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ecosystem and species response may be lagged (Sections 4.4.5, 4.4.6). At key points in time (Figure 4.4), ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration may cease, and even reverse (Figure 4.2). While such 'tipping points' (Kemp, 2005) are impossible to identify without substantial uncertainties, they may lead to irreversible effects such as biodiversity loss or, at the very least, impacts that have a slow recovery (e.g., on soils and corals).

In the two simulations presented in Figure 4.2 (warming of 2.9°C and 5.3°C by 2100 over land relative to the 1961-1990 baseline), the DGVM approach reveals salient changes in a key regulating service of the world's ecosystems: carbon sequestration. Changes in the spatial distributions of ecosystems are given in Figure 4.3 (where it must be stressed that the figure highlights only key vulnerabilities through depicting appreciable vegetation type changes, i.e., PFT change over >20% of the area of any single pixel modelled). In the B1 emissions scenario (Figure 4.3b) about 26% of extant ecosystems reveal appreciable changes by 2100, with some positive impacts especially in Africa and the Southern Hemisphere. However, these positive changes are likely to be due to the assumed CO2-fertilisation effect (Section 4.4.10, Figure 4.3). By contrast, in mid- to high latitudes on all continents, substantial shifts in forest structure toward more rain-green, summer-green or deciduous rather than evergreen forest, and forest and woodland decline, underlie the overall drop in global terrestrial carbon sequestration potential that occurs post-2030, and approaches a net source by about 2070 (Figure 4.2; 4.3). In the A2 emissions scenario, roughly 37% of extant ecosystems reveal appreciable changes by 2100. Desert amelioration persists in the regions described above, but substantial decline of forest and woodland is seen at northern, tropical and sub-tropical latitudes. In both scenarios the current global sink deteriorates after 2030, and by 2070 (AT ~2.5°C over pre-industrial) the terrestrial biosphere becomes an increasing carbon source (Figure 4.2; see also Scholze et al., 2006) with the concomitant risk of positive feedback, developments that amplify climate change. Similar results were obtained by using a wide range of climate models which indicate that the biosphere becomes consistently within this century a net CO2 source with a global warming of >3°C relative to pre-industrial (Scholze et al., 2006). On the other hand, it must be noted that by about 2100 the modelled biosphere has nevertheless sequestered an additional 205-228 PgC (A2 and B1 emissions scenarios respectively) relative to the year 2000 (Lucht et al., 2006).

Climate envelope modelling suggests that climate change impacts will diminish the areal extent of some ecosystems (e.g., reduction by 2-47% alone due to 1.6°C warming above pre-industrial, Table 4.1, No. 6) and impact many ecosystem properties and services globally. Climate impacts alone will vary regionally and across biomes and will lead to increasing levels of global biodiversity loss, as expressed through area reductions of wild habitats and declines in the abundance of wild species putting those species at risk of extinction (e.g., 3-16% of European plants with 2.2°C warming (Table 4.1, No. 20) or major losses of Amazon rainforest with 2.5°C warming above pre-industrial, Figure 4.4, Table 4.1, No. 36). Globally, biodiversity (represented by species richness and relative abundance) may decrease by 13 to 19% due to a combination of land-use change, climate change and nitrogen deposition under four scenarios by 2050 relative to species present in 1970 (Duraiappah et al., 2005). Looking at projected losses due to land-use change alone (native habitat loss), habitat reduction in tropical forests and woodland, savanna and warm mixed forest accounts for 80% of the species projected to be lost (about 30,000 species - Sala, 2005). The apparent contrast between high impacts shown by projections for species (climate envelope models) relative to PFTs (DGVMs) is likely to be due to a number of reasons - most importantly, real species virtually certainly have narrower climate tolerances than PFTs, a fact more realistically represented by the climate envelope models. DGVM projections reveal some increasing success of broad-range, generalist plant species, while climate envelope model results focus on endemics. Endemics, with their smaller ranges, have been shown to have a greater vulnerability to climate change (Thuiller et al., 2005a), and may furthermore be dependent on keystone species in relationships that are ignored in DGVMs. Therefore, for assessing extinction risks, climate envelope modelling currently appears to offer more realistic results.

As indicated in the TAR, climate changes are being imposed on ecosystems experiencing other substantial and largely detrimental pressures. Roughly 60% of evaluated ecosystems are currently utilised unsustainably and show increasing signs of degradation (Reid et al., 2005; Hassan et al., 2005; Worm et al., 2006). This alone will be likely to cause widespread biodiversity loss (Chapin et al., 2000; Jenkins, 2003; Reid et al., 2005), given that 15,589 species, from every major taxonomic group, are already listed as threatened (Baillie et al., 2006). The likely synergistic impacts of climate change and land-use change on endemic species have been widely confirmed (Hannah et al., 2002a; Hughes, 2003; Leemans and Eickhout, 2004; Thomas et al., 2004a; Lovejoy and Hannah, 2005; Hare, 2006; Malcolm et al., 2006; Warren, 2006), as has over-exploitation of marine systems (Worm et al., 2006; Chapters 5 and 6).

