Climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security,

 

IPCC Special report on climate change and land: Call for experts- Outline of the Special Report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems.

IPCC Special report on climate change and land: Call for experts

At its 45th Session (Guadalajara, Mexico, 28 – 31 March 2017), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) approved the outline for “Climate Change and Land: an IPCC special report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems”. For this special report he IPCC has now opened a call for nomination of authors and review editors.

Applications should be submitted via the IPCC national focal point latest by Wednesday, 17 May 2017 (midnight CEST) using the online portal.(list of IPCC focal points) (call for authors and review editors)

The 45th session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC-45) concluded with the adoption of several decisions that will significantly shape the outcomes of the sixth assessment cycle, including the outlines of two special reports. The meeting’s achievements were somewhat overcast by funding concerns, and the IPCC established and adopted the terms of reference for an Ad Hoc Task Group on Financial Stability of the IPCC.

IPCC-45 convened from 28-31 March 2017, in Guadalajara, Mexico, and brought together approximately 320 participants from over 100 countries. Having adopted the outline of the special report on global warming of 1.5°C at its previous session, IPCC-45 turned its attention to the special reports on climate change and land, and on oceans and cryosphere in a changing climate. Delegates adopted the outlines for both of these reports.

Read the full article: Knowledge. UNCCD

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Plants, soil and climate change

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Data was provided from CEH’s climate change manipulation experiment, which has been running for 18 years in Cloceanog forest, a wet Welsh upland site with a peat layer resulting from seasonal waterlogging. Credit: Rachel Harvey

 

Future climate change will affect plants and soil differently

A new study has found that soil carbon loss is more sensitive to climate change compared to carbon taken up by plants. In drier regions, soil carbon loss decreased but in wetter regions soil carbon loss increased.

Date:
March 7, 2017
Source:
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Summary:
A new study has found that soil carbon loss is more sensitive to climate change compared to carbon taken up by plants. In drier regions, soil carbon loss decreased but in wetter regions soil carbon loss increased. This could result in a positive feedback to the atmosphere leading to an additional increase of atmospheric CO2 levels.

Read the full article: Science Daily

The nature of African savannas: future changes in precipitation may considerably affect their distribution and dynamics

 

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Determinants of woody cover in African savannas

by
Mahesh Sankaran1, Niall P. Hanan1, Robert J. Scholes2, Jayashree Ratnam1, David J. Augustine3, Brian S. Cade4,Jacques Gignoux5, Steven I. Higgins6, Xavier Le Roux7, Fulco Ludwig8, Jonas Ardo9, Feetham Banyikwa10,Andries Bronn11, Gabriela Bucini
, Kelly K. Caylor12, Michael B. Coughenour1, Alioune Diouf13,Wellington Ekaya14, Christie J. Feral15, Edmund C. February16, Peter G. H. Frost17, Pierre Hiernaux18,
Halszka Hrabar19, Kristine L. Metzger20, Herbert H. T. Prins21, Susan Ringrose
22, William Sea1, Jörg Tews23, Jeff Worden1 & Nick Zambatis2
Savannas are globally important ecosystems of great significance to human economies. In these biomes, which are characterized by the co-dominance of trees and grasses, woody cover is a chief determinant of ecosystem properties.
The availability of resources (water, nutrients) and disturbance regimes (fire, herbivory) are thought to be important in regulating woody cover, but perceptions differ on which of these are the primary drivers of savanna structure.
Here we show, using data from 854 sites across Africa, that maximum woody cover in savannas receiving a mean annual precipitation (MAP) of less than 650 mm is constrained by, and increases linearly with, MAP.
These arid and semi-arid savannas may be considered ‘stable’ systems in which water constrains woody cover and permits grasses to coexist, while fire, herbivory and soil properties interact to reduce woody cover below the MAP-controlled upper bound.
Above a MAP of 650 mm, savannas are ‘unstable’ systems in which MAP is sufficient for woody canopy closure, and disturbances (fire, herbivory) are required for the coexistence of trees and grass.
These results provide insights into the nature of African savannas and suggest that future changes in precipitation may considerably affect their distribution and dynamics.


Determinants of woody cover in African savannas. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/7428894_Determinants_of_woody_cover_in_African_savannas?focusFeedback=1 [accessed Jan 21, 2017].

Why we need to listen to farmers

 

Photo credit: CIAT

An ecosystems approach to the SDGs in Africa: why we need to listen to farmers

To address all the SDG’s, we’re going to need to think like farmers. That means taking a systems approach that includes all kinds of agro-ecological farm systems. This mantra echoed through all the sessions at the Ecosystem Services Partnership Conference: Ecosystem Services for SDGs in Africa. Goals, 2, 5, 6, and 15 were in the spotlight, and to meet them, we have to think broadly and holistically.

That might not be what you expected to read, but CIAT research shows that farmers are the ultimate, great systems thinkers, and we need to tap into and build upon their vast network of knowledge to tackle the problems that face the ecosystems we are trying to protect and livelihoods we are aiming to support.

Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.

Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

Goal 15: Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss.

Read the full story: CIAT

A colour-coded mapping system that shows where new road-building projects should go and not go.

 

Photo credit: Science Daily

A recently built highway snakes into the mountains of the upper Mekong.
Credit: Jianchu Xu & Biaoyun Huai

Road planning ‘trade off’ could boost food production while helping protect tropical forests

Date:
December 15, 2016
Source:
University of Cambridge
Summary:
Scientists hope a new approach to planning road infrastructure that could increase crop yield in the Greater Mekong region while limiting environmental destruction will open dialogues between developers and the conservation community.

Conservation scientists have used layers of data on biodiversity, climate, transport and crop yields to construct a colour-coded mapping system that shows where new road-building projects should go to be most beneficial for food production at the same time as being least destructive to the environment.

(CNN)Sudan’s ecosystems and natural resources are deteriorating.

 

Photo credit: CNN

It is estimated 1.9 million people will be affected by reduced agricultural and livestock production — due to smaller farming areas, poor pastures and limited water availability.

Climate change could render Sudan ‘uninhabitable’

By Bianca Britton, CNN

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/12/07/africa/sudan-climate-change/index.html

Temperatures are rising, water supplies are scarce, soil fertility is low and severe droughts are common. After years of desertification, its rich biodiversity is under threat and drought has hindered the fight against hunger.
This burden is affecting not only the country’s food security and sustainable development, but also the homes of many Sudanese families.
Dust storms — known locally as “Haboob” — have also increased in this region. Moving like a gigantic thick wall, it carries sand and dust — burying homes, increasing evaporation to a region that’s struggling to preserve water supplies, as well as eroding valuable fertile soil.
Experts say that without quick intervention, parts of the African country — one of the most vulnerable in the world — could become uninhabitable as a result of climate change.

Increasing temperature

“North Africa is already hot and is strongly increasing in temperature. At some point in this century, part of the region will become uninhabitable,” Jos Lelieveld, a climate scientist from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, told CNN.
“That will string from Morocco all the way through to Saudi Arabia,” he said.