Designing Ecological Climate Change Impact Assessments to Reflect Key Climate Drivers

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A new study published in Global Change Biology this week compares analytical frameworks for conducting ecological climate change impact assessments.

Species and ecosystems can be affected by ongoing changes in climate-related extremes such as heat waves, droughts, and floods, as well as by changes in average conditions. This study reviews the types of information provided by climate models, including projected changes in climate averages, variability, and extremes. Currently, summaries of climate projections used in ecological modeling often assume changes in climate extremes will reflect changes in climate averages. Researchers compare approaches for integrating climate information into ecological modeling, highlighting the advantages and limitations of methods that allow ecological studies to extract additional information from climate model output and more directly assess the ecological consequences. The publication is entitled "Designing Ecological Climate Change Impact Assessments to Reflect Key Climate Drivers" and is a cooperative study by the U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior North Central Climate Science Center, University of Colorado Boulder, and the University of Idaho. Pre-release version at DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13653.