Global Change Biology

Cover image for Vol. 20 Issue 12

Edited by: Steve Long

Impact Factor: 8.224

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2013: 1/41 (Biodiversity Conservation); 4/215 (Environmental Sciences); 6/140 (Ecology)

Online ISSN: 1365-2486

Associated Title(s): GCB Bioenergy

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Global Change Biology exists to promote understanding of the interface between all aspects of current environmental change that affects a substantial part of the globe and biological systems.

The journal publishes primary research articles, technical advances, research reviews, commentaries and letters.

Global Change Biology defines global change as any consistent trend in the environment - past, present or projected - that affects a substantial part of the globe. Examples include:

Gross change in historic land reconstructionsGross change in historic land reconstructions

Many important environmental, biogeochemical and ecological assessments, such as climate change studies, rely on historic land change data. Methods used to account for land changes often vary, however, leading to uncertainties in estimates. Richard Fuchs and his coauthors provide a method that reconstructs historic land changes, while capturing land change dynamics over time. Applied over Europe, their method estimates double the amount of occurred historic land changes during the last century than previously published methods. This difference in estimates is expected to have a marked impact on climate change studies.

Warning times for species extinctions due to climate changeWarning times for species extinctions due to climate change

Climate change will impact many species, so robust methods are needed to identify species vulnerable to extinction. Jessica Stanton and her colleagues tested the performance of the IUCN Red List system, the most commonly used method for identifying species threatened with extinction. They show that the Red List system would provide several decades of warning time for species that might go extinct because of climate change, but conservation actions should begin as soon as a species is listed at the lowest threat category. Overall, the Red List criteria provides a sensitive and precautionary way to assess extinction risk under climate change.

Invited: Big micro-site framework for soil carbon modelingInvited: Big micro-site framework for soil carbon modeling

Soils contain more than three times as much carbon as exists in the atmosphere, so the rate at which soil microorganisms decay organic matter in the soil, converting it to carbon dioxide that escapes into the atmosphere, affects the accumulation of greenhouse gases that influence global climate. Here, Eric Davidson et al. discuss how our understanding of what increases or decreases microbial activity in the soil can be expressed in equations used in computer models. The models need to be complex enough to reflect reality, yet simple enough so that we can test whether our understanding of microbial activity in soil is adequate.

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