Christopher H. Trisos's research while affiliated with University of Cape Town and other places

Publications (93)

Article
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What the Latest Science on Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability means for Cities and Urban Areas, offers a concise and accessible urban-focused distillation of the IPCC Working Group II Report. The scale, reach, and complexity of contemporary urbanisation can compound the risks from climate change for cities. Cities and urban areas have a critica...
Article
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South Africa is wrestling with increasing climate change impacts and how to respond. The 2022 IPCC Working Group II Report synthesises the latest evidence on climate change impacts, vulnerability and adaptation, and what this means for climate-resilient development. In this commentary, South African authors on the Report reflect on its key findings...
Article
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This article provides a stocktake the adaptation literature between 2013 and 2019 to better understand how responses affect risk under the particularly challenging conditions of compound climate impacts. Across 39 countries, 45 response types to compound hazards display anticipatory (9%), reactive (33%) and maladaptive characteristics (41%), as wel...
Article
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Temperature overshoot pathways entail exceeding a specified global warming level (e.g. 1.5°C or 2°C) followed by a decline in warming, achieved through anthropogenically enhanced CO 2 removal from the atmosphere. However, risks to biodiversity from temperature overshoot pathways are poorly described. Here, we explore biodiversity risks from oversho...
Article
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This technical summary complements and expands the key findings of the Working Group (WG) II contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) presented in the Summary for Policymakers and covers literature accepted for publication by 1 September 2021. It provides technical understanding and is developed from the key findings of chapters and cross-...
Article
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This Summary for Policymakers (SPM) presents key findings of the Working Group II (WGII) contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) of the IPCC1. The report builds on the WGII contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the IPCC, three Special Reports2, and the Working Group I (WGI) contribution to the AR6 cycle. This report recogni...
Chapter
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Chapter 2, building on prior assessments, provides a global assessment of the observed impacts and projected risks of climate change to terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems, including their component species and the services they provide to people. Where possible, differences among regions, taxonomic groups and ecosystem types are presented. Adapt...
Chapter
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Nature-based solutions provide adaptation and mitigation benefits for climate change as well as contributing to other sustainable development goals (high confidence). Effective nature-based climate change mitigation stems from inclusive decision-making and adaptive management pathways that deliver climate-resilient systems serving multiple sustaina...
Article
Despite substantial progress in understanding global biodiversity loss, major taxonomic and geographic knowledge gaps remain. Decision makers often rely on expert judgement to fill knowledge gaps, but are rarely able to engage with sufficiently large and diverse groups of specialists. To improve understanding of the perspectives of thousands of bio...
Article
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Transformative governance is key to addressing the global environmental crisis. We explore how transformative governance of complex biodiversity–climate–society interactions can be achieved, drawing on the first joint report between the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and E...
Article
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At least 10,000 virus species have the capacity to infect humans, but at present, the vast majority are circulating silently in wild mammals1,2. However, climate and land use change will produce novel opportunities for viral sharing among previously geographically-isolated species of wildlife3,4. In some cases, this will facilitate zoonotic spillov...
Article
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Solar geoengineering is often framed as a stopgap measure to decrease the magnitude, impacts, and injustice of climate change. However, the benefits or costs of geoengineering for human health are largely unknown. We project how geoengineering could impact malaria risk by comparing current transmission suitability and populations-at-risk under mode...
Article
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Evidence is increasing of human responses to the impacts of climate change in Africa. However, understanding of the effectiveness of these responses for adaptation to climate change across the diversity of African contexts is still limited. Despite high reliance on indigenous knowledge (IK) and local knowledge (LK) for climate adaptation by African...
Preprint
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Accessible, reliable and diverse sources of climate information are needed to inform anticipatory responses to climate change at all levels of society, particularly for vulnerable sectors such as smallholder farming. Globally, many communities use Indigenous knowledge (IK) and local knowledge (LK) to provide contextually calibrated and trusted fore...
