Research press release


Nature Climate Change

Ecological vulnerability mapping



今回、James Watsonたちは、世界の生態地域の気候変動に対する脆弱性を推定するために、無傷の自然植生の割合を(適応能力の尺度として)明らかにして、これまでの分析結果を充実させた。つまり、生態地域間で適応能力と気候安定性(曝露)の関係が大きく異なっていることが判明し、気候変動に対する脆弱性のホットスポットが、気候のみ焦点を置いた評価結果とは異なることが浮き彫りになったのだ。また、Watsonたちは、今回の脆弱性評価が、保全計画の立案にとって重要な意味をもつ点を強調し、空間的に明確な保全管理の指針をもたらしている。

Southeastern Asia, western and central Europe and eastern South America are among the regions most vulnerable to climate change, according to a new analysis published this week in the journal Nature Climate Change. Risk maps of climate impacts such as this are potentially useful for targeting conservation efforts.

Most risk mapping exercises focus on the identification of those areas that are expected to experience the greatest changes in climate. However this is only part of the vulnerability ‘equation’, with regional ecological sensitivity and capacity to adapt also shaping vulnerability to climate change.

James Watson and colleagues expand on previous analyses by identifying the proportion of intact natural vegetation (as a measure of adaptive capacity) to provide global estimates of ecoregional vulnerability to climate change. They found that the relationship between adaptive capacity and climate stability (exposure) varies widely across ecoregions, and highlight different hotspots of climate change vulnerability to those assessments that focus only on climate. The authors also emphasize the potential implications of this vulnerability assessment for conservation planning, and offer a spatially explicit guide to conservation management.

doi: 10.1038/nclimate2007


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