The impact of climate change on California’s ecosystem services.

The impact of climate change on California’s ecosystem services.
Ecosystem services are the goods and services—fresh water, soil, biological and genetic diversity, crop pollination, carbon sequestration, climate stabilization, and recreation—that people obtain from intact, natural systems. Ecosystem services play a crucial role in sustaining human well-being and economic viability in California. Californians benefit substantially from the delivery of an array of ecosystem services for which substitutes are costly or completely unavailable. Climate change is likely to substantially alter or even eliminate certain ecosystem services. To better understand the consequences of climate change and to develop effective means of adapting, it is critical that we improve our understanding of the links between climate, ecosystems, and the economic value of ecosystem services. This report projects the impact of future climate change on the natural provision of four key ecosystem services in California (carbon sequestration, forage production, water for instream flows for salmon, and snow recreation) and biodiversity, and the resulting change in market and non-market value of each service. Under most scenarios of climate change, the provision of all four ecosystem services will decline, leading to a decline in the economic output and well-being for the state. The report also reveals that our scientific understanding of the links between climate, ecosystems, and economic value is still poorly developed for California. A comprehensive research program focused on developing models and estimating the impacts of climate change on ecosystem services in California will be an important tool for reversing current and future losses in the economic value of our natural ecosystems.
Begin Date
Originator Name
Shaw, M.R., et al. 2009. California Climate Change Center, California Energy Commission
Supplemental Information
Disclaimer: This paper was prepared as the result of work sponsored by the California Energy Commission (Energy Commission) and the California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA). It does not necessarily represent the views of the Energy Commission, Cal/EPA, their employees, or the State of California. The Energy Commission, Cal/EPA, the State of California, their employees, contractors, and subcontractors make no warrant, express or implied, and assume no legal liability for the information in this paper; nor does any party represent that the uses of this information will not infringe upon privately owned rights. This paper has not been approved or disapproved by the California Energy Commission or Cal/EPA, nor has the California Energy Commission or Cal/EPA passed upon the accuracy or adequacy of the information in this paper.
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Carbon Sequestration, Climate Change, Ecosystem-Based Forest Management, Recreation, Salmon
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