Towards European climate risk surfaces: the extent and distribution of analogous and non-analogous climates 1931-2100

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Towards European climate risk surfaces: the extent and distribution of analogous and non-analogous climates 1931-2100. / Ohlemueller, Ralf; Gritti, Emmanuel; Sykes, Martin; Thomas, Chris D.

In: Global Ecology and Biogeography, Vol. 15, No. 4, 2006, p. 395-405.

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T1 - Towards European climate risk surfaces: the extent and distribution of analogous and non-analogous climates 1931-2100

AU - Ohlemueller, Ralf

AU - Gritti, Emmanuel

AU - Sykes, Martin

AU - Thomas, Chris D.

PY - 2006

Y1 - 2006

N2 - Aim Climate is an important determinant of species distributions. We assess different aspects of risk arising from future climate change by quantifying changes in the spatial distribution of future climatic conditions compared with the recent past. Location Europe. Methods A 10' x 10' resolution gridded data set of five climate variables was used to calculate expected changes to the area, distance and direction of 1931-60 climatic conditions under the HadCM3 climate model for four future climate scenarios based on different rates of greenhouse gas emissions (SRES scenarios). Three levels of tolerance ranges determined the thresholds for which future conditions are considered analogous to 1931-60 (pre-warming) conditions. Results For many parts of Europe, areas with pre-warming analogous climate conditions will be smaller and further away in the future than they arc now. For any location in Europe, areas with pre-warming analogous mean annual temperature conditions will, on average, be reduced between 23.7% (B1 scenario) and 49.7% (A1FI scenario) by 2100 when assuming a medium tolerance range. The mean distance to these areas will, on average, increase between 272 km (B1) and 645 km (A1FI). These changes are more pronounced for temperature than for water availability variables and also for narrow tolerance ranges compared to wide tolerance ranges. Using a combined measure of both temperature and precipitation variables, areas with pre-warming analogous conditions are predicted to be in a more northeasterly direction in the future, but there are considerable regional differences within Europe. Main conclusions The results suggest that, for some parts of Europe, the loss of area with any suitable climatic conditions represents the greatest risk to biodiversity, but in other regions the distances that species may have to move to reach suitable climatic conditions may be a greater problem. Quantifying the distance and direction in analyses of change of climatically suitable areas can add additional information for climate change risk assessments.

AB - Aim Climate is an important determinant of species distributions. We assess different aspects of risk arising from future climate change by quantifying changes in the spatial distribution of future climatic conditions compared with the recent past. Location Europe. Methods A 10' x 10' resolution gridded data set of five climate variables was used to calculate expected changes to the area, distance and direction of 1931-60 climatic conditions under the HadCM3 climate model for four future climate scenarios based on different rates of greenhouse gas emissions (SRES scenarios). Three levels of tolerance ranges determined the thresholds for which future conditions are considered analogous to 1931-60 (pre-warming) conditions. Results For many parts of Europe, areas with pre-warming analogous climate conditions will be smaller and further away in the future than they arc now. For any location in Europe, areas with pre-warming analogous mean annual temperature conditions will, on average, be reduced between 23.7% (B1 scenario) and 49.7% (A1FI scenario) by 2100 when assuming a medium tolerance range. The mean distance to these areas will, on average, increase between 272 km (B1) and 645 km (A1FI). These changes are more pronounced for temperature than for water availability variables and also for narrow tolerance ranges compared to wide tolerance ranges. Using a combined measure of both temperature and precipitation variables, areas with pre-warming analogous conditions are predicted to be in a more northeasterly direction in the future, but there are considerable regional differences within Europe. Main conclusions The results suggest that, for some parts of Europe, the loss of area with any suitable climatic conditions represents the greatest risk to biodiversity, but in other regions the distances that species may have to move to reach suitable climatic conditions may be a greater problem. Quantifying the distance and direction in analyses of change of climatically suitable areas can add additional information for climate change risk assessments.

KW - temperature

KW - species distributions

KW - range

KW - precipitation

KW - HadCM3

KW - habitat loss

KW - GDD

KW - Europe

KW - climate change

KW - climate space

U2 - 10.1111/j.1466-822X.2006.00245.x

DO - 10.1111/j.1466-822X.2006.00245.x

M3 - Article

VL - 15

SP - 395

EP - 405

JO - Global Ecology and Biogeography

JF - Global Ecology and Biogeography

SN - 1466-8238

IS - 4

ER -