In Print and Online

Category: Climate and climate change


Title: Effects of climate change on species distribution, community structure, and conservation of birds in protected areas in Colombia

Authors: Jorge Velásquez-Tibatá, Catherine H. Graham, Paul Salaman

Organization: Department of Ecology and Evolution, Stony Brook University

Date: July 7, 2012

Languages: English

Number of pages: 14

Summary: Researchers from Stony Brook University and World Land Trust-US published this article about the effects of climate change on threatened and range-restricted birds in Colombia in the scholarly journal Regional Environmental Change. They determine that climate change will cause shifts in species distributions worldwide, threatening their viability due to range reductions and altering their representation in protected areas. Particularly at risk are species endemic to isolated mountainous regions such as the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. The authors recommend increased monitoring of at-risk species, conducting field studies to improve distribution models, including climate change as a factor in IUCN assessments of species extinction risk, expanding protected areas, and establishing new protected areas.


Title: Efectos del cambio climático en la costa de América Latina y el Caribe: Dinámicas, tendencias y variabilidad climática

Organization: United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)

Date: December 2011

Languages: Spanish

Number of pages: 265

Summary: This report aims to determine the status of Latin America and the Caribbean region with respect to climate change. ECLAC examined approximately 44,851 miles (72,182 kilometers) of coastal areas in North America, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. The report presents a map with current physical conditions and changes detected in coastal variables such as average sea level, sea surface temperature, salinity, wave action, tides, air temperature anomalies, wind, and hurricanes. The description of these conditions is the first step in a study of how these different variables have changed and what effects future climate variation could have on coasts. An analysis of potential changes in the different variables and the patterns of inter-annual climate variability is also included.


Title: Integrated Assessment of Black Carbon and Tropospheric Ozone

Organization: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); World Meteorological Organization

Date: February 2011

Languages: English

Number of pages: 36

Summary: This report, presented during the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany in June 2011, is a summary for decision makers of the Integrated Assessment of Black Carbon and Tropospheric Ozone conducted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization. The report examines the role of black carbon and tropospheric ozone, including ozone precursors methane and carbon monoxide, in climate change. The authors found that fast action on these pollutants may help limit near-term global temperature rise, reducing the loss of mountain glaciers linked in part with black carbon deposits as well as projected warming in the Arctic over the coming decades by two thirds. Cutting these emissions would also have significant positive implications for public health and food security. Though there are some measures currently underway to mitigate black carbon emissions, much wider and more rapid implementation is required to achieve the full benefits identified in the Assessment. The authors conclude that both near-term and long-term strategies are essential, and that these must complement, but not replace, simultaneous measures to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.


Title: Climate Change Adaptation: The Pivotal Role of Water

Organization: UN-Water

Date: 2010

Languages: English

Number of pages: 18, with color photos

Summary: The members and partners of UN-Water, a mechanism of the United Nations (UN) that promotes coordination of UN actions related to freshwater resources and sanitation, have published this policy paper emphasizing the key role of sustainable management and development of water resources in preparing societies to adapt to climate change. The paper explains how water is related to climate change and recommends several guiding principles for addressing climate change adaptation within a broader development context. The authors conclude that significant investments and policy shifts are necessary for a systematic integration of water management into states' policies addressing climate change in order for countries to avoid jeopardizing progress on poverty reduction targets and sustainable development.


Title: Adaptation to Climate Change Toolkit -- Options for Marine Turtles (Zip File)

Organization: World Wildlife Fund, Regional

Date: September 2009

Languages: English, Spanish

Number of pages: 14 Separate Documents

Summary: Climate change adaptation is crucial for coastal communities, as they will be particularly vulnerable to the effects of a warming planet. "Adaptation to Climate Change Toolkit -- Options for Marine Turtles," a new resource from the World Wildlife Fund, aims to help focus adaptation efforts on coastal areas by using hawksbill turtles as an umbrella species. This informative toolkit features in-depth information about climate change projections in the wider Caribbean; guidelines for monitoring sand and incubation temperatures on sea turtle nesting beaches; a case study on the effects of rising sea levels at an important sea turtle nesting beach in Costa Rica; and recommended adaptation measures for coastal areas -- benefitting both turtles and local communities.