Article
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The African coast contains heritage sites of ‘Outstanding Universal Value’ that face increasing risk from anthropogenic climate change. Here, we generated a database of 213 natural and 71 cultural African heritage sites to assess exposure to coastal flooding and erosion under moderate (RCP 4.5) and high (RCP 8.5) greenhouse gas emission scenarios....
Article
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Biological invasions pose one of the most severe environmental challenges of the twenty‐first century. A longstanding idea is that invasion risk is predictable based on the phylogenetic distance – and hence ecological resemblance – between non‐native and native species. However, current evidence is contradictory. To explain these mixed results, it...
Article
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Functional traits offer a rich quantitative framework for developing and testing theories in evolutionary biology, ecology and ecosystem science. However, the potential of functional traits to drive theoretical advances and refine models of global change can only be fully realised when species-level information is complete. Here we present the AVON...
Article
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The cover image is based on the Letter AVONET: morphological, ecological and geographical data for all birds by Tobias et al., https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.13898. The sword‐billed hummingbird (Ensifera ensifera) is exquisitely adapted to its trophic niche as an aerial pollinator of flowerings plants (angiosperms) in the high Andes. A new global data...
Article
Climate change poses a threat to heritage globally. Decolonial approaches to climate change-heritage research and practice can begin to address systemic inequities, recognize the breadth of heritage and strengthen adaptation action globally.
Article
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Understanding possible climate futures that include carbon dioxide removal (CDR) and solar radiation modification (SRM) requires thinking not just about staying within the remaining carbon budget, but also about politics and people. However, despite growing interest in CDR and SRM, scenarios focused on these potential responses to climate change te...
Article
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Assessing global progress on human adaptation to climate change is an urgent priority. Although the literature on adaptation to climate change is rapidly expanding, little is known about the actual extent of implementation. We systematically screened >48,000 articles using machine learning methods and a global network of 126 researchers. Our synthe...
Article
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Climate change literacy encompasses being aware of both climate change and its anthropogenic cause, and thus underpins informed mitigation and adaptation responses. However, climate change literacy rates and their predictors remain poorly understood across the Global South. Here analysis of Africa’s largest representative public opinion survey show...
Article
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Future scenarios and pathways of potential development trajectories are powerful tools to assist with decision-making to address many sustainability challenges. Such scenarios play a major role in global environmental assessments (GEAs). Currently, however, scenarios in GEAs are mostly developed at the global level by experts and researchers, and l...
Article
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Africa has only contributed a small fraction of global greenhouse gas emissions yet faces disproportionate risks from climate change. This imbalance is one of many inequities associated with climate change and raises questions concerning the origin, distribution and thematic prioritization of funding for climate-change research on Africa. This arti...
Article
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Under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, international financial assistance is expected to support African and other developing countries as they prepare for and adapt to the impacts of climate change. The impact of this finance depends on how much finance is mobilized and where it is targeted. However, there has been no com...
Article
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Reducing vulnerability is essential for adaptation to climate change. Compared to approaches that examine vulnerability to a specific hazard, our analysis offers an alternative perspective that conceptualizes vulnerability to climate change as a phenomenon that is independent of any specific type of hazard but relevant to multiple hazards. Vulnerab...
Preprint
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Evidence of human adaptation actions responding to climate impacts is increasing in Africa. However, a holistic understanding of effective adaptation across the diversity of African contexts is still limited at a continental scale. Despite high reliance on indigenous knowledge (IK) and local knowledge (LK) for climate adaptation in Africa, the pote...
Preprint
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Important heritage sites along the African coast are at risk from the threats associated with rising sea levels. Here, we quantify the exposure of natural and cultural heritage sites in Africa to coastal flooding and erosion in the 21st century. We develop a comprehensive database of 284 coastal African Heritage Sites (AHS), composed of 213 natural...
Article
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Considering the feasibility and effectiveness of adaptation options is essential for guiding responses to climate change that reduce risk. Here, we assessed the feasibility of adaptation options for the African context. Using the Global Adaptation Mapping Initiative, a stocktake of adaptation-related responses to climate change from the peer-review...
