Earth and Environmental Sciences

Ecological Impacts of Climate Change
Mahesh Sankaran, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research

Human activities are transforming our planet and changing its climate in unprecedented ways. Understanding the consequences of these changes represents one of the most pressing problems facing ecologists today. How will changes in atmospheric chemistry, nutrient deposition, precipitation regimes and temperature influence the stability and functioning of the Earth’s different ecosystems? How will it impact the Earth’s biodiversity in terms of extinctions, invasions and broad-scale patterns of species distributions? What are the direct and indirect consequences of such changes for the provisioning of ecosystem services and human well-being? Here I provide a brief introduction to this vast field, and draw on case studies to highlight inherent complexities in addressing these issues that arise from interactions between different global change drivers, and feedbacks between processes operating at different scales. Finally, I highlight some challenges associated with addressing the ecological impacts of climate change, particularly in bio-diverse areas such as the tropics, and stress the need for inter-disciplinary solutions to address this complex problem.

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Earth and Environmental Sciences

Kavli Frontiers of Science PRO

This channel contains session presentations that cover earth science and environmental science topics from the Kavli Frontiers of Science symposium series of the National Academy of Sciences.

For additional symposium information, please visit our web


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This channel contains session presentations that cover earth science and environmental science topics from the Kavli Frontiers of Science symposium series of the National Academy of Sciences.

For additional symposium information, please visit our web site (nasonline.org/kfos).

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