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Moving Toward Climate Change Adaptation: The Promise of the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative for Addressing the Region’s Vulnerability to Climate Disruption

Lisa Graumlich and Wendy L. Francis
Created: 7/14/2014 - Updated: 1/25/2019

Abstract

The purpose of this report is to provide an up-to-date review of the extent to which climate change is occurring in the Y2Y region, and to assess the appropriateness of the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative’s vision and programs as a response to climate disruption. Even the most optimistic models forecast that if greenhouse-gas emissions could be reined in today, and climate change mitigation efforts optimized, the momentum of global climate change could not be stopped for at least another century. All life on the planet today will be challenged by a future that has no analog in the past. In this brave new reality, life will persist in flux, with many species going extinct and many ecosystems pushed to the brink of wholesale collapse.In the absence of substantial reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions, the climate of the Y2Y region will very likely see accelerated warming and  changes in precipitation. The climates of the Y2Y region already have changed beyond the limits of historic variation. These climatic changes are having ecological impacts; and continued changes, especially warming, will have long-term, unprecedented future impacts.

Keywords

Scale: 
Multilateral / Transboundary
Sector Addressed: 
Conservation / Restoration
Wildlife
Target Climate Changes and Impacts: 
Air temperature
Invasive / non-native species, pests
Precipitation
Species of concern
Water supply
Water temperature
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy: 
Natural Resource Management / Conservation
Habitat/Biome Type: 
Terrestrial

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