#Carbon #cycle: #Global #warming then and now (Nature Geoscience, abstract)

[Source: Nature Geoscience, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Nature Geoscience | News and Views

Carbon cycle: Global warming then and now

Peter Stassen1

Journal name: Nature Geoscience – Year published: (2016) – DOI: doi:10.1038/ngeo2691

Published online 21 March 2016

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A rapid warming event 55.8 million years ago was caused by extensive carbon emissions. The rate of change of carbon and oxygen isotopes in marine shelf sediments suggests that carbon emission rates were much slower than anthropogenic emissions.

Subject terms: Carbon cycle • Palaeoclimate

Keywords: Research; Abstracts; Climate Change; Global Warming.

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Limited #tolerance by #insects to high #temperatures across #tropical elevational gradients and the implications of #global #warming for #extinction (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, abstract)

[Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Limited tolerance by insects to high temperatures across tropical elevational gradients and the implications of global warming for extinction [   R   ]

Carlos García-Robledo a,b,1, Erin K. Kuprewicz a, Charles L. Staines b, Terry L. Erwin b, and W. John Kress a

Author Affiliations: aDepartment of Botany, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20013-7012; bDepartment of Entomology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20013-7012

Edited by Douglas Futuyma, and approved November 24, 2015 (received for review April 20, 2015)

 

Significance

Tolerance to high temperatures will determine the survival of animal species under projected global warming. Surprisingly little research has been conducted to elucidate how this trait changes in organisms living at different elevations of similar latitudes, especially in the tropics. DNA barcodes demonstrate that insect species previously thought to have broad elevational distributions and phenotypically plastic thermal tolerances actually comprise cryptic species complexes. These cryptic species occupy discrete elevational ranges, and their thermal tolerances seem to be locally adapted to temperatures in their life zones. The combination of high species endemism and local adaptation to temperature regimes may increase the extinction risk of high-elevation insects in a warming world.

 

Abstract

The critical thermal maximum (CTmax), the temperature at which motor control is lost in animals, has the potential to determine if species will tolerate global warming. For insects, tolerance to high temperatures decreases with latitude, suggesting that similar patterns may exist along elevational gradients as well. This study explored how CTmax varies among species and populations of a group of diverse tropical insect herbivores, the rolled-leaf beetles, across both broad and narrow elevational gradients. Data from 6,948 field observations and 8,700 museum specimens were used to map the elevational distributions of rolled-leaf beetles on two mountains in Costa Rica. CTmax was determined for 1,252 individual beetles representing all populations across the gradients. Initial morphological identifications suggested a total of 26 species with populations at different elevations displaying contrasting upper thermal limits. However, compared with morphological identifications, DNA barcodes (cytochrome oxidase I) revealed significant cryptic species diversity. DNA barcodes identified 42 species and haplotypes across 11 species complexes. These 42 species displayed much narrower elevational distributions and values of CTmax than the 26 morphologically defined species. In general, species found at middle elevations and on mountaintops are less tolerant to high temperatures than species restricted to lowland habitats. Species with broad elevational distributions display high CTmax throughout their ranges. We found no significant phylogenetic signal in CTmax, geography, or elevational range. The narrow variance in CTmax values for most rolled-leaf beetles, especially high-elevation species, suggests that the risk of extinction of insects may be substantial under some projected rates of global warming.

CephaloleiaChelobasis – CO1 – CTmax – thermal limits

 

Footnotes

1To whom correspondence should be addressed. Email: garciac@si.edu.

Author contributions: C.G.-R., E.K.K., T.L.E., and W.J.K. designed research; C.G.-R., E.K.K., and C.L.S. performed research; C.G.-R. and W.J.K. contributed new reagents/analytic tools; C.G.-R. and E.K.K. analyzed data; and C.G.-R., E.K.K., C.L.S., T.L.E., and W.J.K. wrote the paper.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

This article is a PNAS Direct Submission.

Data deposition: The DNA sequences reported in this paper have been deposited in the GenBank database, dx.doi.org/10.5883/DS-BOFCR (accession nos. KU357054KU358485).

