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Climate Change and Biodiversity Robert T. Watson MA Board Co-chair Informal Joint Meeting of the CBD SBSTTA and UNFCCC SBSTA, Montreal November 30, 2005.

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Presentation on theme: "Climate Change and Biodiversity Robert T. Watson MA Board Co-chair Informal Joint Meeting of the CBD SBSTTA and UNFCCC SBSTA, Montreal November 30, 2005."— Presentation transcript:

1 Climate Change and Biodiversity Robert T. Watson MA Board Co-chair Informal Joint Meeting of the CBD SBSTTA and UNFCCC SBSTA, Montreal November 30, 2005

2 Key design features of the MA Political legitimacy MA    CBDCCD Ramsar STRPCST SBSTTA MA Authorized by four conventions and UN Follows IPCC procedures Focus strongly shaped by audience Strong sub-global features FCCC IPCC SBSTA Research, UN Data, National and International Assessments Scientific credibility Utility CMS SC

3 MA Facts Number of Working Groups (Condition, Scenarios, Responses, Sub-global): 4 Number of chapters: 81 Number of pages (all publications): ~3,000 Number of experts preparing the assessment: 1,360 (including 50 young fellows) Number of countries with experts involved: 95 Number of Review Editors: 80 Reviews solicited from: 185 countries through 600 national focal points Reviews solicited from: 2,516 experts Number of individual review comments received (and responded to): 20,745 Most individual comments on one chapter: 850 comments (66 pages) on Biodiversity responses chapter. Amount raised: $17 million Annual cost as percent of US Global Climate Change Research Budget: 0.2% Estimated total cost (including in-kind contributions of experts): $25 million

4 Direct Drivers Indirect Drivers Ecosystem Services Human Well-being Direct Drivers of Change  Changes in land use  Species introduction or removal  Technology adaptation and use  External inputs (e.g., irrigation)  Resource consumption  Climate change  Natural physical and biological drivers (e.g., volcanoes) Indirect Drivers of Change  Demographic  Economic (globalization, trade, market and policy framework)  Sociopolitical (governance and institutional framework)  Science and Technology  Cultural and Religious Human Well-being and Poverty Reduction  Basic material for a good life  Health  Good Social Relations  Security  Freedom of choice and action Life on Earth: Biodiversity MA Conceptual Framework

5 Regulating Benefits obtained from regulation of ecosystem processes Cultural Non-material benefits from ecosystems Provisioning Goods produced or provided by ecosystems What was unique? Ecosystem services Photo credits (left to right, top to bottom): Purdue University, WomenAid.org, LSUP, NASA, unknown, CEH Wallingford, unknown, W. Reid, Staffan Widstrand

6 Converting an ecosystem means losing some services and gaining others – e.g., A mangrove ecosystem: crops shrimp housing Provides nursery and adult habitat, Seafood, fuelwood, & timber; traps sediment; detoxifies pollutants; protects coastline from erosion & disaster

7 The total economic value associated with managing ecosystems more sustainably is often higher than the value associated with conversion Conversion may still occur because private economic benefits are often greater for the converted system Valuation of Ecosystem Services

8 Core Questions 1.What is the rate and scale of ecosystem change? 2.What are the consequences of ecosystem change for the services provided by ecosystems and for human- well being? 3.How might ecosystems and their services change over the next 50 years? 4.What options exist to conserve ecosystems and enhance their contributions to human well-being?

9 Order from Strength Adapting Mosaic Global Orchestration TechnoGarden Globalization Regionalization World Development Environmental Management Proactive Reactive MA Scenarios

10 Main Findings 1.Humans have radically altered ecosystems in last 50 years 2. Changes have brought gains but at growing costs that threaten achievement of development goals 3. Degradation of ecosystems could grow worse but can be reversed.

11 The Balance Sheet – to date Crops Livestock Aquaculture Carbon sequestration Capture fisheries Wild foods Wood fuel Genetic resources Biochemicals Fresh Water Air quality regulation Regional & local climate regulation Erosion regulation Water purification Pest regulation Pollination Natural Hazard regulation Spiritual & religious Aesthetic values Timber Fiber Water regulation Disease regulation Recreation & ecotourism EnhancedDegradedMixed Bottom Line: 60% of Ecosystem Services are Degraded Provisioning services are being enhanced at the cost of regulating & cultural services

12 Climate and Biodiversity Key conclusions regarding the interactions between climate and biodiversity

13 Key Conclusions  There is wide recognition that human-induced climate change is a serious environmental and development issue and in conjunction with other stresses threatens ecological systems and their biodiversity  The Earth is warming, with most of the warming of the last 50 years attributable to human activities; precipitation patterns are changing, and sea level is rising. The global mean surface temperature has increased by about 0.6 degrees Celsius over the last 100 years, and is projected to increase by a further 1.4–5.8 degrees Celsius by The spatial and temporal patterns of precipitation have already changed and are projected to change even more in the future, with an increasing incidence of floods and droughts. Sea levels have already risen 10–25 cm during the last 100 years and are projected to rise an additional 8–88 cm by 2100  Observed changes in climate have already affected ecological, social, and economic systems, and the achievement of sustainable development is threatened by projected changes in climate.

