Climate change a threat to aquatic ecosystems climate change overview click to enlarge since the last ice age around 11000 years ago the earths climate has remained relatively stable with global temperatures averaging at about 14c. Martin kernan is an environmental scientist at the environmental change research centre university college london he has worked extensively on upland lakes and streams across europe his current research interests include the effects of atmospheric pollution and climate change on freshwater ecosystems. Climate change is clearly altering the composition diversity and functioning of many freshwater ecosystems but it is unlikely that species will be lost or gained in a random or a haphazard manner eg figures 2 and 3. Climate change and human modification may restrict ecosystems ability to temper the impacts of extreme conditions and thus may increase vulnerability to damage examples include reefs and barrier islands that protect coastal ecosystems from storm surges wetland ecosystems that absorb floodwaters and cyclical wildfires that clear excess . The cira analysis assesses the impacts of climate change on the distribution of habitat suitable for freshwater fish across the us and estimates the economic implications of these changes water temperature changes are simulated for the cira emissions scenarios using the igsm cam and miroc climate models to estimate changes in suitable
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