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Presentation from 2011 Oxford Round Table

Presentation from 2011 Oxford Round Table

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  • Comparison of recent and distant past extinction rates with rates at which species are “committed to extinction” during the 21st century (63). E/MSY is number of extinctions per million species years; “Fossil record” refers to the extinction rate of mammals in the fossil record (17); “20th century” refers to documented extinctions in the 20th century—mammals (upper bound), birds, and amphibians (lower bound) (17); “21st century” refers to projections of species committed to extinction according to different global scenarios: vascular plants (38, 18), plants and animals (7), birds (6, 19), and lizards (64). Extinction rate caused by each driver and total extinction rates are discriminated, when possible. (From Sala et al paper)
  • Sepkoski's (1990) Phanerozoic marine family-level diversity curve, with diversity patterns of Evolutionary faunas delineated and representative members of the Paleozoic Fauna illustrated. The stippled area indicates diversity contributed by poorly preserved groups. Cm, Cambrian evolutionary fauna; Pz, Paleozoic Evolutionary Fauna; Md, Modern Evolutionary Fauna. After Sepkoski, 1990

Andersen oxford2011 Andersen oxford2011 Presentation Transcript

  • Impacts of climate change on agriculture and ecosystem services: It's not the planet that needs saving, it's us Dr. Mark C. Andersen, Professor Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Ecology New Mexico State University Las Cruces, NM Oxford Round Table Climate Change: The Great Matter Harris Manchester College, Oxford 30 March 2011 Image: Gary Halvorsen, Oregon State Archives
  • Copenhagen committed the world to adaptation Even if targets are met, there is a substantial gap between impacts that can be mitigated and impacts to which we will have to adapt. Many unavoidable impacts are impacts on ecosystems, including
    • Extensive coral bleaching
    • Increased amphibian extinctions
    • Greatly elevated risk of extinction for many of the world's species Parry 2010, Nature Reports Climate Change , 4(1002):18-19
    What about other impacts that more directly affect humans?
  • This presentation will ...
    • Review climate change threats to biodiversity in the context of mass extinctions in the geologic past
    • Describe climate change impacts on ecosystem services
      • Hydrologic cycles
      • Wildfire regimes
    • Discuss climate change impacts on global food supply
      • Agriculture
      • Fisheries and aquaculture
    • Provide some closing thoughts
    • Review climate change threats to biodiversity in the context of mass extinctions in the geologic past
    • Describe climate change impacts on ecosystem services
      • Hydrologic cycles
      • Wildfire regimes
    • Discuss climate change impacts on global food supply
      • Agriculture
      • Fisheries and aquaculture
    • Provide some closing thoughts
  • Climate change threats to biodiversity
    • Globally, 15% - 37% of species “committed to extinction” due to climate change alone, not including effects of other factors ( Thomas et al 2004, Nature 427:145 – 148)
    • Effects of climate change on biodiversity by year 2100 likely to be exceeded only by effects of land-use changes (Sala et al . 2000, Science 287:1770-1774)
  • Mass extinctions in the geologic past
  • The “Big One”
    • End-Permian mass extinction 245 mya (Erwin 1990, Ann. Rev. Ecol. Syst. 21:69-91)
      • 54% of marine families, up to 96% of marine species, lost to extinction
      • Not as severe for terrestrial ecosystems, but similar
    • This extinction event coincided with a pronounced spike in atmospheric CO 2 (Retallack 2001, Nature, 411: 287-290)
  • Evolutionary response to past mass extinctions Early Triassic radiation:
    • Modern patterns of marine biodiversity
    • Emergence of Mesozoic flora and fauna on land
      • Dinosaurs (birds)
      • Mammals
    • Modern terrestrial ecosystems (although modern flora completely different)
    • (Takes millions of years)
  • Healthy, functioning ecosystems don't depend on us
  • We depend on healthy, functioning ecosystems
    • Review climate change threats to biodiversity in the context of mass extinctions in the geologic past
    • Describe climate change impacts on ecosystem services
      • Hydrologic cycles
      • Wildfire regimes
    • Discuss climate change impacts on global food supply
      • Agriculture
      • Fisheries and aquaculture
    • Provide some closing thoughts
  • Hydrology
    • Altered annual streamflows
    • Changes in timing of runoff
    • Changes in relative length of low-flow and high-flow conditions
    • Different watersheds differentially vulnerable
    • (Null et al. 2010, PloS ONE 5(4))
    • Current reservoirs, canals etc. built for current conditions, not future conditions
  • RESULT: Changing availability of water for agricultural and municipal uses
  • Wildfire regimes will change
    • 10% to 50% increase in fire activity across North America by 2050
