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Current climate change is occurring 10 times faster than at any time in past 65 million years

Current climate change is occurring 10 times faster than at any time in past 65 million years | Climate | Scoop.it

Our planet is undergoing one of the largest changes in climate since the dinosaurs went extinct. But what might be even more troubling for humans, plants and animals is the speed of the change.

 

If this trend continues at its current rapid pace, it will place significant stress on terrestrial ecosystems around the world, and many species will need to make behavioral, evolutionary or geographic adaptations to survive. Although some of the changes the planet will experience in the next few decades are already "baked into the system," how different the climate looks at the end of the 21st century will depend largely on how humans respond.

 

The findings come from a review of climate research by Noah Diffenbaugh, an associate professor of environmental Earth system science, and Chris Field, a professor of biology and of environmental Earth system science and the director of the Department of Global Ecology at the Carnegie Institution. The work is part of a special report on climate change in the current issue of Science.

 

Diffenbaugh and Field, both senior fellows at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, conducted the targeted but broad review of scientific literature on aspects of climate change that can affect ecosystems, and investigated how recent observations and projections for the next century compare to past events in Earth's history.

 

For instance, the planet experienced a 5 degree Celsius hike in temperature 20,000 years ago, as Earth emerged from the last ice age. This is a change comparable to the high-end of the projections for warming over the 20th and 21st centuries.

 

The geologic record shows that, 20,000 years ago, as the ice sheet that covered much of North America receded northward, plants and animals recolonized areas that had been under ice. As the climate continued to warm, those plants and animals moved northward, to cooler climes.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
Jalpa Vyas's insight:

Nobody likes change but this one is inevitable and it is already quite evident that changes to our climate are occurring but this article suggests it is at a faster rate that has yet been recorded in the past.  We may need to be prepared for adapting sooner than we anticipated.

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Molly Langstraat's curator insight, September 20, 2013 2:33 PM

I think that the change is inevidible. Humans and animals are going to have to learn to adjust as the climate continues to change. If we cut down on our pollution then the rate of climate change will slow. Humans need to learn how to help our Earth, not hurt it. 

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Often Overlooked, Taiwan and New Jersey Lead the Race to Sustainability

Often Overlooked, Taiwan and New Jersey Lead the Race to Sustainability | Climate | Scoop.it

Sustainability occurs at the community level and the international level all at once. Countries and individuals share what works. Twenty-years of cooperation between Taiwan and the United States bore fruit in 2009 with Taiwan’s Low Carbon and Sustainable Homeland program, modeled after Sustainable Jersey. The two programs, which seek to generate participation at the municipal and community level, were the major topic at the Woodrow Wilson Center Event, From Sustainable Communities to Global Pollution Challenges: Twenty Years of U.S.-Taiwan Environmental Cooperation. Low Carbon and Sustainable Homeland is as much a bottom-up as a top-down approach, through voluntary measures induced by incentives as well as publicity. In 2011, 52 demonstration communities joined in, and in 2014 six low-carbon demonstration cities will be participating. By 2020, said Minister Stephen Shu-hung Shen of the Environmental Protection Agency of Taiwan, the long race between communities will be fully underway, and he “hopes all townships and cities will be lined up to run.” The marathon toward sustainability, then, is still in the formative stages. Two often-overlooked places are leading the way: New Jersey and Taiwan.


Via Steven McGreevy, SustainOurEarth
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Rescooped by Jalpa Vyas from Amazing Science
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Current climate change is occurring 10 times faster than at any time in past 65 million years

Current climate change is occurring 10 times faster than at any time in past 65 million years | Climate | Scoop.it

Our planet is undergoing one of the largest changes in climate since the dinosaurs went extinct. But what might be even more troubling for humans, plants and animals is the speed of the change.

 

If this trend continues at its current rapid pace, it will place significant stress on terrestrial ecosystems around the world, and many species will need to make behavioral, evolutionary or geographic adaptations to survive. Although some of the changes the planet will experience in the next few decades are already "baked into the system," how different the climate looks at the end of the 21st century will depend largely on how humans respond.

 

The findings come from a review of climate research by Noah Diffenbaugh, an associate professor of environmental Earth system science, and Chris Field, a professor of biology and of environmental Earth system science and the director of the Department of Global Ecology at the Carnegie Institution. The work is part of a special report on climate change in the current issue of Science.

 

Diffenbaugh and Field, both senior fellows at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, conducted the targeted but broad review of scientific literature on aspects of climate change that can affect ecosystems, and investigated how recent observations and projections for the next century compare to past events in Earth's history.

 

For instance, the planet experienced a 5 degree Celsius hike in temperature 20,000 years ago, as Earth emerged from the last ice age. This is a change comparable to the high-end of the projections for warming over the 20th and 21st centuries.

 

The geologic record shows that, 20,000 years ago, as the ice sheet that covered much of North America receded northward, plants and animals recolonized areas that had been under ice. As the climate continued to warm, those plants and animals moved northward, to cooler climes.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
Jalpa Vyas's insight:

Nobody likes change but this one is inevitable and it is already quite evident that changes to our climate are occurring but this article suggests it is at a faster rate that has yet been recorded in the past.  We may need to be prepared for adapting sooner than we anticipated.

more...
Molly Langstraat's curator insight, September 20, 2013 2:33 PM

I think that the change is inevidible. Humans and animals are going to have to learn to adjust as the climate continues to change. If we cut down on our pollution then the rate of climate change will slow. Humans need to learn how to help our Earth, not hurt it. 

Rescooped by Jalpa Vyas from Sustain Our Earth
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Latin America aims for growth and climate action

Latin America aims for growth and climate action | Climate | Scoop.it
Countries are challenging the conventional wisdom that confronting climate change undermines economic growth

Via SustainOurEarth
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