Title: World Development Report 2010: Development and Climate Change

Organization: The World Bank

Date: September 2009

Languages: English - Full Text; Overviews in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic and French

Number of pages: 365

Summary: As climate change continues to impact the Earth, estimates say approximately 75 to 80 percent of the costs of the anticipated damages will be endured by developing countries. Because of this, the World Bank's "World Development Report 2010" focuses on understanding how development policy must evolve to address the complicated challenges presented by climate change. The report is a call to action, detailing how we can create a "climate-smart" world. If we act now, act together, and act differently, the report argues, there is a real opportunity to achieve inclusive, sustainable development that does not compromise our efforts to live in a climate-smart world.


Title: Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States

Organizations: United States Global Change Research Program

Date: June 2009

Language: English

Number of pages: 196

Summary: This comprehensive report on the current and future impacts of climate change in the United States was developed by a team of science and communications experts. Commissioned by the United States government, it is an authoritative study written to better inform all levels of decisions made regarding climate change. The report provides a brief summary of conclusions made from recent global climate change analyses, as well as a discussion of the two major categories of societal responses to climate change: mitigation and adaptation. However, the majority of the report focuses on the observed and projected impacts from climate change. These impacts are broken down by US region, and by various sectors including water resources, energy supply and use, transportation, agriculture, ecosystems, human health, and society.


Title: Seeing REDD in the Amazon: a Win for People, Trees and Climate and Financing REDD: Meshing Markets with Government Funds

Organizations: International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)

Date: 2009

Language: English

Number of pages: 2 and 4, Respectively

Summary: An increasingly popular approach for addressing global climate change focuses on combating deforestation, a practice that is responsible for approximately 17 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. This approach is known as REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation). Although the concept is generally agreed upon, there remains confusion and uncertainty as to how REDD can be effectively implemented. These reports two, both from the International Institute for Environment and Development, provide insight into this complex strategy, including a description of pilot projects in Brazil, an examination of potential financing mechanisms, and a look ahead toward future climate change regulation.


Title: Migratory Species and Climate Change: Impacts of a Changing Environment on Wild Animals

Organizations: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); the Secretariat of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS); and the UK's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)

Date: 2006

Language: English

Number of pages: 64

Summary: Since the effects of climate change cannot be prevented or reversed in the short-term, conservationists need to take actions to help increase the ability of species to adapt to changes in their environment. For migratory species in particular, ecosystem resilience needs to be enhanced and the connectivity of habitats improved to allow for migrants shifts in ranges and allow for unhindered migration. This report aims to raise awareness of the unique needs of migratory species by detailing a variety of case studies, assessing impacts, and identifying possible solutions and mitigation measures. The report is divided into 10 distinct sections, focusing on the effects of climate change on biodiversity; examples of vulnerability assessments of important migratory species habitats from Eastern Asia and Northern Australia; the impacts of climate change on marine apex predators and marine turtles; information about the Convention on Migratory Species resolution "Climate change and migratory species"; and about the African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement entitled "Climate change and migratory waterbirds."


Title: Estrategia Nacional de Cambio Climático, México, Síntesis Ejecutiva

Organizations: The Inter-Secretarial Commission on Climate Change, made up of Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca y Alimentación (Sagarpa), Secretaría de Desarrollo Social (Sedesol), Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (Semarnat), Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores (SRE), Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes (SCT), Secretaría de Economía (SE), Secretaría de Energía (SENER)

Date: 2007

Language: Spanish

Number of pages: 17

Summary: Mexico's National Strategy on Climate Change outlines a plan and identifies areas for capacity building in order to reduce the country's greenhouse gas emissions. This strategy focuses on the federal public administration, but equally contributes to a national process that identifies opportunities for emissions reduction and development of mitigation projects; recognizes the strengths and weaknesses of different sectors; calls for projects that develop national and local capacities for response and adaptation to climate change; and proposes areas for action, policies, and strategies that will serve as the basis for the preparation of a "Special Climate Change Program".


Title: Bird Species and Climate Change. The Global Status Report: A synthesis of current scientific understanding of anthropogenic climate change impacts of global bird species now, and projected future effects

Organization: Climate Risk

Date: 2007

Language: English

Number of pages: 75

Summary: In this report, Climate Risk provides an overview of the effects of climate change on bird ecology such as changing in egg laying dates, altered migrations, conflicts between behavior and the environment, and the vulnerability of long-distance migrants. It provides a discussion on how climate change shifts ranges and disrupts communities, affects population dynamics, and more. The report concludes with an overview of the links between climate change and bird extinction, providing case studies from Europe, Mexico, Australia, South Africa, and lists bird groups most at risk of extinction in a variety of different ecosystems.