Overall, climate change has been estimated to be a major driver of biodiversity loss in cool conifer forests, savannas, mediterranean-climate systems, tropical forests, in the Arctic tundra, and in coral reefs (Thomas et al., 2004a; Carpenter et al., 2005; Malcolm et al., 2006). In other ecosystems, land-use change may be a stronger driver of biodiversity loss at least in the near term. In an analysis of the SRES scenarios to 2100 (Strengers et al., 2004), deforestation is reported to cease in all scenarios except A2, suggesting that beyond 2050 climate change is very likely to be the major driver for biodiversity loss globally. Due to climate change alone it has been estimated that by 2100 between 1% and 43% of endemic species (average 11.6%) will be committed to extinction (DGVM-based study - Malcolm et al., 2006), whereas following another approach (also using climate envelope modelling-based studies - Thomas et al., 2004a) it has been estimated that on average 15% to 37% of species (combination of most optimistic assumptions 9%, most pessimistic 52%) will be committed to extinction by 2050 (i.e., their range sizes will have begun shrinking and fragmenting in a way that guarantees their accelerated extinction). Climate-change-induced extinction rates in tropical biodiversity hotspots are likely to exceed the predicted extinctions from deforestation during this century (Malcolm et al.,

2006). In the mediterranean-climate region of South Africa, climate change may have at least as significant an impact on endemic Protea species' extinction risk as land-use change does by 2020 (Bomhard et al., 2005). Based on all above findings and our compilation (Figure 4.4, Table 4.1) we estimate that on average 20% to 30% of species assessed are likely to be at increasingly high risk of extinction from climate change impacts possibly within this century as global mean temperatures exceed 2°C to 3°C relative to pre-industrial levels (this chapter). The uncertainties remain large, however, since for about 2°C temperature increase the percentage may be as low as 10% or for about 3°C as high as 40% and, depending on biota, the range is between 1% and 80% (Table 4.1; Thomas et al., 2004a; Malcolm et al., 2006). As global average temperature exceeds 4°C above pre-industrial levels, model projections suggest significant extinctions (40-70% species assessed) around the globe (Table 4.1).

Losses of biodiversity will probably lead to decreases in the provision of ecosystem goods and services with trade-offs between ecosystem services likely to intensify (National Research Council, 1999; Carpenter et al., 2005; Duraiappah et al., 2005). Gains in provisioning services (e.g., food supply, water use) are projected to occur, in part, at the expense of other regulating and supporting services including genetic resources, habitat provision, climate and runoff regulation. Projected changes may also increase the likelihood of ecological surprises that are detrimental for human well-being (Burkett et al., 2005; Duraiappah et al., 2005). Ecological surprises include rapid and abrupt changes in temperature and precipitation, leading to an increase in extreme events such as floods, fires and landslides, increases in eutrophication, invasion by alien species, or rapid and sudden increases in disease (Carpenter et al., 2005). This could also entail sudden shifts of ecosystems to less desired states (Scheffer et al., 2001; Folke et al., 2004; e.g., Chapin et al., 2004) through, for example, the exeedance of critical temperature thresholds, possibly resulting in the irreversible loss of ecosystem services, which were dependent on the previous state (Reid et al., 2005).

Table 4.1. Projected impacts of climate change on ecosystems and population systems as reported in the literature for different levels of global mean annual temperature rise, ATg, relative to pre-industrial climate - mean and range (event numbers as used in Figure 4.4 and Appendix 4.1). The global temperature change values are used as an indicator of the other associated climate changes that match particular amounts of ATg, e.g., precipitation change and, where considered, change in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Projections from the literature were harmonised into a common framework by down/upscaling (where necessary) from local to global temperature rise using multiple GCMs, and by using a common global mean temperature reference point for the year 1990 (after Warren, 2006). Whilst some of the literature relates impacts directly to global mean temperature rises or particular GCM scenarios, many studies give only local temperature rises, ATreg, and hence require upscaling. The thirteen GCM output data sets used are taken from the IPCC DDC at http://www.ipcc-data.org/.

Table 4.1. Projected impacts of climate change on ecosystems and population systems as reported in the literature for different levels of global mean annual temperature rise, ATg, relative to pre-industrial climate - mean and range (event numbers as used in Figure 4.4 and Appendix 4.1). The global temperature change values are used as an indicator of the other associated climate changes that match particular amounts of ATg, e.g., precipitation change and, where considered, change in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Projections from the literature were harmonised into a common framework by down/upscaling (where necessary) from local to global temperature rise using multiple GCMs, and by using a common global mean temperature reference point for the year 1990 (after Warren, 2006). Whilst some of the literature relates impacts directly to global mean temperature rises or particular GCM scenarios, many studies give only local temperature rises, ATreg, and hence require upscaling. The thirteen GCM output data sets used are taken from the IPCC DDC at http://www.ipcc-data.org/.

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