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Using climatic credits to pay the climatic debt

Vaughan, Ian P. ORCID: and Gotelli, Nicholas J. 2021. Using climatic credits to pay the climatic debt. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 36 (2) , pp. 104-112. 10.1016/j.tree.2020.10.002

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Many organisms are accumulating climatic debt as they respond more slowly than expected to rising global temperatures, leading to disequilibrium of species diversity with contemporary climate. The resulting transient dynamics are complex and may cause overoptimistic biodiversity assessments. We propose a simple budget framework to integrate climatic debt with two classes of intervention: (i) climatic credits that pay some of the debt, reducing the overall biological change required to reach a new equilibrium; and (ii) options to adjust the debt repayment rate, either making a system more responsive by increasing the rate or temporarily reducing the rate to buy more time for local adaptation and credit implementation. We illustrate how this budget can be created and highlight limitations and challenges.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0169-5347
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 2 October 2020
Date of Acceptance: 1 October 2020
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 06:43

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