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Publication Information

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Title: Climate change; Confronting the global experiment

Author: Millar, Constance I.

Date: 2006

Source: In: Cooper, S and S Frederickson (eds), Proceedings of the 27th Annual Forest Vegetation Management Conference, Growing the Future, S.L. Cooper (Compiler). January 17-19, 2006, Redding, California. University of California, Shasta County Cooperative Extension, Redding, California: p. 1-35

Publication Series: Not categorized

Description: Earth’s natural climate system is characterized by continually changing climates, with climate regimes that oscillate quasi-cyclically at multiple and nested scales from annual to multi-millennial, and commonly change abruptly. Under naturally changing climates, plant species track changes at all scales in individualistic manner, with plant communities changing as dominances fluctuate and species ranges shift. The capacity of plant species to adapt to changing natural climates depended historically on their ability to move over the landscape following favorable conditions. The human-dominated climate system, into which earth entered in the mid 20th century, extends beyond relevant historic reference in the nature of control (greenhouse gas emissions), rapid and global rates of directional change (warming), and superelevated carbon dioxide and methane levels. Modeled future climates anticipate continuing trajectories of climate and greenhouse gases for several hundred years even if greenhouse gas emissions are reduced soon. The extensive human footprint of land use severely restricts the capacity of plant species to adapt to the rapid changes. General principles for vegetation management are elaborated under five “R’s”, and include: Reduce greenhouse gas emissions; Resist change; create Resilience to change; anticipate and enable Response to change; and conduct TRiage.

Publication Notes:

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  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

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Millar, Constance I. 2006. Climate change; Confronting the global experiment. In: Cooper, S and S Frederickson (eds), Proceedings of the 27th Annual Forest Vegetation Management Conference, Growing the Future, S.L. Cooper (Compiler). January 17-19, 2006, Redding, California. University of California, Shasta County Cooperative Extension, Redding, California: p. 1-35

 


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