WASHINGTON, May 14 (Xinhua) -- A new NASA-led study
shows human-caused climate change has made an impact on a wide range of Earth's
natural systems, including permafrost thawing, plants blooming earlier across
Europe, and lakes declining in productivity in Africa.
Cynthia Rosenzweig of NASA's Goddard Institute for
Space Science and scientists at 10 other institutions have linked physical and
biological impacts since 1970 with rises in temperatures during that period.
The study, to be published on May 15 in the journal
Nature, concludes human-caused warming is resulting in a broad range of impacts
across the globe.
"This is the first study to link global temperature
data sets, climate model results, and observed changes in a broad range of
physical and biological systems to show the link between humans, climate, and
impacts," said Rosenzweig, lead author of the study.
Observed impacts included changes to physical
systems, such as glaciers shrinking, permafrost melting, and lakes and rivers
Biological systems also were impacted in a variety of
ways, such as leaves unfolding and flowers blooming earlier in the spring, birds
arriving earlier during migration periods, and plant and animal species moving
toward Earth's poles and higher in elevation.
In aquatic environments such as oceans, lakes, and
rivers, plankton and fish are shifting from cold-adapted to warm-adapted
Their study indicated that at the global scale, about
90 percent of observed changes in diverse physical and biological systems are
consistent with warming.
"Humans are influencing climate through increasing
greenhouse gas emissions," Rosenzweig said. "The warming is causing impacts on
physical and biological systems that are now attributable at the global scale."
The research team also found the link between
human-caused climate change and observed impacts on Earth holds true at the
scale of individual continents, particularly in North America, Europe, and