Browsing by Subject "Climate change"

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  • Halonen, Jaana I.; Erhola, Marina; Furman, Eeva; Haahtela, Tari; Jousilahti, Pekka; Barouki, Robert; Bergman, Åke; Billo, Nils E.; Fuller, Richard; Haines, Andrew; Kogevinas, Manolis; Kolossa-Gehring, Marike; Krauze, Kinga; Lanki, Timo; Vicente, Joana Lobo; Messerli, Peter; Nieuwenhuijsen, Mark; Paloniemi, Riikka; Peters, Annette; Posch, Karl-Heinz; Timonen, Pekka; Vermeulen, Roel; Virtanen, Suvi M.; Bousquet, Jean; Antó, Josep M. (2021)
    In 2015, the Rockefeller Foundation-Lancet Commission launched a report introducing a novel approach called Planetary Health and proposed a concept, a strategy and a course of action. To discuss the concept of Planetary Health in the context of Europe, a conference entitled: “Europe That Protects: Safeguarding Our Planet, Safeguarding Our Health” was held in Helsinki in December 2019. The conference participants concluded with a need for action to support Planetary Health during the 2020s. The Helsinki Declaration emphasizes the urgency to act as scientific evidence shows that human activities are causing climate change, biodiversity loss, land degradation, overuse of natural resources and pollution. They threaten the health and safety of human kind. Global, regional, national, local and individual initiatives are called for and multidisciplinary and multisectorial actions and measures are needed. A framework for an action plan is suggested that can be modified for local needs. Accordingly, a shift from fragmented approaches to policy and practice towards systematic actions will promote human health and health of the planet. Systems thinking will feed into conserving nature and biodiversity, and into halting climate change. The Planetary Health paradigm ‒ the health of human civilization and the state of natural systems on which it depends ‒ must become the driver for all policies.
  • Pearce-Higgins, J. W.; Antão, L. H.; Bates, R. E.; Bowgen, K. M.; Bradshaw, C. D.; Duffield, S. J.; Ffoulkes, C.; Franco, A. M.A.; Geschke, J.; Gregory, R. D.; Harley, M. J.; Hodgson, J. A.; Jenkins, R. L.M.; Kapos, V.; Maltby, K. M.; Watts, O.; Willis, S. G.; Morecroft, M. D. (2022)
    Impacts of climate change on natural and human systems will become increasingly severe as the magnitude of climate change increases. Climate change adaptation interventions to address current and projected impacts are thus paramount. Yet, evidence on their effectiveness remains limited, highlighting the need for appropriate ecological indicators to measure progress of climate change adaptation for the natural environment. We outline conceptual, analytical, and practical challenges in developing such indicators, before proposing a framework with three process-based and two results-based indicator types to track progress in adapting to climate change. We emphasize the importance of dynamic assessment and modification over time, as new adaptation targets are set and/or as intervention actions are monitored and evaluated. Our framework and proposed indicators are flexible and widely applicable across species, habitats, and monitoring programmes, and could be accommodated within existing national or international frameworks to enable the evaluation of both large-scale policy instruments and local management interventions. We conclude by suggesting further work required to develop these indicators fully, and hope this will stimulate the use of ecological indicators to evaluate the effectiveness of policy interventions for the adaptation of the natural environment across the globe.
  • Lehtonen, Anna; Salonen, Arto; Cantell, Hannele; Riuttanen, Laura (2018)
    Climate change is a wicked problem of our time. It is a phenomenon that is difficult to combat with prevailing ways of thinking and behaving related to a modern understanding of humanity and education. In this article, the challenges of sustainability education are explored from the theoretical perspective of modern dichotomies. The article argues that to combat wicked problems of sustainability, awareness of interconnectedness is vital. In order to increase the understanding of what kind of dismantling of thinking in dichotomies and why the awareness of interconnectedness and pedagogical approaches are crucial in promoting sustainability, the literature of environmental philosophy, sociology and education are brought together with the literature of sustainability sciences and sustainability education. The principles of pedagogy of interconnectedness define the critical awareness of interconnectedness vital for sustainability education dealing with the wicked sustainability issues such as climate change. The pedagogy of interconnectedness underlines the essentiality of understanding of the world and humans as relational: recognizing the interdependence of society and nature, the local and global, and seeing the common reality as socially constructed and humanness and learning in a holistic way. A case of university pedagogy, the Climate.now online course material is presented and analysed as an example of interconnecting climate change education, how to implement the principle of pedagogy of interconnectedness in practice.