Article
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Climate change is a threat to food security. Wild-harvested food plants (WFPs) are important for the diets of millions of people and contribute to food security, especially in rural and low-income communities, but little is known about climate change risk to WFPs. Using species distribution models, we examined climate change risk to 1190 WFP specie...
Poster
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Real-world experience underscores the complexity of interactions among multiple drivers of climate change risk and of how multiple risks compound or cascade. However, a holistic framework for assessing such complex climate change risks has not yet been achieved. Clarity is needed regarding the interactions that generate risk, including the role of...
Article
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessments (IPCC) Special Report on 1.5°C of global warming is clear. Nearly all pathways that hold global warming well below 2°C involve carbon removal (IPCC, 2015). In addition, solar geoengineering is being considered as a potential tool to offset warming, especially to limit temperature until negat...
Article
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Ecological research and practice are crucial to understanding and guiding more positive relationships between people and ecosystems. However, ecology as a discipline and the diversity of those who call themselves ecologists have also been shaped and held back by often exclusionary Western approaches to knowing and doing ecology. To overcome these h...
Article
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Real-world experience underscores the complexity of interactions among multiple drivers of climate change risk and of how multiple risks compound or cascade. However, a holistic framework for assessing such complex climate change risks has not yet been achieved. Clarity is needed regarding the interactions that generate risk, including the role of...
Article
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Global Environmental Assessments (GEAs) are in a unique position to influence environmental decision-making in the context of sustainability challenges. To do this effectively, however, new methods are needed to respond to the needs of decision-makers for a more integrated, contextualized and goal-seeking evaluation of different policies, geared fo...
Preprint
Despite biological invasions are one of the main environmental problems of the twenty-first century, there is still no theoretical or empirical agreement on whether a high phylogenetic relatedness between exotic and native species positively or negatively affect invasion success. To resolve this conundrum, it has been proposed that the effect might...
Chapter
This chapter develops and articulates an African futurist approach to framing and meeting the challenges of social-ecological futures. It advocates a broader conception of futures as lived practice embedded within specific places (e.g. Africa) and their histories, and explores how such practice can form an alternative model to current (Western) cli...
Preprint
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We present the first systematic, global stocktake of the academic literature on human adaptation. We screen 48,316 documents and identify 1,682 articles that present empirical research documenting human efforts to reduce risk from climate change and associated hazards. Coding and synthesizing this literature highlights that the overall extent of ad...
Article
Rapid urbanization and the global loss of biodiversity necessitate the development of a research agenda that addresses knowledge gaps in urban ecology that will inform policy, management, and conservation. To advance this goal, we present six topics to pursue in urban biodiversity research: the socioeconomic and social-ecological drivers of biodive...
Preprint
Livestock comprise the largest mammalian biomass on Earth and contribute to global food security. However, despite numerous case studies reporting heat impacts, the global risk of heat-related stress to livestock from climate change remains unquantified. Here, we conducted a global synthesis of documented heat stress in cattle to identify heat thre...
Preprint
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Solar geoengineering is often framed as a stopgap measure to decrease the magnitude, impacts, and injustice of climate change. However, the costs or benefits of geoengineering for human health are largely unknown. We project how geoengineering could impact malaria risk by comparing transmission suitability and populations-at-risk today against mode...
Preprint
Full-text available
Climate change is a threat to food security. Wild-harvested food plants (WFPs) are important for the diets of millions of people and contribute to food security, especially in rural and low-income communities, but little is known about climate change risk to these species. Using species distribution models, we examined climate change risk to 1190 W...
Article
Full-text available
Urbanisation is driving rapid declines in species richness and abundance worldwide, but the general implications for ecosystem function and services remain poorly understood. Here, we integrate global data on bird communities with comprehensive information on traits associated with ecological processes to show that assemblages in highly urbanised e...
