Effects of Climate Change on Invasive SpeciesThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Mean surface temperatures have increased globally by ~0.7 °C per century since 1900 and 0.16 °C per decade since 1970 (Levinson and Fettig 2014). Most of this warming is believed to result from increases in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases produced by human activity. Temperature increases have been greater in winter than in summer, and there is a tendency for these increases to be manifested mainly by changes in minimum (nighttime low) temperatures (Kukla and Karl 1993). Changes in precipitation patterns have also been observed, but are more variable than those of temperature. Even under conservative emission scenarios, future climatic changes are likely to include further increases in temperature with significant drying (drought) in some regions and increases in the frequency and severity of extreme weather events (IPCC 2007). For example, multimodel means of annual temperature from climate projections predict an increase of 3–9 °C in the United States over the next century combined with reductions in summer precipitation in certain areas (Walsh et al. 2014). These changes will affect invasive species in several ways. Furthermore, climate change may challenge the way we perceive and consider nonnative invasive species, as impacts to some will change and others will remain unaffected; other nonnative species are likely to become invasive; and native species are likely to shift their geographic ranges into novel habitats.