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Shawn L. Carter

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This paper provides a synthesis of the recent literature describing how global biodiversity is being affected by climate change and is projected to respond in the future. Current studies reinforce earlier findings of major climate-change-related impacts on biological systems and document new, more subtle after-effects. For example, many species are shifting their distributions and phenologies at faster rates than were recorded just a few years ago; however, responses are not uniform across species. Shifts have been idiosyncratic and in some cases counterintuitive, promoting new community compositions and altering biotic interactions. Although genetic diversity enhances species' potential to respond to variable conditions,...
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Climate change poses multiple threats to biodiversity, and has already caused demonstrable impacts. We summarize key results from a recent national assessment of observed climate change impacts to terrestrial, marine, and freshwater ecosystems in the United States, and place results in the context of commonly articulated hypotheses about ecosystem response to climate change for global implications. Specific impacts we consider include: range shifts; phenological shifts; phenotypic changes; primary production changes; biological invasions; and novel communities. Significant effort has been made recently to incorporate adaptation measures into land and water management at both national and international scales, but...
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Drought poses a serious threat to the resilience of human communities and ecosystems in the United States (Easterling and others, 2000). Over the past several years, many regions have experienced extreme drought conditions, fueled by prolonged periods of reduced precipitation and exceptionally warm temperatures. Extreme drought has far-reaching impacts on water supplies, ecosystems, agricultural production, critical infrastructure, energy costs, human health, and local economies (Milly and others, 2005; Wihlite, 2005; Vörösmarty and others, 2010; Choat and others, 2012; Ledger and others, 2013). As global temperatures continue to increase, the frequency, severity, extent, and duration of droughts are expected to...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Circular
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A secretarial order identified climate adaptation as a critical performance objective for future management of U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) lands and resources in response to global change. Vulnerability assessments can inform climate adaptation planning by providing insight into what natural resources are most at risk and why. Three components of vulnerability—exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity—were defined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as necessary for identifying climate adaptation strategies and actions. In 2011, the DOI requested all internal bureaus report ongoing or completed vulnerability assessments about a defined range of assessment targets or climate-related...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Open-File Report
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