Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Ecological Impacts of Climate Change

The National Academy of Sciences Climate Change Center's most recent publication Ecological Impacts of Climate Change (.pdf) ends with a good note for us:

Some of the issues are so big that the involvement of governments will be required. These include decisions about the best ways to reduce a country’s carbon emissions and where to invest funds in research on alternative energy sources. Other decisions are best addressed at the individual, family, or business level. Each time a car, home appliance, or lightbulb is purchased, a decision is made that has a small influence on climate change. But many small decisions, made by billions of people, can combine to have very large effects.

We know that climate change is not the only stress ecosystems are facing. An important way for society to help reduce the ecological impacts of climate change is by creating conditions that make it easier for species in ecosystems to adapt—that is, by reducing other human influenced ecosystem stresses. Well-thought-out approaches to and investment in conservation, sustainable agricultural practices, pollution reduction, and water management can all help ecosystems withstand the impacts of a changing climate.

This publication is the sequel to the NAS's Understanding and Responding to Climate Change

You can read about, watch, or podcast their March summit here. Finally, if you want to be updated on their study on climate change you can sign up for bulletins here.
(.pdf) from 2008.

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