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 Post subject: Impacts Of Climate Change On People And Ecosystems
PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:05 pm 
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The November 2013 issue of the Ecological Society of America’s journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment is devoted to an assessment of climate change effects on ecosystems, and the consequences for people.

Shawn Carter, Senior Scientist at the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center, andMichelle Staudinger, Science Coordinator at the Northeast Climate Science Center, were lead authors on two of the articles in the Frontiers issue.

A press release from the Ecological Society of America (ESA) describes the major topics of the issue:
Ecologists have predicted that species will move out of their historic ranges as climate changes and their old territories become inhospitable. This is already occurring. Past predictions that species would seek out historic temperature conditions by moving up latitudes, uphill, or into deeper waters have turned out to be too simple, as species movements have proven to be idiosyncratic. Because some species can move and cope with change more easily than others, relationships between species are changing, sometimes in ways that threaten viability, as interdependent species are separated in time and space.
Ecosystem functionality
Living things have powerful influences on the lands and waters they occupy. As existing ecosystems unravel, we are seeing the chemistry and hydrology of the physical environment change, with further feedback effects on the ecosystem. Ecosystem changes, in turn, feed back to climate.
Ecosystem Services
Impacts on natural systems have direct consequences for crop and seafood production, water quality and availability, storm damage, and fire intensity. Working with rather than against, ecosystems may help society to adapt to changes, like sea-level rise and storm surge, that threaten lives and property.
Combined effects of climate and other pressures
Species will be hard pressed to adapt to rapidly changing physical conditions without room to move. Ecosystems are already stressed by habitat loss and fragmentation, pollution, and natural resource extraction.
Preparation for change
Adaptation efforts may need to think beyond the preservation of current or historic natural communities. Existing relationships between species and the landscapes they inhabit will inevitably change. We may need to consider managing the changing landscapes to maintain biodiversity and the functional attributes of ecosystems, rather than specific species.

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