‘Essentially, we would be leaving the world as we know it … ‘
This image shows simulated ecosystem change by 2100, depending on the degree of global temperature increase: 2 degrees Celsius (upper image) or five degrees Celsius (lower image) above preindustrial levels. The parameter Γ (Gamma) measures how far apart a future ecosystem under climate change would be from the present state. Blue colors (lower Γ) depict areas of moderate change, yellow to red areas (higher Γ) show major change. The maps show the median value of the Γ parameter across all climate models, meaning at least half of the models agree on major change in the yellow to red areas, and at least half of the models are below the threshold for major change in the blue areas. Credit: Ostberg et al., 2013.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Global warming is likely to radically transform more than 80 percent of the Earth’s ice-free landscapes by the end of the century. boreal forests will be transformed into temperate savannas, trees will grow in the Arctic tundra and some of the world’s rainforests will disappear, according to a new study from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.
“Essentially, we would be leaving the world as we know it,” said PIK scientist Sebastian Ostberg, describing the findings of a study published their results in Earth System Dynamics, an open access journal of the European Geosciences Union.
The researchers said “nearly no area of the world is free” from the risk of climate change transforming landscapes substantially, unless mitigation limits warming to around 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.
The profound transformations of land ecosystems have the potential to affect food and water security, and hence impact human well-being just like sea level rise and direct damage from extreme weather events. (more…)
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