  • Villa, Ana; Eckersten, H.; Gaiser, Thomas; Ahrends, Hella Ellen; Lewan, E. (2022)
    Predicting areas of severe biomass loss and increased N leaching risk under climate change is critical for applying appropriate adaptation measures to support more sustainable agricultural systems. The frequency of annual severe biomass loss for winter wheat and its coincidence with an increase in N leaching in a temperate region in Germany was estimated including the error from using soil and climate input data at coarser spatial scales, using the soil-crop model CoupModel. We ran the model for a reference period (1980–2010) and used climate data predicted by four climate model(s) for the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) 2.6, 4.5 and 8.5. The annual median biomass estimations showed that for the period 2070–2100, under the RCP8.5 scenario, the entire region would suffer from severe biomass loss almost every year. Annual incidence of severe biomass loss and increased N leaching was predicted to increase from RCP4.5 to the 8.5 scenario. During 2070–2100 for RCP8.5, in more than half of the years an area of 95% of the region was projected to suffer from both severe biomass loss and increased N leaching. The SPEI3 predicted a range of 32 (P3 RCP4.5) to 55% (P3 RCP8.5) of the severe biomass loss episodes simulated in the climate change scenarios. The simulations predicted more severe biomass losses than by the SPEI index which indicates that soil water deficits are important in determining crop losses in future climate scenarios. There was a risk of overestimating the area where “no severe biomass loss + increased N leaching” occurred when using coarser aggregated input data. In contrast, underestimation of situations where “severe biomass loss + increased N leaching” occurred when using coarser aggregated input data. Larger annual differences in biomass estimations compared to the finest resolution of input data occurred when aggregating climate input data rather than soil data. The differences were even larger when aggregating both soil and climate input data. In half of the region, biomass could be erroneously estimated in a single year by more than 40% if using soil and climate coarser input data. The results suggest that a higher spatial resolution of especially climate input data would be needed to predict reliably annual estimates of severe biomass loss and N leaching under climate change scenarios.
  • Huttunen, Inese; Hyytiäinen, Kari; Huttunen, Markus; Sihvonen, Matti; Veijalainen, Noora; Korppoo, Marie; Heiskanen, Anna-Stiina (2021)
    This paper introduces a framework for extending global climate and socioeconomic scenarios in order to study agricultural nutrient pollution on an individual catchment scale. Our framework builds on and extends Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) and Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs) at the spatial and temporal scales that are relevant for the drivers of animal husbandry, manure recycling and the application of inorganic fertilisers in crop production. Our case study area is the Aura river catchment in South-West Finland, which discharges into the heavily eutrophic Baltic Sea. The Aura river catchment has intensive agriculture - both livestock and crop production. Locally adjusted and interpreted climate and socioeconomic scenarios were used as inputs to a field-level economic optimisation in order to study how farmers might react to the changing markets and climate conditions under different SSPs. The results on economically optimal fertilisation levels were then used as inputs to the spatially and temporally explicit nutrient loading model (VEMALA). Alternative manure recycling strategies that matched with SSP narratives were studied as means to reduce the phosphorus (P) overfertilisation in areas with high livestock density. According to our simulations, on average the P loads increased by 18% during 2071-2100 from the current level and the variation in P loads between scenarios was large (from & minus;14% to +50%). By contrast, the nitrogen (N) loads had decreased on average by & minus;9% (with variation from & minus;20% to +3%) by the end of the current century. Phosphorus loading was most sensitive to manure recycling strategies and the speed of climate change. Nitrogen loading was less sensitive to changes in climate and socioeconomic drivers. (c) 2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
  • Korhonen-Kurki, Kaisa; Brockhaus, Maria; Efrian, Muharrom; Juhola, Sirkku; Moira, Moeliono; Cynthia, Maharani; Bimo, Dwisatrio (2017)
    This paper contributes to an emerging body of literature on policy experimentation and governance transformation processes. We use the example of REDD+ as consisting of policy experiments in an emerging domestic policy domain to understand obstacles to transformations in forest and climate governance. We ask two interlinked questions: to what extent did the establishment of the REDD + Agency challenge 'business as usual' in Indonesia's forest and climate policy arena?; and what does this mean for a transformation away from policies and governance that enable deforestation and forest degradation? We draw on the transformation literature to better understand the role of REDD+ to achieve a transformative shift in climate governance. As an experiment of transformative climate governance, the study of REDD + provides important insights for other forest or climate programs. Our analysis shows that the REDD + Agency was successful in some extend in introducing an alternative governance mechanism and in shaking the governance structures but we also note that some of the key actors thought that greater ownership was achieved when the REDD+ Agency was dissolved and the mandate was returned to the ministries. We conclude that policy experimenting is a process, and while the creation of novel policies and their experimentation is important, also their assimilation may lead to new opportunities.
