Climate Projections for Ecologists

Hub Publication

Climate projections are essential for studying ecological responses to climate change, and their use is now common in ecology. However, the lack of integration between ecology and climate science has restricted understanding of the available climate data and their appropriate use.

The paper provides an overview of climate model outputs and issues that need to be considered when applying projections of future climate in ecological studies. We outline the strengths and weaknesses of available climate projections, the uncertainty associated with future projections at different spatial and temporal scales, the differences between available downscaling methods (dynamical, statistical downscaling and simple scaling of Global Circulation Model output), and the implications these have for ecological models.

We describe some of the changes in the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), including the new Representative Concentration Pathways.

We highlight some of the challenges in using model projections in ecological studies and suggest how to effectively address them.

Submitted: 01 Nov 2013. Accepted: 23 Apr 2014. Published online: 22 May 2014

The article is Copyright to the Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: climate change

To request an author's copy, please contact: Bec Harris at


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Bibliography Entry

Type of Publication Journal Article
Year of Publication 2014
Authors Harris RMB, Grose MR, Lee G, Bindoff NL, Porfirio LL, Fox-Hughes P
Pagination n/a - n/a
Date Published 05/2014
Journal Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change
This page was last updated on May 28, 2014