Climate change impacts on ecosystems and ecosystem services in the United States: process and prospects for sustained assessment

Nancy Grimm, Peter Groffman, Michelle Staudinger, Heather Tallis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The third United States National Climate Assessment emphasized an evaluation of not just the impacts of climate change on species and ecosystems, but also the impacts of climate change on the benefits that people derive from nature, known as ecosystem services. The ecosystems, biodiversity, and ecosystem services component of the assessment largely drew upon the findings of a transdisciplinary workshop aimed at developing technical input for the assessment, involving participants from diverse sectors. A small author team distilled and synthesized this and hundreds of other technical input to develop the key findings of the assessment. The process of developing and ranking key findings hinged on identifying impacts that had particular, demonstrable effects on the U.S. public via changes in national ecosystem services. Findings showed that ecosystem services are threatened by the impacts of climate change on water supplies, species distributions and phenology, as well as multiple assaults on ecosystem integrity that, when compounded by climate change, reduce the capacity of ecosystems to buffer against extreme events. As ecosystems change, such benefits as water sustainability and protection from storms that are afforded by intact ecosystems are projected to decline across the continent due to climate change. An ongoing, sustained assessment that focuses on the co-production of actionable climate science will allow scientists from a range of disciplines to ascertain the capability of their forecasting models to project environmental and ecological change and link it to ecosystem services; additionally, an iterative process of evaluation, development of management strategies, monitoring, and reevaluation will increase the applicability and usability of the science by the U.S. public.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-109
Number of pages13
JournalClimatic Change
Volume135
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

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ecosystem service
climate change
ecosystem
climate
extreme event
phenology
ranking
water supply
sustainability
biodiversity
monitoring
water
science
evaluation
public

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Atmospheric Science

Cite this

Climate change impacts on ecosystems and ecosystem services in the United States : process and prospects for sustained assessment. / Grimm, Nancy; Groffman, Peter; Staudinger, Michelle; Tallis, Heather.

In: Climatic Change, Vol. 135, No. 1, 01.03.2016, p. 97-109.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Grimm, Nancy ; Groffman, Peter ; Staudinger, Michelle ; Tallis, Heather. / Climate change impacts on ecosystems and ecosystem services in the United States : process and prospects for sustained assessment. In: Climatic Change. 2016 ; Vol. 135, No. 1. pp. 97-109.
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