Measuring the success of climate change adaptation and mitigation in terrestrial ecosystems

Author(s): Morecroft, M.D., Duffield, S., Harley, M., Pearce-Higgins, J.W., Stevens, N., Watts, O. & Whitaker, J.

Published: December 2019  

Journal: Science Volume: 366

Digital Identifier No. (DOI): 10.1126/science.aaw9256

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Abstract

Natural and seminatural ecosystems must be at the forefront of efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change. In the urgency of current circumstances, ecosystem restoration represents a range of available, efficient, and effective solutions to cut net greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change. Although mitigation success can be measured by monitoring changing fluxes of greenhouse gases, adaptation is more complicated to measure, and reductions in a wide range of risks for biodiversity and people must be evaluated. Progress has been made in the monitoring and evaluation of adaptation and mitigation measures, but more emphasis on testing the effectiveness of proposed strategies is necessary. It is essential to take an integrated view of mitigation, adaptation, biodiversity, and the needs of people, to realize potential synergies and avoid conflict between different objectives.

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