  • Yagodin, Dmitry (2018)
    In July 2016, Russian media reported on an anthrax outbreak on the Yamal peninsula. The extremely hot weather was first to blame, followed by numerous references to global climate change. High temperatures were seen causing permafrost melting and the “awakening” of anthrax bacteria that infected thousands of reindeer. Dozens of children had to be hospitalized, at least one child died. While climate-related explanations in the media lowered liabilities of the local officials, a number of competing versions, including about improper vaccinations and excessive commercialization of reindeer herding, were widely discussed too. Based on the content analysis of local, regional, and national media outlets, this study clarifies the role of mass media in raising public awareness about climate-induced health threats. I use methods of discourse analysis to investigate the ways media had framed potential causes of the emergency, as well as the immediate solutions and future preventive measures. My research looks at these aspects from a standpoint of communication policy networks wherein a guiding theoretical question is how local public issues transform into media and policy agenda, potentially also rearticulating the problem of climate change. Previous research has shown quite convincingly that environmental journalism and especially the theme of climate change are at a rather low level in the professional and news hierarchy of Russian media. This is particularly visible in the results of international comparisons.
  • Holt, R. E.; Woods, P. J.; Ferreira, A. S. A.; Bardarson, H.; Bonanomi, S.; Boonstra, W. J.; Butler, W. E.; Diekert, F. K.; Fouzai, N.; Holma, M.; Kokkalis, A.; Kvile, K. O.; MacDonald, J. I.; Malanski, E.; Nieminen, E.; Ottosen, K. M.; Pedersen, M. W.; Richter, A.; Rogers, L.; Romagnoni, G.; Snickars, M.; Tornroos, A.; Weigel, B.; Whittington, J. D.; Yletyinen, J. (2017)
    As the world's social-environmental problems increasingly extend across boundaries, both disciplinary and political, there is a growing need for interdisciplinarity, not only in research per se, but also in doctoral education. We present the common pitfalls of interdisciplinary research in doctoral education, illustrating approaches towards solutions using the Nordic Centre for Research on Marine Ecosystems and Resources under Climate Change (NorMER) research network as a case study. We provide insights and detailed examples of how to overcome some of the challenges of conducting interdisciplinary research within doctoral studies that can be applied within any doctoral/postdoctoral education programme, and beyond. Results from a self-evaluation survey indicate that early-career workshops, annual meetings and research visits to other institutions were the most effective learning mechanisms, whereas single discipline-focused courses and coursework were among the least effective learning mechanisms. By identifying the strengths and weaknesses of components of NorMER, this case study can inform the design of future programmes to enhance interdisciplinarity in doctoral education, as well as be applied to science collaboration and academic research in general.
