Kasey Dresser| December 24, 2018
This weeks segment looks at how the relationship between humans and ecosystems will change with the affects of climate change.
Climate change will alter the relationship between humans and ecosystems.
This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.
Ecosystem services are benefits that humans gain from nature. Some of these benefits will diminish in coming years, according to the Fourth National Climate Assessment released in November.
Some ecosystem services provide resources like food, water and fuel. Iowa’s economy depends heavily on one such service—agriculture. The growing season is starting earlier and becoming wetter, which will impact crop yields.
Other services protect humans from natural dangers such as disease-carrying insects, like mosquitoes and ticks. As northern climates get warmer the ranges of such pests and the diseases they carry are expanding.
Cultural services include natural provisions for recreation, tourism, aesthetics and spirituality. Climate change will impact sporting seasons and threaten cherished landscapes.
Changes will vary among regions and ecosystems, making the future hard to predict. Some losses are inevitable, though, and may compromise human industry, livelihood and sustenance.
For more information, visit iowa-environmental-focus-dot-org.
From the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, I’m Sara E. Mason.