As species migrate in response to climate change and do so at different rates and dispersal directions, extra ecosystem disturbances might arise, leading to temporary local biodiversity increases – fuelling a net (global) downward trend.
In our previous article of the series we’ve looked at an overview of global sea level rise forecasts for the year 2100 – and seen that these forecasts have a very large spread, and also seem to increase with time … Continue reading →
In part 16 of our temperature trend series we take a better look at one of the main reasons almost everyone still underestimates climate urgency: ‘Thermal inertia’ of the climate system – a delay between the moment of emissions of … Continue reading →
Here at Bitsofscience.org we’ve written quite extensively on why a direct shutdown of the Gulf Stream is unlikely – and that the collapse scenario featured in that one movie we only ever saw the trailer of probably did not even … Continue reading →
Carbon stored in Arctic tundra could be released into the atmosphere by new trees growing in the warmer region, exacerbating climate change, scientists have revealed.
The Arctic is getting greener as plant growth increases in response to a warmer climate. This greater plant growth means more carbon is stored in the increasing biomass, so it was previously thought the greening would result in more carbon dioxide being taken up from the atmosphere, thus helping to reduce the rate of global warming.
In just a few decades shrubs in the Arctic tundra have turned into trees as a result of the warming Arctic climate, creating patches of forest which, if replicated across the tundra, would significantly accelerate global warming.
The projected disappearance of small glaciers* worldwide threatens to eliminate the water supply for numerous towns in valleys, such as the Ecuadorian capital Quito, fed by the rivers that flow down from the surrounding mountains. But retreating ice is also a threat to freshwater fauna. According to a study published in Nature Climate Change, the local and regional diversity of mountain aquatic fauna will be reduced considerably if predictions are realised. Until now, the impact of global thawing on biodiversity in watercourses had never been calculated in detail.
Warmer water and reduced river flows in the United States and Europe in recent years have led to reduced production, or temporary shutdown, of several thermoelectric power plants. For instance, the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant in Alabama had to shut down more than once last summer because the Tennessee River’s water was too warm to use it for cooling.
Percentage of unsuitable sites among those predicted to be occupied.
A modeling study from the European Alps suggests that population declines to be observed during the upcoming decades will probably underestimate the long-term effects of recent climate warming on mountain plants. A European team of ecologists around Stefan Dullinger from the Department of Conservation Biology, Vegetation and Landscape Ecology of the University of Vienna presents a new modeling tool to predict migration of mountain plants which explicitly takes population dynamic processes into account. Their results are published in “Nature Climate Change“.