WHERE CLIMATE CHANGE WILL HURT
Is your hometown a top hit for climate change? A group of scientists used 14 years of data to map climate change hot spots around the globe. But they didn't just map extreme weather – they analyzed the response of local vegetation.
Story Hinckley, February 21, 2016 (Christian Science Monitor)
“North American prairies, South American rainforests, and eastern Australia are all climate change hot spots, according to [14 years of NASA satellite images [analyzed in Sensitivity of global terrestrial ecosystems to climate variability]…Instead of just predicting how the climate will change in different parts of the world, researchers] looked at vegetation changes from 2000 to 2013 in response to monthly changes in air temperature, water availability, and cloud cover...[to derive] the Vegetation Sensitivity Index…with the most vulnerable ecosystems in red and the least sensitive regions in green…Some regions may have witnessed dramatic vegetation changes over 14 years amid inconsequential temperature change, earning the categorization of ‘highly sensitive’ on the index. Conversely, some areas witnessed serious climate changes, but they still scored low on the sensitivity index because the local vegetation remained stable…[The researchers] say we should worry about the areas with sensitive vegetation, not the areas that experience the most extreme weather changes…” click here for more