THE CLEAR AND PRESENT IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE
Report finds climate change already having major effects on ecosystems, species
December 19, 2012 (PhysOrg)
“Plant and animal species are shifting their geographic ranges and the timing of their life events – such as flowering, laying eggs or migrating – at faster rates than researchers documented just a few years ago, according to a technical report on biodiversity and ecosystems used as scientific input for the 2013 Third National Climate Assessment.
“…Impacts of Climate Change on Biodiversity, Ecosystems, and Ecosystem Services [by 60-plus federal, academic and other scientists] synthesizes the scientific understanding of the way climate change is affecting ecosystems, ecosystem services and the diversity of species, as well as what strategies might be used by natural resource practitioners to decrease current and future risks…”
[Nancy Grimm, professor, Arizona State University' School of Life Sciences/report lead author:] "These geographic range and timing changes are causing cascading effects that extend through ecosystems, bringing together species that haven't previously interacted and creating mismatches between animals and their food sources…"
“Grimm, who is also a senior sustainability scientist at ASU's Global Institute of Sustainability, explained that such mismatches in the availability and timing of natural resources can influence species' survival; for example, if insects emerge well before the arrival of migrating birds that rely on them for food, it can adversely affect bird populations. Earlier thaw and shorter winters can extend growing seasons for insect pests such as bark beetles, having devastating consequences for the way ecosystems are structured and function. This can substantially alter the benefits people derive from ecosystems, such as clean water, wood products and food…”