Assessing Ecosystem Vulnerability and Identifying Climate Protection Indicators
In this report on possible impacts, scenarios of the IMAGE 2 model and Safe Landing Analyses we have shown that selecting an appropriate ecological target can assist in defining 'adaptable' levels of climate change and that impacts of climate change do matter.
Impacts, especially those on ecosystems, could be large. Ecosystems play a major role in global biogeochemical cycles. Changes in ecosystems can change this role and surprise in their response and functioning cannot be ruled out, all leading to pronounced effects on current biomes, landscapes, community and biodiversity. Many of these effects are judged as being irreversible. Global cumulative emissions, averaged concentrations and series of mean annual temperatures are all commonly used to specify and quantify impact levels. However, such global indicators do not adequately identify regional and local impacts. Important climatic aspects, such as seasonality, have to be considered.
The current question put to ecologists and other impact assessors, is how to develop appropriate indicators and quantify them in such a way that 'dangerous interference with climate' becomes more obvious when indicators are exceeded. The discussions and indicator analysis presented in this report represent only a first step, one strongly determined by the availability of coarse global models and data. The challange to ecologists is to synthesise the observed changes in ecosystems over the past decades, determine their causes and unambiguously resolve the climate components. This will enhance our understanding of quantifying ecosystem change and attributing causes.
|Author(s)||Leemans R ; Hootsmans R|
|ISSN||90 5851 012 3|