Climate change and the British Uplands

evidence for decision-making

Jo I. House, Harriet G. Orr, Joanna M. Clark, Angela V. Gallego-Sala, Chris Freeman, I. Colin Prentice, Pete Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We summarise the work of an interdisciplinary network set up to explore the impacts of climate change in the British Uplands. In this CR Special, the contributors present the state of knowledge and this introduction synthesises this knowledge and derives implications for decision makers. The Uplands are valued semi-natural habitats, providing ecosystem services that have historically been taken for granted. For example, peat soils, which are mostly found in the Uplands, contain around 50% of the terrestrial carbon in the UK. Land management continues to be a driver of ecosystem service delivery. Degraded and managed peatlands are subject to erosion and carbon loss with negative impacts on biodiversity, carbon storage and water quality. Climate change is already being experienced in British Uplands and is likely to exacerbate these pressures. Climate envelope models suggest as much as 50% of British Uplands and peatlands will be exposed to climate stress by the end of the 21st century under low and high emissions scenarios. However, process-based models of the response of organic soils to this climate stress do not give a consistent indication of what this will mean for soil carbon: results range from a very slight increase in uptake, through a clear decline, to a net carbon loss. Preserving existing peat stocks is an important climate mitigation strategy, even if new peat stops forming. Preserving upland vegetation cover is a key win-win management strategy that will reduce erosion and loss of soil carbon, and protect a variety of services such as the continued delivery of a high quality water resource.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-12
Number of pages10
JournalClimate Research
Volume45
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Keywords

  • British Uplands
  • Climate change
  • Peat
  • Soil carbon
  • Water quality
  • Ecosystem service
  • Management
  • Dissolved organic-carbon
  • Catchments
  • Dynamics
  • Dioxide
  • Impacts
  • Finland
  • Budgets
  • Export
  • Soils
  • CO2

Cite this

House, J. I., Orr, H. G., Clark, J. M., Gallego-Sala, A. V., Freeman, C., Prentice, I. C., & Smith, P. (2010). Climate change and the British Uplands: evidence for decision-making . Climate Research, 45(1), 3-12. https://doi.org/10.3354/cr00982

Climate change and the British Uplands : evidence for decision-making . / House, Jo I.; Orr, Harriet G.; Clark, Joanna M.; Gallego-Sala, Angela V.; Freeman, Chris; Prentice, I. Colin; Smith, Pete.

In: Climate Research, Vol. 45, No. 1, 2010, p. 3-12.

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

House, JI, Orr, HG, Clark, JM, Gallego-Sala, AV, Freeman, C, Prentice, IC & Smith, P 2010, 'Climate change and the British Uplands: evidence for decision-making ', Climate Research, vol. 45, no. 1, pp. 3-12. https://doi.org/10.3354/cr00982
House JI, Orr HG, Clark JM, Gallego-Sala AV, Freeman C, Prentice IC et al. Climate change and the British Uplands: evidence for decision-making . Climate Research. 2010;45(1):3-12. https://doi.org/10.3354/cr00982
House, Jo I. ; Orr, Harriet G. ; Clark, Joanna M. ; Gallego-Sala, Angela V. ; Freeman, Chris ; Prentice, I. Colin ; Smith, Pete. / Climate change and the British Uplands : evidence for decision-making . In: Climate Research. 2010 ; Vol. 45, No. 1. pp. 3-12.
@article{c161e01c4f2542e38bf51cd4ae6ba396,
title = "Climate change and the British Uplands: evidence for decision-making",
abstract = "We summarise the work of an interdisciplinary network set up to explore the impacts of climate change in the British Uplands. In this CR Special, the contributors present the state of knowledge and this introduction synthesises this knowledge and derives implications for decision makers. The Uplands are valued semi-natural habitats, providing ecosystem services that have historically been taken for granted. For example, peat soils, which are mostly found in the Uplands, contain around 50{\%} of the terrestrial carbon in the UK. Land management continues to be a driver of ecosystem service delivery. Degraded and managed peatlands are subject to erosion and carbon loss with negative impacts on biodiversity, carbon storage and water quality. Climate change is already being experienced in British Uplands and is likely to exacerbate these pressures. Climate envelope models suggest as much as 50{\%} of British Uplands and peatlands will be exposed to climate stress by the end of the 21st century under low and high emissions scenarios. However, process-based models of the response of organic soils to this climate stress do not give a consistent indication of what this will mean for soil carbon: results range from a very slight increase in uptake, through a clear decline, to a net carbon loss. Preserving existing peat stocks is an important climate mitigation strategy, even if new peat stops forming. Preserving upland vegetation cover is a key win-win management strategy that will reduce erosion and loss of soil carbon, and protect a variety of services such as the continued delivery of a high quality water resource.",
keywords = "British Uplands, Climate change, Peat, Soil carbon, Water quality, Ecosystem service, Management, Dissolved organic-carbon, Catchments, Dynamics, Dioxide, Impacts, Finland, Budgets, Export, Soils, CO2",
author = "House, {Jo I.} and Orr, {Harriet G.} and Clark, {Joanna M.} and Gallego-Sala, {Angela V.} and Chris Freeman and Prentice, {I. Colin} and Pete Smith",
year = "2010",
doi = "10.3354/cr00982",
language = "English",
volume = "45",
pages = "3--12",
journal = "Climate Research",
issn = "0936-577X",
publisher = "Inter-Research",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Climate change and the British Uplands