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic will be an unprecedented test of governments’ ability to manage compound risks, as climate hazards disrupt outbreak response around the world. Immediate steps can be taken to minimize climate-attributable loss of life, but climate adaptation also needs a long-term strategy for pandemic preparedness.
Article
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As anthropogenic climate change continues the risks to biodiversity will increase over time, with future projections indicating that a potentially catastrophic loss of global biodiversity is on the horizon1–3. However, our understanding of when and how abruptly this climate-driven disruption of biodiversity will occur is limited because biodiversit...
Article
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Animals have diversified into a bewildering variety of morphological forms exploiting a complex configuration of trophic niches. Their morphological diversity is widely used as an index of ecosystem function, but the extent to which animal traits predict trophic niches and associated ecological processes is unclear. Here we use the measurements of...
Preprint
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Between 10,000 and 600,000 species of mammal virus are estimated to have the potential to spread in human populations, but the vast majority are currently circulating in wildlife, largely undescribed and undetected by disease outbreak surveillance [1,2,3]. In addition, changing climate and land use drive geographic range shifts in wildlife, produci...
Article
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Urbanization presents novel challenges to native species by altering both the biotic and abiotic environment. Studies have attempted to make generalizations about how species with similar traits respond to urbanization, although existing results are idiosyncratic across cities and often fail to account for seasonality. Here, we present a comparativ...
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Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals requires examining the impacts of health interventions across multiple sectors and identifying regions where health–development–environment conflicts are most likely. Doing this is important for ending the epidemic of malaria by 2030 alongside achieving other SDGs.
Article
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Climate change will almost certainly cause millions of deaths. Climate engineering might prevent this, but benefits-and risks-remain mostly unevaluated. Now is the time to bring planetary health research into climate engineering conversations.
Article
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Solar geoengineering is receiving increased policy attention as a potential tool to offset climate warming. While climate responses to geoengineering have been studied in detail, the potential biodiversity consequences are largely unknown. To avoid extinction, species must either adapt or move to track shifting climates. Here, we assess the effects...
Technical Report
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What is IPBES? IPBES—the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services—was established in 2012 to serve a role linking the science and knowledge about nature and nature’s benefits to people with policy and decision-making. IPBES has many expert groups, including one that focusses on Scenarios and Models of Biodiversity of Ecosy...
Article
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Understanding how pathogens and parasites diversify through time and space is fundamental to predicting emerging infectious diseases. Here, we use biogeographic, coevolutionary and phylogenetic analyses to describe the origin, diversity, and distribution of avian malaria parasites in the most diverse avifauna on Earth. We first performed phylogenet...
Article
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Parasites of the genera Plasmodium and Haemoproteus (Apicomplexa: Haemosporida) are a diverse group of pathogens that infect birds nearly worldwide. Despite their ubiquity, the ecological and evolutionary factors that shape the diversity and distribution of these protozoan parasites among avian communities and geographic regions are poorly understo...
Article
Competitive exclusion and habitat filtering influence community assembly, but ecologists and evolutionary biologists have not reached consensus on how to quantify patterns that would reveal the action of these processes. Currently, at least 22 α-diversity and 10 β-diversity metrics of community phylogenetic structure can be combined with nine null...
Article
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Variation in species richness across environmental gradients may be associated with an expanded volume or increased packing of ecological niche space. However, the relative importance of these alternative scenarios remains unknown, largely because standardized information on functional traits and their ecological relevance is lacking for major dive...
Preprint
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Competitive exclusion and habitat filtering are believed to have an important influence on the assembly of ecological communities, but ecologists and evolutionary biologists have not reached a consensus on how to quantify patterns that would reveal the action of these processes. No fewer than 22 phylogenetic community structure metrics and nine nul...
Article
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Abstract How the relative importance of community assembly processes varies with spatial scale is the focus of intensive debate, in part because inferring the scales at which specific niche-based processes act is difficult. One obstacle is that standard phylogenetic and functional diversity metrics may integrate the signals of multiple processes wh...
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