The likelihood and potential impact of future change in the large-scale climate-earth system on ecosystem services

This article reviews the level of current scientific understanding regarding the impact of future change in the large-scale climate-earth system on ecosystem services. Impacts from sea level rise, ocean acidification, increases in ocean temperature, potential collapse of the thermohaline circulation; failure of the South Asia monsoon; the melting of sea ice, the Greenland Ice Sheet and the West Antarctic Ice Sheet; changes in water availability; and Amazonia forest dieback, are considered. The review highlights that while a number of uncertainties remain in understanding, there is evidence to suggest that climate change may have already affected some ecosystem services. Furthermore, there is considerable evidence to show that future climate change could have impacts on biodiversity, as well as secondary impacts on issues important to human society, including; habitability; land productivity and food security; water security; and potential economic impacts.

Gosling S., in press. The likelihood and potential impact of future change in the large-scale climate-earth system on ecosystem services. Environmental Science & Policy. doi: 10.1016/j.envsci.2012.03.011. Article (subscription required).


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