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