Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 534183
Title Recent progress in understanding climate thresholds : Ice sheets, the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation, tropical forests and responses to ocean acidification
Author(s) Good, Peter; Bamber, Jonathan; Halladay, Kate; Harper, Anna B.; Jackson, Laura C.; Kay, Gillian; Kruijt, Bart; Lowe, Jason A.; Phillips, Oliver L.; Ridley, Jeff; Srokosz, Meric; Turley, Carol; Williamson, Phillip
Source Progress in Physical Geography 42 (2018)1. - ISSN 0309-1333 - p. 24 - 60.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/0309133317751843
Department(s) Water Systems and Global Change
WIMEK
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2018
Keyword(s) Atlantic meridional overturning circulation - climate change - ice sheets - ocean acidification - thresholds - tropical forests
Abstract This article reviews recent scientific progress, relating to four major systems that could exhibit threshold behaviour: ice sheets, the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC), tropical forests and ecosystem responses to ocean acidification. The focus is on advances since the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report (IPCC AR5). The most significant developments in each component are identified by synthesizing input from multiple experts from each field. For ice sheets, some degree of irreversible loss (timescales of millennia) of part of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) may have already begun, but the rate and eventual magnitude of this irreversible loss is uncertain. The observed AMOC overturning has decreased from 2004–2014, but it is unclear at this stage whether this is forced or is internal variability. New evidence from experimental and natural droughts has given greater confidence that tropical forests are adversely affected by drought. The ecological and socio-economic impacts of ocean acidification are expected to greatly increase over the range from today’s annual value of around 400, up to 650 ppm CO2 in the atmosphere (reached around 2070 under RCP8.5), with the rapid development of aragonite undersaturation at high latitudes affecting calcifying organisms. Tropical coral reefs are vulnerable to the interaction of ocean acidification and temperature rise, and the rapidity of those changes, with severe losses and risks to survival at 2 °C warming above pre-industrial levels. Across the four systems studied, however, quantitative evidence for a difference in risk between 1.5 and 2 °C warming above pre-industrial levels is limited.
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