This article contains supporting information online at www.pnas.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.1073/pnas.1507681113/-/DCSupplemental.

http://www.pnas.org/preview_site/misc/userlicense.xhtml

Keywords: Research; Abstracts; Climate Change; Global Warming; Insects.

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#Deaths From #Disasters Double This Year as #Planet Heats Up (Bloomberg, Dec. 18 ‘15)

[Source: Bloomberg, full page: (LINK).]

Deaths From Disasters Double This Year as Planet Heats Up [   !   ]

At least 26,000 people died in heat waves, earthquakes, floods and other disasters during a year that was probably the warmest on record, more than double the number of deaths in 2014, Swiss Re AG said in an annual report.

(…)

Keywords: Global Warming; Climate Change; Extreme Weather.

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#COP21: #UN chief hails new #climatechange #agreement as ‘monumental #triumph’ [updated] (UN News Centre, Dec. 13 ‘15)

[Source: United Nations News Centre, full page: (LINK).]

COP21: UN chief hails new climate change agreement as ‘monumental triumph’ [  INTL / ENVR  ]

12 December 2015

Following the adoption of the new Paris Agreement on climate change, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said government representatives made history today.

“The Paris Agreement is a monumental triumph for people and our planet,” said Mr. Ban in a tweet, immediately following its adoption. “It sets the stage for progress in ending poverty, strengthening peace and ensuring a life of dignity and opportunity for all.”

Gaveling the Agreement with a green hammer, the French Foreign Minister and President of COP21, Laurent Fabius, announced the historic news – a moment greeted with loud applause and cheers, as the room stood up. Many delegates hugged, while others had tears in their eyes.

For the first time today, 195 Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – pledged to curb emissions, strengthen resilience and joined to take common climate action. This followed two weeks of tireless negotiations at the United Nations climate change conference (COP21).

The Paris Agreement and the outcomes of COP21 cover all the crucial areas identified as essential for a landmark conclusion:

–> mitigation – reducing emissions fast enough to achieve the temperature goal;

–> a transparency system and global stock-take – accounting for climate action;

–> adaptation – strengthening ability of countries to deal with climate impacts;

–> loss and damage – strengthening ability to recover from climate impacts; and

–> support – including finance, for nations to build clean, resilient futures.

“In the face of an unprecedented challenge, you have demonstrated unprecedented leadership,” the UN chief said taking the COP21 stage just minutes later. “You have worked collaboratively to achieve something that no one nation could achieve alone. This is a resounding success for multilateralism.”

Recalling that he made climate change one of the defining priorities of his tenure as Secretary-General, Mr. Ban said that most of all, he has listened to people – the young, the poor and the vulnerable, including indigenous peoples, from every corner of the globe.

“They seek protection from the perils of a warming planet, and the opportunity to live in a safer, more bountiful world,” he underlined. “They have demanded that world leaders act to safeguard their well-being and that of generations to come.”

Turning to the agreement itself, the Secretary-General said negotiators reached “solid results on all key points,” with an agreement that demonstrates solidarity and “is ambitious, flexible, credible and durable.”

“All countries have agreed to hold global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius. And recognizing the risk of grave consequences, you have further agreed to pursue efforts to limit temperature increase to 1.5 degrees,” he announced.

In addition, a review mechanism has been established whereby every five years, beginning in 2018, Parties will regularly review what is needed in line with science.

“Governments have agreed to binding, robust, transparent rules of the road to ensure that all countries do what they have agreed across a range of issues,” Mr. Ban added.

Meanwhile, highlighting the role of the private sector, the UN chief said business leaders came to Paris in unprecedented numbers and that “powerful” climate solutions are already available while many more are to come.

“With these elements in place, markets now have the clear signal they need to unleash the full force of human ingenuity and scale up investments that will generate low-emissions, resilient growth,” he said, adding that “what was once unthinkable has now become unstoppable.”

“When historians look back on this day, they will say that global cooperation to secure a future safe from climate change took a dramatic new turn here in Paris,” Mr. Ban stated. “Today, we can look into the eyes of our children and grandchildren, and we can finally say, tell them that we have joined hands to bequeath a more habitable world to them and to future generations.”

