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2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #35

Posted on 1 September 2018 by John Hartz

A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week.

Editor's Pick

Most land-based ecosystems worldwide risk ‘major transformation’ due to climate change


Researchers compiled and evaluated pollen and plant-fossil records from nearly 600 sites worldwide for their study of vegetation change. Map reprinted with permission from Nolan et al., Science, 2018 (10.1126/science.aan5360).

Without dramatic reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions, most of the planet’s land-based ecosystems—from its forests and grasslands to the deserts and tundra—are at high risk of “major transformation” due to climate change, according to a new study from an international research team.

The researchers used fossil records of global vegetation change that occurred during a period of post-glacial warming to project the magnitude of ecosystem transformations likely in the future under various greenhouse gas emissions scenarios.

They found that under a “business as usual” emissions scenario, in which little is done to rein in heat-trapping greenhouse-gas emissions, vegetation changes across the planet’s wild landscapes will likely be more far-reaching and disruptive than earlier studies suggested.

The changes would threaten global biodiversity and derail vital services that nature provides to humanity, such as water security, carbon storage and recreation, according to study co-author Jonathan Overpeck, dean of the School for Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan.

“If we allow climate change to go unchecked, the vegetation of this planet is going to look completely different than it does today, and that means a huge risk to the diversity of the planet,” said Overpeck, who conceived the idea for the study with corresponding author Stephen T. Jackson of the U.S. Geological Survey.

Most land-based ecosystems worldwide risk ‘major transformation’ due to climate change, Michigan News (University of Michigan), Aug 30, 2018

Links posted on Facebook

Sun Aug 26, 2018

Mon Aug 27, 2018

Tue Aug 28, 2018

Wed Aug 29, 2018

Thu Aug 30, 2018

Fri Aug 31 2018

Sat Sep 1 2018

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Comments 1 to 2:

  1. I'm curious why in the world would they use an term like "risk".

    It's like putting on extra sweaters "may" make you warmer.  We live in a world of petty perceptions and wishful thinking.

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    Moderator Response:

    [JH] For starters, please read:

    HM Government. UK Climate ChangeRisk Assessment 2017. Presented to Parliament pursuant to Section 56 of the Climate Change Act 2008. January 2017.

  2. What is often forgotten is that the various ecologies of the world suffered irreversable damage when the first people moved into them.  Australia, 50,000 years ago, The Americas, 12,000 years ago, New Zealand, 700 years ago and so forth.  We are just finishing the destruction.  What is particularly sad is that we are aware of what we are doing and any reasonably bright year 12 student could tell the politicians what is necessary to stop the destruction and then reverse it.  First people didn't have our perspective to realize what they were causing.  We have no such excuse.

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