Conservation and Sustainable Use of the Biosphere - WBGU

Conservation and Sustainable Use of the Biosphere - WBGU

Conclusions F 4.3


F 4.3


For ecosystems, the anticipated climatic outcomes

may either be catastrophic or mild, such is the wide

range of known effects and so varied are the proven

effects.As the final result of a structural change in the

entire Earth System, small-scale and large-scale

biotopes can in many instances be seen as the ‘victims’

of anthropogenic remote impacts (Graßl, 1999).

In addition, they are subject to a whole host of direct

human activities that cause long-term disruptions in

the regulatory function they perform for the global

Earth System (Chapter E, Section F 3).

To that extent, viewing the atmospheric impact on

any ecosystem type in isolation is a scientifically necessary

task, but the experimental findings are all too

fragmentary and uncertain (Chapter J). For a realistic

assessment of the ‘behaviour’ of the biosphere in

global transition we lack the work that will put the

individual pieces of the puzzle back together.And so,

in the view of the Council, incorporation of all interactions

into a comprehensive, coherent explanatory

approach to global climate-biosphere-interactions

remains the challenge for the research community.

More exact results with regard to the reaction of individual

organisms, their population momentum and

the interaction between populations may be

expected from a further development and combination

of physiological and behavioural models (Orians,

1996). It is only via that route that in future effective

prognostic theories on ecosystem reactions to

climate change can be developed.

In light of the diversity of the individual effects

within an ecosystem, only a few generalized, global

recommendations for action may be made. First of

all, the steps under the Framework Convention on

Climate Change have certainly not been implemented

sufficiently in order to demonstrate any recognizable

impact on ecosystems. For that reason

effective implementation of the Kyoto Protocol

remains an urgent imperative. Secondly, since all

measures to reduce greenhouse emissions help in

principle to maintain the functionality of the biosphere,

the full spectrum of local and regional climate

protection projects should receive unqualified support.