A wealth of data now exists on biotic changes that occurred over the last one to two decades, but scientific understanding of the processes involved, the magnitude of the changes, and their likely outcomes is still in its infancy, largely due to the lack of long-term baselines against which to compare these data. The iCCB is working to provide appropriate baselines by integrating data from long-term ecological studies and the even longer-term data provided by paleontology. A trait-based, community macroecology approach allows integration of data across the temporal and spatial scales at which climate change biologists, ecologists, and paleontologists work. In its current phase, the iCCB is disseminating this approach through outreach aimed at researchers and university students around the world via web and strategically chosen conference symposia, through sharing of trait-based data to facilitate new research in this area, and through original research by iCCB working groups.
(click the title to download the full pdf, or images below to see executive summary pages - note that the statement opens in a new window)
The vast majority of scientists who study the interactions between people and the rest of the biosphere agree on a key conclusion: that the five interconnected dangerous trends listed above are having detrimental effects, and if continued, the already-apparent negative impacts on human quality of life will become much worse within a few decades. The multitude of sound scientific evidence to substantiate this has been summarized in many recent position papers and consensus statements (a few samples are listed on pp. 28-29 of the full statement), and documented in thousands of articles in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. However, the position papers and consensus statements typically focus only on a subset of the five key issues (for example, climate change, or biodiversity loss, or pollution), and access to the peer-reviewed literature is often difficult for non-scientists. As a result, policy makers faced with making critical decisions can find it cumbersome both to locate the pertinent information and to digest the thousands of pages through which it is distributed.
The Statement has been Drafted Through Collaboration of (In alphabetical order): Anthony D. Barnosky*, James H. Brown, Gretchen C. Daily, Rodolfo Dirzo, Anne H. Ehrlich, Paul R. Ehrlich, Jussi T. Eronen, Mikael Fortelius, Elizabeth A. Hadly, Estella B. Leopold, Harold A. Mooney, John Peterson Myers, Rosamond L. Naylor, Stephen Palumbi, Nils Christian Stenseth, Marvalee H. Wake. *Lead writer is Anthony Barnosky, to whom correspondence should be addressed: barnosky(at)berkeley.edu
At the time of it's publication the Statement has been signed by 520 scientists from 44 countries (see map below), dozens of members of National Academy of Sciences and equivalents from around the world, and even 2 Nobel Laureates.
The official website for the Consensus statement: