An Empirical Perspective for Understanding Climate Change Impacts in Switzerland

Henne, Paul Daniel; Bigalke, Moritz; Büntgen, Ulf; Colombaroni, Daniele; Conedera, Marco; Feller, Urs; David, Frank; Fuhrer, Jürg; Grosjean, Martin; Heiri, Oliver; Luterbacher, Jürg; Mestrot, Adrien; Rigling, Andreas; Rössler, Ole Kristen; Rohr, Christian; Rutishauser, This; Schwikowski, Margit; Stampfli, Andreas; Szidat, Sönke; Theurillat, Jean-Paul; ... (2018). An Empirical Perspective for Understanding Climate Change Impacts in Switzerland. Regional environmental change, 18(1), pp. 205-221. Springer 10.1007/s10113-017-1182-9

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Planning for the future requires a detailed understanding of how climate change affects a wide range of systems at spatial scales that are relevant to humans. Understanding of climate change impacts can be gained from observational and reconstruction approaches and from numerical models that apply existing knowledge to climate change scenarios. Although modeling approaches are prominent in climate change assessments, observations and reconstructions provide insights that cannot be derived from simulations alone, especially at local to regional scales where climate adaptation policies are implemented. Here, we review the wealth of understanding that emerged from observations and reconstructions of ongoing and past climate change impacts in Switzerland, with wider applicability in Europe. We draw examples from hydrological, alpine, forest, and agricultural systems, which are of paramount societal importance, and are projected to undergo important changes by the end of this century. For each system, we review existing model-based projections, present what is known from observations, and discuss how empirical evidence may help improve future projections. A particular focus is given to better understanding thresholds, tipping points and feedbacks that may operate on different time scales. Observational approaches provide the grounding in evidence that is needed to develop local to regional climate adaptation strategies. Our review demonstrates that observational approaches should ideally have a synergistic relationship with modeling in identifying inconsistencies in projections as well as avenues for improvement. They are critical for uncovering unexpected relationships between climate and agricultural, natural, and hydrological systems that will be important to society in the future.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Review Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Physical Geography > Unit Paleolimnology
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Physical Geography > Unit Climatology
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Physical Geography > Unit Hydrology
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Physical Geography > Unit Soil Science
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Plant nutrition (discontinued)
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of History
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Departement of Chemistry and Biochemistry
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Physical Geography
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Palaeoecology
08 Faculty of Science > Other Institutions > Emeriti, Faculty of Science
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of History > Economic, Social and Environmental History
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Henne, Paul Daniel; Bigalke, Moritz; Feller, Urs; Fuhrer, Jürg; Grosjean, Martin; Heiri, Oliver; Luterbacher, Jürg; Mestrot, Adrien; Rössler, Ole Kristen; Rohr, Christian; Rutishauser, This; Stampfli, Andreas; Szidat, Sönke; Weingartner, Rolf and Tinner, Willy

Subjects:

500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology
500 Science > 540 Chemistry
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)
900 History

ISSN:

1436-3798

Publisher:

Springer

Language:

English

Submitter:

Christian Rohr

Date Deposited:

10 Aug 2017 08:18

Last Modified:

28 Mar 2019 16:08

Publisher DOI:

10.1007/s10113-017-1182-9

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Global change, Alps, Agriculture, Alpine meadows, Hydrology, Paleoecology

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.102083

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/102083

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