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Providing an up-to-date synthesis of all knowledge relevant to the climate change issue, Climate Change: Global Risks, Challenges and Decisions ranges from the basic science documenting the need for policy action to the technologies, economic instruments and political strategies that can be employed in response to climate change. Ethical and cultural issues constraining the societal response to climate change are also discussed. Climate Change: Global Risks, Challenges and Decisions provides a handbook for those who want to understand and contribute to meeting this challenge.
It covers a very wide range of disciplines – core biophysical sciences involved with climate change (geosciences, atmospheric sciences, ocean sciences, ecology/biology) as well as economics, political science, health sciences, institutions and governance, sociology, ethics and philosophy, and engineering. As such it will be invaluable for a wide range of researchers and professionals wanting a cutting-edge synthesis of climate change issues, and for advanced student courses on climate change.
List of contributors
List of acronyms and abbreviations
Part I. Climatic Trends
1. Identifying, monitoring and predicting change in the climate system
2. The oceans and the climate system
3. Sea level rise and ice sheet dynamics
4. Carbon cycle trends and vulnerabilities
Part II. Defining 'Dangerous Climate Change'
5. The impact of climate change on human societies
6. Impacts of climate change on the biotic fabric of the planet
7. Tipping elements: jokers in the pack
8. Linking science and action: targets, timetables and emission budgets
Part III. Equity Issues
9. The equity challenge and climate policy: responsibilities, vulnerabilities and inequality in the response to climate change
10. A long-term perspective on climate change: values and ethics
Part IV. Mitigation and Adaptation Approaches
11. Low-carbon energy technologies as mitigation approaches
12. Economic approaches and instruments
13. Geopolitics and governance
14. Adapting to the unavoidable
Part V. Meeting the Challenge
15. Integrating adaptation, mitigation and sustainable development
16. Mobilising the population
17. The human-Earth relationship: past, present and future
Katherine Richardson is Vice-Dean at the Faculty of Science at the University of Copenhagen and Professor in Biological Oceanography. She has been active both as a member and chairman of several national and international research committees and advisory bodies including the scientific steering committee of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme. She is Chairman of the Danish Government's Climate Commission. She was also chairman of the Scientific Steering Committee for the international scientific congress Climate Change: Global Risks, Challenges and Decisions. The focus of her research is carbon cycling in the ocean and how changing climate conditions influence biodiversity in the ocean and the ability of biological processes in the ocean to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. Richardson has authored over 75 scientific publications and a large number of popular scientific works, including Our Threatened Oceans (2009, Haus Publishing; with Stefan Rahmstorf).
Will Steffen is Executive Director of the Climate Change Institute at the Australian National University (ANU), Canberra, and is also Science Adviser, Department of Climate Change, Australian Government. From 1998 to mid 2004, he served as Executive Director of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, based in Stockholm, Sweden. His research interests span a broad range within the fields of climate change and Earth System science, with an emphasis on incorporation of human processes in Earth System modelling and analysis; and on sustainability, climate change and the Earth System.
Diana Liverman holds appointments at the University of Arizona (where she directs the Institute of the Environment) and Oxford University (working with the Environmental Change Institute). Her main research interests include climate impacts, vulnerability and adaptation, and climate policy, especially the role of the developing world and non-state actors in both mitigation and adaptation. She has written numerous books and articles on the environment, climate and development and advised government, business and NGOs on climate issues. Currently she chairs the scientific advisory committee of the International Global Environmental Change and Food Security Program, co-chairs the US National Academies panel on Informing America's Climate Choices and edits the Annual Review of Environment and Resources.