Twentieth-Century global warming of approximately 0.6¢ªC has already affected the Earth's biota and now the major challenge facing ecologists and evolutionary biologists is to predict how biological impacts of climate change will unfold in response to further projected temperature increases of up to 6¢ªC by 2100.
"This relatively mild level of thermal increase has already caused shifts in species ranges, especially at higher latitudes and towards the poles," said Rodriguez-Trelles. "Understanding biological responses to global climate warming can be dauntingly complex, but primarily it requires careful quantification of the rates of temporal change,"
Assessing the trajectory of biological processes under global warming begins by obtaining accurate estimates of these processes and linking them to historical records. This reveals if changes in species are indeed long term responses, rather than the short term behavioural changes regularly prompted by the succession of the seasons.
However, updating historical records is proving to be far less straightforward than might be supposed. This is because of the complexities of global warming, which concomitantly to the increase in Earth's temperature is causing an expansion of the length of the growing season.
This presents scientists with problems as to the precision with which time reckoning systems track the course of global warming-induced changes to the Earth System, and can lead to seriously distorted results. Long-term studies of phenological trends show that neglecting the increasing lag between seasonal climate and calendar dates can lead to confusing the direct and indirect effects of global warming.
"The evidence of Earth's life responses to global warming is overwhelming. However a widespread approach to quantify biological effects of global warming relies on comparisons Of historical with present records of biological variables," concluded Rodriguez-Trelles. "In this paper we have identified several reasons why this strategy can lead to seriously distorted estimates of biological effects of global warming, as well as ways they could be handled in future studies."
Ben Norman | EurekAlert!
NASA examines Peru's deadly rainfall
24.03.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Steep rise of the Bernese Alps
24.03.2017 | Universität Bern
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy