Current emissions are tracking above the most intense fossil fuel emission scenario established by the IPCC Special Report on Emissions Scenarios-SRES (2000), A1FI (A1 Fossil Fuel intensive); and moving rapidly away from low stabilization scenarios, eg, 450 ppm. Scenarios trends are averages across all models available for each scenario class. Since this publication, global fossil fuel emissions have been revised and used in Canadell et al. 2007, PNAS. Red dots indicate the revised and updated numbers for 2005 and 2006 respectively. When the IPCC-SRES scenarios where published the AIFI was considered an outrageous scenario which was there as a top end, and for almost 10 years we have been happy to use the B1 as a middle of the rate scenario for what it is most likely to happen. We have studied impacts, risk assesment and we have even developed policies with this scenario.
Case studies have provided a significant burden of evidence that biological systems are changing in response to climate change. Expressed as phenology (biological responses to the environment (first budding, first fruiting, migration timing, mating, nesting, etc)) these studies suggest that many biological organisms are being effected, even important pollinators for US agriculture. Global climate model predictions have been combined with regional estimates of phenology (vegetative greeness) to forecast changes in regional biological response to climate change. These models predict that significant regional scale changes will occur. What we lack is an ability to verify these forecasts or how the regional scale responses cascade down through the structure and function of the biosphere including organisms and their relationships.
Through 30 conceptual design workshops and 3 community reference design workshops (160 of 700 volunteers) the biological sciences community has identified the most significant questions that need to be addressed if we are to understand regional to continental scale biosphere processes. The highlighted words signify five grand environmental challenges that have been identified by the National Academy of Sciences as the most significant challenges facing the US. These questions led to the formation of the science requirements, infrastructure requirements, infrastructure deployment, and cyberinfrastructure integration that comprises the NEON national instrument platform. NEON is transformative: In design Scale of questions and therefore research enabled Technological approach Citizen Science (intimate linking of science and education) Cyberinfrastructure Forecasting
Healing the Planet : Conservation of the World’s Tropical Forests International Year of Forests Symposium Instituto Alexander von Humboldt November 1, 2011 Thomas E. Lovejoy, University Professor Environmental Science and Policy George Mason University Biodiversity Chair. The Heinz Center THE H. JOHN HEINZ III CENTER FOR SCIENCE, ECONOMICS AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Source: Wallace Broecker Analysis of a Greenland ice core oxygen isotope proxy
Years before present CO 2 -concentration (ppm) 1750 200 240 280 320 360 160 400 Siegenthaler U et al. (2005) Science 310:1313 Petit JR et al. (1999) Nature 399:429 2007 Currently 385 ppm Ch Körner CO 2 for the Last 600,000 Years 0 100'000 200'000 300'000 400'000 500'000 600'000
Source: Hadley Centre and Climatic Research Unit, School of Environmental Sciences, UEA Global temperature record temperature anomaly (degC)
Fossil Fuel Emissions: Actual vs. IPCC Scenarios Global Carbon Project; Raupach et al 2007, PNAS (updated) (Avgs.) SRES (2000) aver. growth rates in % y -1 for 2000-2010: A1B: 2.42 A1FI: 2.71 A1T: 1.63 A2: 2.13 B1: 1.79 B2: 1.61 Observed 2000-2007 3.5% 2006 2005 2007
Signals from nature T HE H . J OHN H EINZ III C ENTER FOR S CIENCE, E CONOMICS AND THE E NVIRONMENT Lara Hansen / WWF Jeremy Little / University of Washington
Increasing number of dry days Source: J.A. Pounds et al 2005
Looking ahead T HE H . J OHN H EINZ III C ENTER FOR S CIENCE, E CONOMICS AND THE E NVIRONMENT Jaan Lepson
Sugar Maple range projections by 5 GCMs with 2 x CO 2 Source: A.M. Prasad and Iverson, L.R: www.fs.fed.us/ne/delaware/atlas/index.html
Elevated night time temperatures magnify bark beetle impact Source: D. Struck 3/1/2006, Washington Post , pA1 ‘ Rapid Warming’ Spreads Havoc in Canada’s Forests Wednesday, March 1, 2006 QUESNEL, B.C. -- Millions of acres of Canada's lush green forests are turning red in spasms of death. A voracious beetle, whose population has exploded with the warming climate, is killing more trees than wildfires or logging.
Mountain Pine Beetle outbreaks (1959-2002) Courtesy of Mike Bradley, Canfor Corporation