Eastern Australia's Ecosystem Among Most At Risk From Climate Change

Norwegian and UK scientists have used 14 years of satellite data to develop a map which identifies the ecosystems around the world that are at greatest risk from climate change, and eastern Australia is on the list.

The at-risk areas, which are the least likely to cope with changes in air temperature, water availability and cloud cover, are the Arctic tundra, parts of the boreal forest belt, the tropical rainforests, alpine regions worldwide, specific steppe and prairie regions, the Caatinga forest in eastern South America, and eastern areas of Australia.

Areas in the world that are most sensitive to climate variability are identified in a global map, providing a valuable tool for comparing different ecosystems’ sensitivity to climate variability.

Climate variability, as well as the related increase in extreme events in a warmer world, exerts a significant influence on the structure and function of ecosystems. However, identifying ecologically sensitive areas has been difficult up to now.

The results could provide a means of quantifying the relative response rate of ecosystems — either natural or caused by human intervention — to environmental variability, which has implications in ecosystem service provision and human well-being.

[Nature]


Comments

    It's a sad irony that Australia, the worst polluter of C02, per capita, will be hit harder than most. We need to go back to showing leadership on C02 emissions and stop pretending like this isn't happening.

    Melbourne seems to be unaffected by climate change as far as I can work out. This summer was as cold and rainy as any other year. Maybe even more. Summers were hotter 5 years ago.

      Climate change is measured over many decades, not five years. You're really referring to the weather, that will tend to become warmer and more variable with the effects of climate change.

      FYI, Dec15/Jan16 average max was 28.15.
      14/15 - 25.9
      13/14 - 26.8
      12/13 - 27
      11/12 - 25.9
      10/11 - 26.04

      Maybe you're spending more time inside with air conditioning?

        Actually spending more time sheltering from the rain and wearing a jumper but yes I see your point.

      pepee63, the temperature trend is pretty noticeable over time: http://www.bom.gov.au/jsp/ncc/cdio/weatherData/av?p_display_type=dataGraph&p_stn_num=087031&p_nccObsCode=36&p_month=13

        True and I expect the higher temperature readings would be spread out over the months instead of believing that's it's only during the summer months. Summer might not seem hotter but winter might be warmer and hence the warmer overall temperature for the year.

    Can you be more specific,please? This article tells me nothing.

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