14 Trends in Drivers Source: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Trends in Drivers of Ecosystem Change

15 Temperate Broadleaf Forest Tropical Dry Forest Tropical Grasslands Tropical Coniferous Forest Mediterranean Forests Tropical Moist Forest Percent of habitat (biome) remaining Habitat Loss to 1990 Habitat Loss to 2050 under MA Scenarios Source: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Temperate Grasslands & Woodlands

16 Temperature Change ( o C) from – 5.7 o C Source: IPCC 2001

17 Hot Spots of Biodiversity Climate change challenges the concept of small isolated protected areas

18 Change in Species Diversity Number per Thousand Species Extinctions (per thousand years) 100 to fold increase Source: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment

19 BRAZIL INDIA CHINA RUSSIA Climate impacts on cereal production capacity, ECHAM4 2080s, Rain-fed multiple cropping

20 Recent Findings (post MA) Compared to the IPCC TAR, there is greater clarity and reduced uncertainty about the impacts of climate change A number of increased concerns have arisen:  Increased oceanic acidity likely to reduce the oceans capacity to absorb carbon dioxide and effect the entire marine food chain  An increase in ocean surface temperature of 1 o C is likely to lead to extensive coral bleaching  Reversal of the land carbon sink – possible by the end of the Century  A regional increase of 2.7 o C above present (associated with a temperature rise of about 1.5 o C above today or 2 o C above pre-industrial level) could trigger a melting of the Greenland ice-cap – impacting all coastal ecosystems and human settlements  Possible destabilization of the Antarctic ice sheets becomes more likely above 3 o C – the Larson B ice shelve is showing signs of instability  The North Atlantic Thermohaline Circulation may slow down or even shut down: one study suggested that there is a 2 in 3 chance of a collapse within 200 years, while another study suggested a 30% chance of a shut down within 100 years

21 The Risks of Climate Change Damages Increase with the Magnitude of Climate Change

22 Key Conclusions  Based on the current understanding of the climate system, and the response of different ecological and socioeconomic systems, if significant global adverse changes to ecosystems are to be avoided, the best guidance that can currently be given suggests that efforts be made to limit the increase in global mean surface temperature to less than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to limit the rate of change to less than 0.2 degrees Celsius per decade.  This will require that the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide be limited to about 450 parts per million and the emissions of other greenhouse gases stabilized or reduced  This optimistically assumes that the climate sensitivity factor is in the middle or lower end of the range ( degrees C)

23 Recent Findings (post MA) Probability analysis suggests that to limit warming to 2 o C above pre-industrial levels with a relatively high certainty requires the equivalent concentration of carbon dioxide to stay below 400ppm Stabilization of the equivalent concentration of carbon dioxide at 450ppm would imply a medium likelihood of staying below 2 o C above pre-industrial levels If the equivalent concentration of carbon dioxide were to rise to 550ppm it is unlikely that warming would stay below 2 o C above pre-industrial levels The World Energy Outlook (2004) predicts that carbon dioxide emissions will increase by 63% over 2002 levels by This means that in the absence of urgent and strenuous actions to reduce GHG emissions in the next 20 years, the world will almost certainly be committed to a warming of between 0.5 o C and 2 o C relative to today by 2050, i.e., about 1.1 o C and 2.6 o C above pre- industrial

24 Key Conclusions  If a long-term target were to be established, intermediate targets and an equitable allocation of emissions would be needed  The technologies of today (energy production and use, carbon capture and storage, and biological sequestration) can put us on the right track until about 2050, but significant improvements will be needed after this time, hence the need for an aggressive energy R&D program  Realizing the technical potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will involve the development and implementation of supporting institutions and policies to overcome barriers to the diffusion of these technologies into the marketplace, increased public and private sector funding for research and development, and effective technology transfer  Such a target will send a strong signal to the private sector, governments and the research community that there will be a market for climate-friendly technologies

25 Warming resulting from different stabilised concentrations of greenhouse gases: pre-industrialized level ppm, current level ppm Temperature change relative to 1990 (C) Eventual CO 2 stabilisation level (ppm) Temperature change in the year 2100 Temperature change relative to 1990 (C ) Eventual CO 2 stabilisation level (ppm) Temperature change at equilibrium

26 Key Conclusions: Adaptation Adverse consequences of climate change can be reduced by adaptation measures, but cannot be completely eliminated · Even with best-practice management it is inevitable that some species will be lost, some ecosystems irreversibly modified, and some environmental goods and services adversely affected Assess and act upon threats and opportunities that result from both existing and future climate variability, including those deriving from climate change Adaptation to climate change must be part of the development process and not separated from it – must be integrated into national economic planning Existing capacities, (national governments to local communities) which are often weak, form the starting point for anticipatory adaptation actions The capacity to adapt is closely related to how society develops with respect to technological capability, level of income and type of governance

27 Findings and data: MAweb.org & Island Press Publications Synthesis Reports  Synthesis  Board Statement  Biodiversity Synthesis  Wetlands Synthesis  Health Synthesis  Desertification Synthesis  Business Synthesis Technical Volumes and MA Conceptual Framework (Island Press)  Ecosystems and Human Well-being: A Framework for Assessment  State and Trends  Scenarios  Multi-Scale Assessments  Responses

28 Synthesis ReportsBoard Statement MA Conceptual Framework Technical Assessment Volumes


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