      • Effects of fire on vegetation may overshadow direct effects of climate change on distribution, abundance, and dispersal (Flannigan et al., 2000, Science of the Total Environment, 262:221-229)
    • Increases in fire frequency in some regions may be balanced out by decrease in others
      • Still, expect substantial change in global fire regimes (Krawchuk et al., 2009, PloS ONE 4(4))
  • Changing fire regimes will impact society
    • Increases in
      • Fuel load
      • Ignition rate
      • Fire intensity
      • Length of fire season
    • May overwhelm agency fire response and suppression capabilities (Podur & Wotton, 2010, Ecol. Modell. 221(9): 1301-1309)
  • RESULT: Changing fire regimes will impact both natural and human-dominated landscapes
    • Review climate change threats to biodiversity in the context of mass extinctions in the geologic past
    • Describe climate change impacts on ecosystem services
      • Hydrologic cycles
      • Wildfire regimes
    • Discuss climate change impacts on global food supply
      • Agriculture
      • Fisheries and aquaculture
    • Provide some closing thoughts
  • Food doesn't come from the store
      Agriculture = global food supply
  • Promising international initiatives
    • FAO MOSAICC project – a modeling tool for assessing impacts of climate change on agricultural production and revenues (www.fao.org/climatechange/mosaicc/en)
    • Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change – Sir John Beddington, Chief Scientist of UK Science Office, findings to be made available by end of 2011 ( www.ccafs.cgiar.org/content/commission )
  • Potential for crop failures
    • Agriculture throughout Africa runs some risk of negative impacts from climate change
      • Existing cropping systems and infrastructure not sufficient to meet current demand (Muller et al., 2011, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., 108(11):4313-4315)
    • Regions with highest food insecurity (South Asia and Southern Africa) face greatest risk of reduced yield and crop failure (Lobell et al., 2008, Science 319(5863):607-610)
  • Mechanisms and severity of crop failures
    • Simulation studies of spring wheat in northeastern China
      • Increased crop failure rates under future climate
        • Thermal stress
        • Water stress
    • Maximum failure rates increase more rapidly than median failure rates (Challinor et al., 2010, Env. Res. Lett. 5(3): 034012)
  • Mitigating crop failures
    • Farmers can protect themselves from some of the effects of climate change by planting a more diverse array of crops (Lin, 2011, BioScience 61(3):183-193)
    • Even crops thought to be heat-tolerant may be more sensitive to rising temperature than we expect
      • 1C temp. increase -> yield loss in 65% of African maize-growing region (Lobell et al., 2011, Nature Climate Change, doi:10.1038/nclimate1043)
  • The impacts are not limited to land-based food production
    • Impacts on anadromous fish
      • Warmer temperatures
      • Earlier peak stream flow (Martins et al., 2011, Global Change Biology, 17(1):99-114)
    • Impacts on marine fisheries
      • Temperature
      • Salinity changes (particularly in coastal fisheries with nearshore/estuarine spawning) (Lindegren et al., 2010, Proc. Roy Soc. B 277(1691):2121-2130) (Hare et al., 2010, Ecol. Appl. 20(2):452-464)
  • There are multiple stressors acting on the global food supply
    • Human population growth (projected to grow well into this century)
    • Land-use pressure (Lambin & Meyfroidt, 2011, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., 108(9):3465-3472)
    • Contribution of nitrogen fertilizer to GHG emissions, unsustainable patterns of nitrogen use ( www.ccafs.cgiar.org/content/commission )
    • Looming phosphorus shortage (Carpenter & Bennett, 2011, Environ. Res. Lett. 6:014009)
  • Crop failures + growing population + land-use pressure + phosphorus shortage = Potential disaster
    • Review climate change threats to biodiversity in the context of mass extinctions in the geologic past
    • Describe climate change impacts on ecosystem services
      • Hydrologic cycles
      • Wildfire regimes
    • Discuss climate change impacts on global food supply
      • Agriculture
      • Fisheries and aquaculture
    • Provide some closing thoughts
  • “If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, … CO2 will need to be reduced ...” James Hansen
  • Do we already have all the technology we need?
      • Amory Lovins: Yes
      • Breakthrough Institute: No
    • Does it matter if we don't use the technology we already have?
  • Our lives and our homes need to be part of the solution
  • Our lives and our homes need to be part of the solution
  • Are we worth saving?
  • Are we worth saving?
  • Are we worth saving?
  • Are we worth saving?
  • Are we worth saving?
  • Are we worth saving?
  • Are we worth saving?
  • Are we worth saving?
  • Thank you!
    • References: http://www.mendeley.com/groups/989481/ort2011environment/
    • Presentation: www.slideshare.net , search for “Andersen Oxford”