Sackler Forum Nov 2018

Sackler Forum Nov 2018

Climate Change and Ecosystems

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A recording of the lecture will be available shortly.

Since 2008, the Raymond and Beverly Sackler USA-UK Scientific Forums have brought together scientific leaders from the United States and United Kingdom to discuss topics of worldwide scientific concern. The 2018 Sackler Forum, entitled Climate Change and Ecosystems, took place November 8-9 at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC and a recording will be available to view online.

Climate change is increasingly threatening the viability and resilience of natural ecosystems and human societies. While there is a growing understanding of the impacts of climate change on ecosystems, much less is known about how ecosystems can best be managed to enhance their resilience to climate change, and how ecosystem management can be a strategy for more general adaptation to change. Ecosystem management and restoration has the potential to contribute “nature-based solutions” to both the causes and consequences of climate change. However, the effectiveness, scalability, and magnitude of different strategies need to be explored and evaluated.

This Sackler Forum examined the latest science on how climate change can affect terrestrial, aquatic, and marine ecosystems (often in interaction with other factors), in particular addressing current research frontiers such as effects of changes in climate variability and extremes; interactions among multiple stressors; thresholds and the potential for abrupt change; and multi-trophic interactions. The Forum also considered scientific understanding of opportunities to assist and manage ecosystems to enhance both their resilience and societal resilience to climate change. The meeting explored science and policy dimensions to this challenge, drawing on examples across a range of terrestrial, aquatic and marine ecosystems. A key output was identification of priority avenues for scientific research and policy advice and implementation.

Each Forum is organized by a committee of distinguished researchers in the field. This year’s committee:

  • Janet Franklin NAS, University of California at Riverside (co-chair)
  • Yadvinder Malhi FRS, University of Oxford (co-chair)
  • Chris Field NAS, Stanford University
  • Nancy Knowlton NAS, Smithsonian Institution
  • Nathalie Seddon, University of Oxford
  • Martin Solan, University of Southampton
  • Monica Turner NAS, University of Wisconsin-Madison

The objectives of the Forum included to:

  • Bring together US and UK scientists in the fields of climate change, ecosystem ecology, land use and biodiversity to:

    • Build new opportunities for international collaboration
    • Highlight and discuss the latest research findings related to both the impact of climate change on ecosystems and
       how ecosystems may offer solutions for climate adaptation and mitigation
    • Identify research gaps and future research priorities relating to climate change and ecosystems
    • Discuss how research in this field may provide solutions to international policy challenges

  • Produce a summary of the meeting which highlights the latest science and outlines future research and policy priorities

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