Climate change ecology
Climate change ecology is the study of the impacts of anthropogenic climate change on the ecological patterns of populations, species and communities. This includes distributions, especially such as how species follow their preferred environmental conditions, abundance and biomass as indicating the health of populations, behavioural changes including the critical timings of life cycle stages, and individual physiology such as recording levels of stress in an organisms body. Although the climate has changed in the past, the process of change is usually very slow and ecosystems can usually recover or change accordingly without loss. However, when the climate changes rapidly, in a geological sense, an ecosystem may not be able to keep up with its environment. We hypothesise such scenarios to underlie some of the worse mass extinctions in the fossil record, so the stakes cannot really be higher! Especially since we are still very much dependent on natural ecosystems for services like clean air, flood prevention, food and happinness. What climate change ecology aims to do is to properly assess the probability and nature of ecological responses to anthropogenic climate change, so we can anticipate future impacts. Then society can make an informed choice on what courses of action it is willing to take, either to avoid, remedy or accommodate expected ecological loss.
See what CCAT researchers are contributing to this science in the list of publications below (or go to About -> Our awesome research)
Why did the Antarctic Ice Sheet begin to grow 34 million years ago, and what does that have to do […]
If the Cambrian was characterized by Trilobites inventing skeletons, the Ordovician was when trilobite’s copyright expired… The Ordovician began 485 […]
The Cambrian began 541 million years ago, and it ended 485 million years ago. It was the period when a […]
Low “Yvonne” continues to bring cold air and rain. It is slowly moving eastwards, but still causing cold weather and […]
The Ediacaran began 635 million years ago, and it ended 541 million years ago. It was a period when abundant […]
Peter Wadhams is one of the world’s leading experts on sea ice. He has studied sea ice since the 1970s […]
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