I have yet to devour the entire IPCC report and comment thoroughly, although I do have the document on my to-read list. I just want to note that it was encouraging to see today’s Guardian highlight the impacts of climate change on wildlife in this story. Examples include range shifts in polar species such as snow leopards, polar bears and a bird species (less known to me) called the dotterel. Changes in the latitudinal ranges of other bird and insect species have also been studied and in most cases, species that are acclimatized to colder temperatures have been forced to move further northwards to account for higher temperatures.
More alarming are the changes in phenology which have been measured in earlier occurrence or “spring advancement” of flowering and migration in plant species and birds. Amphibian reproduction is occurring earlier and small mammals are emerging out of hibernation earlier.
The extent of change covers terrestrial and aquatic species from trees and mammals to aquatic organisms such as marine turtles and crabs. When we link these ecosystem wide changes together, the impacts of climate related changes appear severe. Ecologists and organismal biologists have the capacity to measure species-level responses to climate pressure but only organized efforts on the human-scale can impact effective management and mitigation steps to contain future change.