Research Challenges for Adaptation and Mitigation of Climate Change

Friday, 14 February 2014
Grand Ballroom B (Hyatt Regency Chicago)
Rosina Bierbaum , University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Short-term and long-term research needs for mitigation of, and adaptation to, climate change will be discussed based on the recent U.S. National Climate Assessment, the IPCC, and international efforts funded by the Global Environment Facility and the World Bank.  Research in the realms of basic science, engineering, and social science are all needed.  Near-term priorities in the mitigation arena include rapid deployment of existing technologies, and developing and readying a next generation of energy technologies – such as advanced renewables, and carbon capture and sequestration to be widely available in the next 2 decades.  Adaptation is much more nascent than mitigation; activities to date have primarily focused on identifying vulnerabilities and potential coping actions, but little implementation, monitoring or evaluation of options has occurred.  Actions that have been taken to date tend to be incremental.  ‘Best practices’ or lessons learned from adaptation experiments need to be aggregated across sectors and scales.  For the most part, local practitioner experiences are not being captured and integrated into the peer-reviewed literature. Methods for tackling multiple stresses occurring in concert with climate change, such as habitat fragmentation, pollution, invasive species, and biodiversity loss, need to be developed.  Approaches to evaluate the ‘success’ of adaptation actions and to determine when ‘transformational’ adaptation may be needed require development.