Giving Compass' Take:
- This article discusses the language usage of current ecosystem research and climate change studies and questions their overstatement.
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One of the key concerns about climate change is ecosystem resilience. This is particularly true for those that are anchored over large locations with little ability to move. Ecological communities in the Chesapeake Bay come to mind.
According to the U.S. National Climate Assessment report published in 2014 (Melillo et al., 2014), there is “very high confidence that coastal ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to climate change because they have already been dramatically altered by human stresses, as documented in extensive and conclusive evidence” (Moser et al., 2014). Additionally, the report claims there is “very high confidence that climate change will result in further reduction or loss of the services that these ecosystems provide, as there is extensive and conclusive evidence related to this vulnerability” (Moser et al., 2014).
That Assessment has been criticized as being far too alarmist, too political, and very incomplete with regard to its summarization of important scientific literature.
Perhaps more important, this undermine the “very high confidence” the U.S. National Climate Assessment assigns to predictions of future coastal ecosystem demise in response to CO2-induced global warming and ocean acidification. The reality is that estimates of such vulnerability are largely overstated.