Climate change is recognized as one of the most serious scientific issues to understand and respond to (AAS, 2010). One of the most fundamental issues is to recognize how our biota will respond and adapt to such rapid changes at a global scale. Already global mean temperature has risen by 0.76°C this century (IPCC, 2007), and recent research indicates that current temperature increases are tracking the upper range projected by the IPCC modeled predictions and sea-level change is faster than projected (Rahmstorf et al., 2007; Steffen et al., 2009). Across Australia, different regions have experienced climatic changes to varying degrees, both seasonally and annually. Future predictions are for a generally warmer and drier continent by 2030 (CSIRO, 2007), but with the likely impacts of climate change being complex and highly variable across the continent, and worldwide (Walther et al., 2002). Changes in the physiological tolerances and population depletion could cause major population restructure of currently common species, leading to the collapse of trophic interactions and depletion of ecosystem services. Two of the great challenges in predicting how biological organisms will respond to a rapidly changing climate are (i) determining whether responses of organisms are idiosyncratic, or whether there are underlying generalities that can be made based on evolutionary relationships, or ecological associations, and (ii) determining whether these responses are consistent in time and space (Andrew & Terblanche, in press).
|Title of host publication||The balance of nature and human impact|
|Place of Publication||Cambridge, UK|
|Publisher||Cambridge University Press|
|Number of pages||14|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2011|