T2 - evidence for decision-making

AU - House, Jo I.

AU - Orr, Harriet G.

AU - Clark, Joanna M.

AU - Gallego-Sala, Angela V.

AU - Freeman, Chris

AU - Prentice, I. Colin

AU - Smith, Pete

PY - 2010

Y1 - 2010

N2 - We summarise the work of an interdisciplinary network set up to explore the impacts of climate change in the British Uplands. In this CR Special, the contributors present the state of knowledge and this introduction synthesises this knowledge and derives implications for decision makers. The Uplands are valued semi-natural habitats, providing ecosystem services that have historically been taken for granted. For example, peat soils, which are mostly found in the Uplands, contain around 50% of the terrestrial carbon in the UK. Land management continues to be a driver of ecosystem service delivery. Degraded and managed peatlands are subject to erosion and carbon loss with negative impacts on biodiversity, carbon storage and water quality. Climate change is already being experienced in British Uplands and is likely to exacerbate these pressures. Climate envelope models suggest as much as 50% of British Uplands and peatlands will be exposed to climate stress by the end of the 21st century under low and high emissions scenarios. However, process-based models of the response of organic soils to this climate stress do not give a consistent indication of what this will mean for soil carbon: results range from a very slight increase in uptake, through a clear decline, to a net carbon loss. Preserving existing peat stocks is an important climate mitigation strategy, even if new peat stops forming. Preserving upland vegetation cover is a key win-win management strategy that will reduce erosion and loss of soil carbon, and protect a variety of services such as the continued delivery of a high quality water resource.

AB - We summarise the work of an interdisciplinary network set up to explore the impacts of climate change in the British Uplands. In this CR Special, the contributors present the state of knowledge and this introduction synthesises this knowledge and derives implications for decision makers. The Uplands are valued semi-natural habitats, providing ecosystem services that have historically been taken for granted. For example, peat soils, which are mostly found in the Uplands, contain around 50% of the terrestrial carbon in the UK. Land management continues to be a driver of ecosystem service delivery. Degraded and managed peatlands are subject to erosion and carbon loss with negative impacts on biodiversity, carbon storage and water quality. Climate change is already being experienced in British Uplands and is likely to exacerbate these pressures. Climate envelope models suggest as much as 50% of British Uplands and peatlands will be exposed to climate stress by the end of the 21st century under low and high emissions scenarios. However, process-based models of the response of organic soils to this climate stress do not give a consistent indication of what this will mean for soil carbon: results range from a very slight increase in uptake, through a clear decline, to a net carbon loss. Preserving existing peat stocks is an important climate mitigation strategy, even if new peat stops forming. Preserving upland vegetation cover is a key win-win management strategy that will reduce erosion and loss of soil carbon, and protect a variety of services such as the continued delivery of a high quality water resource.

KW - British Uplands

KW - Climate change

KW - Peat

KW - Soil carbon

KW - Water quality

KW - Ecosystem service

KW - Management

KW - Dissolved organic-carbon

KW - Catchments

KW - Dynamics

KW - Dioxide

KW - Impacts

KW - Finland

KW - Budgets

KW - Export

KW - Soils

KW - CO2

U2 - 10.3354/cr00982

DO - 10.3354/cr00982

M3 - Editorial

VL - 45

SP - 3

EP - 12

JO - Climate Research

JF - Climate Research

SN - 0936-577X

IS - 1

ER -