Slowing, halting or reversing climate change is known as mitigation. Typically, mitigation refers to emissions reduction, so that humans are reducing their impact on the climate – but it may also refer to efforts at geoengineering, which seeks to use technology offset emissions, e.g. by taking carbon out of the atmosphere or by radiating sunlight back into space.
Socolow’s “stabilization wedges” depict how a portfolio of mitigation strategies can together halt climate change and limit the increase in average global temperatures:
Source:“Stabilization Wedges Introduction” by Carbon Mitigation Initiative, Princeton University, 2011. http://cmi.princeton.edu/wedges/intro.php Last accessed 12/13/2012.
“Humanity already possesses the fundamental scientific, technical, and industrial know-how to solve the carbon and climate problem for the next half-century. A portfolio of technologies now exists to meet the world’s energy needs over the next 50years and limit atmospheric CO2 to a trajectory that avoids a doubling of the preindustrial concentration. Every element in this portfolio has passed beyond the laboratory bench and demonstration project; many are already implemented somewhere at full industrial scale. Although no element is a credible candidate for doing the entire job (or even half the job) by itself, the portfolio as a whole is large enough that not every element has to be used.” (S. Pacala and R. Socolow, “Stabilization Wedges: Solving the Climate Problem for the Next 50 Years with Current Technologies,” Science Magazine, 2004. http://www.sciencemag.org/content/305/5686/968.full, Last Accessed 12/18/12. Subscription required)
If we assume that some amount of climate change is unavoidable, or is happening already, then responses will include adaptation to living on a warmer planet – and to secondary effects such as increased storm activity, more or less local rainfall, reduced ice coverage and higher sea levels. In many ways, adaptation is a logistical and financial challenge - but it can also be a humanitarian one.
The IPCC has started the Fifth Assessment cycle, which will include the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5), Special Reports, Expert Meetings, and Workshops agreed by the Plenary. The outline of the Working Group II contribution to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) was approved at the 9th Session of Working Group II and accepted by the 31st Session of the IPCC meeting in Bali, Indonesia, 26-29 October 2009. According to the timetable agreed by the IPCC, the Working Group II contribution to the AR5, "Climate Change 2013: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability", will be released in March 2014.
Writing team membership for the Working Group II contribution to the AR5 was released on 23 June 2010, and consisted of 302 Coordinating Lead Authors, Lead Authors, and Review Editors. The WGII Bureau since addressed gaps in expertise and unexpected withdrawals in augmenting teams (see accompanying box). You can check the Working Group II press release associated with the initial launch.
Refer to the AR5 provisional schedule for key WGII AR5 development milestones, and the AR5 writing teams for the current author listing. (Source: IPCC Working Group II, Imapcts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Last accessed 11/27/2012)
Source: UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), http://www.unmultimedia.org/s/photo/detail/442/0442740.html, Last accessed 27 Nov 2012
Source: UN Global Compact and UN Environment Programme. Business and climate change adaptation: Toward resilient companies and communities (source from Adapting for a Green Economy: Companies, Communities and Climate Change). 2012. Last accessed 11/27/2012
"Businesses have become increasingly aware of the critical role they play in enabling effective, timely, and appropriate adaptation. They recognize the risks that climate change poses, not only for their operations, but also to their suppliers, employees, customers, and people living in the areas in which they operate. Businesses have also begun to recognize opportunities to expand operations and increase their market share through developing climate-resilient products and services to help people, other businesses, and governments adapt. A 2010 survey conducted by Caring for Climate revealed some important perspectives on business engagement in climate change adaptation." (see text box on the left)
A companion piece to the 2010 survey is the ten case studies presented in Business and Climate Change Adaptation: Toward Resilient Companies and Communities by UN Global Compact and UN Environment Programme (UNEP). (2012). "Key insights emerging from the case studies are:
(Quoted from: Business and Climate Change Adaptation: Toward Resilient Companies and Communities by UN Global Compact and UN Environment Programme (UNEP). (2012).
View full text
Source: Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, http://www.c2es.org/science-impacts/climate-change-101, Last accessed 1/5/2012.
Image is a screenshot from the site.
"To inform the climate change dialogue, the Pew Center on Global Climate Change has produced a series of brief reports entitled Climate Change 101: Understanding and Responding to Global Climate Change. These reports... cover climate science and impacts, climate adaptation, technological solutions, business solutions, international action, federal action, recent action in the U.S. states, and action taken by local governments. The overview serves as a summary and introduction to the series." See the full text article at Pew Center on Global Climate Change.
We look at 10 of the arguments most often made against the IPCC consensus, and some of the counter-arguments made by scientists who agree with the IPCC." See the full text article at BBC News.
Source: BBC News http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/629/629/7074601.stm last accessed 1/5/2012; Image is a screenshot from the site.
For complete beginners: NCAR: Weather and Climate Basics http://www.eo.ucar.edu/basics/index.html; NASA: Global Warming Updates http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/GlobalWarming/
For those with some knowledge: IPCC AR4 FAQs http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/faqs.html;RealClimate Index http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/index
Climate Change – Global Risks, Challenges and Decisions http://climatecongress.ku.dk/pdf/synthesisreport (The University of Copenhagen provides access to a "Synthesis Report" which provides information for understanding climate change caused by human activities, the social and environmental implications of this change, and the options available for society to respond to the challenges.)
The Natural Environment Research Council, UK, NERC Climate Change Challenge groups the discussion into
The Science and Politics of Global Climate Change: A Guide to the Debate, 2nd edition by Andrew Dessler and Edward Parson, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010. (Aimed at "educated non-specialist," the book "clearly lays out the scientific foundations of climate change, the issues in current policy debates, and the interactions between science and politics that make the climate change debate so contentious and confusing." (Quoted from HOLLIS Catalog) The book can also be purchased via Amazon.
Climate Debate Daily (This site "intends to deepen our understanding of disputes over climate change and the human contribution to it. The site links to scientific articles, news stories, economic studies, polemics, historical articles, PR releases, editorials, feature commentaries, and blog entries. ...")
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