Sea level rise is one of the major long-term consequences of human-induced climate change. Future projections of sea level changes and their regional expression are of crucial importance for the sustainability of coastal settlements around the world. The Fourth Assessment Report of IPCC (AR4) had comprehensively assessed key processes contributing to
past, present and future sea level changes. However, process understanding was limited and thus both size and uncertainties associated with some of these contributions remained still largely unknown. This also hampered the overall projections of global mean sea level rise in AR4. The future dynamical behaviour of the large polar ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland in a changing climate was identified as the primary origin of the large uncertainty in the AR4
projections of sea level rise for the 21st century.
IPCC Working Group I (WGI) has acknowledged the relevance of this specific topic and thus (1) proposed a chapter on 'Sea Level Change' in its contribution to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) and (2) organized a targeted IPCC Workshop on 'Sea Level Rise and Ice Sheet Instabilities' very early in the assessment cycle for the IPCC's AR5. This
Workshop took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from 21 to 24 June, 2010. The Workshop brought together experts from very diverse disciplines with a wide range of expertise, covering oceanography, ice sheet dynamics, glacier research and hydrology to discuss latest results from both observations and modelling relevant for sea level change. The workshop structure included a combination of plenary sessions with invited keynote presentations, group discussions, poster sessions and, finally, topical breakout groups.
This Workshop Report contains a concise summary of the overall discussions and conclusions of the Workshop as well as summaries of the discussions in the breakout groups. It further includes the extended abstracts of the keynote presentations and poster abstracts presented during the Workshop.
This is a collaborative project between the University of Oregon Environmental Studies Program and the USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station. The project aims to understand the needs, lessons learned, and opportunities American Indians and Alaska Natives have in planning for the physical effects of climate change. This information will be used to inform resource management decision-making in the context of climate change.
The majority of physicians are aware of the urgency of preventing major global warming, and of the global health consequences such warming could bring. Therefore, we should perhaps be more motivated to mitigate these climate changes. The Danish Medical Association should stress the importance of preventing major global climate health disasters, and the need for ambitious international reduction agreements. In our advice and treatment of patients, focus could be on mutually shared strategies comprising mitigation of global warming and changing of life-style habits to improve our general health.
The Earth's atmosphere has a natural greenhouse effect, without which the global mean surface temperature would be about 33 degrees C lower and life would not be possible. Human activities have increased atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane, and other gases in trace amounts. This has enhanced the greenhouse effect, resulting in surface warming. Were it not for the partly offsetting effects of increased aerosol concentrations, the increase in global mean surface temperature over the past 100 years would be larger than observed. Continued surface warming through the 21st century is inevitable and will likely have widespread ecological impacts. The magnitude and rate of warming for the global average will be largely dictated by the strength and direction of climate feedbacks, thermal inertia of the oceans, the rate of greenhouse gas emissions, and aerosol concentrations. Because of regional expressions of climate feedbacks, changes in atmospheric circulation, and a suite of other factors, the magnitude and rate of warming and changes in other key climate elements, such as precipitation, will not be uniform across the planet. For example, due to loss of its floating sea-ice cover, the Arctic will warm the most.
Climate is changing rapidly in the Arctic. This has important implications for parasites of Arctic ungulates, and hence for the welfare of Arctic peoples who depend on caribou, reindeer, and muskoxen for food, income, and a focus for cultural activities. In this Opinion article we briefly review recent work on the development of predictive models for the impacts of climate change on helminth parasites and other pathogens of Arctic wildlife, in the hope that such models may eventually allow proactive mitigation and conservation strategies. We describe models that have been developed using the metabolic theory of ecology. The main strength of these models is that they can be easily parameterized using basic information about the physical size of the parasite. Initial results suggest they provide important new insights that are likely to generalize to a range of host-parasite systems.
Climate changes will likely have an impact on the spectrum of infectious diseases in Europe. We may see an increase in vector-borne diseases, diseases spread by rodents such as Hantavirus, and food- and water-borne diseases. As the effects of climate changes are likely to occur gradually, a modern industrialised country such as Denmark will have the opportunity to adapt to the expected changes.
Institut for Folkesundhedsvidenskab, Afdeling for Miljø og Sundhed, Det Sundhedsvidenskabelige Fakultet, Københavns Universitet, Øster Farimagsgade 5, DK-1014 København K, Denmark. email@example.com
Air quality, health and climate change are closely connected. Ozone depends on temperature and the greenhouse gas methane from cattle and biomass. Pollen presence depends on temperature and CO2. The effect of climate change on particulate air pollution is complex, but the likely net effect is greater health risks. Reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions by reduced livestock production and use of combustion for energy production, transport and heating will also improve air quality. Energy savings in buildings and use of CO2 neutral fuels should not deteriorate indoor and outdoor air quality.
This article provides a brief overview over some of the main findings in the most recent IPCC WG I report and in articles published after the report. It is argued that the conclusions in the report on observed climate variations and trends during the last 100 years have been largely confirmed or even reinforced by the most recent studies. Concerning future climate change, new analyses of possible changes in sea-level, which take melting land ice into account, indicate that the global sea level may rise as much as one meter within the present century.
Many species of fungi produce ephemeral autumnal fruiting bodies to spread and multiply. Despite their attraction for mushroom pickers and their economic importance, little is known about the phenology of fruiting bodies. Using approximately 34,500 dated herbarium records we analyzed changes in the autumnal fruiting date of mushrooms in Norway over the period 1940-2006. We show that the time of fruiting has changed considerably over this time period, with an average delay in fruiting since 1980 of 12.9 days. The changes differ strongly between species and groups of species. Early-fruiting species have experienced a stronger delay than late fruiters, resulting in a more compressed fruiting season. There is also a geographic trend of earlier fruiting in the northern and more continental parts of Norway than in more southern and oceanic parts. Incorporating monthly precipitation and temperature variables into the analyses provides indications that increasing temperatures during autumn and winter months bring about significant delay of fruiting both in the same year and in the subsequent year. The recent changes in autumnal mushroom phenology coincide with the extension of the growing season caused by global climate change and are likely to continue under the current climate change scenario.
Thermal stress, food poisoning, infectious diseases, malnutrition, psychiatric illness as well as injury and death from floods, storms and fire are all likely to become more common as the earth warms and the climate becomes more variable. In contrast, obesity, type II diabetes and coronary artery disease do not result from climate change, but they do share causes with climate change. Burning fossil fuels, for example, is the major source of greenhouse gases, but it also makes pervasive physical inactivity possible. Similarly, modern agriculture's enormous production of livestock contributes substantially to greenhouse gas emissions, and it is the source of many of our most energy-rich foods. Physicians and societies of medical professionals have a particular responsibility, therefore, to contribute to the public discourse about climate change and what to do about it.
ReprintIn: Ugeskr Laeger. 2008 Aug 25;170(35):2667-818761852
Records of past climates contained in ice cores, ocean sediments, and other archives show that large, abrupt, widespread climate changes have occurred repeatedly in the past. These changes were especially prominent during the cooling into and warming out of the last ice age, but persisted into the modern warm interval. Changes have especially affected water availability in warm regions and temperature in cold regions, but have affected almost all climatic variables across much or all of the Earth. Impacts of climate changes are smaller if the changes are slower or more-expected. The rapidity of abrupt climate changes, together with the difficulty of predicting such changes, means that impacts on the health of humans, economies and ecosystems will be larger if abrupt climate changes occur. Most projections of future climate include only gradual changes, whereas paleoclimatic data plus models indicate that abrupt changes remain possible; thus, policy is being made based on a view of the future that may be optimistic.