Webinar - Through a glass darkly: evaluating the effects of future climate change on wildlife
WhenStart: February 4, 2016 @ 10AM PT
End: February 4, 2016 @ 11AM PT
Historically, determining the fate of wildlife populations was largely a function of intensive autecological studies to establish vital rates, food habits, and habitat correlates. These understandings were assumed temporally static and thus projectable in a straightforward way. With anticipated directional climate change, this approach has become increasingly untenable. However, attempts to project dynamic and changing conditions and their effects on wildlife are subject to vast uncertainties. We illustrate this both generally and using as an example Canada lynx, one of the better studied species with obvious adaptations to cold climates. Though these uncertainties are large and daunting, we argue against methods that mask them for 3 reasons. First, a great deal of useful information is obtained by examining the full range of future projections. Secondly, simplified projections based on a single or consensus model are likely to lead to excessive consideration of low likelihood future landscapes at the expense of alternative futures. Lastly, formal evaluation of uncertainties facilitates the collection of appropriate information to improve future projections.
Dominique Bachelet, Ph.D.
Senior Climate Change Scientist, Team Lead- Global Change