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A Little Climate Change Means a Lot

Source: LBNL News Center

Koven_picA degree or two of warming doesn’t sound like a lot. But it or a comparable change to rainfall can have significant effects that are difficult to imagine. It may be easiest to compare the similarities between places and imagine how climate change may shift those patterns. ESD’s Charles Koven introduces us to his predictive climate maps, asking us to visualize what will happen by calculating climate analogs, or how similar a set of climates are to each other, and by tracing how these climate analogs will shift with global warming. This allows one to ask where a place's current climate will be going to in the future, or where a place's future climate will be coming from.

In a recently published article published in Nature Geosciences, Koven applied his method to boreal forests (regions characterized by conifers consisting of mostly pines, spruces, and larches—the world’s largest terrestrial biome).

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Citation: Koven, C.D. (2013), Boreal carbon loss due to poleward shift in low-carbon ecosystems. Nature Geosciences, DOI:10.1038/ngeo1801.