Anthropogenic climate change is now a part of our reality. Even the most optimistic estimates of the effects of contemporary fossil fuel use suggest that mean global temperature will rise by a minimum of 2°C before the end of this century and that CO2 emissions will affect climate for tens of thousands of years. A key goal of current research is to predict how these changes will affect global ecosystems and the human population that depends on them. This special section of Science focuses on the current state of knowledge about the effects of climate change on natural systems, with particular emphasis on how knowledge of the past is helping us to understand potential biological impacts and improve predictive power.
Once and Future Climate Change
Caroline Ash, Elizabeth Culotta, Julia Fahrenkamp-Uppenbrink, David Malakoff, Jesse Smith, Andrew Sugden, Sacha Vignieri
Science 2 August 2013:
Vol. 341 no. 6145 pp. 472-473