After analyzing tree rings — and 400 years of history — researchers from Harvard Forest have indicated ways in which seemingly stable forests could abruptly change over the next century in the wake of climate change and drought.
A report co-authored by Professor Michael McElroy and D. James Baker, a former administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, connects global climate change, extreme weather, and national security.
Harvard researchers have concluded that omitting the adaptive ability of crops from assessments of potential damages from a warming climate could substantially overestimate losses to U.S. maize yields.
If the Amazon becomes drier, as predicted by climate models, the forest will see a shift toward tree species that are drought tolerant and, in some cases, will lead to a savannah’s mix of trees and grasses, Robert F. Kennedy Visiting Professor Guillermo Goldstein says.
Professor Michael McCormick has been working with tree-ring experts, bringing the perspective of long-ago writings to understanding environmental conditions.
The recent floods and drought experienced by Australia are extreme expressions of a naturally fluctuating water cycle that has been moderated with engineering and which the introduction of market reforms recently has made more efficient.
Small and midsize cities in poor countries will be among those that suffer most from climate change’s droughts, floods, landslides, and rising waters, an expert on the world’s urban poor said in a talk at Harvard’s Center for Population and Development Studies.