Novel temperatures are already widespread beneath the world’s tropical forest canopies

Trew, Brittany T. and Edwards, David P. and Lees, Alexander C. and Klinges, David H. and Early, Regan and Svátek, Martin and Plichta, Roman and Matula, Radim and Okello, Joseph and Niessner, Armin and Barthel, Matti and Six, Johan and Maeda, Eduardo E. and Barlow, Jos and do Nascimento, Rodrigo Oliveria and Berenguer, Erika and Ferreira, Joice and Sallo-Bravo, Jhonatan and Maclean, Ilya M. D. (2024) Novel temperatures are already widespread beneath the world’s tropical forest canopies. Nature Climate Change. ISSN 1758-678X

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Tropical forest biodiversity is potentially at high risk from climate change, but most species reside within or below the canopy, where they are buffered from extreme temperatures. Here, by modelling the hourly below-canopy climate conditions of 300,000 tropical forest locations globally between 1990 and 2019, we show that recent small increases in below-canopy temperature (<1 °C) have led to highly novel temperature regimes across most of the tropics. This is the case even within contiguous forest, suggesting that tropical forests are sensitive to climate change. However, across the globe, some forest areas have experienced relatively non-novel temperature regimes and thus serve as important climate refugia that require urgent protection and restoration. This pantropical analysis of changes in below-canopy climatic conditions challenges the prevailing notion that tropical forest canopies reduce the severity of climate change impacts.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Nature Climate Change
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? environmental science (miscellaneous)social sciences (miscellaneous) ??
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Deposited On:
12 Jun 2024 09:05
Last Modified:
13 Jun 2024 03:20