1.1 America's Climate Choices: Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change

Monday, 24 January 2011: 11:00 AM
618-620 (Washington State Convention Center)
Thomas Wilbanks, ORNL, Washington, DC; and I. P. Kraucunas and C. Elfring

At the request of Congress, the National Research Council, the operating arm of the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering, convened a series of coordinated activities to examine the serious and sweeping issues associated with global climate change, including the science and technology challenges involved, and provide advice on actions and strategies the nation can take to respond. The America's Climate Choices (ACC) suite of activities, which includes four panels and an overarching committee, represent the most comprehensive study of climate change to date by the National Academies. Collectively, the ACC reports provide the scientific framework for shaping the nation's policy choices in response to climate change.

This session will explore one of the four panel reports in detail: Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change. The Adapting panel report calls for action at all levels of government, NGOs, and the private sector to assess vulnerabilities to the impacts of climate change and identify options for adaptation. The report outlines a risk management framework that can be applied to compare and evaluate potential adaptation options, recognizing that decision makers across the country are likely to pursue a diverse set of adaptation measures. The report also emphasizes the need to continually re-assess adaptation decisions as the experience and knowledge regarding effective adaptation evolves. The report calls for a national adaptation strategy in which the federal government would support and enhance adaptation activities undertaken by state, local, tribal, and private entities; identify and modify policies that might provide incentives for maladaptive behavior; bolster scientific research regarding adaptation; and encourage adaptation on a global scale through national programs with international components.

The session will also include a brief overview of the other three ACC panel reports: Advancing the Science of Climate Change, which lays out the evidence for human-induced climate change and makes recommendations for a new era of climate change research; Limiting the Magnitude of Future Climate Change, which suggests the U.S. climate policy goal be stated as a CO2 emissions budget and recommends steps to meet the budget; and Informing an Effective Response to Climate Change, which calls for improvements in how climate change information is provided to decision makers.

Further information about the America's Climate Choices suite of activities, including how to order reports, can be found at http://americasclimatechoices.org

Supplementary URL: http://americasclimatechoices.org/

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner