Difficulties of attribution in the biological realm: A contribution to the IPCC 5th Assessment Report

01/12/2012 - 1:30pm
ML Tower B, ISP Penthouse

Camille Parmesan, University of Texas at Austin

With Copenhagen having brought climate change to the forefront of government agendas, there is increasing policy pressure for clear and quantified attribution of greenhouse gas-driven climate change on physical and biological impacts. Within the climate system, developing sound attribution techniques has been a long process, resulting in a set of modeling and analytical approaches that is widely accepted by the climate science community as provided by quantitative assessments of the relative roles of natural vs. anthropogenic drivers of climatic variability and trends. Global warming is clearly affecting plants and animals, but there are sizable challenges in attempting to tease apart the specific contribution of greenhouse gas driven climate change to extinctions or declines of species at local scales.   A complexity of confounding drivers and the presence of strong, non-additive interaction effects impedes simple application of approaches from climate science to the biological realm.

Thursday, January 12, 2012 - 1:30pm
ML Tower B, ISP Penthouse