Special Issue | 2 August 2013 Natural Systems in Changing Climates

Science’s Special Issue on Natural Systems in Changing Climates includes news and reviews on the response of ecosystems, global food security, and lessons from past climate records.

From Science


Once and Future Climate Change

A key goal of current research is to predict how these changes will affect global ecosystems and the human population that depends on them.

Climate Change and Cumulative Impacts

Predicting our climate change future, and particularly impacts on the natural systems responsible for making this planet a habitable environment for mankind, is clearly one of the most challenging problems of our time.
News Focus

How a Fickle Climate Made Us Human

Researchers are drilling for clues to how dramatic changes in African rainfall and vegetation shaped our species.
News Focus

Out of the Kenyan Mud, an Ancient Climate Record

Scientists gather for a first look at a fresh sediment core, hoping that it will offer hard data linking environmental change to human evolution.

SLIDESHOW Researchers drill into an ancient lakebed in Kenya to study the past environment.

News Focus

Can Coastal Marshes Rise Above It All?

As climate change causes sea level to rise, wetland scientists are struggling to predict which salt marshes will drown—and which might climb out of danger.
News Focus

Worth a Thousand Words

Models and experiments only go so far in assessing the effects of climate change. For a reality check, researchers turn to historical photos.

SLIDESHOW Disappearing glaciers in Olympic National Park is only one of many iconic images of climate change.


Changes in Ecologically Critical Terrestrial Climate Conditions

The impact of climate on terrestrial ecosystems probably will be dramatic due to the rapid pace of climate change.

Marine Ecosystem Responses to Cenozoic Global Change

Analogs to the conditions that will affect marine ecosystems in a warmer future climate can be found in the geological record of past oceans.

Climate Change and the Past, Present, and Future of Biotic Interactions

Consistent responses by communities across time provide insight on responses to current climate warming.

The Future of Species Under Climate Change: Resilience or Decline?

Species have begun to respond to current climate warming, but it remains unclear whether such changes will lead to persistence or decline.

Climate Change Impacts on Global Food Security

Increased risks to food production because of climate change and variability are predicted to affect regions already with a high prevalence of hunger.

Climate Change and Infectious Diseases: From Evidence to a Predictive Framework

Distribution and impact of wildlife diseases tend to give a clearer response to changing climate signal than those afflicting domesticated animals or humans.

Ecological Consequences of Sea-Ice Decline

Sea ice loss in the Arctic is a key driver of marine and terrestrial ecological dynamics.

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