Means and extremes: building variability into community-level climate change experiments

Ross THOMPSON, John Beardall, Jason Beringer, Michael Grace, Paul Sardina

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    159 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Experimental studies assessing climatic effects on ecological communities have typically applied static warming treatments. Although these studies have been informative, they have usually failed to incorporate either current or predicted future, patterns of variability. Future climates are likely to include extreme events which have greater impacts on ecological systems than changes in means alone. Here, we review the studies which have used experiments to assess impacts of temperature on marine, freshwater and terrestrial communities, and classify them into a set of ‘generations’ based on how they incorporate variability. The majority of studies have failed to incorporate extreme events. In terrestrial ecosystems in particular, experimental treatments have reduced temperature variability, when most climate models predict increased variability. Marine studies have tended to not concentrate on changes in variability, likely in part because the thermal mass of oceans will moderate variation. In freshwaters, climate change experiments have a much shorter history than in the other ecosystems, and have tended to take a relatively simple approach. We propose a new ‘generation’ of climate change experiments using down-scaled climate models which incorporate predicted changes in climatic variability, and describe a process for generating data which can be applied as experimental climate change treatments.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)799-806
    Number of pages8
    JournalEcology Letters
    Volume16
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

    Fingerprint

    climate change
    extreme event
    climate modeling
    experiment
    climate models
    terrestrial ecosystem
    experimental study
    warming
    temperature
    ecosystem
    climate
    ocean
    history
    concentrates
    oceans
    heat
    ecosystems
    ecological community
    climatic effect

    Cite this

    THOMPSON, Ross ; Beardall, John ; Beringer, Jason ; Grace, Michael ; Sardina, Paul. / Means and extremes: building variability into community-level climate change experiments. In: Ecology Letters. 2013 ; Vol. 16. pp. 799-806.
    @article{b5ff9176ade44b4eb27395b29cc31659,
    title = "Means and extremes: building variability into community-level climate change experiments",
    abstract = "Experimental studies assessing climatic effects on ecological communities have typically applied static warming treatments. Although these studies have been informative, they have usually failed to incorporate either current or predicted future, patterns of variability. Future climates are likely to include extreme events which have greater impacts on ecological systems than changes in means alone. Here, we review the studies which have used experiments to assess impacts of temperature on marine, freshwater and terrestrial communities, and classify them into a set of ‘generations’ based on how they incorporate variability. The majority of studies have failed to incorporate extreme events. In terrestrial ecosystems in particular, experimental treatments have reduced temperature variability, when most climate models predict increased variability. Marine studies have tended to not concentrate on changes in variability, likely in part because the thermal mass of oceans will moderate variation. In freshwaters, climate change experiments have a much shorter history than in the other ecosystems, and have tended to take a relatively simple approach. We propose a new ‘generation’ of climate change experiments using down-scaled climate models which incorporate predicted changes in climatic variability, and describe a process for generating data which can be applied as experimental climate change treatments.",
    keywords = "climate change, down-scaled climate models, experimental treatments, experiments, freshwater, marine, terrestrial, weather scenarios.",
    author = "Ross THOMPSON and John Beardall and Jason Beringer and Michael Grace and Paul Sardina",
    year = "2013",
    doi = "10.1111/ele.12095",
    language = "English",
    volume = "16",
    pages = "799--806",
    journal = "Ecology Letters",
    issn = "1461-023X",
    publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",

    }

    Means and extremes: building variability into community-level climate change experiments. / THOMPSON, Ross; Beardall, John; Beringer, Jason; Grace, Michael; Sardina, Paul.

    In: Ecology Letters, Vol. 16, 2013, p. 799-806.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Means and extremes: building variability into community-level climate change experiments

    AU - THOMPSON, Ross

    AU - Beardall, John

    AU - Beringer, Jason

    AU - Grace, Michael

    AU - Sardina, Paul

    PY - 2013

    Y1 - 2013

    N2 - Experimental studies assessing climatic effects on ecological communities have typically applied static warming treatments. Although these studies have been informative, they have usually failed to incorporate either current or predicted future, patterns of variability. Future climates are likely to include extreme events which have greater impacts on ecological systems than changes in means alone. Here, we review the studies which have used experiments to assess impacts of temperature on marine, freshwater and terrestrial communities, and classify them into a set of ‘generations’ based on how they incorporate variability. The majority of studies have failed to incorporate extreme events. In terrestrial ecosystems in particular, experimental treatments have reduced temperature variability, when most climate models predict increased variability. Marine studies have tended to not concentrate on changes in variability, likely in part because the thermal mass of oceans will moderate variation. In freshwaters, climate change experiments have a much shorter history than in the other ecosystems, and have tended to take a relatively simple approach. We propose a new ‘generation’ of climate change experiments using down-scaled climate models which incorporate predicted changes in climatic variability, and describe a process for generating data which can be applied as experimental climate change treatments.

    AB - Experimental studies assessing climatic effects on ecological communities have typically applied static warming treatments. Although these studies have been informative, they have usually failed to incorporate either current or predicted future, patterns of variability. Future climates are likely to include extreme events which have greater impacts on ecological systems than changes in means alone. Here, we review the studies which have used experiments to assess impacts of temperature on marine, freshwater and terrestrial communities, and classify them into a set of ‘generations’ based on how they incorporate variability. The majority of studies have failed to incorporate extreme events. In terrestrial ecosystems in particular, experimental treatments have reduced temperature variability, when most climate models predict increased variability. Marine studies have tended to not concentrate on changes in variability, likely in part because the thermal mass of oceans will moderate variation. In freshwaters, climate change experiments have a much shorter history than in the other ecosystems, and have tended to take a relatively simple approach. We propose a new ‘generation’ of climate change experiments using down-scaled climate models which incorporate predicted changes in climatic variability, and describe a process for generating data which can be applied as experimental climate change treatments.

    KW - climate change

    KW - down-scaled climate models

    KW - experimental treatments

    KW - experiments

    KW - freshwater

    KW - marine

    KW - terrestrial

    KW - weather scenarios.

    U2 - 10.1111/ele.12095

    DO - 10.1111/ele.12095

    M3 - Article

    VL - 16

    SP - 799

    EP - 806

    JO - Ecology Letters

    JF - Ecology Letters

    SN - 1461-023X

    ER -