Title: Managing Mangroves for Resilience to Climate Change

Authors: Elizabeth McLeod and Rodney V. Salm

Organization: World Conservation Union (IUCN)

Date: 2006

Language: English

Number of pages: 66

Eco-Index Summary: This report offers management strategies to promote mangrove's resilience to climate change. It begins with an overview of mangroves, including global distribution, benefits of mangroves, and human threats to mangroves. The report then discusses potential impacts of climate change on mangroves, including changes in temperature, precipitation, and hurricanes and storms, and changing sea levels. The report continues with a discussion of ten strategies managers can apply to promote mangrove resilience, such as protecting key areas, establishing buffer zones, restoring critical degraded areas, maintaining connectivity between mangroves and associated habitats, establishing a monitoring plan, developing sustainable alternatives for local communities, and more. The report concludes with an outline of low-tech tools and methods to enhance mangrove resilience, including changes in sea level, salinity, hydrology, elevation; and high-tech tools to determine mangrove response to past and future changes in sea level.


Title: A User's Manual for Building Resistance and Resilience to Climate Change in Natural Systems

Organization: World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

Date: 2003

Languages: English

Number of Pages: 246

Eco-Index Summary: The World Wildlife Fund provides guidance on how to promote resistance to and resilience to climate change in a variety of ecosystems including grasslands, forests, alpine/montane systems, the arctic, temperate and tropical marine systems, and freshwater ecosystems. The report also includes a discussion of the ecological and socio-economic benefits of protected areas regarding climate change, and a guide for protected areas managers to conduct regional biodiversity impact assessments for climate change.


Title: International Day for Biological Diversity: Biodiversity and Climate Change

Organization: Convention on Biological Diversity

Date: 2007

Languages: English, Spanish, French, Chinese, Arabic, Russian

Number of Pages: 48

Eco-Index Summary: The Convention on Biological Diversity has published this brochure that gives a comprehensive overview of the effects of climate change on biodiversity, in preparation for the International Day for Biological Diversity, to be held on May 22, 2007. The report begins by providing a general overview on observed and predicted changes resulting from climate change; links between biodiversity and climate change; and examples of activities that promote mitigation of or adaptation to climate change. It then provides more detailed information in individual sub-sections about the effects of climate change on the following ecosystems; polar areas, agricultural, dry and sub-humid lands, forests, inland waters, islands, marine and coastal areas, and mountain ecosystems. It concludes with an overview of how climate change and biodiversity-related conventions consider links between climate change and biodiversity.


Title: El Impacto Socioeconómico y Ambiental de la Sequía de 2001 en Centroamérica (The Socio-economic and Environmental Impact of the Drought in 2001 on Central America)

Authors: Interdisciplinary Team with Support from Regional Organizations

Organizations: United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America (CEPAL) and the Central American Commission for the Environment and Development (CCAD)

Date: December 2001

Language: Spanish

Number of Pages: 53, with Photographs and Footnotes

Eco-Index Summary: This is an evaluation of the social, economic and environmental impact of the drought that affected Central America in 2001. It includes estimates of the damages caused by the drought, identification of the areas most affected, and a proposal for actions that would address these kinds of phenomena in the future. The report emphasizes that the drought endured by the region in 2001 is not an isolated event, but rather is part of a pattern of long-term climatic variation for the region, which should be taken into account when designing strategies for natural catastrophe mitigation and prevention. The document also explains how the effects of the drought continue affecting the region and how the problem might repeat itself in 2003 due to the possible presence of the El Niño phenomenon the end of 2002.

The report emphasizes the importance of considering internal factors that aggravate the situation, such as environmental degradation and socioeconomic deterioration endured by low-income populations in rural areas. With regard to external factors, the document reveals how the crisis in international coffee prices and the vulnerability of the region to successive climatic phenomena in the past five years contributed to the situation. The drought caused losses of about $162.3 million dollars, of which some 70 percent corresponded to declines in agricultural production.