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Environmental Measurements and Modeling

Integrated Modeling to Characterize Climate Change Impacts and Support Decision Making Workshop (2011)

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Increased temperature, sea level rise, altered precipitation patterns, and changes in air and water quality are among the emerging climate change impacts facing our nation. Taking action on climate change requires cross-media, transdisciplinary tools and an integrated systems-analysis modeling approach.

“Much of the nation’s experience to date in managing and protecting its people, resources, and infrastructure is based on the historic record of climate variability during a period of relatively stable climate.  Adaptation to climate change calls for a new paradigm – one that considers a range of possible future climate conditions and associated impacts, some well outside the realm of past experience.”

“Adaptation … requires actions from many decision-makers in federal, state, tribal, and local governments.”

“Current efforts are hampered by a lack of solid information about the benefits, costs, and effectiveness of various adaptation options, by uncertainty about future climate impacts at a scale necessary for decision-making, and by a lack of coordination.”

--- National Academy of Sciences,
Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change

“Climate change must be considered and integrated into all aspects of our work.”

“In all aspects of our work, from problem identification, to research design and conduct, to implementation of solutions, we must involve the widest diversity of disciplines.”

“If EPA is to solve these challenging problems, we must rely on integrated, trans-disciplinary research that complements traditional single-discipline approaches.”

--- EPA Draft FY 2011-2015 Strategic Plan

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Workshop Purpose

EPA convened this workshop on February 1 - 2, 2011, in Atlanta, GA, to facilitate the use of integrated modeling to inform and improve local, regional and national policy decisions relevant to climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies. The workshop purpose was to:

  • Bring together empirical scientists, modelers, economists, social scientists and public policy experts to help ensure that model development aligns with climate change policy design, management and decision-making needs.
  • Connect the climate change data producers with the climate change data users. 
  • Make existing resources accessible to stakeholders in the field.
  • Highlight successful case studies of intra-agency, inter-agency, academy, public and private sector systems analysis and integrated modeling for climate change impacts.

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Workshop Participation

Participation in this meeting was open to participants from within and outside EPA who are interested or involved in the development and use of environmental models to characterize climate change impacts and support decision making. Over 120 symposium participants represented a wide range of sectors (Federal, State and Local government, NGOs, academia, private sector), including policy analysts, ecologists, environmental engineers, economists, IT specialists and program managers in general.

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Workshop Materials

Below are the materials from the workshop including the announcement, particpant guide and report.

Note: Development of the workshop report was led by SCG, Inc., under contract to EPA. (Some individual EPA experts contributed specific discussions on topic(s) for which he or she has scientific expertise or knowledge of current Agency practice). The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of EPA and should not be construed as implying EPA consent or endorsement.

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