  • Kyttä, Venla Vilhelmiina; Helenius, Juha; Tuomisto, Hanna (2021)
    The globally growing demand to produce more food with fewer inputs, less energy, and lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions challenges current agricultural practices. Recycled fertilizers made of various side streams and types of biomass have been developed mainly to improve nutrient recycling in food systems. However, the knowledge of the impacts of different recycled fertilizers on GHG emissions and energy use is lacking. There is also a need for developing environmental assessment methods for quantifying the impacts of recycling processes, particularly in terms of choosing reasonable methods for co-product allocation. The aims of this study were to address the above mentioned research gaps by i) assessing energy use and GHG emissions of various recycled fertilizers, ii) comparing the recycled fertilizers with mineral fertilizers, and iii) comparing the impacts of using different co-product allocation methods for the recycled fertilizers. Attributional Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was used for estimating energy use and GHG emissions of recycled fertilizers, including ammonium sulfate, biogas digestate, and meat and bone meal, using kg of nitrogen in the fertilizers as a functional unit. In addition, the energy use and GHG emissions of oat production when using the recycled and mineral fertilizers were quantified. The data were obtained from field experiments, LCA databases, published literature, and fertilizer companies. The life-cycle energy consumption and GHG emissions of recycled fertilizers were found to be lower than that of mineral fertilizer, but also differences between recycled fertilizer products were notable. The biggest differences between fertilizers occurred in manufacturing and transportation. However, this conclusion is highly sensitive to several decisions, such as data sources and LCA methods used. Handling the raw materials of recycled fertilizers as by-products instead of residues adds burdens from primary production to fertilizers. Also handling the materials as waste increases the impacts due to burdens from the recycling process. Since the raw materials of fertilizers have only little economic value, applying economic allocation results to significantly lower impacts than mass allocation. Consequential LCA studies would be needed to improve the understanding of the wider impacts of recycled fertilizers, e.g. considering the benefits of avoided waste management processes. (C) 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Schafstall, Nick; Whitehouse, Nicki; Kuosmanen, Niina; Svobodova-Svitavska, Helena; Saulnier, Melanie; Chiverrell, Richard C.; Fleischer, Peter; Kunes, Petr; Clear, Jennifer L. (2020)
    Montane biomes are niche environments high in biodiversity with a variety of habitats. Often isolated, these non-continuous remnant ecosystems inhabit narrow ecological zones putting them under threat from changing climatic conditions and anthropogenic pressure. Twelve sediment cores were retrieved from a peat bog in Tatra National Park, Slovakia, and correlated to each other by wiggle-matching geochemical signals derived from micro-XRF scanning, to make a reconstruction of past conditions. A fossil beetle (Coleoptera) record, covering the last 1000 years at 50- to 100-year resolution, gives a new insight into changing flora and fauna in this region. Our findings reveal a diverse beetle community with varied ecological groups inhabiting a range of forest, meadow and synanthropic habitats. Changes in the beetle community were related to changes in the landscape, driven by anthropogenic activities. The first clear evidence for human activity in the area occurs c. 1250 CE and coincides with the arrival of beetle species living on the dung of domesticated animals (e.g. Aphodius spp.). From 1500 CE, human (re)settlement, and activities such as pasturing and charcoal burning, appear to have had a pronounced effect on the beetle community. Local beetle diversity declined steadily towards the present day, likely due to an infilling of the forest hollow leading to a decrease in moisture level. We conclude that beetle communities are directly affected by anthropogenic intensity and land-use change. When aiming to preserve or restore natural forest conditions, recording their past changes in diversity can help guide conservation and restoration. In doing so, it is important to look back beyond the time of significant human impact, and for this, information contained in paleoecological records is irreplaceable.
  • Macêdo, Rafael Lacerda; Sampaio Franco, Ana Clara; Russo, Philip; Collart, Tim; Mammola, Stefano; Jeppesen, Erik; Castelo Branco, Christina Wyss; dos Santos, Luciano Neves; Rocha, Odete (2021)
    Global inland water biodiversity is under mounting stress facing future scenarios of climate change, biological invasions, pollution, diversion, damming of rivers, and increase of water abstractions. Apart from having isolated effects, all these stressors threats act synergistically and thus pose additional emerging threats to biodiversity and ecosystem services. Native to Northern Europe, the nuisance and potential toxic dinoflagellate Ceratium furcoides (Levander) Langhans 1925 is a silent invader that blooms in freshwater systems; it has one of the most rapid spread rates globally. We propose a framework to determine the worldwide most vulnerable areas for the invasion by C. furcoides shortly (2041-2060) by combining future scenarios of climate change (a proxy for invasiveness) derived from ecological niche models with future dam construction data (a proxy for invasibility). The nine models applied in four future scenarios of greenhouse gas emission from Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 showed a general increase in areas suitable for the invasion success of C. furcoides. High susceptibility overlapped with areas densely occupied by large and medium-size dams and future dam construction projects. Considering that C. furcoides can reproduce from a single cell, produces resistant stages, and has several strategies to cope with local environmental constraints, early detection protocols, and mitigation actions are urgently needed to avoid biodiversity declines related to this invader.
