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SPECIAL: Amazon forest can be trained by higher rainfall variability – but may be no match for climate change

Arctic Sea IceThe Amazon rainforest has evolved over millions of years and even through ice ages. Yet today, human influences and global climate change put this huge ecosystem at risk of large-scale dieback – with major consequences for its capability as a global CO2 sink. New research published in Nature Geoscience now reveals a key player in shaping the resilience of the Amazon, and finds that regions with generally higher rainfall variability are more resilient to current and future climate disturbances. However, despite this 'training effect', the Amazon rainforest might not be able to keep up with the pace of ongoing climate change, the study shows. Read more...

National academy acatech appoints Ottmar Edenhofer

National academy acatech appoints Ottmar Edenhofer

01/16/2015 - In recognition of his outstanding scientific achievements, climate economist Ottmar Edenhofer has been elected a member of the German National Academy for Science and Engineering, acatech. Edenhofer is deputy director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Director of the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC), and Professor at Technische Universität Berlin. He already chairs the Energy Platform of the European Council of Academies of Applied Sciences, Technologies and Engineering (Euro-CASE), of which acatech is a part. In the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Edenhofer led the working group on mitigation which published its highly influential Fifth Assessment Report last year.

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Four of nine planetary boundaries now crossed

Four of nine planetary boundaries now crossed

01/16/2015 - Four of nine planetary boundaries have now been crossed as a result of human activity, says an international team of 18 researchers in the journal Science. The four are: climate change, loss of biosphere integrity, land-system change, altered biogeochemical cycles. The scientists say that two of these, climate change and biosphere integrity, are “core boundaries” – significantly altering either of these would “drive the Earth System into a new state”. The team will present their findings in seven seminars at the World Economic Forum in Davos (21-25 January).

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