the maintenance of mountain forest ES.

Sources & Further reading

  1. Elkin, Ché, Alvaro G. Gutiérrez, Sebastian Leuzinger, Corina Manusch, Christian Temperli, Livia Rasche, and Harald Bugmann. "A 2 °C Warmer World Is Not Safe for Ecosystem Services in the European Alps." Global Change Biology 19, no. 6 (2013): 1827-40.

 

Author: M. H. Monroe
Email:  admin@austhrutime.com
Last Updated 06/07/2013
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                                                                                           Author: M.H.Monroe  Email: admin@austhrutime.com     Sources & Further reading