  • Ahonen, Salla; Hayden, Brian; Leppänen, Jaakko Johannes; Kahilainen, Kimmo Kalevi (2018)
    Climate change is resulting in increased temperatures and precipitation in subarctic regions of Europe. These changes are extending tree lines to higher altitudes and latitudes, and enhancing tree growth enabling intensification of forestry into previously inhospitable subarctic regions. The combined effects of climate change and land-use intensification extend the warm, open-water season in subarctic lakes and increase lake productivity and may also increase leaching andmethylation activity of mercury within the lakes. To assess the joint effects of climate and productivity on total mercury (THg) bioaccumulation in fish, we conducted a space-for-time substitution study in 18 tributary lakes of a subarcticwatercourse forming a gradient fromcold pristine oligotrophic lakes in the northern headwaters to warmer and increasingly human-altered mesotrophic and eutrophic systems in the southern lower reaches. Increasing temperature, precipitation, and lake productivity were predicted to elevate length-and age-adjusted THg concentrations, as well as THg bioaccumulation rate (the rate of THg bioaccumulation relative to length or age) in muscle tissue of European whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus), vendace (Coregonus albula), perch (Perca fluviatilis), pike (Esox lucius), roach (Rutilus rutilus) and ruffe (Gymnocephalus cernua). A significant positive relationship was observed between age-adjusted THg concentration and lake climateproductivity in vendace (r(2) = 0.50), perch (r(2) = 0.51), pike (r(2) = 0.55) and roach (r(2) = 0.61). Higher climate-productivity values of the lakes also had a positive linear (pike; r(2) = 0.40 and whitefish; r(2)= 0.72) or u-shaped (perch; r(2) = 0.64 and ruffe; r(2) = 0.50) relationship with THg bioaccumulation rate. Our findings of increased adjusted THg concentrations in planktivores and piscivores reveal adverse effects of warming climate and increasing productivity on these subarctic fishes, whereas less distinct trends in THg bioaccumulation rate suggest more complex underlying processes. Joint environmental stressors such as climate and productivity should be considered in ongoing and future monitoring of mercury concentrations. (C) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Steiner, Nadja S.; Bowman, Jeff; Campbell, Karley; Chierici, Melissa; Eronen-Rasimus, Eeva; Falardeau, Marianne; Flores, Hauke; Fransson, Agneta; Herr, Helena; Insley, Stephen J.; Kauko, Hanna M.; Lannuzel, Delphine; Loseto, Lisa; Lynnes, Amanda; Majewski, Andy; Meiners, Klaus M.; Miller, Lisa A.; Michel, Loïc N.; Moreau, Sebastien; Nacke, Melissa; Nomura, Daiki; Tedesco, Letizia; van Franeker, Jan Andries; van Leeuwe, Maria A.; Wongpan, Pat (2021)
    A rigorous synthesis of the sea-ice ecosystem and linked ecosystem services highlights that the sea-ice ecosystem supports all 4 ecosystem service categories, that sea-ice ecosystems meet the criteria for ecologically or biologically significant marine areas, that global emissions driving climate change are directly linked to the demise of sea-ice ecosystems and its ecosystem services, and that the sea-ice ecosystem deserves specific attention in the evaluation of marine protected area planning. The synthesis outlines (1) supporting services, provided in form of habitat, including feeding grounds and nurseries for microbes, meiofauna, fish, birds and mammals (particularly the key species Arctic cod, Boreogadus saida, and Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba, which are tightly linked to the sea-ice ecosystem and transfer carbon from sea-ice primary producers to higher trophic level fish, mammal species and humans); (2) provisioning services through harvesting and medicinal and genetic resources; (3) cultural services through Indigenous and local knowledge systems, cultural identity and spirituality, and via cultural activities, tourism and research; (4) (climate) regulating services through light regulation, the production of biogenic aerosols, halogen oxidation and the release or uptake of greenhouse gases, for example, carbon dioxide. The ongoing changes in the polar regions have strong impacts on sea-ice ecosystems and associated ecosystem services. While the response of sea-ice–associated primary production to environmental change is regionally variable, the effect on ice-associated mammals and birds is predominantly negative, subsequently impacting human harvesting and cultural services in both polar regions. Conservation can help protect some species and functions. However, the key mitigation measure that can slow the transition to a strictly seasonal ice cover in the Arctic Ocean, reduce the overall loss of sea-ice habitats from the ocean, and thus preserve the unique ecosystem services provided by sea ice and their contributions to human well-being is a reduction in carbon emissions.
