Climate change is toppling our Earth's ecosystems out of balance in multiple ways, with often dramatic consequences. Many plants and animals are already impacted. But surprisingly, it is only poorly understood which are the specific threats, and how the actual consequences will look like.
A study just published in the scientific journal Nature Communications presents worrying results on animals’ adaptation to climate change. It concludes that while species are changing some aspects of their lives in response to global warming, they are not doing so quickly enough and do not always make the right changes.
Need for re-evaluation of water, forest and agriculture management strategies in Catalan strategy for climate change adaptation24 de April 2018Albert Naya i Díaz
The final conclusions of the LIFE MEDACC project, conducted by the Catalan Office for Climate Change (OCCC) of the Ministry of Territory and Sustainability, CREAF, IPE-CSIC and IRTA, draw attention to the need to adapt forest, agriculture and water management strategies to the new arid conditions expected as a result of climate change. Since 1973, the water flow at the headwaters of the Muga and Ter rivers has dropped by almost half, and the volume of the middle and lower sections of the Segre has decreased by as much as 60%.
An extensive review of studies and databases reveals that drought and an increase in temperature are already causing species substitutions, greater aridity, higher forest fire risk, lower soil fertility, and lower water availability, among other negative impacts.
A large brain increases the capacity to adjust behavior to new circumstances through learning, improving resource-gathering in a changing environment. Greater understanding of this capacity can improve predictions of what species of birds and other animals will be most vulnerable to global change.
Ending perceptions of women and other disadvantaged groups simply as victims and instead empowering them as decision-makers in natural resource management are basic steps to deal with ecological crises more effectively. A new collection of studies addresses global environmental change from a feminist and interdisciplinary perspective.
An analysis of 1018 bird species led by CREAF and CSIC scientists suggests that innovation is not just an adaptation on it own, but emerges with the combination of certain adaptations which developed for dealing with changes in the environment, including having a large brain and being curious. Primates, cetaceans, parrots, and crows innovate because they have long lifespans and are adapted to living in changing environments.
The BeWater project launched its first series of meetings on 28 May in La Tordera, Catalonia, Spain. CREAF, the local case study leader, together with consortium partners, met key local stakeholders in order to introduce the project, hear local perspectives on the state of the river basin and discuss potential global change impacts.
More than 30 participants from around Europe gathered in Barcelona, Spain, for the first meeting of a new European project which will involve the active participation of society in water adaptation to global change.
The LIFE MEDACC project (LIFE12 ENV/ES/000536 Demonstration and validation of innovative methodology for regional climate change adaptation in the Mediterranean area) is an excellent opportunity both to make the European Commission aware of Catalonia’s advances in tackling the effects of climate change laid out in the Catalan Strategy for Adapting to Climate Change (ESCACC), and to inform research institutions and technology centres of the knowledge generated.