Nature has published the first article to “formally link observed global changes in physical and biological systems to human-induced climate change, predominantly from increasing greenhouse gases.” See news story here and the article, “Attributing physical and biological impacts to anthropogenic climate change” (subs. req’d, abstract below).
NASA’s discussion of the piece here explains, “human-caused climate change has made an impact on a wide range of Earth’s natural systems, including permafrost thawing, plants blooming earlier across Europe, and lakes declining in productivity in Africa.” The image at right: “Impacts from warming are evident in satellite images showing that lakes in Siberia disappearing as the permafrost thaws and lake water drains deeper into the ground.” The lead author explained:
“This is the first study to link global temperature data sets, climate model results, and observed changes in a broad range of physical and biological systems to show the link between humans, climate, and impacts.”
… Observed impacts included changes to physical systems, such as glaciers shrinking, permafrost melting, and lakes and rivers warming. Biological systems also were impacted in a variety of ways, such as leaves unfolding and flowers blooming earlier in the spring, birds arriving earlier during migration periods, and plant and animal species moving toward Earth’s poles and higher in elevation. In aquatic environments such as oceans, lakes, and rivers, plankton and fish are shifting from cold-adapted to warm-adapted communities.
Significantly, the changes are driven by “temperature increases at continental scales [that] cannot be explained by natural climate variations alone.” The full abstract of the article is below: