Parmesan, Camille. Ecological and Evolutionary Responses to Recent Climate Change. The Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 2006. 37:637-69. Brief excerpt: “In summary, the history of biological research is rich in both mechanistic and observational studies of the impacts of extreme weather and climate change on wild species: Research encompasses impacts of single extreme weather events; experimental studies of physiological tolerances; snapshot correlations between climatic variables and species’ distributions; and correlations through time between climatic trends and changes in distributions, phenologies, genetics, and behaviors of wild plants and animals.” Anthropogenic Climate Change “In spite of this wealth of literature on the fundamental importance of climate to wild biota, biologists have been reluctant to believe that modern (greenhouse gas-driven) climate change is a cause of concern for biodiversity. In his introduction to the 1992 Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics volume on ‘Global Environmental Change,’ Vitousek wrote, ‘ultimately, climate change probably has the greatest potential to alter the functioning of the Earth system …. nevertheless, the major effects of climate change are mostly in the future while most of the others are already with us.’ Individual authors in that volume tended to agree – papers were predominantly concerned with other global change factors: land use change, nitrogen fertilization, and the direct effects of increased atmospheric CO2 on plant ecophysiology. Just 14 years later, the direct impacts of anthropogenic climate change have been documented on every continent, in every ocean, and in most major taxonomic groups (reviewed in Badeck et al. 2004; Hoegh-Guldberg 1999, 2005b; Hughes 2000; IPCC 2001a; Parmesan 2005b; Parmesan & Galbraith 2004; Parmesan & Yohe 2003; Penuelas & Filella 2001; Pounds et al. 2005; Root & Hughes 2005; Root et al. 2003; Sparks & Menzel 2002; Thomas 2005; Walther et al. 2002, 2005). The issue of whether observed biological changes can be conclusively linked to anthropogenic climate change has been analyzed and discussed at length in a plethora of syntheses, including those listed above. Similarly, complexity surrounding methodological issues of detection (correctly detecting a real trend) and attribution (assigning causation) has been explored in depth (Ahmad et al. 2001; Dose & Menzel 2004; Parmesan 2002, 2005a,b; Parmesan & Yohe 2003; Parmesan et al. 2000; Root et al. 2003, Root & Hughes 2005, Schwartz 1998, 1999; Shoo et al. 2006). The consensus is that, with proper attention to sampling and other statistical issues and through the use of scientific inference, studies of observed biological changes can provide rigorous tests of climate-change hypotheses. In particular, independent syntheses of studies worldwide have provided a clear, globally coherent conclusion: Twentieth-century anthropogenic global warming has already affected Earth’s biota.” ———————————————————————-
Ecological and Evolutionary Responses to Recent Climate Change. The Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics
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