  • Ylä-Anttila, Tuomas; Gronow, Antti; Stoddart, Mark C.J.; Broadbent, Jeffrey; Schneider, Volker; Tindall, David B. (2018)
    Why do some countries enact more ambitious climate change policies than others? Macro level economic and political structures, such as the economic weight of fossil fuel industries, play an important role in shaping these policies. So do the national science community and the national culture of science. But the process by which such macro-structural factors translate into political power and national climate change policies can be analyzed through focussing on meso level policy networks. The Comparing Climate Change Policy Networks (COMPON) research project has studied climate change policy networks in twenty countries since 2007. Along with some findings, this paper presents some methodological challenges faced and the solutions developed in the course of the project. After a presentation of the project, we first outline some practical challenges related to conducting cross-national network surveys and solutions to overcome them, and present the solutions adopted during the project. We then turn to challenges related to causal explanation of the national policy differences, and propose Qualitative Comparative Analysis as one solution for combining different levels of analysis (macro and meso) and different data types (quantitative, network and qualitative).
  • Heikkinen, Anna Marjaana (2021)
    The intensifying impacts of climate change pose a serious global threat, particularly for rural populations whose livelihoods are closely tied to natural resources. Yet there is a lack of critical understanding of how asymmetric power dynamics shape the vulnerabilities of such populations under climate change. This article examines the interrelations between smallholders’ climate-related vulnerability experiences and power relations across multiple scales of climate adaptation in the Peruvian Andes, a region susceptible to increasing climatic threats. The analysis draws on a case study conducted in the Mantaro River Valley in Central Peru using qualitative methods: open-ended interviews, participant observation, and document analysis. Findings of the study show that in the context of climate change, the production of vulnerabilities has much to do with larger socio-political structures in which protection of the highland farmers is not prioritized. The impact of the uneven scalar power dynamics in climate adaptation and other overlapping fields of policy have created uneven terms of adaptation among smallholders. This has created marginalization, conflicts, and deepened smallholders’ vulnerabilities under climate change. I argue that to reach a better understanding of the multidimensionality of vulnerabilities, more detailed attention must be paid to place-based climate experiences within context-specific, socio-political processes, and to the ways these are shaped by unequal power relations across multiple scales.
  • Tynkkynen, Veli-Pekka; Tynkkynen, Nina (2018)
    In this paper we examine the recent public discourse on climate change in Russia, with a special focus on the arguments denying the anthropogenic climate change. We scrutinize the ways in which denial arguments presented in the public media are tied to the changing Russian political and economic context, especially the steeper authoritarian turn in governance during President Putin’s third term, or Putin 2.0, and discuss the implications that the context might have for Russia’s future climate policies. We conclude that discourse construction process emphasizes Russia’s sovereignty and fossil energy as the basis of Russia’s Great Power status, thus referring to strong categories such as national identity and spatial–material characteristics of the state.
  • Picazo, Félix; Vilmi, Annika; Aalto, Juha; Soininen, Janne; Casamayor, Emilio O; Liu, Yongqin; Wu, Qinglong; Ren, Lijuan; Zhou, Jizhong; Shen, Ji; Wang, Jianjun (BioMed Central, 2020)
    Abstract Background Understanding the large-scale patterns of microbial functional diversity is essential for anticipating climate change impacts on ecosystems worldwide. However, studies of functional biogeography remain scarce for microorganisms, especially in freshwater ecosystems. Here we study 15,289 functional genes of stream biofilm microbes along three elevational gradients in Norway, Spain and China. Results We find that alpha diversity declines towards high elevations and assemblage composition shows increasing turnover with greater elevational distances. These elevational patterns are highly consistent across mountains, kingdoms and functional categories and exhibit the strongest trends in China due to its largest environmental gradients. Across mountains, functional gene assemblages differ in alpha diversity and composition between the mountains in Europe and Asia. Climate, such as mean temperature of the warmest quarter or mean precipitation of the coldest quarter, is the best predictor of alpha diversity and assemblage composition at both mountain and continental scales, with local non-climatic predictors gaining more importance at mountain scale. Under future climate, we project substantial variations in alpha diversity and assemblage composition across the Eurasian river network, primarily occurring in northern and central regions, respectively. Conclusions We conclude that climate controls microbial functional gene diversity in streams at large spatial scales; therefore, the underlying ecosystem processes are highly sensitive to climate variations, especially at high latitudes. This biogeographical framework for microbial functional diversity serves as a baseline to anticipate ecosystem responses and biogeochemical feedback to ongoing climate change. Video Abstract
