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Ecological Feedback on Climate Change

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Climate: Decisive Feedback on our Future

Luc Abbadie, UPMC professor and director of the Paris Institute of Ecology and Environmental Science (IEES[1]) presents the focus of his research and issues of the conference Our Common Future Under Climate Change, at which he hosted a parallel session.

Can you describe the topic discussed at the parallel session, Ecological Feedback on Climate Change, which you presented with your colleague, Jean-François Silvain from the Biodiversity Research Foundation?

We know that climate change has an impact on biodiversity and ecosystems. This session looked at the opposite question: How will the changes to ecosystems and biodiversity impact climate change? In short, climate change disrupts ecosystems that in turn affect climate change: so there is feedback from the biodiversity and ecosystems on climate change. There is a mutual dependence of climate, ecosystems and biodiversity.

What have you learned from this dependence?

We set the terms of debate: that is to say, try to define how far we should go in the consideration of this ecological complexity in forecasting models of climate change. If we go into too much detail, the climate models will explode, conversely if the feedback data are not sufficiently integrated, these models are not reliable enough. We have to place the cursor at the right level. I also think that we delivered a clear message: it is urgent to take better account of living dynamics to improve our climate predictions.

What role did UPMC and Sorbonne University play in these debates?

Their role is essential. UPMC has an incredible wealth of laboratories on these themes. If we reason on the scale of Sorbonne University, measuring the contribution of our colleagues from the National Natural History Museum, or of other colleagues from Paris-Sorbonne University, such as geographers, we then have an exceptional density of skills that are complementary to each other. Sorbonne University brings together natural sciences and social sciences. It is in a position to be the recognized, indispensable source of expertise.


[1]IEES: a jointly managed structure of UPMC/CNRS/INRA/IRD/université Paris-Diderot/UPEC

For more information

The video presentationNouvelle fenêtre of the conference Our Common Future Under Climate Change (in French)

The conference site Our Common Future Under Climate ChangeNouvelle fenêtre

The site Demain le ClimatNouvelle fenêtre (in French)