Ending his remarks, the UN chief said that all Parties should be proud of the Paris Agreement and that “the work starts tomorrow.”

“For today, congratulations again on a job well done,” he concluded. “Let us work together, with renewed commitment, to make this a better world.”

Addressing the hundreds of delegates, Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of UNFCCC, said “we did it in Paris.”

“We have made history together. It is an agreement of conviction. It is an agreement of solidarity with the most vulnerable. It is an agreement of long-term vision, for we have to turn this agreement into an engine of safe growth,” she exclaimed.

Several other top UN officials joined the Secretary-General in welcoming the new Agreement. This included the President of the UN General Assembly, Mr. Mogens Lykketoft.

“Today’s agreement signals nothing less than a renaissance for humankind as we collectively embrace the global challenge of climate change and endeavor to transition to a more sustainable way of living that respects the needs of people and our planet,” Mr. Lykketoft said in a statement.

Echoing this message, the President of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Oh Joon, said the world has reached a key milestone in collective action for sustainable development.

“Bold action against climate change will contribute to poverty reduction. The United Nations Economic and Social Council will take part in follow-up efforts,” he added.

Earlier today, at a meeting of the Committee of Paris [Comité de Paris] – the body which is overseeing the negotiations at COP21 – the UN chief spoke alongside the President of France, François Hollande as well Minister Fabius.

“The end is in sight. Let us now finish the job. The whole world is watching. Billions of people are relying on your wisdom,” the Secretary-General had told delegates.

In an emotional address during which he held back tears, Laurent Fabius said the agreement “will serve meaningful causes, food safety and security, public health, the fight against poverty and for essential rights, and therefore peace.”

“People worldwide, our citizens, our children, wouldn’t understand if we didn’t adopt it and wouldn’t forgive us,” he insisted.

“It is rare to be given the opportunity to change the world,” said President François Hollande, wrapping up the meeting. “You have the opportunity to do that.”

Keywords: Worldwide; UN; Updated; Climate Change; Global Warming; International Cooperation.

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#COP21: ‘Monumental #triumph’ in #Paris as #world adopts new #climatechange #agreement, says #UN chief (UN News Centre, Dec. 12 ‘15)

[Source: United Nations News Centre, full page: (LINK).]

COP21: ‘Monumental triumph’ in Paris as world adopts new climate change agreement, says UN chief [  INTL / ENVR  ]

12 December 2015

Following the adoption of the new Paris Agreement on climate change, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said government representatives made history today.

“The Paris Agreement is a monumental triumph for people and our planet,” said Mr. Ban in a tweet. “It sets the stage for progress in ending poverty, strengthening peace and ensuring a life of dignity and opportunity for all.”

Gaveling the agreement with a green hammer, the French Foreign Minister and President of COP21 Laurent Fabius announced its adoption—a moment greeted with loud applause and cheers, as the room stood up. Many delegates hugged, while others had tears in their eyes.

Earlier today, the Secretary-General told delegates that the world had been presented a “historic” document which promises to set it on a new path to a low-emissions, climate-resilient future.

“I would like to take this opportunity to commend the commitment, engagement and leadership of all the Heads of State, Government ministers and negotiators who have brought us so far in this very difficult negotiation,” Mr. Ban said as all COP21 stakeholders prepared to receive the final draft outcome.

At this morning’s plenary meeting of the Committee of Paris [Comité de Paris]—the body which is overseeing the negotiations at COP21—the UN chief spoke alongside the President of France, François Hollande and the President of COP21 and French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius.

“The end is in sight. Let us now finish the job. The whole world is watching. Billions of people are relying on your wisdom,” the Secretary-General declared.

At the opening session of the conference on the last day of November, the UN chief had told 150 world leaders—an unprecedented number to have shown up for such an occasion—that “a political moment like this may not come again.” Today, he said leaders have listened.

“They want a flexible, robust, meaningful, universal agreement that will help us rise as one to the climate challenge. The issues are many and complex. But we must not let the quest for perfection become the enemy of the public good,” he warned.