  • Picazo, Felix; Vilmi, Annika; Aalto, Juha; Soininen, Janne; Casamayor, Emilio O.; Liu, Yongqin; Wu, Qinglong; Ren, Lijuan; Zhou, Jizhong; Shen, Ji; Wang, Jianjun (2020)
    Background Understanding the large-scale patterns of microbial functional diversity is essential for anticipating climate change impacts on ecosystems worldwide. However, studies of functional biogeography remain scarce for microorganisms, especially in freshwater ecosystems. Here we study 15,289 functional genes of stream biofilm microbes along three elevational gradients in Norway, Spain and China. Results We find that alpha diversity declines towards high elevations and assemblage composition shows increasing turnover with greater elevational distances. These elevational patterns are highly consistent across mountains, kingdoms and functional categories and exhibit the strongest trends in China due to its largest environmental gradients. Across mountains, functional gene assemblages differ in alpha diversity and composition between the mountains in Europe and Asia. Climate, such as mean temperature of the warmest quarter or mean precipitation of the coldest quarter, is the best predictor of alpha diversity and assemblage composition at both mountain and continental scales, with local non-climatic predictors gaining more importance at mountain scale. Under future climate, we project substantial variations in alpha diversity and assemblage composition across the Eurasian river network, primarily occurring in northern and central regions, respectively. Conclusions We conclude that climate controls microbial functional gene diversity in streams at large spatial scales; therefore, the underlying ecosystem processes are highly sensitive to climate variations, especially at high latitudes. This biogeographical framework for microbial functional diversity serves as a baseline to anticipate ecosystem responses and biogeochemical feedback to ongoing climate change.
  • Klein, Johannes; Käyhkö, Janina; Räsänen, Aleksi; Groundstroem, Fanny; Eilu, Pasi (2022)
    Climate change can affect the mining sector in various ways. Physical impacts can be a threat to mines and personnel, transport infrastructure and supply chains, while the low-carbon transition may entail transition risks stemming from e.g., the need to respond to mitigation and adaptation policies, as well as opportunities in the form of increased metal and mineral demand. However, there is little knowledge of how mining companies perceive, manage, and respond to risks related to climate change. To address this knowledge gap, we examined annual and sustainability reports from 2019 for active metal mines in Finland, Sweden, and Norway. Through a structuring qualitative content analysis, we analysed the mining companies’ self-reported experience of and expectations for climate change impacts and risks, as well as adaptation and management activities taken or planned. Our findings indicate that physical impacts of climate change are not perceived as a major risk. In contrast, mitigation activities and reactions to climate policies play an important role, at least for some of the companies. Hence, the mining sector would benefit from more stringent risk reporting regulations and distinctive guidelines, as well as more research on the direct and indirect climate change impacts.
  • Eyres, Alison; Eronen, Jussi T.; Hagen, Oskar; Boehning-Gaese, Katrin; Fritz, Susanne A. (2021)
    Climatic niches describe the climatic conditions in which species can persist. Shifts in climatic niches have been observed to coincide with major climatic change, suggesting that species adapt to new conditions. We test the relationship between rates of climatic niche evolution and paleoclimatic conditions through time for 65 Old-World flycatcher species (Aves: Muscicapidae). We combine niche quantification for all species with dated phylogenies to infer past changes in the rates of niche evolution for temperature and precipitation niches. Paleoclimatic conditions were inferred independently using two datasets: a paleoelevation reconstruction and the mammal fossil record. We find changes in climatic niches through time, but no or weak support for a relationship between niche evolution rates and rates of paleoclimatic change for both temperature and precipitation niche and for both reconstruction methods. In contrast, the inferred relationship between climatic conditions and niche evolution rates depends on paleoclimatic reconstruction method: rates of temperature niche evolution are significantly negatively related to absolute temperatures inferred using the paleoelevation model but not those reconstructed from the fossil record. We suggest that paleoclimatic change might be a weak driver of climatic niche evolution in birds and highlight the need for greater integration of different paleoclimate reconstructions.