Having a solid scientific base to inform the global climate dialogue is crucial. CI is working to ensure that science forms the foundation of all international climate decisions.
Assessing current climate change impacts on ecosystems
CI is examining the impacts of climate change on the incidence of drought and crop productivity in agricultural regions; on the world's protected areas; and on the provision of ecosystem services, among other aspects. We have also organized and led a National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) working group on applying fine-scale modeling to assist decision-makers in developing environmental management plans for climate adaptation.
In marine habitats, CI is assessing the global economic value of marine ecosystem services and the impacts of climate change on those values. For example, models calculate the value of marine systems on fisheries, tourism and shoreline protection and ultimately examine how climate change will alter these values. The final product of this research will be a global map illustrating how changes in ecosystem structure will affect the global economy, regional poverty rates and other datasets.
IN DEPTH: Marine Climate Change
Key adaptation questions
CI is exploring not just the 'how', but also the 'where' of adaptation. CI is trying to answer these important questions:
- Across the globe, where does it make the most sense to prioritize ecosystem-based adaptation solutions?
- Where are solutions most needed and most cost-effective?
- Where will solutions be able to help the world's poorest communities as they struggle to adapt to climate change despite their lack financial resources?
We are conducting new analyses and creating new partnerships with a wide range of other organizations to help fill this information gap in the global understanding of adaptation needs and priorities.
Modeling future impacts
In order to better understand how climate change affects our lives, CI has been conducting research exploring its broad impacts. For example, together with the University of Wisconsin we have produced one of the finest-scale pictures yet of what climate change may look like in terms of potential changes in temperature and precipitation patterns across the planet.
By examining global climate projections at a regional level, we are making climate change projections more relevant for local communities, improving scientific knowledge and facilitating research which studies how its effects might impact agriculture, human health or the natural habitats on which we all rely.
These datasets have been made publically available to enable other scientists to further explore these effects.
DATASETS WEBSITE: Globally downscaled climate projections for assessing the conservation impacts of climate change