“The solutions to climate change are on the table. They are ours for the taking. Let us have the courage to grasp them,” he said ending his remarks, adding that he looks forward to joining delegates later today to celebrate the new agreement.

Opening the floor in an emotional address during which he held back tears, Foreign Minister Fabius said if the world doesn’t adopt the agreement, it is the “credibility of multilateralism” that would be in play.

“The agreement will serve meaningful causes, food safety and security, public health, the fight against poverty and for essential rights, and therefore peace,” he insisted. “People worldwide, our citizens, our children, wouldn’t understand if we didn’t adopt it and wouldn’t forgive us.”

He announced that the document presented today as the final draft is “differentiated, just, dynamic, balanced and legally binding.” It calls for global temperature rise to be limited to “well below 2 degrees Celsius,” and “endeavored to reach 1.5 degrees.” It also provides for a transparency framework, monitoring progress every five years.

“It is rare to be given the opportunity to change the world,” said President François Hollande, wrapping up the meeting. “You have the opportunity to do that.”

MORE TO FOLLOW

Keywords: UN; Updates; Worldwide; Climate Change; Interntional Cooperation; Global Warming.

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A #scientific #critique of the two-degree #climate #change #target (Nature Geoscience, abstract)

[Source: Nature Geoscience, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Nature Geoscience | Perspective

A scientific critique of the two-degree climate change target [   !   ]

Reto Knutti, Joeri Rogelj, Jan Sedláček & Erich M. Fischer

Journal name: Nature Geoscience – Year published: (2015)  – DOI: doi:10.1038/ngeo2595

Received 06 September 2015  – Accepted  16 October 2015  – Published online 07 December 2015

 

Abstract

The world’s governments agreed to limit global mean temperature change to below 2 °C compared with pre-industrial levels in the years following the 2009 climate conference in Copenhagen. This 2 °C warming target is perceived by the public as a universally accepted goal, identified by scientists as a safe limit that avoids dangerous climate change. This perception is incorrect: no scientific assessment has clearly justified or defended the 2 °C target as a safe level of warming, and indeed, this is not a problem that science alone can address. We argue that global temperature is the best climate target quantity, but it is unclear what level can be considered safe. The 2 °C target is useful for anchoring discussions, but has been ineffective in triggering the required emission reductions; debates on considering a lower target are strongly at odds with the current real-world level of action. These debates are moot, however, as the decisions that need to be taken now to limit warming to 1.5 or 2 °C are very similar. We need to agree how to start, not where to end mitigation.

Keywords: Research; Abstracts; Climate Change; Global Warming; International Cooperation.

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#Thermal #biases and #vulnerability to #warming in the #world’s #marine #fauna (Nature, abstract)

[Source: Nature, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Nature | Article

Thermal biases and vulnerability to warming in the world’s marine fauna [   R   ]

Rick D. Stuart-Smith,1, Graham J. Edgar,1, Neville S. Barrett,1, Stuart J. Kininmonth1, 2, & Amanda E. Bates3,

Journal name: Nature – Volume: 528, Pages: 88–92 – Date published: (03 December 2015) / DOI: doi:10.1038/nature16144

Received 20 March 2014  – Accepted 13 October 2015  – Published online 11 November 2015

 

Abstract

A critical assumption underlying projections of biodiversity change associated with global warming is that ecological communities comprise balanced mixes of warm-affinity and cool-affinity species which, on average, approximate local environmental temperatures. Nevertheless, here we find that most shallow water marine species occupy broad thermal distributions that are aggregated in either temperate or tropical realms. These distributional trends result in ocean-scale spatial thermal biases, where communities are dominated by species with warmer or cooler affinity than local environmental temperatures. We use community-level thermal deviations from local temperatures as a form of sensitivity to warming, and combine these with projected ocean warming data to predict warming-related loss of species from present-day communities over the next century. Large changes in local species composition appear likely, and proximity to thermal limits, as inferred from present-day species’ distributional ranges, outweighs spatial variation in warming rates in contributing to predicted rates of local species loss.

Subject terms: Biodiversity • Macroecology • Conservation biology • Biogeography

Keywords: Research; Abstracts; Biodiversity; Climate Change; Global Warming.

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